Single parents - how do I prep for if I'm ill?

(13 Posts)
bathsh3ba Tue 17-Nov-20 11:59:47

My DD11 woke up with a cough and generally feeling meh this morning, so I've booked her a test and we are isolating. This follows from what was either a stye or eyelid infection yesterday. Will be her 4th test since the pandemic began and it's not been positive yet, but this time around I'm somehow more nervous about catching it myself. Maybe because cases are rising in our area.

Anyway, I'm 38, BMI hovers around 40 but other than that no complicating factors other than that I have psoriasis, which could theoretically trigger a cytokine storm as it's an auto-immune condition, but I'm told by my GP I'm 'medium risk' not high risk.

So I doubt I'd end up in hospital but I am worried I might end up bedridden for a few days and I'm a single parent. My daughters are 11 and 13 so not babies, and they can e.g. run a bath, put a wash on, prepare a simple meal. They also know how to call an ambulance or the doctor or get help from a neighbour.

How do I prep as best I can from already being isolated to make sure that if I do catch it, we have in what we need to get by if I'm bedridden? I've never been ill enough to take to my bed for more than a morning or afternoon since they were born....

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Enough4me Tue 17-Nov-20 12:02:57

Who is in your normal support bubble - family or friends?
I think 11 and 13 is ok in the day with support for cooking and washing, but too young for long periods or overnight so I would wonder of you have someone who could stay over?

TheGreatWave Tue 17-Nov-20 12:17:01

Is it a senior school 11 year old?

Make sure you have, if possible, a couple of weeks worth of food in and are up to date with medication supplies.

Do you have any support in the area that could at least drop fresh food off?

At 11 and 13 they should be able to muddle along with you in the house as well.

bathsh3ba Tue 17-Nov-20 12:19:41

My normal support bubble would be my parents, who are in good health but 65+. Or the girls' dad but he considers himself to be vulnerable due to asthma, so I couldn't really ask either.

Under normal circumstances I'd happily leave the girls for a couple of hours in the day but certainly not overnight or for a whole day. But this is kinda different as I'd be here but incapacitated....

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bathsh3ba Tue 17-Nov-20 12:21:01

Yes she's Y7 but only just, she turned 11 in July. Our local shop will deliver and I'm involved in the local church so sure someone from there would drop a food parcel. The doctor's surgery will deliver prescriptions.

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Enough4me Tue 17-Nov-20 12:28:06

You could talk with the 13 year old about a plan, and keep it straightforward.

Stage 1, you can still talk and therefore continue as normal (ignore housework, eat sandwiches and noodles etc.) but you stay in your room and rest.
Stage 2, she feels unsure, she calls a designated person for advice (this is the person you prep and pass parental responsibility to if need be).
Stage 3, she thinks you suddenly look quite ill, she phones 999 then the designated person.

bathsh3ba Tue 17-Nov-20 12:31:23

@Enough4me, that's a good idea, though she can be a bit of a worrier but for some reason COVID isn't worrying her!

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Lotsachocolateplease Tue 17-Nov-20 12:36:44

Like the plan from @Enough4me
Also get a big food shop in and meal prep and freeze ahead. Make soups and stews and bolognaise etc that are easy to reheat if you don’t have the energy.

INeedNewShoes Tue 17-Nov-20 12:39:57

I've thought a bit about this sort of scenario.

My situation is different as DD is much younger so there would be a different cut off point at which I'd have no choice but to send her to someone else's house to be looked after but in the scenario that I'm well enough to be able to look after her at home but can't do much I'd thought I could ask friends to bring ready-to-eat hot meals over for DD.

I've also made sure that some extremely low effort meals are on hand at home (pasta and sauce, tinned soup etc.) that I could cook for her and have been batch cooking and freezing shepherds pie type meals.

I've taught DD how to make a sandwich, get her own cereal + milk and a glass of tap water.

The thing I think is most important is that the DC would get a daily phone call from another adult asking how things are going in case they're worried about you.

And a very clear plan as to when help would have to be sought and who from.

If I thought I was coming down with Covid I would pack a bag for DD in case someone needed to come and take DD to their place for a few days.

At the start of the pandemic I wrote a document with all important info needed for looking after DD (list of contact numbers for people who she'd be happy to be looked after by, details about medical conditions, upcoming hospital appointments, bedtime routine etc.).

Disorganisedfish Tue 17-Nov-20 12:55:07

I had Covid a few months ago and am a single parent with an 8 year old. I had it about 4 weeks in total, and there were definitely a few days I have no recollection of at all as I was just so bloody poorly. That said, most people ARE fine, and even at my worst I managed.

Things that helped me:

School video called my son once a day and did some virtual lessons with him where they plonked the laptop at back of the room and he participated that way.

My mum brought a cooked evening meal to my doorstep every evening for my son. I didn’t want to eat, but knowing he had something nutritious once a day was a big relief.

‘Easy’ food that I got on a supermarket delivery that he could grab himself. I didn’t want him to use the toaster or anything if I wasn’t with it (it would have worried him) so I ordered pain su chocolates for breakfast, grabbable fruit that doesn’t need prepping, Ready meals for when I was a bit better.

My sons dad doesn’t see him (he’s abroad) but started video calling on his lunch break and in the evening just to give him some company and to check he was okay / I was okay. I wrote down a list of people he felt happy to call as well in case he needed help / I deteriorated.

Have a back up plan. I thought I may need to goto hospital at one point and knew my mum couldn’t have Ds as she is vulnerable. I asked a school friend - and acknowledged it was a big ask because of the risk. People will help, don’t feel bad for taking it!

Buy half of Argos...... I spent a fortune on Lego / art stuff / computer games etc. Ds found it hard - I slept so much, he was entertaining himself a lot. I used the emergency credit card because it was a case of trying to keep him positive.

Lower your standards - huge one this. I felt massive guilt that I couldn’t look after ds ‘properly’ but you know what? No one prepares you for parenting in a global pandemic when you haven’t got the energy to get out of bed. There will be an end in sight, so just do what you have to do to try get through it.

Good luck!

Xenia Tue 17-Nov-20 12:58:39

Also buy in advance f you don't have - pain killers and a thermometer (and possibly one of those oxygen meter things which cost about £40).

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Tue 17-Nov-20 13:01:00

Iceland are ace in this instance free delivery once you spend £25 so you don't have to do a massive shop. They only have a small range of fresh stuff but it does in a pinch. I've saved my 'emergency shop' on my account, bread, milk, eggs, cereals, soup, frozen meals, apples, bananas, yogurts, medicine. Then if I'm ill or can't get to a shop I can just go into my account and order it, normally with next day delivery.

bathsh3ba Tue 17-Nov-20 13:09:47

Some good ideas here, thanks, feeling calmer already. I'll agree a plan with my 13yo and she can call her grandparents/dad or go to one of our neighbours if she is worried. One of the things our church is always brilliant at is delivering homecooked meals to those who are sick, I've volunteered meals many times so I'm sure someone would leave a couple of nutritious meals on the doorstep for the girls if I asked.

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