Believe It or Not. . .

Believe it or not, I am thriving and grateful for this time of “safer at home” isolation! Prior to self-isolation being strongly encouraged, I was wondering if I would have to take time off from work due to my disease status. I work as a parish nurse in a church and had already been curtailing my visits.

Deciding to work from home due to coronavirus

Then came the day where I was no longer comfortable going to my church office because of the COVID-19 virus. I basically told my Pastor that I was going to work from home. Period! No discussion. I would make calls from home, continue daily research on the virus, coordinate needs and be the point of contact for the members over 55.

Setting up a home office

Easier said than done. I came home and began setting up a home office. First, I had to clean off the kitchen table—YIKES! That took 4 hours. I have never been a stellar housekeeper. I’ve only gotten worse with rheumatoid disease and fibromyalgia.

Then I set up my laptop, only to find that my office program was not working. The program told me to update it. Every time I attempted to update it, it told me I couldn’t! I am tech-savvy and am great with software. You can imagine my irritation when I couldn’t figure out the problem. Finally, after eight hours of haggling with my computer, I turned it off and called it a day.

More work from home problem solving

It’s amazing what a night of sleep will do. The next morning, I decided to start over and download (and pay for) a new office subscription. When it finished downloading, it wouldn’t work! That’s when I realized that Microsoft no longer automatically removes your old programs when it installs a new one. I searched again and found out I had 3 office programs on my laptop!! I finally got rid of those, shut down for 10 minutes and restarted.

All is well, right? Wrong. Now the computer updates so everything will work correctly. I had not done updates in 15 months. Three hours later, my computer finally works! Now for the wireless printer I had never hooked up. Fortunately, this went well, except when I realized I cannot fax because I do not have a phone line. Some day in the future, I will check out e-faxing. If anyone has information on e-faxing, I would be grateful.

Brain fog kept me from finding solutions quickly

As I pondered the brain fog that kept me from finding solutions more quickly, I realized my RA was not under control at all. I had been on a new medication for seven months and it was obviously not working. It wasn’t just work that was draining me.

Switching medications to help with symptoms

As I waited for my medication change appointment with my rheumatologist, I was relieved to be making phone calls from my couch. My feet were up, my fluffy shawl and blankets were on, and my dogs were cuddling. I spend about three hours a day on the computer, the rest on phone calls. Relief! Just the fact that I could go to work in my pajamas with my feet up made a huge difference. Even though I am an extrovert, I am an introvert when I don’t feel well.

When I went for my medication change, I had a long list of symptoms. My rheumatologist and I discussed several options and came to an agreement. Thirteen days on the new medication, and I am already seeing improvement. Swelling is down, pain is manageable, sleep is improved, and mood is better. I am carefully optimistic.

What has “safer at home” meant to you?


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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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