So we are now halfway through February and almost a year into the Covid-19 pandemic. It’s time for my monthly link-up with A Chronic Voice. I try to take part each month, as it is a chance to connect with fellow chronic illness/condition bloggers, whilst reflecting on the month.
The writing prompts for this month are – Defining, Allocating, Uniting, Saving and Educating. So I’ll try and arrange my thoughts for February around these themes!
I think almost a year in lockdown has helped to define a few things and highlighted the important things in life for many of us. There’s been more time to think about things and in some ways this has had a negative effect on my anxiety. In other ways, it’s helped to make a few things clear to me.
Before the pandemic, I was single and living alone in a flat for many years. I always thought I enjoyed being alone, until it was forced upon me. The pandemic made me realise that I don’t want to be alone. I don’t enjoy feeling lonely at all. Luckily I met my boyfriend about 6 months before the first UK lockdown and we have been mostly isolating together. All this has really made me so grateful to have him in my life. It’s made me realise that love, friends and family are everything.
Strangely, I don’t really care as much about travel and all the stuff I was doing before the pandemic anymore. I think I was doing most of it to fill a void as ultimately, I was lonely.
Many friends are also making some big life changes at the moment – buying houses, moving to new towns and areas etc. I think the pandemic and being stuck at home has made people reassess their lives and priorities. In many cases, speeding up decisions that may have eventually happened in a few years.
This month I have been allocating time to sort out a few health issues and to be kinder to myself in general. I have had a stressful few months health-wise to be honest. I had a “severely dysplastic” mole removed from my stomach just before Christmas, and I was worried it was melanoma skin cancer. Turns out it was so severely atypical that I had to have further surgery last week to remove more of the skin from around where it was. Safe to say that was fairly painful, so I’m recovering this week and have another scar to add to my collection. I feel lucky that it was caught early, but it was still stressful to go through.
I’m also seeking further advice/a second opinion on ongoing leg numbness that I’ve had for years now. I was meant to do this last year but put it off due to the pandemic and being turned away by Drs. I’ve had MRI’s, blood tests and nerve conduction tests but the Drs I’ve seen (including my original scoliosis surgeon) do not know the cause and one even largely blamed “my anxiety.” Yes, I have anxiety but the symptoms are real and I’m not making them up. I don’t think people realise the impact of chronic symptoms on mental health. My anxiety is getting worse because I don’t know the cause of my symptoms and sometimes I feel like I’m being made out to be making things up. It’s exhausting to be honest and I’m largely fed up of it and the ongoing battle for answers/a diagnosis.
This month I also finally sought some help with my anxiety (albeit this was triggered/made worse by ongoing health issues piling up). I am now on some anti anxiety medication and also waiting for some CBT, so lets see if it helps me somewhat.
After being in lockdown on and off for almost a year, I’m looking forward to eventually uniting with friends and family again when we can. And of course, heading back to Parkrun! It’s been a strange old time. Although I’ve enjoyed regular video calls with friends, it’s not the same as seeing each other in person and actually having holidays and things to look forward to. Something tells me that it’s not going to be back to “normal” for some time yet though.
I feel fortunate that I have managed to save quite a bit of money in lockdown. Every cloud! I know others are not as fortunate and I do feel very lucky. With working from home and not going anywhere to spend money, I’ve been able to save more than usual.
I would like to do some more travelling after the pandemic is over and potentially save for a house, so this should hopefully come in handy/make things a bit easier.
The whole purpose of my blog is to try and educate and raise awareness of scoliosis, as it is still a relatively unknown condition.
This month I have also been putting extra effort into my social media channels, and have started experimenting with Tik Tok. So far, I have made a few educational videos around scoliosis. Videos tend to get more engagement than photos on my social media, so I plan to do regular videos to help raise awareness. I do feel too old for Tik Tok, but it’s another channel for raising awareness. Plus, it has been keeping me occupied in lockdown! I have a lot to learn though where TikTok is concerned and ideally need to create a plan for my video content, including YouTube.
If you are on Tik Tok, please do give me a follow. 🙂
I’ve also been educating myself whilst in lockdown and trying to learn some new skills. I’ve been taking some courses on Skillshare to help me with my blogging. This is where I learnt how to use Photoshop and design T-shirts! So I’m rather proud of myself. 🙂
Thank you for reading!