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Living as an older individual with comorbidities

Posted

Specializes in M/S and NICU Certified-Now Retired. Has 50 years experience.

I am a retired RN of 43 years experience. I have several comorbidities and have been isolated since this has started. With everything that has been said and all the research that has been done, there is still so much that is unknown about Covid-19. My wife has been the one who has gone out into the world to do the things that need to be done. She is always masked with an N95 and gloves and an overcoat. She strips down in the basement and showers down there before coming upstairs. I am afraid I will always be isolated for my own safety because it may not be possible to develop a vaccine. I never thought my life would take a turn like this in my retirement years. It is frightening to think about.

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

It's also frightening to think that we youth and the rest of society are supposed to quarantine for years on end, if certain politicians had their way, and wrecking the American way of life and economy in the process. If you want to quarantine then quarantine. If you don't want to quarantine then don't quarantine. Eventually the "fear factor" wears off, people realize that they could just as well die from a car accident or the flu, and move on from this Corona thing.

Kitiger, RN

Specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics. Has 42 years experience.

35 minutes ago, Hillbilly RN said:

I am afraid I will always be isolated for my own safety because it may not be possible to develop a vaccine. I never thought my life would take a turn like this in my retirement years. It is frightening to think about.

Every month that goes by is that much more that we know about this wily virus. We are learning how it does what it does, and we are learning how to treat it. A year from now, we might even be able to treat it so quickly and so well that people won't have to fear it.

May that day come soon!

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

20 minutes ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

It's also frightening to think that we youth and the rest of society are supposed to quarantine for years on end, if certain politicians had their way, and wrecking the American way of life and economy in the process. If you want to quarantine then quarantine. If you don't want to quarantine then don't quarantine. Eventually the "fear factor" wears off, people realize that they could just as well die from a car accident or the flu, and move on from this Corona thing.

“We youth and the rest of the society” Think about someone else for once before you post; how about you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and validate that fear? It’s very real for someone who is immunocompromised, or has comorbidities - even in “youth” - and for once, for ONCE, maybe have some empathy. It’s not unfounded fear, and it’s absolutely OK to feel it.
I’m 43, work in a COVID unit (so no “fear factor”) and am immunocompromised - I am sick and tired of hearing about “youth and the rest of society” - who is “the rest of society?” If only both sides would work together (you know, wear a mask/practice social distancing/and open up etc), we would actually have an economy ... and it’s much more patriotic to protect my fellow American!

OP, I hear you. It’s OK to be scared, and like Kitiger said - we are learning about this virus as every month goes by. My hope is that one day soon, we will have such better ways to treat it, or even test for it. But the last few months have been frightening, the what-if’s. It’s emotionally draining.

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

We already have done more than our fair share of thinking and quarantining for the immunocompromised folks for 2 entire months plus. It's up to them whether they want to keep quarantining or not. For the rest of us it's time to move on back to normal.

As an "elder" with comorbidities, this has become an issue with me. However, this describes my life before the pandemic: awake after attempting to sleep for sufficient time in spite of hostile neighbor who makes plenty of noise deliberately and breathing the smoke he introduces to my living space, get ready, go to work, finish shift, return to rented space. Occasional trips to grocery store, gas station, and maybe a restaurant. Rinse, repeat. Life since pandemic: remove trips to grocery store and trips to restaurants entirely. Consider other measures to avoid death from this virus. Not much of a difference to me. I really only miss the trips to a restaurant. Oh, I forgot, doctor visits have now turned into "telemedicine" at their request. Easier for them to obtain that now approved insurance payment, you know.

I didn't cause this. I resent the extra exposure to the jerk upstairs, but there are no alternatives for me. I am not going to walk around inviting my own suffering. So there it is for me.

Hillbilly RN, BSN

Specializes in M/S and NICU Certified-Now Retired. Has 50 years experience.

Your life sounds more like torture than something that is joyful. You must find something to bring you happiness because life without happiness is a fate worse than death. I am blessed to have an acre with more animals than I can count. My greatest joy is to sit on my patio and watch all the wildlife that comes to my property. Getting up before dawn to put out feed for them has become my reason for living. I pray that your situation ends soon and you find your happiness in the near future.

nursel56

Specializes in Peds/outpatient FP,derm,allergy/private duty. Has 45 years experience.

