How I kept myself sane during lockdown

1 April, 2021

After spending months in hospital recovering from a pressure injury, Karen James was discharged as Victoria entered its second Covid-19 lockdown. She describes how an openness to adopting new methods helped keep her connected.

The past 12 months have been very challenging for all of us in a number of ways. The world has been extremely different with a lot of changes in how we do things - using masks, sanitiser, social distancing, working from home, and limited or no holidays.

I keep thinking what I would have done without social media, Zoom, Messenger, Spotify, Netflix... and of course, online shopping!

Before Melbourne’s second wave, I had just come out of the Austin hospital after a very long stay from a pressure injury. It was so nice being back home after spending such a long time at the hospital.

After returning home, things were suddenly very different for me. I needed carers to assist me with everyday activities while my skin was still healing. And then the second lockdown came around because of COVID-19.

The restrictions were so strict that we could not have any visitors to our house, hospitality and businesses were closed, and we were only allowed outside for one hour per day.

I live on my own, so having carers around helped to keep me grounded and feeling “not so isolated” during this difficult time.

It was so important to have distractions.

During my normal life I volunteer at the AQA office, so I was fortunate to already have this connection with AQA Spire. My main role has been assisting with the community network meetings.

At AQA, I was aware of the peer support program but did not have any involvement with it. At the Austin, one of the peer support mentors used to visit me regularly.

This mentor was wonderful to talk to as she could relate to the Spinal Cord Injury issues from a personal perspective. I certainly appreciated this program whilst in hospital.

One of the initiatives AQA adopted during COVID-19 was to have Zoom Social meetings on a Friday afternoon for mentors, and as I was a volunteer, I was included too. These Zoom sessions have been a fabulous support for me, having regular social catch-ups with a great group of like-minded people.

Read the rest of this story at the AQA website

AQA Spire volunteer Karen James has been living with a T12 spinal cord injury since 1975. 

Tags: Blog, Health & Wellbeing