Ideas for Sarcoidosis Patients Who Are Self-isolating and Bored

Ideas for Sarcoidosis Patients Who Are Self-isolating and Bored

After all of my efforts to remain germ-free I was reminded of a couple things this past week. The first is that hand soap and sanitizer don’t make me invincible. The second is that being homebound so much over the years while battling sarcoidosis  has given me a “particular set of skills,” like actor Liam Neeson’s character Bryan Mills in the movie “Taken.”  

Now, my skills aren’t worth anything if any of my family members land in a sticky situation that requires a payoff to escape. Like the retired CIA agent told his daughter’s kidnappers in the movie, “I don’t have money.” But if anyone is being held hostage by boredom and looking for advice? Been there. Done that. I’ve got you. 

Another bug sneaks past my defenses

Despite my recent focus on keeping my hands clean and sanitizing everything for my protection, something made it past my defenses. It started as a sore throat and headache and became a sinus infection, bringing misery and a lot of dull moments at home. I battled two bugs in recent months and was thankful this was just another encore, not something more serious as I had feared when I got sick. However, it was a wake-up call that I’m at risk of contracting something much worse every time I leave my home, even with all the precautions I’ve been taking. 

Out of bed, but not the house

After clearing the stuck-in-bed stage, I usually land in the still-too-sick-to-venture-out stage, whether I’m battling sarcoidosis or another health issue such as a sinus infection. Boredom then becomes the enemy. This is when my particular set of skills, honed over many years, come into use. 

Window to the world

There is a world of interesting things happening right outside the window. Just ask my younger brother, Antony, who was privy to my many breaking news reports while he cared for me during my stays in Florida. One time I frantically dragged him to the window when he returned home from work and pointed at the property behind his house, saying, “Those lazy cows have been sitting all day.” Believing cows only slept standing up, I thought this was an earth-shattering discovery. My brother, not so much. 

(Courtesy of Athena Merritt)

Sports fix

While stuck in bed fighting fatigue, which impacts most people with sarcoidosis, I became a football fanatic. That interest has brought many benefits, including filling dull moments. With professional sports currently on hiatus, my sports fix now comes from the NFL free agency. 

Multipronged approach to the doldrums

The best way to beat the doldrums is by having a variety of interests and activities that can range from home projects to hobbies. I love books and puzzles, but sometimes illness, tiredness, or cognitive issues prevent me from focusing enough to enjoy them. During such times, music or even a TV binge can fill the void. If you are a Marvel fan like me, the postponed release of the “Black Widow” movie makes it a great time to marathon past movies. 

Although I have yet to explore it, the “LEGO Masters” television show made me wonder if I possess an innate talent for building plastic masterpieces. If you took up brewing beer or making wine as a hobby, the fruits of your labor could become a celebratory batch marking the end of shelter-in-place when it happens, or something to consume while you hole up inside waiting for the end. 

There is no shortage of hobbies or interests to explore. Whatever you choose to fill the time, try to make exercise and getting outdoors part of your routine. It not only helps to break up the day, but also can boost your mood. 

We are a vulnerable population. Please be safe and guard your health, even if it means staying home long-term. 


Note: Sarcoidosis News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Sarcoidosis News or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to sarcoidosis.

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  1. Bobbie Morris says:

    I am inside my house all the time, my husband is home with me for fear , he would bring home the COVID-19 and give it to me. And I already have Sarcoidoso in my one lung , heart, brain, and all though my body. I go to Mayo every three months.

    • Athena Merritt says:

      It’s a difficult and stressful time for so many, who are staying home by choice or because of mandates. Try to remain positive and do things that are fun and will take your mind off of your worries. Be well. Sending prayers your way.

  2. Paul says:

    First diagnosed with Sarcoidosis in 2004 and went in remission 18 months later after many different protocols. Unfortunately, only 5% of patients who have been in remission ever go back to being sick. I have been battling but now have been tested positive for COVID-19. Wondering if anyone else has experienced anything similar.

    • Athena Merritt says:

      Hi Paul,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your COVID-19 diagnosis. I’m praying that you will recover quickly. If anyone else is in a similar situation please leave a comment.

  3. Maddie C. says:

    Hi, I’ve been dealing with Sarcoidosis since 2003.I am sorry to hear you have this dis-ease but glad someone understands.It was comforting to know their is someone who knows exactly what I’m going through.Just continue to be safe that’s all I can say and thanks.

  4. Simon Micheaux says:

    Thank you for this life saving laughter and information. I have had Sarcoidosis since 2017. I have always felt like I was the only person in the world with this disease and the limitations it imposes on one. Unfortunately, I am unable to venture outdoors at all, and frequently find myself bored beyond comprehension. So, thank you again for the advice.

    • Athena Merritt says:

      Thank you so much for reaching out. I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed my column. I’ve also felt alone and still do at times because there isn’t anyone in my life with this disease. Hearing from readers like you reminds me that others understand. Hopefully we will all be able to venture out safely again in the near future. Until then, take care and be safe!

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