Being afraid of the unknown

Being afraid of the unknown

Good morning everyone! I hope you’ve had a peaceful weekend and had lots of fun. I thought i would write this blog post because i’m feeling quite anxious at the moment and many others are too. I’m talking about the unknown which is the corona virus or covid-19 for short. As each day passes more and more scary articles and posts are being put up and the world is going mad i am afraid of the unknown.

I am not scared about getting the virus as i have been with other illnesses. Previously when around many illnesses as a healthcare worker i had all sorts of fluids all over me and never caught anything bad such as hiv, mrsa, hepatitis or any other nasty illnesses. This is because i have always practised good hand hygiene and followed policies which have been put in line for a reason. If i was to catch covid-19 i will hope for the best and practise self isolating and look after myself to the maximum i can still following exceptional personal hygiene standards. However i am afraid of my family and friends catching it and that scares me. The thought about someone around me catching it makes me very anxious indeed.

I am becoming increasingly more anxious about other humans and their behaviour. I have witnessed and experienced fear when shopping where we can’t find the basics we need in shops. Toilet roll, pasta, tins, meat, milk, nappies, wipes, children’s snacks, formula, bread, rice, cleaning products and soap nowhere to be found in many places. Others are panic buying and developing a me before you attitude which is so toxic. I’m now worrying every time i buy something if i am being judged or now if i have brought enough i am genuinely scared that one day we will go hungry. The weird thing is why are people stock piling at the moment there is no need so i am completely confused. I also don’t understand why people are taking away toilet paper and soap from shops because surely other people need to be able to exercise good personal hygiene to avoid the spreading instead of being unable to wash their hands or wipe their bottom while people have cupboards full of soap. Let’s remember to leave some things for those at risk and only buy what we need and maybe one extra not trolley loads. Also remember that not only the elderly are at risk and that there are many young, pregnant or immunocompromised people who rely on cleaning products to be able to keep well and healthy from all germs not just covid-19.

I am afraid of the unknown on what is happening. I live in the uk and our pm has basically just said some people will die and good luck essentially. I feel like we are in the hunger games at times like this. We have been told that schools will close and then they will not. Some events are being closed without notice. There is no communication to the people. There is limited information and people want and need information in order to process things calmly and rationally. I also feel the appropriate steps are not being taken. I personally do not agree with schools shutting unless everywhere is put on quarantine and bills freezed till everything is back to normal so that no income is lost. My reason behind this thought process is that children have TERRIBLE hygiene standards and i know full well parents will be going out with their children and not staying inside which means more people around and more risk of infection. Where as if they stayed at school they would be more contained to one place and somewhat safer. If only schools closed many parents would loose their jobs or incomeand not be able to recover from the time taken off too look after their children. This would be because there would not be a nationwide quarantine with bills frozen. If everything was quarantined and all bills stopped at once the world could continue as normal but there is no plan and they’ll wait till it’s too bad. I also feel for people who would still need to work such as the whole of the health and social care section. How would they be quarantined however with them going into work and then coming home after work? Would they count this as reduced quarantine. However if bills are frozen there should be good incentives for those staff to be going in full stop.

There is too much negativity in the press and social media and all it is doing is scare mongering. All that is being spoken about everywhere is the virus and i myself can’t help it now too. I tried my hardest to avoid it, to be calm about it but now it seems to of become so much worse.This is why i am writing this blog post now Every time i listen to the radio or pick up my phone it’s death toll this, quarantine that and everything is being reported like it is the end of the world and i am worried. I am starting to worry we wont be able to pay our bills and/or food will run out and things will go terribly wrong. All people can talk about is corona virus and it gets pretty heated at times out there. People shouting at one another. Negative storys constantly and none of the good about recovering people is reported on. Everyone is thriving on fear and it’s causing everyone to be in a state of panic and concern.

I am scared to be in public now because of my health anxiety and if someone sneezes near me i worry oh god am i going to get it or my son and then everyone here? People are being very angry and panicky in public and busy places are now empty. I am getting anxious about peoples behaviour to others and keep hearing about fights breaking out in the news. I’m scared someone might hurt me if i grab the last of something or someone will bite my head of if i suddenly cough due to my asthma. I am also growing increasingly worried about people who might struggle or go hungry. I want to donate to food banks as i usually would in cases of these terrible times but i now think what if i need that pasta at some point and i am giving to others and then we go hungry ourselves. We do however still and will continue to donate cash to homeless shelters and chairtys monthly through direct debit or donations when we can. I want to help everyone i can at times like these but i am now asking myself can i really help anyone with such uncertainty at the moment. If i place food in the food bank will it be stolen as so many are stealing things now? I am unsure about a lot of things and i think a lot of others are unsure too. Over the weekend while away (in the uk close to home just in case) i was scared to spend money and at times be out around others. I worried things where too much expense in case we couldn’t afford our bills at some point due to people loosing money and not needing my husbands custom or being in quarantine due to him being self employed. We actually cut our holiday short kind of because of this too because their was so many people at times in places we couldn’t keep much space at then end!

