Are Sarcoidosis and COVID-19 Stressing You Out?

Are Sarcoidosis and COVID-19 Stressing You Out?
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Sensory overload!

I’ve already completed my 15 days of self-quarantine and I’m ready to get out. Actually, I have been out a few times just to the grocery store and then back home.

My family has been quarantined with me, with the exception of my daughter, who finds it difficult to stay in the house. Admittedly, so do I, but this is something that we have to do. I have to more than anyone else because of pulmonary sarcoidosis.

What day is it?

It seems like the days are running into each other. Back in 2004, I lost my job in advertising. It was probably the best job I had, or at least the most fun. Some of my former colleagues have remained good friends over the years. At the time of my layoff, I decided to start my own freelance business. By some accounts, I did OK. I think I could’ve done much better, but that was a time when experience and talent counted for something. Not so much today.

At the time, I mostly worked at home. During the day, my wife was at work and my kids were in school, so it was just me and the cat. During the day, I listened to jazz and edited video and photos. My days usually ended around 3 p.m., and happy hour began shortly after.

The current state of the country seems overwhelming. We’re being told to self-quarantine and practice social distancing to “possibly” not spread or come in contact with the COVID-19 virus. I think the biggest task we face is being quarantined with our families for an extended period of time.

Time on your hands? 

Don’t get me wrong — I love my family with everything I have. I just know that we’ve all exhausted our 24/7 time together. My wife and kids are used to being out of the house most of the day. That gives us time alone for work, school, or just to get out of the house. Truth be told, I miss the gym, but I manage to do a few small exercises at home.

One thing I didn’t expect from being quarantined with my family is how much time I had missed with them. Each day, we go through our daily routines of work, school, or other appointments and adventures, and that consumes us. As kids get older and we parents evolve in our careers, we forget about the little things that make us a family.

I also found this quarantine time helpful to me personally because I now realize how much time I’ve wasted on other things that didn’t matter more than my family and myself.

Looking back over the two years that sarcoidosis and spontaneous pneumothorax have taken from my life, I recall things that I started but didn’t finish. I became so wrapped up in trying to stay healthy while living with sarcoidosis I didn’t realize I had been walking on eggshells the entire time.

Put this time to good use 

Now that this pandemic seems to be lingering on longer than expected, it’s time to take inventory of our lives and the lives we affect. It isn’t time to sit back and wait for the other shoe to drop, but rather to do more with what we have.

I took a drive into Philadelphia’s Center City District, where I hadn’t been since last summer, and boy has it changed. It felt good to get out of the house and into the sunshine, cruising the road with the music up loud.

I’m also digging out the old board games my family used to play when our kids were small. We particularly like DVD games like Scene It and Trivial Pursuit. I know it will shock my family that I’m the one suggesting a change to the monotony.

I’m also taking three online classes, and for whatever reason, two tests have me mentally paralyzed from moving ahead. That stops today.

Sarcoidosis has caused us to adjust our lives, and COVID-19 is causing us to adjust them more. But neither can make us live in a box. Keep up the social distancingI don’t mind it at all. Go take a walk in the sunshine. Use this time to reconnect with those you live with, but more importantly, use this time to reconnect with yourself.

Sarcoidosis and COVID-19 will not define us.

***

Note: Parkinson’s News Today 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 another 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 Parkinson’s News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Parkinson’s disease.

Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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Charlton is an independent multimedia/video producer and video editor located in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, area. He was diagnosed with pulmonary sarcoidosis in 2004 at the age of 40. He has worked over 30 years in advertising and educational media. When he’s not creating, he’s in the kitchen cooking. Charlton is known as a skilled pit-master, homebrewer and jazz aficionado. He hopes his column on sarcoidosis will help inspire readers to live life the best they can, and not shed any tears for this illness.
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