I Will Survive

What has this pandemic taught me? It has taught me that virtual meetings are not such a bad thing because it doesn’t matter what you look like from the waist down (hello half-ironed blouse on top of pyjama pants) and Netflix is not bottomless (neither is Stan or Amazon Prime.) However, my opinion to such a question is varied. Good and bad, I can understand both sides but I am one of many who feel very blessed to have a roof over my head, plenty of food to eat and consider myself stable financially, socially and on the odd occasion, mentally. That doesn’t mean my family doesn’t shit me up the wall, it just means I have to remind myself of what blessings they all are a lot more frequently than I usual do so I don’t turn into The Hulk at random moments throughout the day, all day, everyday.

How much changed in my life since the pandemic? I won’t lie, not a lot. Paul’s care and therapy is always the priority of my daily schedule but during a pandemic, I’ve added homeschooling our two children to the mix as well as being a 24- hour on-call personal chef to those two little cherubs (I chose my words wisely to describe them.) Then I decided to start my own little side hustle- hobby turned business because their was just not enough activities during the day keeping me occupied. Paul’s days are packed with therapy these days, from physiotherapy in the morning, swallowing practise, sound practise, knee bends, foot kicks, hand exercises, putty squeezes, more swallowing practise, more sounds, eye gaze and choice making exercises and, of course, Paul needs to sneak in a little power- nap in there before we get to spend any time together as a family. So we have grown to accept being at home for long periods of time… for the greater good of our family. So when you take away the little spurts of joy and pleasure most people take for granted like heading to the beach for the day, going out for a coffee at the local shops together, popping out for a bite of lunch with friends, go to the local park for a walk or go for a picnic, damn straight it is going to have a negative impact.

Since Paul’s plight that left him at the mercy of carers, leaving the house is always a well planned activity. There are more steps to consider, many more items to pack, check and double check the destination is wheelchair- friendly and accommodates toilet facilities for the wheelchair- bound gentleman. Getting out and about is a team effort. So we try not to take it for granted.

Not being able to get out during lockdown has meant not seeing family and friends either. Considering we were already very limited to households that can be visited with wheelchair access, having family visit us in our home has become a staple we have become accustomed to albeit a little begrudgingly on my part because I’m forever making tea and coffee for everyone (but I have perfected a mean charcuterie board.) Keeping in touch over the phone is not the same as we crave human touch although Paul is not short on this especially given he continues to get frequent Sofia-style hugs from the 9 year old, which consists of a 5 metre run up with an aggressive body slam, arms around neck giving Paul and instant neck kink followed by a barrage of facial kisses. For Paul, I’m sure its those long chats over coffee with mum or the Sunday afternoon spent playing cards with dad that he misses most.

In the last five years we have battled a few of life’s challenges from traumatic brain injury, leaving jobs, losing income, losing friends, losing family, moving house, constant health issues, juggling parenting, working, hospital and specialist appointments, surgeries, loss of privacy, arguments with family, arguments with friends, mental health, illness, eating healthy, being active, weathering storms, household maintenance, major plumbing issues, large expenses, car trouble, car accident, being taken advantage of, looking for work, managing staff, finding staff, feeling lonely, keeping motivated, being kind, being compassionate, practising self- care, helping others, staying positive…….

so what’s a crappy little pandemic gonna do to me?

Vicki xoxoxox

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Published by The Care Factor

A loving wife, mother of 2 who cares for her husband after suffering with a severe Traumatic Brain Injury. Just trying to juggle a caring role and raise a couple of pretty awesome kids.

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