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It’s day 4 of social distancing and today I have been lucky enough to chat to a lovely group of girls who are in a similar position to myself. I was able to ask each one a few questions with particular focus on how it is to be young and vulnerable to illness.
I think that a large amount of people in this world are shielded to the fact that you can be a young adult who has chronic pain. The completely terrible medical procedures, handfuls of pills, hours of treatments; are all things which adolescents as young as 15 are coping with on a daily basis. It can be really tough to feel like you don’t fit in with your peers.
Using social media is a great way to connect and share experiences with others who are similar to yourself. I have loved hearing the different views, and I hope this will spread awareness of how younger adults classed as ‘vulnerable’ are feeling at this time.
How do you feel about the current Coronavirus outbreak? Is it affecting your physical/mental health at all? Yes; big time. I’m not going to lie the anxiety of it has been pretty hectic & on top of that I haven’t been able to get a fair few of my prescriptions as people have been filing them more than usual which is fair. I’ve been unable to get any ventolin in my town also; as people without prescriptions have been buying them so it’s really been stressing me out. I know for most it’s a common cold but for us it’s much more than that, I would die. You know? 😂❤️ – @lilyalford
It’s scary being in the unknown and having no idea what’s going to happen next. As I’m in quarantine because of my illness, it’s just overwhelming how long you potentially have to stay at home. It’s affecting my physical health, I can’t go to school so I don’t do as much exercise. With my mental health it’s hard. I’m just trying to stay positive and talk to others as I know you can start to feel very isolated x -@chronicallystars
Do you feel as though your health is currently under control? I feel that at this point in time, I do. But, if I was to go into a flare and I was to need medical treatment I don’t believe it would be the same quality of care as usual. I don’t think there would be room for me in the usual places I am placed. (ICU, separated from others in rooms, ect). -@lilyalford.
I have chronic migraines as well as suspected endometriosis. This constant stress has made my migraines more painful and shortened the time between attacks. In terms of my pelvic issues, the constant tension has heightened my pain. It’s so unbelievably hard to cope with. -@chronicallyxcourageous.
To be completely honest, no. Not only am I battling a cold but for someone without a properly functioning immune system, the likelihood of a cold turning into a lung infection is high. It’s scary knowing that COVID-19 affects the respiratory system when you’ve already had 4 lung infections in 9 months! The issue with being stressed during this time is that it causes the conditions that affect my autonomic nervous system like FND, GP, POTS, and CRPS to get worse due to increased cortisol. It’s scary but staying on top of your mental health will also help your physical help. -@confidentlychronic
With increasing amounts of people relying on the NHS/healthcare systems, do you have any concerns that your ongoing care might change or become less of a priority? I was due an operation which has been cancelled, I don’t know when my next tube change will be and my appointments have all be either cancelled, postponed or changed to over the phone appointments. My sister is actually a PICU nurse so I know how busy they are and why hospitals are cancelling due to infection risks. Whilst I know that my care isn’t becoming less of a priority, it is stressful when you don’t know what will happen. I am extremely grateful for the NHS staff, especially at times like this! And I know they’re trying their hardest to do what’s best for everybody! -@l_.wats0n.
Of course, I think the majority of patients who are receiving ongoing care will feel that they’re less of a priority; which is unfair but on the flip side… I also understand that all resources are needed desperately so if my care became less of a priority, I’d kind of understand it. -@shxnn.xn
This question totally speaks to me, gosh! Before I begin, I want to say that I totally admire the NHS and every single member of staff within it for what they are doing – especially during this testing time! I am, however, awaiting surgery to diagnose my gynae issues. Given the strains on our healthcare system now, I am worried that my surgery will be cancelled. As I have spoken about before, I have been lucky enough to pay for this procedure privately but cancellation is still a concern as more capacity may be required. -@chronicallyxcourageous
If you’re social distancing/isolating , how are you finding the long days at home? Any advice to others on how to manage this? Social distancing can get very boring and sometimes upsetting but I think it’s best to just keep yourself entertained. You can do this by playing board games that you forgot about, go on your phone, watch tv/movies, learn a new hobby, exercise and connect with friends. -@chronicallyillmxmx
I don’t know why I’m struggling so much with self isolation as I’m usually unable to go out. I think it’s because the days are long, the routine is off and you feel trapped as you can’t go out or have visitors! My advice would be to pick activities for each day, even if it’s something like colouring, crafts or doing one of your hobbies, even starting a new series to keep you occupied. Keeping in touch with friends over social media & being with your family at home can help you feel less isolated as well. -@l_.wats0n
I spent most of my time at home long before the COVID-19 outbreak, so I’ve come up with ways to stay entertained. I love watching documentary series, cartoons and sitcoms to pass the time. When my symptoms are good, I like reading, learning new things and training my service pup (which is always good). Some of my tips for staying entertained at home is call your friends and have a movie night, play a board or card game with the people you’re quarantined with and use social media to your benefit! COVID-19 is scary but feeling alone is scarier so don’t be afraid to ask to talk with someone! -@confidentlychronic
As someone with an underlying condition, what would you say is the most important message you would share with others right now? Just be really cautious around other people you don’t know because you’ve got no idea where they might have been. They could have gone into town and picked something up. For them to give you anything that could make you sick would just be really horrible, especially if you’ve been trying so hard to isolate and avoid sickness. -@chronicallystars
To those with an underlying condition: stay safe, look after yourselves and I’m always here. To those without an underlying condition: think of those around you. Practice social distancing! -@shxnn.xn
Be mindful of your mental health; do what is best for you. Only you know your own body ❤️ -@chronicallyxcourageous
I am so grateful to these girls who were willing to share their thoughts and opinions over the current health situation. Please check them out on Instagram and share this post to help to raise awareness of chronic illness. I also feel really proud to be part of a group who are so accepting of life, who never complain about what they have been dealt with and who are still willing to help others- even during this difficult time. They are all completely incredible!
Over the weekend I will be taking a break from posting and focussing on my dream of being a coach potato! I hope you all stay safe, well and distanced. See ya soon.