Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

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    6 weeks later ...... #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare #CheckInWithMe #Insomnia #Upallnight #SkinCancer

    Well after a crazy ,hectic ,non stop 6 weeks of very long days ,all the decorating ,all the packing and moving things tonight I emptied the last of the boxes .This house now is starting to feel like our home :) .
    Organising everything and even just hanging shelves or photos and adding all our little things has made me so excited .It's been a lot of tears and it's not completely done but I'm actually so proud of myself and what I've managed to do myself in 6 weeks considering the mess it was in when I got it.ive done things I never thought I'd be able to , and it feels so amazing now seeing it all come together ,seeing how Happy the kids are and how much them and our little Coco are settling into it.Really does make all the stress and hard work worth it to see them all so happy :) due to my health and pain being so bad too just decorating things,making things or organising stuff has really been helping with my anxiety aswell and I'm actually enjoying it.ive had so many and fay's lately but tonight unpacking that last box felt like such a relief and such an achievement of the fact I've done it all myself while being in pain and struggling and also making sure kids are settling in .
    Going to bed feeling very satisfied and blessed tonight which is a really nice feeling compared to way I have been feeling alot lately.

    #MentalHealth #Anxiety #Depression #Selfcare #Toxic #Abuse #youmatter #beyou #loveyourself #Bekind #Insomnia #SkinCancer #narcissist #AloneTogether #Endometriosis #COVID19 #longcovid #Parenting #GeneralParenting #longcovid #CheckInWithMe #Bekind #Blessed #grateful

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    Well, Wednesday ✍️🤔

    “What do you do all day?”

    I’m a little late but I’m holding strong with my post a day …

    Fatigue is definitely hitting hard today… I’m still hoping to be a little productive…

    An old friend asked me that question, and I answered her once, I told her it depends on the day.

    But, then she was like but I’m just wondering how do you spend your days….

    That question has been haunting me like the ghost of a life gone past…

    Because as a severe asthmatic just coming out of two months of dealing with the side effects of having CoVid….

    “Nothing”

    is really , surviving… struggling to hold on to the little bit of breath and life that you have…

    Laying in bed and distracting yourself from the pain and the struggle of breathing and pain…. Is fighting for your life….

    “Be still”

    is really being a warrior, holding on to all the Hope you have left and get your “One more day”

    “Nothing”

    … when so many things are broken inside of you that taking a full shower without struggling to breathe or stand up straight is cause for celebration..

    But,

    When you’re used to multitasking, and being in charged of a business or people and getting things done… When you’re use to creating things that did not exist before your mind said, “Let there be, and it was…”

    “Nothing”

    Does not feel like an acceptable answer…

    It is a text message still left on “Read”, the tiny bubbles keep showing up and disappearing…

    I’m still looking for the right answer to that question… ✍️✍️

    #Asthma #Arthritis #ChronicIlless #Jointpain #ChronicDepression #TraumaticBrainInjury #TBI #PostconcussionSyndrome #AnkylosingSpondylitis #ADHD #ChronicPain #Endometriosis #PMDD #COVID19 #ChronicFatigue #DiabetesType2

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    The Sun Will Come Out...Just Not Right Now

    I have always considered myself to be a very positive individual. Throughout my life, I have encountered others who are astounded by my bright personality. I am known as “the sunshine” to many people around me. I do an excellent job of showing the happy, smiling Lilly to the world.

    However, even sunshine goes behind clouds sometimes.

    Being a young adult with a disability, I do struggle with my mental health. I have been diagnosed with moderate General Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and have been in therapy since late 2021. I spent almost four years denying the fact that I have anxiety. The COVID-19 pandemic and everything surrounding it really made me stop, look at myself, and say “I am not okay.” I have not been super open about my anxiety to the world because my condition is purely physical and it is very unsettling to have the one “normal” thing about you (I’m looking at you, brain) turn against you. I have also had close loved ones tell me variations of “it could be worse” and “stop being so sensitive” when I am feeling anxious. As you can imagine, hearing those things would not make you want to open up about your mental health challenges. I know my life could be worse, but you should not invalidate people’s feelings because then they feel like there is something else wrong with them for feeling how they are feeling.

    I often say that being a young adult is hard enough, but being a young adult with a rare disorder is even harder. This is because you have to worry about all the “regular” adult things on top of having a body that sometimes just does not listen to you. In addition, when living in a society that does not often value people with disabilities, it is hard not to start internalizing some of those beliefs. Also, having to rely on others, such as insurance companies, assistants, and government agencies, to simply live can cause a lot of anxiety and a sense of lost control.

