Medical Complexity in a Time of Covid

Medical Complexity in a Time of Covid

Posted on the front door of my house since the second week of March

At first I thought that shelter in place was going to be easy for me–after all, due to years of pain and chronic illness, I am used to spending inordinately large swaths of time at home without a break. As a group, many of my chronically ill friends in the same situation posted joke memes to the tone of: “this is our time, this is what we’ve been preparing for!” And they were correct, we do have the skills to deal with this kind of situation in many ways.

But as the days wore on I found myself getting more and more depressed and I couldn’t figure out why. I was distressed by the state of what was happening in the world and in New York where loved ones and good friends resided and scared that the medical care that I so often need would not be available, but there was something else there too.

Last week I finally put my finger on it. When I first moved home and stopped working, I was so sick and in pain and I had nothing to look forward to. My days were long and I grieved and fell into a deep depression. Until I found work in migraine advocacy, I didn’t feel like I had a place to be. Once I began to find my footing in the space, I had projects and events (though sporadic) to look forward to and I felt like I was contributing, making a difference and myself again. Covid-19 has knocked me off my game. That’s not to say there aren’t opportunities–and now that I finally figured out what has been bothering me I am ready to make a change. Starting with my speech tomorrow at the Miles for Migraine San Francisco Education Day.

So for a while we will pivot to advocating through Zoom and Facebook and over the telephone. Luckily we have a wonderful community, and I think right now every one needs that connection in one way or another. Mental health is taking a beating during this pandemic and we can all use kindness and self-care.

As for what comes next, know one really knows. but I wish you and yours safety and am always here to listen if you need a friend.