Hi Hillbilly RN! I've been extra careful as well due to my history of severe asthma. It can be depressing to think this will go on endlessly. Additionally, this topic is literally everywhere, all the time. Even the positive messaging makes the damn thing loom over every aspect of our lives.

You are so fortunate to have your wife there to support you like that. My "significant other" is doing a similar routine except he wears a mask with a skull face emblazoned on it. Hilarious in a balding, straight-arrow 60-something, I can tell you.

I do walk to the drug store myself occasionally, and just that little thing helps. "Cabin fever" is real even for me as an introvert. I get depressed more easily. Is there anything you can think to do to safely break up the routine?

"With everything that has been said and all the research that has been done, there is still so much that is unknown about Covid-19."

They're just getting started, really. There's been an explosion of new research on a topic that didn't exist until late 2019. I think they'll come up with a vaccine. Maybe not as soon as certain politicians say they will-- but they will. All the best to you.

10 hours ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

It's also frightening to think that we youth and the rest of society are supposed to quarantine for years on end, if certain politicians had their way, and wrecking the American way of life and economy in the process. If you want to quarantine then quarantine. If you don't want to quarantine then don't quarantine. Eventually the "fear factor" wears off, people realize that they could just as well die from a car accident or the flu, and move on from this Corona thing.

Quarantine? Accidents? Flu?

Fear is expressed in a variety of ways. This post is an example of fear, IMV. Given that 90,000 Americans haven't died in vehicle accidents in the past 3 months, the "could just as well die" comment seems fearful as well as irresponsible. Health professionals should have a better capacity for assessing risk than that. Perhaps the unaddressed anxiety of this pandemic is impairing the critical thinking or professional judgment of some. We shouldn't ignore the stress that can precipitate such flawed thinking.

Hillbilly RN, BSN

Specializes in M/S and NICU Certified-Now Retired. Has 50 years experience.

You may feel caviller about what should happen but for those like me, Covid-19 is a death sentence. It is something that here to for was not something you lived with everyday. Because some covidiot decides that they will flaunt common sense and go out in public without a mask or social distancing, I will lose my life. As far as I can see, in the future, I will be in my N95 mask with gloves on so as to protect myself as best I can. I understand that life must go on but you say return to normal. The old definition of normal is not the same definition as the future normal. I hope you understand that.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

9 hours ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

We already have done more than our fair share of thinking and quarantining for the immunocompromised folks for 2 entire months plus. It's up to them whether they want to keep quarantining or not. For the rest of us it's time to move on back to normal.

I feel a sense of disgust for people that have no empathy for their fellow American, and a sense of sadness when common sense lacks.

Hillbilly - “covidiot” ... I like it.

Hillbilly RN, BSN

Specializes in M/S and NICU Certified-Now Retired. Has 50 years experience.

11 hours ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

It's also frightening to think that we youth and the rest of society are supposed to quarantine for years on end, if certain politicians had their way, and wrecking the American way of life and economy in the process. If you want to quarantine then quarantine. If you don't want to quarantine then don't quarantine. Eventually the "fear factor" wears off, people realize that they could just as well die from a car accident or the flu, and move on from this Corona thing.

I am sorry you feel such animosity because I stated my feelings. I was just trying to communicate my anxiety and fear.

4 hours ago, Hillbilly RN said:

I am sorry you feel such animosity because I stated my feelings. I was just trying to communicate my anxiety and fear.

But those experiencing economic anxiety minimize the anxiety related to illness and death. They don't assign as much value to anxiety over loss of health or life as they do to anxiety over loss of retail/consumer lifestyles. Of course, that group of Americans is a very small subset of the population. The economy will not roar back to life because of maybe 15-20% of a region getting haircuts or going to the pub, etc. And more people aren't going to become more confident while the covidiots actively increase everyone's risk and the infection and death rates continue to climb.

A Hit With The Ladies, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psych. Has 5 years experience.

I don't feel animosity. I am sorry about your predicament. But I am telling you to be realistic. After the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, do you remember when we all had American flags on our cars? And the color-coded system for terrorist threat levels? Remember that we lived in a "post-9/11 world" and things would change forever?

