Chronically Ill and In Quarantine

When you have a chronic illness, being stuck inside is a familiar feeling. Things like being unable to see friends and family has become a struggle we know well. I think what is most painful about this is knowing when statewide restrictions are lifted, we (endo warriors) might still be incapable of going out. A lot of us will still have a disability and a life that limits freedom.

Endo worries during uncertain times

Though everyone is wrestling with the frustration of being inside and having life feel as if it’s on hold, we are doing this while also in pain. It can feel isolating because it’s hard to relate to those who aren’t. And quite frankly, it’s completely normal to even feel envious of those who are doing this without an illness. We are living with fears of sickness, lack of necessary hospital visits, and some missing treatments. Our community of those with endometriosis do understand that things are always different for us, so I am here to say that we are all still in this together.

As we try to cope with continued flares while seeing others countdown until they can go back places, it’s important to know we continue to fight each day. We too will have days outside though those days can look different than others. The mental toll the quarantine has taken on us is strong, so here’s what I’ve been doing to push through this challenging time.

How I'm coping

A lot of these things I did before the pandemic, but it’s more important than ever to do now. During breaks in pain, I try to get outside, even if it’s just to stand and breathe fresh air. I keep in touch with doctors to track my pain to help keep a peace of mind that I’m still working on my health. I also keep in touch with the endometriosis community. Sharing our fears of our health during this time helps us feel less isolated. And lastly, I try to have as much of a routine as possible. I didn’t do this as much before, but I couldn’t recommend it enough. I make sure I’m doing my morning stretches, drinking enough water, and eating as well as I can.

New, but not so new

We will come out of this living a life that’s still familiar, but also completely new. In some ways, we have an advantage during stay at home orders because we are used to it. We, unfortunately. will still be living day by day managing our chronic pain. The pandemic is a whole different experience for us. That being said, we can take skills we already know to help us get through this. And most important, we can do it together.

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