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Life in lockdown diary: Sophie, May 2020

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May 4th 2020

When we chatted last week, I was feeling really motivated and positive. Later that day I had a meeting with Cardiff University and during the meeting I felt unwell with chest pains and had to cut the meeting short.  I was ill for a couple of days and I rang the doctor. The doctor said it might be a pulled muscle, but I think it might have been a bit of anxiety.

I feel brighter today, and I have an appointment in Haverfordwest this afternoon and some food shopping to do.  I enjoy cooking and always prepare meals from scratch. I don’t like ready meals.

I’ve been getting exercise every day and during lockdown I have found a new walk that I never knew existed before! It’s a lovely walk and it’s given me a boost. 

We have a shared garden in my block of flats, and it’s been nice to sit outside with a glass of wine and chat to the other residents (in a socially distancing way, of course!)

I keep in touch with my family who live close and with my boyfriend who has been furloughed from his work at the moment.

I am going to bed earlier and getting up earlier each day and trying to keep a routine.  My work as Chair of All Wales People First has helped to give me focus and keep me busy.

May 13th 2020

I’ve had a good day today, with various online meetings like Tea and Toast Club this morning and Gig Buddies.

Yesterday was a very stressful day.  I went shopping to my usual supermarket and it’s always been one in/one out since we’ve been in lockdown.  Yesterday though, everyone was going in at the same time.  I disinfected my trolley and sanitised my hands, but the aisles were busy and I felt uncomfortable with so many people around.

As I was going down one of the aisles, someone said ‘do you mind waiting’ and made me feel upset.  I stopped and waited but I ended up cutting across a couple of the aisles to avoid her, but it was a very difficult shopping experience yesterday.

I don’t know whether they were just short-staffed but there didn’t seem to be anyone controlling anything in the shop yesterday.  I normally go first thing in the morning but because of National Council meeting, I didn’t get there until midday.  Perhaps it is always busier around that time. I rang Customer Services when I got home and reported the incident and asked them whether there was a quiet time set aside for people with learning disabilities. They are going to get back to me.  In the evening I sat outside and had a couple of drinks in the garden with the neighbours and that was a better way to end the day!

My neighbours are really friendly and helpful and my family live close by.  I live independently so I haven’t had any problems with support staff not turning up or any Direct Payments problems. 

I had a letter before lockdown from the GP regarding a review of my medication, but of course I haven’t been able to have that review as yet.

What matters now is that I take each day as it comes and stay connected to everyone.  I will probably go for a walk this afternoon and I’m still keeping a good routine of getting up early each morning (except Saturdays, which are my lie-in days!)

May 20th 2020

I haven’t heard back from the supermarket after my horrible experience last week when it was really crowded, but I did go shopping today and it was better.  Pembrokeshire People First have delivered care packages to everyone who lives independently, and they included face masks in the packages.  I wore the face mask to go shopping – it felt a bit claustrophobic and I couldn’t breathe easily.

Last weekend I did a 2 hour walk and had a fab glass of Pimms at the end of it!

I am Co-Chair of the AWPF Board, and we held our first Zoom meeting yesterday. It went really well.

This afternoon I am linking up with Gig Buddies and we are having a food competition.  We have to make a dish and give it a name and then someone will judge the name and the quality of the food.  I’m making cottage pie, but I don’t know what I’ll call it yet!

I think I’m having a BBQ tonight with my neighbours, then tomorrow I am having a Zoom meeting with various organisations linked to the Learning Disability Advisory Group – there is a lot of work outstanding and I have feedback to give from our National Council and Board meetings. 

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