On writing this Declan will have been Shielding for 10 weeks, since his respiratory consultant contacted me regarding Covid 19 we didn’t wait for Boris Johnson to tell us what was needed.
Since then, like everybody, there has been highs and lows, probably more for me than Declan, as I’m unable to work like so many peopIe who are self employed it’s been a really financially draining time with so much uncertainty of the future.
Then there has been the overwhelming worry of if Declan contracts Covid 19, as he is already in respiratory failure there would be no happy ending or me holding Declans hand whilst he takes he last breath, so we have decided if he gets it I will care for him at home.
Hospitals are so over stretched that they wouldn’t manage his care needs as well as his medical ones, where as I am trained in respiratory physiotherapy and we have a ventilator which he uses nightly, a cough assist machine, oxygen and nebuliser. My main aim however is for the virus to not enter the safety of our home, to achieve this, I am down to two carers, one who cares for Declan over night three nights a week and one who helps me get Declan up in the morning. So there is only three people around Declan, I do the other nights and all day. Whilst here the carers have N95 mask and wear gloves which are regularly changed as well as wearing clothes that are only worn in our home and have no other clients or family members working.
We are now managing to get shopping delivery but were relying on NHS volunteer responders (your amazing) my best friend who has also helped me on down days and Gamble and Hollis butchers who have delivered fresh meat and eggs. Without their help things would have been so much worse. Whilst people have broken the government guidelines, using politicians mis-demeanours as excuses to do what they feel, others have been kind, thoughtful and generous.
Many people have flocked to beaches and beauty spots, not keeping two meter distance and not meeting one on one. For people like Declan, not just the elderly but young adults with Muscular Dystrophy, Cystic Fibrois, Cancer, this lockdown is eating into their already short lives for whom there may not be a “next summer”. They want to get back out there and live their lives but until people act sensibly, not selfishly they are stuck in “ground hog day”!
I have asked Declan to find a positive in this crazy situation. To my surprise he had many, we get to watch films together most days, you cook from scratch, we get to chill in the garden, I have less carers! If only I didn’t need to work I could sustain these simple pleasures for Declan, but for now, I can.
So we will continue to eat lunch in the garden with music playing in the back ground, cook from scratch in the evening with Declan reading out the recipe. Scour Netflix and Disney plus for films whilst eating sweets and.. enjoy every moment of it.
I hope that all our readers are safe and can at least think of one thing that has been positive in the past two months, something that has made you smile.
Please all stay safe, smile every day and be there for each other.