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Case study: Our Covid Year - Pam's Story

Our Covid Year

 My name is Pam Taylor and I’m a Senior Administrator working in Primary Care for the CRN West Midlands. It has always been a pretty straightforward job without too many surprises to upset the balance. However, as much as I love my predictable role, it hasn’t been anywhere nearly as exciting/challenging/emotional/upsetting/tiring and downright miserable, as it is now after having to deal with a pandemic - something none of us has had to deal with before.

For me, it all started on the 19 March when I was instructed to work from home from now on because the pandemic was getting worse. This didn’t seem such a bad thing to start with - of course things have changed quite considerably since then and I feel a little wiser!

My working life had been getting more difficult at that time because my husband was very unwell and in fact ended up in hospital, the Alexandra in Redditch to be precise. He had been there for two weeks when they decided he needed rehabilitation at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bromsgrove. Upon arrival there the hospital decided to carry out a Covid 19 test on him which proved positive. He was immediately put into quarantine in a side room and had to stay there for two weeks.

Fortunately he had no symptoms whatsoever, which was strange considering he has everything wrong with him - new heart valve, heart failure, pacemaker, CoPD, stage 4 kidney disease …..the list goes on. He wasn’t worried a bit, but I certainly was!

Well he made it, and came home but he still seemed very unwell and weak. I had had to get carers in prior to him going into hospital, to help me with getting him washed and dressed in the mornings and these visits started up again.

During this time, of course, I was still working and trying to deal with what I could whilst worrying about what was going to happen with the pandemic and to my husband.

Since those early days, we have now got into a new rhythm of life which encompasses me being a carer to my husband (and having carers in the mornings), and also a working wife (plus cook, housekeeper, gardener, general handyman, etc).

Life in our house has many ups and downs and I certainly miss being able to speak to colleagues face-to-face who were always able to lift my spirits when i needed it, and who could help me out with any work-related problems I had. Now we can only communicate via Google Meet/Zoom, or whatever, and although I have got used to it, I have to say it’s not really the same, and think I will always miss not being able to chat face-to-face.

I am fortunate in that I have many close friends who are in contact regularly and we often have online catch-ups which usually involves a glass or two of wine and can go on for quite some time! These do me the world of good and make me realise that we will all get through this challenging time and that things really can and will only get better.

I do, of course, feel a profound sadness about the huge number of people around the world who have lost their lives to this dreadful pandemic, but also at the same time, I am immensely proud of what we in the Network has achieved - I can’t imagine where would we be without the vaccines which have been created.

I am sure everyone has a little story to tell about this very strange time in our lives, and a lot of people I’m sure, may not have handled things well, and even had very sad times visited upon them. I can only speak for myself, but I feel blessed to still have my husband around, as there have been many times I didn’t think he would be, and that I have my job which really does keep me going through the still worrying times we have ahead over the next few months.

But I strongly feel - IT WILL GET BETTER!

By Pam Taylor, Senior Administrator
February 2021