Today is day 20 of isolation due to coronavirus, and we’ve all got into a routine…..
Routine is good. People who knew me pre-Parkinsons, will be surprised to hear me say that it is the best thing ever! For me, it helps enormously; my body loves the routine, hence why I’m sat here watching breakfast television at 05:30 on a Saturday morning during lock-down.
I was forced into self isolation 16 days ago due to my Parkinson’s. There has been a lot of mixed and conflicting advice as to whether Parkinson’s is on the higher risk list, but the government has said that people with Parkinson’s have an increased risk of complications if they get coronavirus, so it was better to be safe than sorry. We also now have my Mum living with us, so it was for the best that we both self isolated. My poor long suffering partner now has not only me to put up with, but also my 78, soon to be 79 year old mother! We’ll nominate him for an award when this is all over, he’ll deserve it!
Somebody said to me, “You should be used to isolation, after being in the middle of the Atlantic for over two weeks. Surely it’s similar to that?!”
Spending 24 hours a day with my family and dogs, in my own home, with fresh food, hot and cold running water, a fully functioning bathroom and kitchen, interaction with the outside world, through tv and social media, and Zoom, a proper bed, versus being in a tiny rowing boat, bobbing up and down constantly, no fresh food, no family, no Parker, no contact with the outside world, no toilet, no bed, no bathroom? Give me self isolation any day of the week (which I’m sure you will not be surprised to hear)!
So, self isolation: I can’t do what I want all the time, but it is important to adapt. If I don’t, its going to be a long twelve weeks!
For me, it’s important to have routine: I get up early still, approximately 05:00 and have some time to myself before the rest of the household gets up (including the dogs). Then I do my online exercise classes. Yes, I’m still exercising, fortunately my lovely gym is doing loads of live and online classes, so they keep me going. I’m also still training with Kev, but now he does it through FaceTime.
Cooking has also been an important part – we go from one meal to the next, all cooked and prepared by me. Lee and my mum are living in a 6 star hotel…but it keeps me going! All our food and supplies are delivered by various local shops, which is lucky because if we were relying on Lee, we’d all be eating sausage, egg and chips every day!
Keeping connected with the family is also really important to me; Thursday and Friday evenings are set aside for Zoom calls and family quiz nights, which is actually a real positive outcome of isolation because its something we didn’t do beforehand.
So, when I’m asked if I can compare self isolation and ocean rowing, both of which were brought about because of Parkinson’s? For me, other than both things confined me to one space, it’s a categorical no! How can I compare my lovely home to an ocean rowing boat?!
Due to my Parkinson’s I am making sure that I don’t just wallow at home, and I think that’s really important whether you have Parkinson’s or not. I’m still exercising, I’m still eating the correct nutrition, I’m still able to take all my medication and so I feel good. Compared to while I was on the boat…it wasn’t pretty; vomiting, no exercise other than rowing (a lot) but nothing standing up, no fresh food, and struggling to keep my medication down.
Ocean rowing taught me a lot about myself – my big hope is that I come out of isolation having learnt even more about myself, and 20 days down the line I know I most certainly will. It is all part of life’s rich tapestry and it’ll only make us stronger, as every challenge in life has done.
Now I’m off to face day 20 of self isolation, which will no doubt be the same as day 21, 22, 23, 24, etc
Stay safe, stay healthy, stay at home.