I am hoping a vaccine can be made or a cure found sometime soon and the infection spread rates drop and we can go back to normal. But at the moment i am scared. I am sorry if this has scared anyone else but i feel it is therapeutic to talk these things through instead of bottling up. My blog is my safe space. My e-journal if you will and it’s how i process my emotions now without annoying others as it doesn’t have to be read. I am trying to not scare monger and only using facts i know to be true when i speak about the virus but it’s all rather scary isn’t it. I am trying to stay in as much as i feel i can and trying to avoid soft play and teaching my child hand hygiene as much as we can. Not that i wasn’t already but i feel we need to do it more now with how quick this is spreading.

How are you dealing with the virus hysteria? Have you been effected by the news and everyone else reaction to what is happening? Are things running out near to you and are you able to buy a full weekly shop with your basics?

Well i i hope you are keeping as safe as can be and keep calm in times of uncertainty! Remember to be kind and safe at all times and check on others if you can but do not put yourself at risk before tacking care of yourself. Stay safe!

A letter to Elijah

A letter to Elijah

Elijah you are currently two and getting closer to two and a half. This last year has been huge for you in terms of development the amount you have been able to learn has been incredible to watch. It’s funny how you go from making no noise to being able to name all the colours, count and do so much more. We have full on conversations that we both understand now and i’m no longer guessing the word you’re trying to say.You have always shocked me and others with your intelligence but everyday you grow more and more and you surprise me every day with new things you learn. You love doing puzzles and reading the same things over and over again. You sing all the time and in tune too. I love listening to your singing although i would kind of rather you didn’t sing Elton john at 2 am every now and then and wake us up. You currently love dancing and you seem to have developed a mixture of dance moves i would describe as a elephant stomp and granddad dancing in overdrive all at once. The pointy fingers your granddads taught you need to go if you’re ever to become a dancer.

We’ve recently started little kickers football classes. Which is basically a load of toddlers following instructions and running around a hall kicking balls and giving themselves pats on the backs for doing so. You love these lessons but at the moment you seem to want to not follow the crowd and listen being the cheeky monkey you are becoming. Who knows maybe one day you’ll be a pro and be thankful for starting football at two! I mean you’re very good with controlling and kicking a ball now. We go to a lot of classes when we can. We go to little wellies which is a group where you just run around and play with other children. There is indoor and outdoor play although you never want to go inside but stay outside playing with footballs and the mud kitchen. You’re favourite thing to do is que for the slide and go on it a few thousand times before we eventually have to go home. We go to a lot of groups which are singing groups such as tot rock. You love singing and dancing so we go when we can and you have to listen to mine and the other parents terrible singing while you have a little boogy. We are always going to soft play for a way to let out steam. Again you make me follow you up and down slides all day and i am surprised i don’t have calf muscles that could bounce me and you to the top of the slide now. We enjoy trips to library to get new books and playing with the arts and crafts that are set up. We love to go out with our friends or just me and you to have some quality time out of the house just us too. We also have MANY play dates here and i tidy up a mountain of toys every time.

Mummy hasn’t worked for about 8 months now. It seems a lot longer but you’re enjoying this time with mummy i like to think. I like being there for you whenever you need me and knowing that if you where in school and unwell i could be there with no stress of swapping shifts.We have our own routine now and it works for us. We wake up every morning at 7:15 and have breakfast together then get ready for the day. You’re potty training at the moment and while you’ve not aced using the potty every time you are doing really well and we are taking our time. We spend days at home doing puzzles and playing games. We do learning activities and colouring as much as we can. We get out art and crafts and sometimes we get the play dough out or do sensory play. We are always playing with your toys together and we mainly play with your animals and dinosaurs. You are obsessed with animals and we go to the zoo at least once a month. You can name every animal i can think of and you say it so proudly! We like to meet with friends as much as we can so you are around your friends and get to play with them. You adore swimming and although we stopped swimming lessons you love just splashing around having fun now!

Your favourite food is sausages and you would eat the,everyday if we let you. You pronounce them “saa saaage ” and it melts my heart every time. We play with your toy kitchen and you always make me sausages every time and i find the sausage hidden all the time around the house. You eat basically anything and everything and i always wonder where you put it. You have very good table manors for your age and always say please and thank you in restaurants too. Your favourite films are trolls and the lion king and we watch them on repeat and have growing merchandise by the day.

