Life during COVID-19 has been one of great change for all of us, yet for a category of people deemed vulnerable, it has been more isolating and confusing.
Such was the case with Ilona Debattista. Initially diagnosed with multiple scerosis a decade ago, this has been a well-guarded secret until now. Launching a blog detailing the successes, difficulties and life of an MS sufferer, Ilona hopes this platform will help others feel empowered: "the aim is to help sufferers like me feel less alone, less scared, less vulnerable and I think there is no better time than now for that, when tensions are high and we are being labeled as vulnerable by society at large," she wrote in her blog.
A wife, mum and trainee Gestalt psychotherapist, Ilona was among the recipients of a government letter advising her to stay home due to her condition: "It suddenly feels like its MS that can kill me, because if I didn’t have MS, I would have never received that damn letter at the age of 36," she wrote in a blogpost titled We Are Warriors.
Although aches, pains, hospital appointments, psychotherapist appointments, blood tests, routine tests, a few mental break downs, MRI tests, strong treatment and dealing with their side effects all take their toll, Ilona continued that: "right now, all that truly sounds, just fine! That battle, was at the very least, a battle we knew, a battle we fought well and I dare say, were even winning!"
Ilona passes some words of support to those reading: "If you had hopes and dreams and plans that seem to have been jolted because of Covid19, hang in there. Stop. Truly, stop for a second. Breathe. Ground yourself, and despite it all, look around you, you’re safe, you’re ok and know, that this too shall pass."
"Focus on what you can control, and that, right now, is staying home. So stay home, wait, stay safe till it does pass and prepare to fight harder for those dreams and plans you had 9 weeks ago. Stay strong for them. Stay healthy for them, you have to, because we are warriors and warriors fight, it’s what we do and we do it well, so we sure as hell aren’t about to stop fighting now!"
She concludes her post by asking people to stay safe at home where possible and practise social distancing: "in so doing, you help not only yourself, but each and every 'vulnerable' wife, husband, mother or father, son or daguther, sister or brother out there, stay safe too. So be considerate, be kind, be respectful. The only way we can do this is if we do it together. Together, we are stronger as a nation, as human beings, those vulnerable and the ones a little less so," she concluded.
You can follow Ilona's blog here.