Eventually peoples' fears and alarms subsided and we went back to normal. That's exactly what is going to happen with Coronavirus. In a few months I don't anticipate anyone still wearing masks in public. Now, you may wish for these social changes to be permanent, but they didn't become permanent in previous pandemics and they won't for this one.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

1 hour ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

I don't feel animosity. I am sorry about your predicament. But I am telling you to be realistic. After the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, do you remember when we all had American flags on our cars? And the color-coded system for terrorist threat levels? Remember that we lived in a "post-9/11 world" and things would change forever?

Eventually peoples' fears and alarms subsided and we went back to normal. That's exactly what is going to happen with Coronavirus. In a few months I don't anticipate anyone still wearing masks in public. Now, you may wish for these social changes to be permanent, but they didn't become permanent in previous pandemics and they won't for this one.

If you want to start another thread, go for it. However, back off - this isn’t the thread for your blatant lack of respect and empathy. It takes a cold individual to discount the very real fear that someone may be experiencing, and for that you should be ashamed.

To address your correlation between 9/11 and COVID-19 ... you can’t. One was a terrorist attack, the other a contagion where universal precautions are more than appropriate in keeping with patriotism and public safety, as well as to boast that economy. Maybe your “youth” forgets this, but as many of us who are now living through both? They are absolutely not the same.

pixierose, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED, psych. Has 4 years experience.

7 hours ago, Hillbilly RN said:

I am sorry you feel such animosity because I stated my feelings. I was just trying to communicate my anxiety and fear.

Let’s move on ...

One of my coworkers passed away early on from COVID ... she didn’t have any comorbidities, and she was just so young (early 30’s). This was while I was still in the ED. Her death created so much fear and anxiety, not to mention that debilitating grief. I felt guilty for feeling “if she could die, what chance did I have, someone with MS who is also undergoing chemo?”

And then I feel guilty for not living every moment to the fullest. For being depressed. The things I’ve seen in the last few months ... they’re not pleasant.

It’s been the little things to cling on to. Little moments of gratitude. And that hope that human brings are better than some represented here. I see most with masks. I see good things where I work. I see COVID patients get discharged. I hear Journey get blasted over the hospital loudspeakers a lot when someone is taken off a ventilator. And I see good news in the papers. So, hope.

2 hours ago, A Hit With The Ladies said:

I don't feel animosity. I am sorry about your predicament. But I am telling you to be realistic. After the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, do you remember when we all had American flags on our cars? And the color-coded system for terrorist threat levels? Remember that we lived in a "post-9/11 world" and things would change forever?

Eventually peoples' fears and alarms subsided and we went back to normal. That's exactly what is going to happen with Coronavirus. In a few months I don't anticipate anyone still wearing masks in public. Now, you may wish for these social changes to be permanent, but they didn't become permanent in previous pandemics and they won't for this one.

You tell people to be realistic and then make a completely unrealistic analogy to support your unscientific insistence that this pandemic will be behind us in a few months. Perhaps you have a different definition for reality or realistic.

It really doesn't help your argument to claim that anyone here or among the scientific experts is calling for permanent anything. I'll remind you once again that hyperbole is a terrible defense of a weak argument and trying to put words in someone else's mouth is a rather obvious bit of desperate hyperbole. When one make incredible claims and statements their posts quickly lose any professional credibility.

Hillbilly RN, BSN

Specializes in M/S and NICU Certified-Now Retired. Has 50 years experience.

1 hour ago, pixierose said:

Let’s move on ...

One of my coworkers passed away early on from COVID ... she didn’t have any comorbidities, and she was just so young (early 30’s). This was while I was still in the ED. Her death created so much fear and anxiety, not to mention that debilitating grief. I felt guilty for feeling “if she could die, what chance did I have, someone with MS who is also undergoing chemo?”

And then I feel guilty for not living every moment to the fullest. For being depressed. The things I’ve seen in the last few months ... they’re not pleasant.

It’s been the little things to cling on to. Little moments of gratitude. And that hope that human brings are better than some represented here. I see most with masks. I see good things where I work. I see COVID patients get discharged. I hear Journey get blasted over the hospital loudspeakers a lot when someone is taken off a ventilator. And I see good news in the papers. So, hope.

My first wife died from complications of MS many years ago. The only treatment then was Betaseron which I made sure she was on. It was a very terrible time and I would not wish it on anyone. Please know I understand where you are coming from and will pray for you.