living life in uncertain times

Does anyone else suffer a mild heart attack every time their phone rings in the nighttime. I don’t sleep well on a good day so when my phone rings at 11:41 pm it sort of sends me into a heart-racing, state of panic. And it wasn’t only my house phone. I also received a call on my work cell phone and an email….it felt like shit was about to get real.

The call was a message from my employer telling us that under the direction of our Deputy Minister no staff, regardless of location, was to come in to work today, Monday, March 16th, with the exception of those supporting critical services. We were then told to make arrangements to pick up any required material or equipment from the office at our convenience.

So this begs to answer. What jobs are considered critical services?

Well, apparently mine is. For the time being anyways.

What does this mean? It means that in a building of over 200, approximately 15 people will be reporting to work daily. And I am one of them. I’m not sure how to feel about it all.

We still don’t have any cases of COVID-19 in our community, but honestly it feel like it’s only a matter of time. It also feels quite surreal and eerily quiet. They’ve closed all schools and daycare for 3 weeks, all church services and masses have been cancelled, March break camps are cancelled, court has been cancelled except for emergencies, they’ve cancelled elective surgeries, the casinos and bingo halls are closed, all sporting clubs are cancelled for the rest of the year (and cancelling hockey in a Northern Ontario town like mine is like a world-ending event) and they’ve basically told everyone who works for the Government of Canada to either work from home, or if you can’t work from home, just stay home. The entire province of Ontario will be next, I’m sure of it.

I try to stay off of social media whenever possible because I find that it makes me anxious. Case in point, I read an article the other day where the medical officer in France is telling people not to take anti-inflammatory medications to fight the fever associated with the virus because it can make the symptoms worse. Here in Canada, the Public Health Agency is telling Canadians to have ibuprofen on-hand for fever and body aches. So which is it? Misinformation like this, especially to someone who needs to take prescription strength NSAIDs daily to stave off joint pain from lupus, doesn’t bring much calm in the circumstances. I think I’ll risk it and continue with my current meds because I still need to be able to get out of bed and come to work…at least for now.

These times are uncertain. And while I’m not overly concerned about catching the virus, I’m having a hard time with the changes and having to alter things on the fly. I remember once upon a time, T told me that any change in my routine, for me, is catastrophic! I laughed at the time because I couldn’t see it but over the last few days, I realize he was right. Routine is, and has always been, vitally important for me.

On a good note, I did talk to T about what is going happen in the coming weeks. He said he’s not worried and we’ll figure it out…one day at a time. He also told me he has no plans to cancel any sessions unless it’s absolutely necessary. So at least I have that consistency for now. But, just in case it changes, I’m going to have to work on my telephone skills. :/ Either way, it feels hard to feel safe in a world like this. A world filled with so much uncertainty and panic and misinformation.

Keep well my friends…keep well.


4 thoughts on “living life in uncertain times

  1. Oh I was holding my breath reading this until I got to the part where it said no disruption with T at the moment, that is a big relief. I’m so sorry you’re one of the few ‘having’ to work – not good at all with the lupus. Hugs xx


  2. these times are crazy and uncertain… but that info about NSAIDS was Wrong. this is a note form a very good physician/public health scholar friend of mine about why that doctor said why he did:
    dear all.
    there has been considerable converage online of france’s recommendation not to use ibuprofen (advil/motrin) in covid-19 disease.
    please note that this finding is not currently endorsed by any other major medical body.
    the spanish medication agency put out a statement yesterday saying that it has always recommended acetamninophen/paracetamol (tylenol/panadol) as firstline treatment for fever and pain, but believes it to be fine to use ibuprofen if necessary during the pandemic.
    a german doctor friend who has treated a few cases of hospitalised covid-19 patients said she has not noticed any connection yet. an irish colleague of a colleague has also said there is no current movement in ireland to stop ibuprofen use.
    for various reasons you might suspect, i do not have access to chinese perspectives on this question yet. and my italian doctor friend currently working in the north is too overwhelmed for me to bug her for thoughts.
    as context, france’s concerns about ibuprofen date back to **early 2019** when it suggested complications with use in ALL infectious diseases. it sent its recommendations to the european medication agency which is now reviewing the data. in the interim, use as usual continues outside of france.
    personally, i am always cautious about the overuse of ibuprofen, and ask my patients to monitor it carefully. i, as all of my colleagues, have seen serious side-effects from its chronic or excessive use, or if you already have certain underlying health issues. for the general public though, in short courses for symptomatic relief, it remains fine.
    i recognise that once a doubt is planted, it is difficult to counter it, so please feel free to weigh your own sense of risk. i might hesitate more than i usually already do with my own patients now too, but i offer this information in the spirit of making sure people have access to a fuller picture behind the headline.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thanks love….I kind of felt that it wasn’t something legit as our own public health agency has said it’s okay to take it.
      For now, I am doing everything status quo until my own docs tell me otherwise. I also agree 100% about the long-term use of NSAIDs and I’m definitely working on finding something else with my rheumatologist. Thanks for the all the info.


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