Endometriosis and Quarantine

Quarantine, something new for many individuals... but something that is normal life for many of us suffering with a chronic illness. But, many of us may still be really stressed.  When I first heard the news that we were all going to need to stay home, it filled me with excitement. This is something I do basically daily, so it did not bother me much. Minus the once a week trip to the grocery store, I was golden. I have plenty to do at home and always find ways to keep myself busy- and safely.

But it wasn't until I actually had to make that trip to the grocery store that my panic set in. As someone with many chronic illnesses and a special diet, the first site of a bare shelf at the grocery store made me burst into tears. My husband tried to soothe me and tell me it would be okay... that they would restock soon and we would figure something out. And while I wanted to believe him, doubt flew over me and gave me this horrible feeling in my stomach. Actually, thinking about all of this started giving me a horrible stomachache. So, what do we do in a time like this? 

Time to get creative

When I was able to compose myself, I realized my husband was right. I could make this work. I thought about everything I could eat. Then though about ways I could put it together to make a meal. One of my most favorite things to eat is pizza. And seeing as I can't have cheese on it and don't do gluten, I lucked out with finding what I needed. Cauliflower pizza crust in the frozen food section (probably one of the only things stocked well), a small can of sauce, turkey pepperoni, and a mixture of olives.

And just like that I had a meal. A meal that I could make numerous times if it really came down to it. It just took some patience and some time to get creative, to think of a few things I could stock up on. And while I still stress about the bare shelves, I know if I think outside the box, I will come up with something creative of whatever is left out there. And let me tell you, most of the healthier foods like cauliflower, gluten-free items, etc. were not picked through. So even if it may not be a favorite, you can make it work and spice it up somehow, someway - and still have a happy tummy!

But what about the toilet paper?

After I was able to figure out the food, I started to stress about the toilet paper shortage. Again, as someone with a chronic illness, I have a lot of bowel and bladder issues. We were able to find flushable wipes for back up. Other things you can flush are Kleenex as well. If it really came down to it, you can use paper towel and napkins. But do not flush those. My idea was to set up a separate garbage in the bathroom, just for the paper towel or napkins. After every bathroom use, you throw it in that specific garbage, and empty it daily. Yeah, it may seem like a pain, but it was an option that would work if you were really in a pinch.

What else can we do to stay safe and sane?

Hearing about a deadly virus is scary, especially when you already have illnesses going on. The fear of catching this illness does pop in my head sometimes. But we have prepped for this most of our chronic illness lives. The best thing to do is stay home. If you can, use online grocery ordering, for whatever you need. If you need something like a prescription or something along those lines, call ahead and ask for curbside pick-up. And the simple things that we already know and I am sure practice on a daily basis, washing our hands, some of us like to wear masks, and staying away from anyone that appears to be coughing or sick (if you do have to go out in public).

But it is also important we do remember to keep our mental health safe as well. This means getting outside and getting sunshine, video chatting or calling family and friends, keeping in touch with our doctors, if we do have something going on with our own personal health issues (not related to the virus). A lot of places are now doing video appointments!

Most importantly, stick to your normal routine the best you can. Mediate. Practice yoga. Read a book. Listen to music. Get outside and walk. Move your body. Have a coffee date with your bestie, virtually. Unplug from social media if it is causing you extra stress and anxiety. And whatever it is you typically do, even if it is something you may typically go out to do, like the gym, you can find ways to safely do it all from home.

I hope you are all staying safe and healthy during this crazy time and know, we will make it through this. What have been some things you have found helpful to get you through this stressful time?

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