What a time to have to write a report, week 3 of the level 4 lockdown.
Firstly an update on how Spinal Support is operating during the lockdown. We are lucky to have managed to have Anita and Yash working from home using laptops to remote view to the office computers and data base. This all seems to be working fine most of the time. Lee and Sally are also working from home, doing their best to stay in contact with the Spinal Unit patients, using phone, text, Skype, or other forms of FaceTime. Where this is not ideal, it’s the best we can do for now. It has been particularly hard when new patients are admitted, that we haven’t met in person yet. You can imagine how hard it must be going through the unit right now with no visitors allowed and our Peer Support is only via electronic means. It’s far from ideal. Although I must say, I did feel very relieved once the Spinal Support staff were all set up, and I knew our staff would be safer at home. The last thing I wanted was for someone to get sick, or worst still, introduce the virus to the unit.
As it is for all of us, what the future looks like for Spinal Support is still uncertain. We do hope we can still train more Peer Supporters who can operate in the community as our Buddy system used to work, just with better training, and office support. We hope our regional gathering can start up again too. Only time will tell.
During this time I have been pondering a thought I been having- Does having a Spinal Cord Impairment (SCI) help to prepare you for a Pandemic? And if so – Is it because we are more used to going through hard times? Or is it we are more used to being isolated? I can’t make my mind up. Some days I think it could be. Other days like yesterday, when the nurse is coming and she doesn’t have PPE gear yet, and I’m worried she might burst my whanau’s bubble. During these times I think it’s harder. I then try to distract myself from these thoughts by doing some painting or other hobby, or listen to a Podcast or Audio book. I must admit my headphones have been getting plenty of use lately.
What I do know is everyone is affected in some way, and we’re all doing our best to forge through.
Please Stay safe
Kind Regards Brendan Tourelle
Spinal Support President