    My anxiety manifests in the complete opposite way from the stereotypical portrayal of anxiety. Google’s definition of anxiety states “intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired may occur.” When I have anxiety, I do not show any physical symptoms. I’m not rocking back and forth and/or hyperventilating. The best way I can describe it is I just “shut down” and get very quiet. My mind, however, is going a million miles a minute. Before I acknowledged that I needed professional help, my brain would feel like it was on a static television or radio station when I felt anxious. Now, thankfully, the static has been silenced. I share my symptoms to bring awareness to the fact that anxiety can manifest differently in everyone. Just because there are obvious symptoms of anxiety, it does not mean that not-so-obvious ones are nonexistent too. It all simply depends on the person. This factoid can also be helpful in reminding others that everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about, so please be kind.

    I know that I am not alone in this. According to adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/facts-statistics, “GAD affects 6.8 million adults or 3.1% of the U.S. population.” It is also twice as common in women than in men. I hope that whoever struggles with anxiety can find some comfort in knowing that they are not alone as well.

    When I start to feel anxious, all I really need is someone to be there for me, give me a hug if possible, and let me feel my feelings. After a while, it stops raining, the clouds disappear, and the sunshine comes back.

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    × " I Feel Like I Have Chronic Depression... I Have Been Feeling Very Sad Alot.. " × #Depression

    ° " All I Do Is Worry About Thing's I Can't Control. Ever Since I Got Covid I Have Been Feeling Very Depressed Anxious And Sad Lately.. I Have These Horriable Migraine's.. I Cannot Sleep. At All.. I Feel Like I'm Getting Worse... I Have Already Had A Breakdown.. " ° • Sincerely ° SKAOI KVITRAVN ° #Depression

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    Chronic illness in the Media: Where are our voices?

    In the U.S. around 40% of the population has at least one chronic illness and in Europe it is around 35.2% of the population, so why are people living with illness still not heard from in the mass media?

    I am an avid podcast listener with my favourite areas of interest in women, wellness, mental health, book authors of all genres and musicians. I love hearing from people of all racial, social, cultural and gender backgrounds, but I notice that people living with chronic illness talking about their experiences and challenges are massively underrepresented. It’s as though we don’t exist or that our problems don’t. In the mass media we are mostly spoken of in terms of how much we cost the country and the medical service – you only have to look at the covid 19 narrative to get an idea of how important we are (“it only seriously affects the chronically ill”).

    It can already feel isolating to live with illness and the myriad of challenges it poses from financial, to social and relational through to personal identity and self-value, knowing that most of the people in your environment do not share these same particular issues. And when we don’t feature in mainstream media either, it adds to the alienation.

    Living with illness does not define who I am, but it is a major part of my life and undeniably shapes it. The emotional and physical impact of long term illness is pertinent to how I live and clearly as I am accompanied by around a third of the population, with numbers rising, I would think that there is a dialogue that needs to be entered into and voices that need to be heard.

    Living with illness is a personal and societal reality that cannot continue to be ignored – this is the new norm and we deserve a place at the table. I want to hear from those who have to share their time between work, friends and doctors; who plait their career with pain and medical care; who move through the world adapting to an ever shifting physical and emotional landscape. More and more young people are learning what long term illness feels like and yet the media is not inviting them to step up to the mic, let alone hold it and be the ones to start a conversation.

    I think it’s time. What do you think?

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    Enamel Pins For Fellow Chronic Warrior

    In 2018 before becoming a freelance illustrator my Chronic Migraine became dramatically worse and I had no choice but to leave my job as a Teaching Assistant in a school for disabled children:

    For a lot of people with chronic illness the lack of flexible working options can end up excluding them from most workplaces. In my case I couldn’t get my employer to agree to part-time hours so I had to leave in order to manage my health.

    When you become disabled or existing conditions worsen it has a massive impact on your lifestyle, your work options and how you socialise with others. You have to adjust to your ‘new normal’ and confront feelings of loss and fear, of being ‘left behind’ and isolated from the rest of the world, and of letting people down because your capacity for activity is unreliable.

    I now support myself through my illustration work and shop and I intend for these pins to empower people to focus on their health and personal strength over financial and ‘productivity’ goals.

    The designs are inspired by the spoonie community online (a spoonie is a chronically ill person whose energy levels and activities are limited by their condition/s). The community helped me to adjust to my own new reality, accept my situation and adapt.

    The response to my illustrations about Migraine and chronic illness online helped me feel accepted for who I am and be kinder to myself so I became determined to use my art to give back to the community; to provide them with that same sense of acceptance and personal agency.

    I hope my colourful and striking pin designs will serve as reminders of what people have already overcome and that there is a whole community out there who understand and support them.

