My name’s Ami. I’m 25 and have hearing loss, central vision loss, and am a wheelchair user due to several rare illnesses.
I’m currently just over four months pregnant. This should have been a really exciting time for us, but with the virus, it made things far more scary.
We’d been trying for a while. Because of my health, I've got to be in isolation, but also needed to be closely monitored throughout my pregnancy.
My husband worked at a supermarket, but as I’m at risk, he stayed at home to support me too.
I initially had appointments over the phone, and then was able to go into hospital for scans. It was difficult because it was both exciting and scary, because of the virus.
I adapted quite quickly to isolation because of my past experiences
To begin with, the initial thought of being in lockdown was frightening. But I quickly realised how not that much would change for me.
Before this all happened, I stayed at home most of the time anyway. I only attended hospital appointments and weekly physio sessions, which I really miss. I went shopping maybe once a month.
I guess, because I’ve already got that experience of learning to adapt quite quickly, not much really changed for me.
One positive benefit of this situation I’ve noticed, is how service became more accessible for disabled people - like hospital appointments via Skype and things like that.
And throughout the experience so far, I've had regular email contact with my physiotherapist who sends me loads of exercises to try at home, to help me stay mobile.
Scope’s Online Community can prevent loneliness
Whilst everybody is isolated, I think we’re actually all coming together in new ways online.
Especially in times like these, Scope's Online Community has played a massive part in my life, and one thing is for sure, it can prevent loneliness.
The community is an accessible and inclusive online space for disabled people. Members can share experiences, gain advice and support, and many develop really strong friendships.
My online friend is supporting me during lockdown
I made a really good friend there. We only started speaking last year. I’ve always been in awe of her. We share the same sense of humour, and there have been many times we’ve had each other in tears from laughing so much.
She has supported me, as a friend, through so much these past few months, and I can’t imagine life without her. I might never get to meet her in-person, but I feel truly honoured to have her in my life.
She has kept me grounded and now knows me well enough to tell when I’m not okay. Likewise, I can tell when she isn’t herself. She really is amazing.
Friendships come and go, but it’s during the difficult times that you find out who really is there for you.
I think that’s the beauty of the online community, we all begin as strangers, but in time, we become friends, an online family even.
I’m really grateful to have my friends in the Online Community to keep me sane during these challenging times, and it’s great to know I have that support and advice there, should I need it in the weeks and months ahead.
My second scan and looking to the future
We have our second scan this Friday where we get to find if our 'little Avenger' is a boy or girl! We're planning to make a gender reveal video for our friends.
Overall, I'm doing OK. I'm feeling less nauseous and my appetite has come back with a vengeance! My husband Ewan started feeling a few nudges/kicks/movements the other day - only me who hasn't felt a kick yet, just a fluttering!
Coronavirus has been a disaster for disability equality. Support disabled people like Ami.
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