Things have gone a bit nuts in the world right now. Previously, with all that is going on, my anxiety levels would have gone into overdrive and I’d be a shaky mess of nerves. Thankfully, I have done a fair bit of work in therapy to dampen down the fear that often engulfs me whenever something bad happens. On a conscious level I am feeling remarkably breezy about the whole thing, although that may of course change as things progress. Unconsciously, however, things could be different…
I woke up the other morning to painfully dry eyes; it hurt to open them and when I popped my glasses on, as I always do when I get up, everything was blurred. I swayed across my bedroom, holding onto furniture and trying desperately to focus on something. I was beginning to freak out. I have heard of so many MSers losing their vision without warning – was this happening to me?? I removed my glasses to rub my eyes and suddenly realised that I could see! I could see without my glasses! My first fleeting thought was that my eyesight had been miraculously fixed overnight – I didn’t need glasses after all. But then sense took over and I realised that I had, in fact, worn my contact lenses to bed. I had NEVER worn my contact lenses to bed before. Never in my 20 years of wearing them have I ever neglected to safely remove them before going to sleep. Not even during my days as a student when I would stumble home at 3 am drunk and scoffing pizza did I forget to take my lenses out before collapsing into bed.
A sign, surely, that things have gone a bit awry.
It’s been a strange ol’ week, every day has brought a new development and a new way of living that we all need to adjust to. Only a few days ago I was planning to go to work and even questioning whether or not people with MS were considered vulnerable – and then out comes the list to confirm that MS is indeed listed as one of those risky conditions. Then I was in talks with my kids’ school about home schooling them while all this goes on, which, I was told, would be fine but would be noted as ‘unauthorised absence’. Next thing we know the schools are being closed to the majority anyway. Then came the biggest blow, my local dinosaur park was closing, as were all the cafés, restaurants, theatres and cinemas. And now, as it stands today, the whole country is in lock-down. It’s like something out of a horror film!
Having MS has a big impact on how my family are to deal with this pandemic. My husband is a teacher, therefore a Key Worker, but has to remain at home to keep me safe. Going to the supermarket no longer feels like an option, and ordering online shopping has been an absolute nightmare. We’ve tried every supermarket, finally finding a delivery slot with Asda (in 3 weeks time) and were barred from even registering with Sainsbury’s, who have ceased to accept new customers. I wouldn’t be so worried if it was just me and my husband to feed – I could put up with plain pasta and porridge for a few months if I had to!
The advice has been confusing and there is so much speculation regarding how long this will last – some people optimistically see the disruption only lasting a couple of weeks, others say months, and some even say a year or so. The only thing we can really do is comply with government guidelines and make the most of being forced to stay at home. When we come out of this I should think no one will take anything for granted for a long long time!