When plans change because of health issues. How do you cope?

Posted by Ginger, Volunteer Mentor @gingerw, Mar 9, 2020

As a society, we look forward to our vacations, or trips, or social outlets and activities. What happens when we have to modify or cancel those plans, because of a health concern, or our own illness?

Recently I decided to cancel a planned for and highly anticipated trip, due to concerns over exposure to crowds and the coronavirus. I live in a very small rural town, and even heading to the closest “big city”, that is only about 20,000 people. I had made travel plans last August, for this March, that’s a sign of how excited I was. But I deal everyday with immune system issues, and just cannot justify to myself the risk involved. So, I will stay home, and work on my creative endeavors alone, and “watch” through social media, rather than be in a room with 50 other people from all over the country. Waiting to hear if my payments made will be refunded in whole, or not.

What have you had to change? How has your mindset been modified in light of your own health issues? How have you handled the request of an employer to do a business trip that might take you far away? If your plans include young children, how do you explain to them, how things might be different? With Spring vacations/trips looming on the near future, what will you do instead?

@mamacita

@gingerw, I have had to ask for help. My spouse is in isolation with MRSA here at hospital. My daughtwr is in ICU for the third week.

I have had to change my entire life, my whole routine, to be there for my loved ones. My life in community service has come
to a screeching halt.

I will get through this. Faith fights even when it looks hopeless. We have hope!

What greater service is there than being part of your tribe, and loving on them when they need it so desperately?

I miss you all, and hate it that there is so little time for Connect.

Hopefully this is just a long bump in the road.

Take care of each other.
Love you big,
Mamacita Jane

@mamacita– my word what a bumpy road it is. I just feel terrible that we can't help. How are you holding up? MRSA? Is this from when he was recently in the hospital?

@mamacita

@gingerw, I have had to ask for help. My spouse is in isolation with MRSA here at hospital. My daughtwr is in ICU for the third week.

I have had to change my entire life, my whole routine, to be there for my loved ones. My life in community service has come
to a screeching halt.

I will get through this. Faith fights even when it looks hopeless. We have hope!

What greater service is there than being part of your tribe, and loving on them when they need it so desperately?

I miss you all, and hate it that there is so little time for Connect.

Hopefully this is just a long bump in the road.

Take care of each other.
Love you big,
Mamacita Jane

Gee whiz @mamacita , that’s just too much! Do you have a safe, comfortable place to sleep? How about meals? I know that, right now, your priorities are your husband and daughter, but you must add yourself to the list. We all value you and your input on Connect, but as important as you are to us, you are much more important to your family! Please take care.

@contentandwell

@imallears That's great that you were able to get the money refunded. I hope everyone realized it was the only thing to do, to cancel. We still do not know what if any we will get back from our travel insurance but as my husband said, our health is more important than a few thousand dollars.
JK

Your husband is absolutely right. Just learned that the trip we had planned at the end of April to go up to New Jersey to see my granddaughter in a college play is postponed. She is home here in Fl with her room mate for spring break and learned today that spring break is extended another week. All classes except for studio classes will be held online. All school plays have been cancelled. The airline says we get one free change of schedule so we may fly up for Mothers Day weekend. However, who knows what things will be like by then. A golf classic here was cancelled…something my kids go to every year..and a big deal here in Florida.

Just learned that Broadway is closed down starting tonight and that the governor is banning crowds of more that 500. I opted out of an Irish party at a pub in Disney Springs this weekend called Ragland Road. The huge pub (3 pubs in one building) was built in Ireland and moved here brick by brick. Its such a fun place to be anytime with pipers and step dancers and good food. Apparently they are still having it. This is the first thing I have actually done to change one of my plans. I still go to my gym classes but it is now half the size it was. This is an active senior class so we are in that vulnerable age group. Just trying to live as normally as possible with sensible precautions and not go places I don't need to be.

Need a new book to read and was thinking about heading to the library and then said to myself….ugh…books handled by a ton of other people. So think I will go buy one instead (which I hate to do because you can read for free).

So far, I do not personally know anyone who is sick. My daughter is an ARNP and all her patients in the facilities are sick with something or other or have comprised immune systems. She said the staff is practically following her around and wiping down areas as she makes her visits.