You’re such a happy and loving boy. you always comfort people who are sad. You always include others in your play and always ask how people are. You are always so smiley and happy, everyone always says how happy and sweet you are. The older generation even love you including the grumpy man in the post office who doesn’t like anyone! I love how sweet and kind you are and whenever i’m feeling a little blue you’re always there to cheer me up with something silly you do.

Although i love how clever you’re becoming i do sometimes miss how cuddly you once where. Sometimes i feel a bit sad when a cuddle is only a few seconds and you give me a kiss and run of to play. I sometimes hate the fact you’re growing up and ageing if i could keep you this age forever (with more cuddles and less tantrums) i would. May you continue to grow into the brilliant boy you are becoming and always fill mine and everyone else’s heart with joy. May you only ever know love and always be my perfect little boy.

Love mum x

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

What i would of changed about my post natal care.

After having my son there are quite a few aspects of my care that i would of changed for the better. i felt neglected and although i had a few nice staff my care was pretty appalling. After talking with my counsellor and my mother the other day about aspects of my care i would of changed i thought i’d talk about some things i would of changed so people can feel somewhat comforted in the knowledge they should and can ask for more from their care staff. After all you expect the moments after your babies birth to be the most beautiful moments of your life but for some people it can and is the complete opposite.

So first of all the first thing i would change is the staffs introduction to you. In previous jobs in healthcare i have always been told to introduce my self and then explain my role to put the person i am treating at ease. This was not done for me and it was quite confusing when different heads constantly popped in and out. There was also no goodbye from the staff so i knew they had gone home. In shift rotations i expect to of been introduced to who was looking after me but i was not. This made me feel quite unsafe and scared at times as people would touch me without explaining who they where. The few staff who introduced themselves i remember and the others i do not and this is why.

If you are coming into my room knock. Do not just barge in and start touching me without speaking to me. Do not just presume i will be okay with strangers waking me from my sleep by putting a blood pressure cuff on me. For many woman this could cause great upset and also if you’re a victim of domestic violence or something similar it can really unsettle someone. In healthcare you are supposed to always explain you are about to touch someone and really its just polite to ask if you can do certain things.

Explain what is happening each step of the way. When coming around from GA after my operation i didn’t know what was happening and scared. Then i was taken to my ward and not explained to where i was going and still i was scared. I wasn’t explained to what checks where needed and how often and to my baby and i wasn’t explained to how to breastfeed exetera and just left to it after dumping me in my room.

If mum and baby are separated due to their baby being unwell please explain to them what is happening and make the effort to find out. I wasn’t told what was wrong with my baby and they couldn’t even tell me how he was. I sent James with the baby and was left alone with no answers and nobody to talk to sobbing. Every time i asked for a update they didn’t even know why he was downstairs in the first place. It is so important that staff familiarise them self’s with every last patient and their babies case so they can put them at ease.

Check mums regularly if in nicu. I missed meals, medications, observations because i was with my baby on the ward. I was forgotten about and i got quite ill from being forgotten about. The pain intensified as they forgot about medications top ups as i was forgotten about as i wasn’t in my room. They where always made aware i was downstairs and asked to call me for meals and medication and so on yet they did not bother.

To check on the mums mental health. Check they are okay and feel okay emotionally as well as physically. When a mum is going through hell with a complete change in life a little how are you feeling ? do you want to have a chat about your birth and how life has changed now would of made me feel so much better. A mums mental health can take a complete beating and how they are treated can worsen that experience even more. With one in ten mothers getting post natal depression it is really surprising there is no information available to mothers and fathers/significant others are not explained to what the signs are either. You just have this baby and your expected to know everything and sent into the big wide world.

Have a information point. To have someone or something to give out information. Such as leaflets or advice on practical things like breast feeding, bottle feeding, safe sleeping, basic first aid , basic care of your baby,numbers for support and the list goes on. Any number of mum knows the anxiety of taking a baby home knowing nothing and with internet causing panic of the risk of sids and so on these information sheets can be a godsend and put someone at ease having a little just in case to have readily available.

Overall there is much more that could of been improved in my care but i wont mention it all. I also completely understand the nhs is underfunded and understaffed but that is no excuse when duty of care is repeatedly failed and polices not met.But if you feel something isn’t write with your care please pull them up on it while you’re there. Don’t be afraid to talk about how your’e feeling and remember how you’re feeling is justified and completely normal. Giving birth is a crazy thing and getting used to being a parent straight away with no previous experience is a crazy thing. So be kind to yourself and remember your midwife and g.p are only a call away.