Fears the pandemic has triggered are very real. The fears that keep me awake at night are no different. Yet, I am willing to bet that there aren’t too many who have the same fears that I do. That’s because, unless someone has lived with a horrifically painful chronic illness and denied care for it, they will never understand the terror that the pandemic has triggered in my life.
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Fears the Pandemic Triggered Include Not Having My Pain Taken Seriously
Many chronic illness patients have had their pain and symptoms dismissed and ignored by medical professionals. It is not uncommon for people with psoriatic arthritis, fibromyalgia, endometriosis, and other relentless chronic illnesses to wait several years before finally receiving a diagnosis.
Long time followers of my blog know that while I was lucky enough to receive my diagnoses fairly easily, But not fortunate enough to have life-threatening pain addressed quickly after my hysterectomy.
For two very long and agonizing years, I went from one surgeon to another, begging for someone to figure out why I was experiencing debilitating pain after a surgery that was supposed to relieve it. If you aren’t familiar with my endometriosis horror story, you can catch up here.
The pandemic has triggered this fear and taken it to another level. In addition to not having pain taken seriously, I fear that it will be totally ignored. As I shared in Why I Fear Doctors, Hospitals, and Test Results, it wouldn’t be the first time. Is it any wonder that I would fear a visit would be centered around my nonexistent COVID-19 symptoms and not my shoulder injury when just last year my weight and fatty liver was blamed for pain that was later discovered to be from multiple broken ribs?
My #chronicpain was constantly misdiagnosed and dismissed long before the pandemic Is it any wonder I fear nothing will change?Tweet
Fears the Pandemic Triggered are Very Real
The hospital is the last place I want to be. With so many of my past experiences with medical professionals misreading test results, prescribing medications that my chart clearly states I am allergic to and making grossly negligent surgical errors, you would be too! It is also why I adopted a policy of always having a witness with me for every doctor/hospital visit and to never be left alone in a medical facility. The only exception is during surgery. And believe me, if I could find a way to have my husband in the operating room, I would!
With hospitals not allowing anyone to accompany a patient, there is no way I will be going to one. Not for my recent shoulder injury or anything that I do not feel is life-threatening. I have no trust or faith that I will receive proper care. Mistakes have been made even when I have had a witness present. But knowing that someone else was there to witness them keeps me from losing my sanity.
After all the errors medical providers have made in my care, my #fear of entering a hospital without a witness is very real #chronicillness #covid19Tweet
I Refuse to Live the Rest of My Life in Fear
I lived the first twelve years of my chronic life in fear. Fear of triggering pain as well as the inability to relieve or reduce pain, and catching a cold consumed my mind. With that said, I am not afraid of COVID-19.
This doesn’t mean that I am dismissing the seriousness of this virus. Nor does it mean that I do not worry about what would happen if I caught it. What it does mean is that I refuse to live in fear of it.
I fight the fear of this virus by remaining vigilant in how I care for my health. This includes balancing smart food choices with indulgences, continuing my treatments/physical therapy as possible, and not skipping or skimping on supplements.
I am also taking precautions by wearing a face mask in public and maintaining a safe distance from others. I am following the same self-care practices that I did before by not running my body into the ground, pacing myself, avoiding activities that I have a history of becoming injured from, and addressing pain before it spirals out of control.
We are all facing some sort of fear due to COVID-19. Some are new, while others are ghosts from the past. What matters is that we don’t allow those fears to cause more harm.
Thankfully my shoulder injury is not life-threatening. However, if it is not healed by taking conservative measures in the next 8-10 weeks, I will have no choice but to face my fears.
What are your fears and how are you addressing them?