Life with a chronic illness is not easy under the best circumstances. However, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes or COPD in the age of the coronavirus crisis can be life-changing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) specifically state that people of all ages with serious health problems are at higher risk of developing COVID-19 from a serious illness. Much of this is due to being immunodeficient, whether due to the actual illness or disease-modifying medication to control the symptoms, explains Dr. Susan Besser, general practitioner at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.
The CDC recommends that people with severe chronic illnesses stay at home as much as possible, avoid crowds where possible, and limit close contact with others. This can make it incredibly difficult to keep up with appointments, treatment, and the life of the doctor in general. This is what people with chronic diseases do.
“I am completely quarantined.”
Sandy Diaz Haley has multiple sclerosis and is pregnant. It is divided into two risk categories. “I’m doubly at risk,” the Dallas, Texas resident told Yahoo Lifestyle. “I’m completely quarantined. I don’t leave the house to go to the grocery store or anything.”
Haley has a prenatal appointment in two weeks, but is not sure if she will go. “I’ll call my doctor and see if it’s an important situation,” she says.
“I have someone who gets my groceries.”
John Linnell has stage 4 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and has not been able to leave home to work. Linnell tells Yahoo Lifestyle that he has received a notice from his doctor that this was a recent well-check. He said: ‘Everyone will start staying at home. It could be bad, ”recalls Linnell.
“Now someone else has to get my groceries,” says Linnell. “I stocked up on medication, but I’m worried about future bottlenecks.”
“I absolutely wear rubber gloves for cleaning the house.”
Damien Howell suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, which is treated with immunosuppressive drugs. “I am [a] Men over 70, so I’m a walking target for the virus, ”he tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Howell usually copes with his daily joint stiffness while swimming laps, but currently cannot because of the virus. “I have problems replacing myself with yoga movements and posture at home,” he says. He also takes extra precautions when he leaves the house. “When I go out to eat and use drugs, I wear rubber gloves for cleaning the house, when I use credit card machines and open doors,” Howell says. “When I get home, I wash my hands.”
“When I ventured into the store, it was so overwhelming.”
MS patient Diane Palaganas does her best to stay healthy and to practice good hand hygiene. “One of the things that was difficult for me was shopping,” she says. “I don’t have the luxury of letting someone shop for me. When I ventured into the store, it was so overwhelming. Customers shoved, moved quickly, coughed … it was a nightmare. “
Stress can make MS worse, and Palaganas says her symptoms flared up. “It was so difficult for me to run, move and navigate in this stressful environment,” she explains. Palaganas says their care has been “put on hold” for now. The drug she uses increases the risk of lung infections, and palaganas may need to stop it for now. “I wonder if I don’t get my medication if I stop taking medication. Do I get more relapses? “She says.” My brain has been stable ever since. I don’t know what will happen if I’m not consistent. “
“I take social distancing very seriously, even with my husband.”
Mila Clarke Buckley, a type 2 diabetes patient and founder of Hangry Woman, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she is currently taking additional precautions. “I was more aware of what I could do to protect myself,” she says. “Overall I stay at home. I take social distance with my husband very seriously. “
“Since he still goes after the basics when we need them, we decided that we shouldn’t get into physical affection like hugging or kissing,” Buckley explains. “Instead, we blow air kisses from all over the room or air. When we both traveled earlier in the month, we agreed to sleep in separate rooms for a few nights to make sure we were outdoors and didn’t share anything with each other. “
It’s a “tough adjustment because it’s your spouse,” Buckley says. But she adds: “None of us want to take the risk.”
“I had to worry about it before most people did.”
Tatiana Skomski has ulcerative colitis, a chronic inflammatory bowel disease. “Germs can really affect me because I have a weakened immune system, so I had to worry about it before most people did,” the 25-year-old told Yahoo Lifestyle. “A lot of people didn’t take it seriously for a while, but I had to start from the beginning.”
Skomski’s friend was able to buy groceries and pick up medication for her. “I still have to go to the doctor’s office to get my infusions of the medication I am taking for my ulcerative colitis, so I’m particularly careful when it comes to that,” she says. “I disinfect by hand throughout the process and try not to touch things that I don’t have to. It’s stressful and that makes it particularly stressful. ”
“It’s really difficult to explain to a 3 year old why we can’t go out.”
Julie Stamm, a 40-year-old MS patient in Brooklyn, NY, has been in her home with her partner and son for almost two weeks. “It’s really hard to explain to a 3 year old why we can’t play the way his friends still do,” she says. “With MS, you make decisions that are difficult and far-sighted.”
Stamm had received an infusion of her medication the day before, before being advised to quarantine herself. She filled out all of her recipes for 90 days and had her partner pick them up. “I am seriously worried about my catheter supply because I rely solely on it and an infection and its effects would be terrible,” she adds.
Stamm says she is also nervous that her next infusion could be delayed “and the harmful effects that would affect my health could not.”
Having a chronic condition right now can be scary, but experts say there are systems that can help.
Overall, social distancing and everything you can to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection is critical, says Dr. Sophia Tolliver, clinical assistant professor of family medicine at the Wexner Medical Center at Ohio State University.
“People who fall into these groups should pay particular attention to practicing social distance, washing their hands frequently, not touching their faces, covering coughing and sneezing in the crook of their elbows, and often disinfecting touched surfaces,” she explains. “Many states have initiated Stay At Home orders, and these groups should certainly try to stick to them as much as possible.”
Better urges patients to continue their treatment as much as possible, suggesting that this is “important”. “Stay as healthy as you can,” she says. “This way, your body is in better shape to ward off the disease, even if you have the disease.”
Tolliver says it is “not necessary” to let medication run out of fear of coronaviruses – at least not without speaking to a doctor first. “Doctors and providers are still working to support patients with all refill needs. Call and request a refill of your medication. Your provider will endeavor to ensure that the refill is correct and timely. “
Experts also urge patients to contact their doctors during this time, as they may have specific advice for your illness. Jayne Ward, DO, director of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Clinic at Michigan State University, told Yahoo Lifestyle that her medical group is encouraging MS patients to “go one step further and ensure that every family member is out of the house works, is extremely careful with possible sick contacts and when you re-enter the house, a change of clothes and hand disinfection is carried out immediately. “
Telemedicine is often an alternative. “We switched almost all providers to telemedicine options, including the ability of patients and providers to meet virtually through video visits, phone visits, and e-visits,” said Tolliver. Ward’s practice also offers telemedicine to patients.
Ultimately, according to Better, patients must do their best to be safe and continue treatment as much as possible.
Stamm is hoping for the best and trying to take things day by day. “COVID-19 will pass and we will soon be able to enjoy the world again,” she says. “Until then, we have to be thankful to each other, our health and 30 minutes of fresh air on the roof every day.”
<p class = "Artboard-Atom Artboard-Text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "For the latest corona virus news and updates, follow at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. Experts say people over 60 and those with weakened immune systems remain the most at risk. If you have any questions, please contact the CDC and WHO Resource manuals. “data-reactid =” 102 “>For the latest corona virus news and updates, follow at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. Experts say people over 60 and those with weakened immune systems remain the most at risk. If you have any questions, please contact the CDC and WHO Resource manuals.