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Will we all get a sense of what it is like to live with a chronic illness?

Person looking out the window on their ownHomeworking is something which always appealed to me – I loved the idea of having a longer lie in, avoiding the transport to and from work and being able to work from the comfort of my bedroom. The reality of it actually couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m on day 4 of working from home, and already I would love to be back in at the office. In line with current government guidelines, I am only escaping the house for small time each day to go a walk. It’s a really tough challenge, but I am already finding it difficult.

But I ponder the question, when things get back to normal, will people begin to appreciate what we have more than they did previously? For many with a chronic illness, this has been the reality for a long time – even a long time before we had heard of coronaviruses. From my time at the charity, I’ve developed a strong sense of just how many people are housebound, or if not, have to regularly stay home and miss out on a social life because of their illness. These are things which will often be the norm for many with fibromyalgia – something which Fibromyalgia Action makes efforts to raise awareness of.

With this lockdown we surmise that people will now begin to see what staying indoors all of the time can do to a person – the effect it can have on both mental and physical wellbeing. Now granted, this will only be a temporary measure for the vast majority of people currently in lockdown. But for a good proportion of people, this is the first time that such a thing has happened to restrict their social activity and their freedom. Small things which we often took for granted are now gone. Getting a bite to eat, heading to the gym or even watching football at the weekends – all things which are no longer available to people. But these are things which many with fibromyalgia would love to do, but simply could not.

When this is all eventually over, people will go back out to their work and their livelihoods. But it is not a period of time which we will forget, and perhaps, people will look back on this time and spare a thought for the many, many people who continue to be housebound or have their opportunity to leave the home restricted by their condition.

As someone who does not have fibromyalgia this has certainly brought a new appreciation of how people with chronic illness have had their choice and freedom limited.


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