Sickle Cell & Lockdown
Well, where do I begin as so much has happened since my last blog post?
Things were beginning to look really positive; I had progressed from physiotherapy exercises to choosing my challenge of extended walks outside or dancing to calypso gospel when the weather did not permit the walk.
Then I received my text and letter telling me that I was not to go out for the next 12 weeks.
‘You are in the vulnerable group because you have an underlying health problem,’ so there you are to be a prisoner in your home for the next 3 months.
How do you cope with a 12-week lockdown while trying to recover from a failed hip replacement? I suppose the same way that you have always managed to cope with living with a chronic blood disorder. An illness that mostly controlled your childhood and years of trying to grow up as a normal teenager.
Yes it all came flooding back to me and made me realise that this was exactly how I felt for years; out of control and not knowing what tomorrow would bring.
It was quite funny watching peoples reaction and the way they dealt with lockdown. It was just a reminder of how I felt locked down with an illness that didn’t allow me to do anything, go anywhere or be anyone. I felt so different, I was different, nobody could ever imagine that feeling unless they experienced it.
I wanted to be the same as my peers but I knew that I was very different. I wish I had somebody then to encourage me and make me believe in myself and tell me that different was okay.
Every admission to hospital took away a bit of my confidence and caused me to feel alienated. I believe at that time I even began to feel a little bit depressed because of my situation but I did not realise that this was classed as depression.
I was already at home dealing with the recovery of my hip operation and I had already come to terms with not being completely in control of things. However, I also was in ‘be positive’ mode and turned a negative situation into a positive. My 12 weeks staying at home letter was filed away and I decided to make a 12-week timetable to try and achieve some of the things that I had put off or had no time to complete because of life’s busy schedule.
Every day I would start the day off with reading ‘My word for today’ and my Bible, something that I always found very difficult to include as part of my daily routine. I would also make time for reading some sort of fiction and doing at least half an hour of my daily Duolingo French lessons. I was always disappointed that I failed French in high school and couldn’t understand why I failed especially since both my parents were Dominicans and spoke fluent patio, (broken French) which I grasped easily.
I divided my 12 weeks into working on updating my website, working on ideas for my new children’s book, building my skills with the Adobe creative packages and doing some creative art work which would include painting some new canvases.
My family eventually joined me as the entire country was put into lock down and everyone was busy either working from home or completing tasks that had been on hold because of lack of time. This was a new unexpected, uncontrollable situation for everyone not just me.
You can find Laurel on Instagram @laurelbrumant
‘Sickle Cell & Lockdown’ is part of the Real Lives blog series, sharing the real stories of people living with sickle cell. Read more here: www.sicklecellsociety.org/category/real-lives-blog/
Laurel is raising money to support our work this World Sickle Cell Day. Find out more and show your support here: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/laurel-brumant-palmer/