General Article I felt powerless in the pandemic trying to get food and essentials while shielding

Topic Selected: Disabilities Book Volume: 393

By Melanie Duddridge

I’m Melanie, and I’m 48. I’m from Florida originally, but I moved to Wales 11 years ago to join my husband.

I myself am disabled and I can’t work. I have pretty severe Crohn’s disease, an autoimmune disease throughout the entire digestive system. The main symptoms I get are severe pain and upset stomach, and I’ve had quite a few major bowel surgeries.

I also have fibromyalgia, which came along after I had cancer in 2014. Fibromyalgia causes me pain throughout my entire body and limits my mobility, and because it’s chronic, it fluctuates. Some days, I can do more than others.

As a result of my fibromyalgia and Crohn’s, I also have chronic fatigue.

It’s a challenge to be a disabled mother. My daughter is under assessment for potential autism, but we’re still waiting on a final assessment and it has been delayed by years because of coronavirus. All these factors mean I rely on my husband quite a bit, he’s basically my carer.

Before the pandemic

Before the pandemic,...

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