    My illustrations are my way of fighting back against a socio-political system that tells us our limited capacity to work is not ‘enough’; that our worth is determined by our productivity and our personal conditions open to doubt and scrutiny. These measures devalue human life and lead to the dismissal of disabled lives by politicians and the general public, as during the ongoing Covid pandemic.

    My pin designs will be added to my existing Chronic Warrior collection and feature phrases such as ‘Endometriosis Warrior’, ‘Diabetic Warrior’, and ‘I Hate My Guts’ (my favourite from the new collection, which features intestines morphing into a snake and the titular phrase written on the large intestine).

    I Hate My Guts’ is designed for everyone living with conditions such as IBS, IBD, Crohn’s, or who uses a stoma, in honour of our ongoing struggle with our own organs! I’ve long been fighting against my own digestive system and a sense of humour about these things is an essential survival tactic!

    My Kickstarter campaign is running until the 7th of March and you can back for multiple pin, print and sticker designs here: www.kickstarter.com/projects/abistevens/chronic-warrior-enamel-pins-3

    You can also find my existing Chronic Warrior designs in her shop at www.abistevens.etsy.com.

    #spoonieSisterhood #chronicmigraine #chronicartist #IBS #chronicwarrior #Endometriosis #PCOS #Diabetes #Migraine #Fibromyalgia #Fatigue #CFS #ME #autoimmune #Spoonie #chronicArt #chronicartist

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    I know having a body that isn't considered perfectly normal can make your confidence waver.

    I use to have untouchable confidence. Then I gained weight from Hypothyroidism and suddenly I wasn't shaped perfectly like before, my pain got worse and my body turned into a fluffy blob as I fondly think of myself-no sarcasm.
    It is HARD to rise your confidence but first you must do something to help you see yourself in a better light. It is not others views that shape you but it is what and who you give that power to that has control.

    Take it back! Dress fancy for no reason, do your hair fancily, exercise a bit or eat a Lil bit more health consciously. Put on a little bit of makeup, get a nice haircut.
    You have far more power than the world wants you to know.

    Next You must stop negative talk! Every time you think or say something negative about you or your body you must then say three things that you love about yourself or three things that you like about yourself or three things that you admire or the other people have admired about you. For everyone negative thing you must say three positive things. I also write uplifting quotes on my mirrors and dry erase marker. It's amazing what something that you don't think twice about can have such an effect on how you consider yourself.

    You, my dear Mighty friend, are a Work of Art!
    Say that out loud! YOU Are a Work Of Art!

    And that is NOT contingent on your health 💕💕💕

    #AmplifiedMusculoskeletalPainSyndrome #Arthritis #Asthma #Anxiety #ChronicFatigueSyndrome #CheckInWithMe #ChronicPain #ChronicIllness #Depression #Disability #DistractMe #EhlersDanlosSyndrome #Endometriosis #Fibromyalgia #GastroesophagealRefluxDisease #HypothyroidismUnderactiveThyroidDisease #Insomnia #Lupus #Grief #bedbound #ComplexRegionalPainSyndrome #COVID19 #Lymphedema #PosturalOrthostaticTachycardiaSyndrome #Psoriasis #PTSD #MightyTogether #MentalHealth #MemoryLoss #Migraine #RareDisease #SuicidalThoughts

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    Minions (Brain Fog)

    Well every 2 years I change the name of my brain fog… I don’t think I’ll change it this year. But before this name it froggies… and on bad days I would say they are Ribbing everywhere… my Drs. Would say I’m glad you try to laugh through it. Well since I had Covid it has been awful…. It’s like I’m plastered. I’m not sure how to cope with the blank and as a business owner I’m stuck. I don’t even know where to begin to get started but all I know is the pain is so unbearable that I can’t function and the doctors don’t even have a clue as to what to do. #FibroFog #Fibromyalgia #covidlonghauler #ChronicPain

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    Fibro symptoms with Covid

    Question...has anyone experienced extremely heightened fibro symptoms due to #COVID ?
    Went to #ER on Christmas Day evening with stroke like symptoms. Facial numbness and tingling. Slurred speech, dizziness, tremors, twitching.
    Transferred to hospital by ambulance, lots of tests...most everything came back ok. (Thankfully, or not because of course its all in my head, right) My heart was slightly enlarged.
    Kept overnight for observation, neuro on call said he has seen Covid do this to people with nerve conditions. Whatever that means.
    I'm a public school teacher and have all the vax, and boosters- this was my fourth case of Covid each time it puts me flat on my back for a week or more with strange symptoms but this was the worst and scariest by far.
    Thoughts?

    #covidwithfibro

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