This is Charlotte, the fundraising assistant, bringing you the next installment of our staff blog. I am currently at my home in Central Christchurch, with my husband and my two-and-a-half-year-old. I also, like many of you, have MS.
I’ve made a little home office in our bedroom and take time – whenever I get it – to do some work. So, if you see the Facebook or Website updating at 8pm, that’ll be me! It isn’t perfect, but I can look out the window, and have even seen a fantail in next door’s garden from my desk! There are upsides to everything and it’s definitely interesting to see how the natural world is responding to the reduction in human intrusion. In the past few days, I’ve even seen fantails in the garden!
It is interesting to see the way that people are beginning to appreciate the way that people with chronic conditions regularly live their lives. Parkinson’s and MS can be incredibly isolating conditions, and it can be a fact of them both that they can limit our ability to leave the house. Now, able-bodied people are beginning to understand that isolation. It can be important to articulate this to our whanau and friends, so they understand that the way they are feeling now, is the way we can feel on a regular basis. In the winter, I often find myself physically distancing and isolating myself to some extent, as I worry about getting the flu or even a cold, both of which can set me back a week or two, and worse even set off a relapse. This is similar, but on a much more intense scale.
I have to remind myself constantly that even though I might see lots of people doing varied activities with their kids and being creative, I don’t need to push myself the same way. Even if I was able-bodied, it wouldn’t necessarily be feasible. That kind of stuff is tiring! Pacing is just as necessary in isolation as it is in everyday life. Take every day a step at a time!