It is boring tonight! I am up late again, and it is 4a.m. in the morning. I have never been a particularly good sleeper, sometimes I can go weeks without sleep. Thats the annoying thing about insomnia, it can keep me up all night. To make it worse, I guarantee when I finally drift off to the land of nod, I’ll be awake again early in the morning.
It isn’t always like this. As we speak, I’m burning a patchouli incense that I use as a sleep aid. However, my sleep has been interrupted severely through this pandemic. Now, I am looking after my husband who has been left with triple the amount of pain from his disabilities thanks to Coronavirus which has increased it severely. He already had chronic pain from his car crash accident which occurred a few years ago, and it has gotten worse since he had the virus. He also has a right sided weakness brought on by cancer removal from when he was just around 3 years old, and that can cause him to feel weak, tired and fall easily. Our local council and the community nurses have made some adaptations to the home, such as an extra stair rail, and an extra grab rail in the bathroom which help him get around, however when he is in a lot of pain, he also has sleep problems and to add to that he wakes up in the night or early morning, sometimes confused.
I have PTSD which can make the insomnia harder. However, right now I am a carer to my husband, which can make the insomnia harder. I somehow manage to get through it, and I manage my husband’s disabilities well and yes! I am proud to say that, because in the past, at a time like this, I would have fallen apart under the stress, especially with the interruption to my sleep pattern. However, without my support, the strain would be harder on my husband.
Things were much harder for me 10 years ago when I was on a rollercoaster of emotions and mood swings, I could barely get through the day without tears and tantrums. As much as I am stronger now, I have some anxiety caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, and after my husband caught the virus from work, not a day goes by when I don’t panic about myself or my family catching it, and I worry he will get it again. Call me an over-worrier, but I know if he gets it again, it will be much worse, and after seeing him exhausted, dehydrated, doubled in pain and not being able to walk, I am going to be wary.
We have measures in place, and my home is kept exceptionally clean. However, when we go outside, we see people behaving recklessly and not following rules. Large gangs of young children, adults and teens hang out like it’s just a joke, and people are still having large parties at home. Where I live the rate has been down compared to other places, however I expect they will start creeping up if this keeps happening. Yes, I understand, The Prime minister has made things a bit stricter, including pubs shutting at 10p.m. but is it enough? In my town, it’s mostly the younger generation breaking the rules when out, and some are still insulting and spitting at others, using the pandemic as a joke to cause mayhem. I worry that these people are putting themselves and others at risk. There are many vulnerable and elderly people in the area where I live, and the police are not around often to see what is happening. These occurrences are not just going to strain our Doctors and Nurses, they are going to strain the police and other emergency services too if they keep happening.
I remember when my husband first started with the virus. It wasn’t fun seeing him like that. He started getting symptoms a week before it came out full blown, and he followed the NHS instructions. However, he came in from work one night completely exhausted and in mild pain. Within a split second, he was crippled with pain to a point where he had to crawl back to bed, he couldn’t see properly or stand up, he couldn’t stay awake, he couldn’t drink anything or eat and I had serious issues getting just water down him. He was very feverish. When he was admitted (twice) he was on a drip. The first admission wasn’t bad, his fluid levels came up and he was able to return home to recover. However, no sooner had he been returned, he was admitted again. This time, he completely dehydrated, and he was in more pain, and he could not breathe. I couldn’t keep him awake at all because the exhaustion was much worse, when he was admitted, nurses were topping his drip up within seconds because it drained fast. His veins also kept collapsing, and they had trouble getting the drip to stay in. When he came home, his disabilities had worsened and sadly, some of those are now permanent. He has been home for a few months now, and he is still in pain and very tired. He went back to work after feeling well, and he is now off work again because he is exhausted again and in more pain with his legs. It will be a long time before he recovers.
As a carer now to my husband and seeing what he has been through. I can clearly say this virus can make people seriously ill. I was sceptical too at the beginning, and none of us thought one of us would get it either. We follow social distancing strictly because we are in the group who can’t wear masks. My husband has all safeguards in place at work, and he still caught the virus. It doesn’t matter whether you think you won’t get it because your ‘not vulnerable.’ There is evidence to say that people without vulnerabilities have had it and been left with disabilities afterwards. Noone is immune, and yes, some get it mild, but my husband started with it mild too. Don’t think that just because you might only get it mild, it will stay that way, and don’t tell people it is a hoax, because it isn’t. It is real, and I have lived experience of looking after someone who has had it to be able to say that! There are consequences to this virus that can affect anyone, including the vulnerable and your loved ones, so I ask, think twice before you break the rules, and help us to protect ourselves and those around us.