I definitely fear contracting covid19, I’m human! But what I fear more is the inability to manage my pain levels and the deconditioning that may result.

Preparing for a disaster seems to give us the labels ‘Pessimistic’, ‘Hysterical’ ‘Hoarder’ – right?

However, there’s a rational reason for our actions at such a time as this.

Since surviving my stroke, pre-empting the obstacles I may encounter actually means that if they do eventuate, I am more prepared. I have things in place to make any difficulty easier to withstand.

This time last year I was fortunate to embark on a European trip with my mum and Auntie. The prospect of travelling to places I’d ever been was both really exciting but also daunting. Although it would be an amazing opportunity, I was choosing to enter an unknown realm where so many unexpected things could knock me down. Surely, it was easier and safer to stay in my known and familiar realm.

Would I be able to manage my pain and fatigue?’

‘Would I just be a big burden for my travel companions?

The photos I’d seen in Europe were full of inaccessible places, cobblestones and uneven surfaces. I was terrified! But I swallowed my fear and chose to exit my comfort zone. Knowing I was entering unknown territory I was determined to plan. So, while my companions researched and booked cruises, trips and accommodation, I organised transport support, accessibility and equipment.

Although putting this equipment and these supports in place took a lot of organisation on my part, it provided me (and I’m sure my companions) with an amazing amount of reassurance. Knowing that it was there as a back-up enabled me to attempt so much more. In the end, I didn’t require any of the aids I’d organised and the additional supports were phenomenal. Especially spreading the caring role for my carers!)

Yep, the cobblestones, long flight and never-ending staircases were so hard but with the amazing supports I had in place I could do it!

Like the unknowns on embarking on my overseas trip, this unexpected pandemic has prompted me to prepare. Whilst it’s important not to catastrophise and forecast a poor outcome, preparation does provide reassurance. I feel reassured that I’ve done all I can to help myself and others in whatever’s to come.


So, I’ve temporarily moved in with my parents where I have their amazing company and support, ordered plenty of my needed eye gel, scheduled more frequent TeleHealth meetings with my Psychologist, organised more regular virtual FaceTime chats with friends, subscribed to online yoga and even purchased an indoor exercise bike. Hopefully, a lot of what I’ve organised will not be needed! However, having it all in place is so comforting.

Consider the areas in your life that may make being in ‘lockdown’ or struck down by COVID19 harder to manage. What can you organise now? Surely, we have enough anxieties and obstacles to deal with ‘now’.