To read Tom's first blog post, click here.
I’ve never liked breakfast in bed. I find the whole idea of eating in the same room that you sleep in really quite unappealing. One of the strange experiences of this illness is that since the fever hit me I have eaten every meal in my bedroom.
Last night’s meal must have been the oddest culinary experience I’ve encountered for a while. Like everyone else, we are finding ourselves trying to eat up everything in the fridge before it goes off - wasting as little as possible. Well, we had finally hit the date where our three packs of fondue mix (purchased in France in February half term) were going to pass their use by date. So instead of enjoying our savoyarde treat over a lovely dinner party with friends I found myself devouring cheese and bread on my own in my bedroom. Normally a fondue is kept warm while being consumed to ensure that the cheese doesn’t solidify. It seemed excessive to haul a fondue lamp to the bedroom for me so I had to rely on speed of ingestion (a skill that, fortunately, I am well-practised at). Rapidly I shoved bread chunk after bread chunk into the cheese and then into my mouth. Eventually - and predictably - I lost the battle and the fondue became a solid, impenetrable mass.
This was just one of many meals I’ve eaten alone in my room. Each and every one has been prepared by my wife Sarah whilst she also cooks for the kids, tries to homeschool them, keeps the house tidy, checks in with work, reads the latest updates on the virus, makes sure friends and family are okay, and a million other things.
I’m not going to tell you that it’s been an easy ride being the patient - to be honest it’s felt pretty lonely and unpleasant at times. But I think that the carers in these cases are also going through an experience which is very lonely and unpleasant.
Thankfully I feel like I am in recovery mode now, but I know that while I lay in bed over the past few days Sarah has been doing everything to keep our little family happy and healthy.
Me not being able to see my kids has been hard; but Sarah has had to look after them, keep them from worrying, entertain them, educate them and console them.
Me not being able to concentrate has been disconcerting; but Sarah has had to field calls from friends and family, keep everyone updated on how I’m doing, talk to the Health Service, talk to doctors, and keep up with the latest Government advice.
Me having a near-constant headache has been painful; but Sarah has been the one worrying about whether I’m suffering from any respiratory issues and constantly keeping track of my temperature.
Me sleeping through day after day in a fever has been unpleasant; but Sarah has been the one awake in the night, anxious thoughts swirling around her mind.
We are very lucky to have a such an amazing support network of family and friends. People have been amazing - dropping off care packages and sending messages of love and support. I think that without the support for Sarah she would have found this time immeasurably harder. So I want to take this moment to say thank you to everyone who has helped support Sarah though this really tough time.
I also want to say that if you know someone who has fallen ill with the virus, please get in touch with their carer. Let them know you are thinking of them. Help them without being asked. Make their life that little bit easier.
Their job is a really difficult one… and sending a little bit of positivity their way might make a big difference.
We could all do with improving how we communicate with each other. Let’s take this opportunity to improve the really important communications with the really important people.
To read Tom's third blog post, click here.