She ordered 2 masks online at a total cost of $25. Incredibly hard to get them as people have hoarded them and prices have surged. FL Mary REPLY @mamacita @gingerw, I have had to ask for help. My spouse is in isolation with MRSA here at hospital. My daughtwr is in ICU for the third week. I have had to change my entire life, my whole routine, to be there for my loved ones. My life in community service has come to a screeching halt. I will get through this. Faith fights even when it looks hopeless. We have hope! What greater service is there than being part of your tribe, and loving on them when they need it so desperately? I miss you all, and hate it that there is so little time for Connect. Hopefully this is just a long bump in the road. Take care of each other. Love you big, Mamacita Jane Jump to this post @mamacita So sorry to hear about all this and it seems like too much for one person to shoulder. You have to remind yourself to be vigilant about your own health and not get too stressed out. Easy for me to say, I know. I know you want to hug and help your loved ones but there will be times when you have to stand back and just be an observer. Not easy times to be in the hospital right now. Take good care of yourself. Us mammas always put our lives on hold for our families. FL Mary REPLY @mamacita @gingerw, I have had to ask for help. My spouse is in isolation with MRSA here at hospital. My daughtwr is in ICU for the third week. I have had to change my entire life, my whole routine, to be there for my loved ones. My life in community service has come to a screeching halt. I will get through this. Faith fights even when it looks hopeless. We have hope! What greater service is there than being part of your tribe, and loving on them when they need it so desperately? I miss you all, and hate it that there is so little time for Connect. Hopefully this is just a long bump in the road. Take care of each other. Love you big, Mamacita Jane Jump to this post @mamacita – My heart aches for you and all the hurdles in your path at this time. Was the MRSA healthcare-associated from the things your husband had done? Those who you were helping in community service are now ready to turn around and help you. As do all of us here at Mayo Connect. "In everyone's life there are fear storms. Faith flies in all weather." Noah benShea Sending gentle hugs and a question: what can we do to support you? Ginger REPLY @mamacita @gingerw, I have had to ask for help. My spouse is in isolation with MRSA here at hospital. My daughtwr is in ICU for the third week. I have had to change my entire life, my whole routine, to be there for my loved ones. My life in community service has come to a screeching halt. I will get through this. Faith fights even when it looks hopeless. We have hope! What greater service is there than being part of your tribe, and loving on them when they need it so desperately? I miss you all, and hate it that there is so little time for Connect. Hopefully this is just a long bump in the road. Take care of each other. Love you big, Mamacita Jane Jump to this post Oh my goodness, @mamacita What a lot you are going through. I hope your husband and daughter have the speediest recoveries possible. In the meantime, take good care of yourself. You need to stay strong and healthy. When you have time I hope you will keep us up to date on how everyone is doing, including yourself. JK REPLY @imallears Your husband is absolutely right. Just learned that the trip we had planned at the end of April to go up to New Jersey to see my granddaughter in a college play is postponed. She is home here in Fl with her room mate for spring break and learned today that spring break is extended another week. All classes except for studio classes will be held online. All school plays have been cancelled. The airline says we get one free change of schedule so we may fly up for Mothers Day weekend. However, who knows what things will be like by then. A golf classic here was cancelled…something my kids go to every year..and a big deal here in Florida. Just learned that Broadway is closed down starting tonight and that the governor is banning crowds of more that 500. I opted out of an Irish party at a pub in Disney Springs this weekend called Ragland Road. The huge pub (3 pubs in one building) was built in Ireland and moved here brick by brick. Its such a fun place to be anytime with pipers and step dancers and good food. Apparently they are still having it. This is the first thing I have actually done to change one of my plans. I still go to my gym classes but it is now half the size it was. This is an active senior class so we are in that vulnerable age group. Just trying to live as normally as possible with sensible precautions and not go places I don't need to be. Need a new book to read and was thinking about heading to the library and then said to myself….ugh…books handled by a ton of other people. So think I will go buy one instead (which I hate to do because you can read for free). So far, I do not personally know anyone who is sick. My daughter is an ARNP and all her patients in the facilities are sick with something or other or have comprised immune systems. She said the staff is practically following her around and wiping down areas as she makes her visits. She ordered 2 masks online at a total cost of$25. Incredibly hard to get them as people have hoarded them and prices have surged.

FL Mary

@imallears I will be surprised if that big Irish party does not end up getting canceled.
You bring up an interesting thing with your mention of going to your gym. I went to the gym yesterday – not a class, just my own workout – and wiped down each piece of equipment both before and after using and cleaned my hands frequently. The gym at my health club is spacious and rarely crowded so there was no one with 10' of me while I did my thing.
Today I went to the pool and water-jogged. I was very careful in the locker room and washed my hands after touching anything. I am wondering though if it is time to suspend going there. I know that will cause me some depression since I enjoy being active and find home exercise much less appealing but if I did end up catching anything I would be so remorseful. I think I probably do need to suspend. I am struggling because I am not happy about that at all.
JK

