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My Disability and Covid Experience

February 20, 2022 7:25 PM

Inspired by an article in Byline Times an Ipswich Liberal Democrat member has written about his disability and experiences during the Covid pandamic. This is his story in his own words.

My name is Conrad and I am just an ordinary average guy, 55 years old who has lived alone in the St Margaret's ward of Ipswich for 34 years. Despite living with Cerebral Palsy, being deaf since birth and rheumatoid arthritis from 2012 I have loved every moment of it. I also have a speech impediment which means some people don't understand me. Just recently the NHS finally upgraded me to Bluetooth enabled digital hearing aids and nothing can stop me now. I'm a Liberal Democrat member since 'Oh Jeremy Corbyn' became Labour Party leader in 2015!

Now where should I begin?

The first lockdown was beneficial for me because I stopped seeing my sister, Lesley (a good thing) and my wonderful Mum, (a bad thing). Before the Covid-19 pandemic Lesley and I argued all the time.

Since lockdowns, my relationship with my sister has improved dramatically so I'm quite pleased with myself and Lesley has a better understanding of my disabilities and capabilities .

The first part of the year was quiet. Along came the coronavirus pandemic crisis which triggered my political activities going round and round in my head. I am a political awakening fellow but won't talk about it for much longer - I'm under strict prohibited order by my elder sister! The infamous lovable Les.

During the first national lockdown, I was very busy on Facebook. updating and posting, Binge watching on Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC iPlayer, Disney+ and Britbox, making the most out of my lockdown freedom without my sister. I had fun political talking and gardening with Andrew the most useful and friendly gardener in Ipswich but I didn't have my cleaner Leanne, most of the time. Nor could I dye or my hair or get a hair cut for three months.

Then freedom at last which only lasted five months. During the freedom saga I managed to see all my friends, ate out, watched films and even went to Colchester Zoo.

Now the second English lockdown which I was totally against. Same thing over again for a month in November.

The second year of Covid chaos and political correctness had gone spiralling out of control because of the combination of Brexit and coronavirus!

January 2021 was the worst month ever for Covid infection cases and deaths at the same time and Brexit has continued to tamper with the economy and my life along with the coronavirus.

The Winter lockdown was imposed on us again, which lasted three months. This time it was slowly eased because this authoritarian Conservative government learned from previous mistakes.

I had three accidents during the lockdowns. The first accident, I fell backwards and banged my head on the inside living room sharp cornered wall. It was a very hard, painful bang and I was almost blacked out which lasted for 10 seconds. I realised that the back of my head was bleeding away. It was a deep cut and decided to stay calm and called my sister for SOS help! She came straight away, fixed me up with the first aid kit and we had lunch with mum before deciding whether I should go to accident and emergency for stitches on my injured head. It was the right decision to go, as the doctor who stitched up my head said it would have taken a long time to heal if it was not stitched up.

Now my two big toe nail accidents. The first one was really bloody painful when I was in the kitchen. A knife block landed on my left big toe nail which already had a fungal infection so half the nail was already gone completely. I decided to ring 999 but they couldn't understand my voice! You already probably know the reason why! So I went to across the road to find a person who could understand. Then another neighbour Sonia, who used to be my next door neighbour came to our rescue. She and the lady neighbour took over the care of my really bloody painful big toenail! They were terrifically kind to me.

My second toenail accident was a bit smaller when a huge plate landed on the same area as the last one. Just a bit less painful.

Now that freedom is back I'm really looking forward to going on a farming holiday in France with two of my best friends who live there.

Now I want to talk about difficulty of wearing a face mask with two hearing aids. Let me remind you again about Cerebral Palsy! Yes! Cerebral Palsy! Involuntary movement which affects every bit of my body and means I have an unsteady gait which I didn't explain at the beginning. Wearing a face mask with two hearing aids and a pair of glasses is dreadful. I have difficulty putting the loops around my ears and at the same time, I have to make sure that my hearing aids stay in place so they don't fall out of my ears - I can't afford to lose them because they are new to me and invaluable too. I then have to put on my pair of spectacles. Now you can see why I was against the face covering rule for people with hearing aids.

Thankfully we will no longer require face coverings because it's finally coming to the end of the Coronavirus restrictions on 1st March 2022.

To see the original article that inspired this see https://bylinetimes.com/2022/01/14/the-highs-and-lows-of-2021-a-disabled-persons-perspective/

If you are inspired to write something for us to publish please email trevor.powell@ipswichlibdems.org.uk

A photo of Conrad with his lockdown hair.

Conrad with lockdown hair