©Jenny Harrod 2019

Shielding (and Lock-down) is coming to an end...

4th June

Telephone consultation with my MS Neurologist. I explained my worsening MS symptoms and how I thought it was a progression of the disease. He agreed up to a point but was more convinced that it was due to my anaemia coming back (remember I had a transfusion last month). My GP had not downloaded, checked or actioned the results of the blood test I had at the end of May (requested by my oncologist), and it appears my Hb is still low, this is despite my having an iron tonic in orange juice every morning. He suggested I ask my GP to repeat the blood test and in his clinic letter to him asked if he could monitor my Hb closely. I also asked if he thought I should contact the Community OT to discuss my increasing disability and he felt this was a good idea. 

Mid June

My birthday - a BIG ONE, but not a huge celebration as in lock-down, plus also alcohol and big meals are not something I can tolerate at the moment. However, my birthday present arrived on the appropriate day, a new Singer sewing machine. This meant I could be more active in my new sewing group 'FLOS' (for the love of scrubs). We make scrubs, headbands, masks, hats and ear savers for NHS staff who are not getting enough supplies and for care and nursing homes who are receiving no Government help. I am not a good enough seamstress to make sets of scrubs, but am OK with headbands and beginning to get to grips with face coverings, which even the general public are having to wear in enclosed spaces and on all public transport from 15th June.

23rd June

Well, as promised in the Corona Virus briefing earlier this week I have received a letter from Matt Hancock (Minister for Health and Social Care) informing me that my need to be Shielded is coming to an end.

On the 1st June they told me I could go out for 1 hours exercise a day with someone from my household or another household if maintaining social distancing (keeping 2 m apart).

As from 6th July I can meet up to 6 other people from other households outside whilst observing STRICT social distancing measures.

I can also form part of a bubble with another household being able to stay overnight in each others homes.

Then, from 1st August, provided I exercise caution, I can venture further out 'into the wild' to places of worship, shops or to exercise. I still need to stay home as much as possible but provided Social Distancing measures are maintained hubby and I can return to some sort of  normality. I can be instructed to re-Shield at any time should a second spike or local outbreak occur

A new kind of normal

However, the Prime Monster, Boris Johnson, also announced that for the general public many businesses can reopen on 4th July, with the safe social distance being reduced to 1.5 m in some places. Pubs and Restaurants, Cinemas, and, a huge relief for many people after 3 months of lock-down, hairdressers, can reopen. Having had my head shaved in December, my own blonde locks are at last growing and even need combing in the morning now. Hubby needs a haircut but with my MS tremor I dare not go near him with the clippers, let alone the scissors. 

It seems many places will be operating a 'new kind of normal', with staff needing to wear PPE (personal protective equipment) including visors and face coverings. Hairdressers will have to cut the chat as well as the hair and pubs and bars will need to take customers personal details in case they need to be identified as at risk of Covid19 from contact with another customer who develops symptoms. This is part of the Track and Trace system which is yet another failed Government initiative. I downloaded the App as part of the Isle of Wight trial but have now uninstalled it as it was not fit for purpose!

Back to me!

Having discussed it with hubby, I emailed the Independent Living Centre in Newport this morning, (they are currently closed but staff are working from home), in the hope I could visit and see what sort of bathing options they have available. I am thinking along the lines of a walk in bath. I mentioned in my email that I had had a couple of falls and described my MS symptoms and my recent cancer diagnosis and chemo treatment, and asked if they felt I should request a Community OT assessment first. They replied agreeing that this should be my first option, so it is on my 'to do list' for tomorrow, after my blood test tomorrow morning - I need to prepare some notes first. They said I should request an urgent home assessment which will involve their staff attending with PPE. They will see what aids I could use around the home generally, including the bathroom, and refer me for a wheelchair if necessary.

My legs are now both weak and even my right leg is giving out sometimes - I don't like it!



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