@contentandwell
If it were me I would definitely stop going, of course I don’t like to go in the first place so it wouldn’t be any big deal to me. I wouldn’t miss it in the least. It may be overkill but as they say better safe than sorry. I had to go to the drugstore and file court papers today so I took a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me and used it after I touched anything elevator buttons etc and I told the lady at the pharmacy to keep the change but you just never know. A friend of mine was flying back from San Diego today and I asked him how many people were on the plane and he said very few. That flight is usually packed.
Take care,
Jake

@jakedduck1

@contentandwell
If it were me I would definitely stop going, of course I don’t like to go in the first place so it wouldn’t be any big deal to me. I wouldn’t miss it in the least. It may be overkill but as they say better safe than sorry. I had to go to the drugstore and file court papers today so I took a small bottle of hand sanitizer with me and used it after I touched anything elevator buttons etc and I told the lady at the pharmacy to keep the change but you just never know. A friend of mine was flying back from San Diego today and I asked him how many people were on the plane and he said very few. That flight is usually packed.
Take care,
Jake

@jakedduck1 the more I have seen I have decided that it would be irresponsible to go. There’s the old saying that goes something like “change begins with you”. I think I need to heed what the reports are saying to stop the spread of this. The reports from Italy are horrifying. If we all don’t stay put this will get out of control here too and as older people we are at the greatest risk.
JK

The effect of my illnesses have stretched over a decade. I have several neurological and ortho problems with chronic pain. I've canceled trips, shows, fixing and painting in my home, money, lost cash – 40k of unpaid leave off work, the cost of a law suit. And all my friends are gone. No catching up because my problems are degenerative, it's taken more than 10 years with these conditions, and these things, aside from friends, all happened in the last few years. There is plenty more. Up to and including last night! Had to leave a show I have waited years to see, a simple comedy show. 2 hours max! I couldn't make it.
Adjusting to this type of problem is difficult, still I miss things because I don't know how I will feel when I plan. Keeps me sporadic. 🙂
I'm able to walk without any problems, nerve pain is difficult to understand. Not being ambulatory would crush what's left of my need to get out when it's tough otherwise.
I hope everyone finds some solace in their conditions. I think it takes different times for different people, healthcare is nearly useless in the US, especially mental care, still there are ways to get service, but creativity is difficult when you're ill.

My advice for new patients of longer term sickness, whatever you are afraid to ask, ask. "what is my prognosis?" or "is this normal for my age, condition?" and write a few questions for the doc before your go.
Doctors are human, just with very good recall. They make mistakes, judgement errors, misdiagnose and even miss problems. It's worth a 2nd opinion if you can swing it.
Good Luck to everyone. Especially when things get tough. Think of the other side\end of your illness.

@contentandwell

@jakedduck1 the more I have seen I have decided that it would be irresponsible to go. There’s the old saying that goes something like “change begins with you”. I think I need to heed what the reports are saying to stop the spread of this. The reports from Italy are horrifying. If we all don’t stay put this will get out of control here too and as older people we are at the greatest risk.
JK

@jakedduck1 and all this is getting so serious we all need to heed and stop going out to places where people are unfortunately till this virus gets out of the country . People are spreading it how I don't know even the CDC is in the fog so protect yourselve . Take a break and do an old but forgotten craft ,hobby or journaling your life to leave to your grandkids . BEside watching the boop tube . Be inventive in your own home for the time being of course exercise to feel better do what you can to feel better .

Life is surely interesting/challenging right now. We are far from international airports and seaports in far South Texas, with the nearest virus cases about 300 miles away in San Antonio, so feel relatively safe as long as we hang out here. But the national news has created a sense of panic – the stores are empty of basic supplies, and everyone is rushing to cancel events and gatherings – we can't even buy eggs, milk, laundry soap, toilet tissue or liquid hand soap here – where no one is ill. With that level of overreaction it is no wonder some people are feeling that this is "just hysteria" and refusing to take the situation seriously.

Back at home, the virus is getting a toehold, but the medical providers are not ready – my daughter's big city hospital is trying to decide who and when to test for the virus, and hasn't begun to limit visitors or take other precautions. I am happy to see Mayo Lab beginning to do the tests, because the State Lab in MN is not sure they can keep up with demand.

My other daughter and her young family are scheduled to fly here in 3 weeks, and it is really hurting me to call and tell them that I don't believe our wish to see each other is worth the risk of taking their family on 2 flights and through 3 airports. We are as worried about them carrying the virus either to our senior community or back to the boys' caregivers (also seniors) as we are about them becoming ill. That is the conundrum with this virus – those who are not at risk of being very ill themselves can potentially infect vulnerable populations.

Please everyone, stay safe but don't panic. We're hoping to see the situation resolve in a reasonable amount of time so we can take our planned trip to Austria and Switzerland in the Fall.
Sue