Recently I did a talk at a school. One of the amazing Year 6 students asked me whether when I get sick with a cold or another condition that isn’t my skin condition, does it make my skin condition worse?
Such a great question -and very pertinent to what’s been happening for me these last two months.
Yes, my skin does get worse when I get an unrelated sickness.
I’ve had a weird respiratory virus, that I believe was RSV. I wear a mask when I’m out, work from home a lot, and have had multiple vaccines, but I still got sick. I had a sore throat, shivers, sniffles, sneezes and a runny nose, lots of coughing, fatigue and hot and cold spells. I am feeling much better now, thanks.
After a few days of feeling utterly rubbish, and resting as much as I could, my skin got sore. It was drier than usual, inflamed and painful, and I worried it would become infected, so I moisturised a lot more frequently, drank much more water than usual, took preventative antibiotics and had salt and oil baths. And then my period came – so it was a triple whammy! Ugh. As the virus passed, my skin cleared. But it meant my discomfort and miserableness increased, as my body was working much harder to get well. I wasn’t up to doing a lot more than sleeping and occasional reading books and watching TV that didn’t take a lot of brainpower. I really felt knocked around – and it’s taken a while to catch up on things I missed while being sick.
When the respiratory virus was at its worst, I had to call the ambulance, and I was clear that I would prefer to stay out of hospital as going into hospital can make me susceptible to more bugs. Luckily I could take care of myself and rest at home.
So when disabled people say that we worry about getting sick – with Covid, colds and flus and other communicable diseases, please take this seriously. An illness that is mild for non disabled people can have a huge impact on disabled people – exacerbating our existing conditions; lasting a long time; add another condition like Long Covid; and in some cases, can be fatal. Please take care around disabled people if you are sick – wear a mask, stay home if you’re unwell, wash your hands etc. work from home provisions and online events are also very helpful. Thank you.