SELF-ISOLATING AND ENDOMETRIOSIS

 

If you are a close contact of someone with COVID or have COVID yourself, you’ll need to self-isolate. It can be useful to make a plan for this, which also considers how you will manage your endometriosis symptoms at this time. 

 

While self-isolation can bring some challenges, preparation can help to alleviate stress and to assist with a smooth recovery while keeping those around you safe. 

Useful items for self-isolation

Safety


  • Masks

  • Gloves

  • Hand sanitiser

  • Disinfectant

  • Clean drinking water

  • Rubbish bags

  • Cleaning products




Cough / throat / sinus


  • Tissues

  • Kawakawa or other balm

  • Iceblocks

  • Vicks for steaming

  • Bowl and towel for head steaming or vaporiser

  • Oximeter

  • Throat spray

  • Throat probiotics

  • Throat lozenges

  • Saline nasal rinse

  • Saline nasal spray




Fever


  • Panadol
  • Nurofen
  • Electrolytes
  • Thermometer
  • Cool packs
  • Warm clothes




Self care


  • Phone / tablet / computer chargers
  • Easy to heat meals
  • Bone broth
  • Vitamin C
  • Sleep drops
  • Vitamin D
  • Peppermint or ginger tea
  • Zinc
  • Magnesium
  • Epsom bath salts




Aches


  • Extra pillows
  • Extra blankets
  • Heat packs
  • Sinus relief




Consult with doctor


  • Oxygen levels
  • Antihistamines
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Straws or balloons for lung exercises
  • Box breathingBreath work
  • Inhalers
  • Steroids
  • Supplements
  • When to go to hospital




Mental wellbeing


  • Puzzles
  • Colouring-in books
  • Books
  • Notebook
  • Playing cards
  • Podcasts
  • Netflix / Disney+ / Neon / TV on demand
  • Soothing music




Information for others


  • Self isolation house plan
  • Child care plan
  • Emergency contact list
  • Medication list
  • Dietary requirements





Managing self-isolation with others in the house

Separate yourself from other people and animals in your house


As much as possible, you should stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your house.

You should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, or bedding with other people or pets in your home. After use, these items should be washed thoroughly.

Consider purchasing an extra set of these household items and storing them away ready for use in case someone contracts COVID-19.




Wear a facemask


If other people need to enter your room, all should wear a facemask. Try to not handle the facemask too much as it can then become a source of transmission. Masks should be changed whenever they become damp with use and at least daily. Reusable masks should be thoroughly washed and completely dried.




Clean your hands often and thoroughly


Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, going to the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, covering all surfaces of your hands and rubbing them together until they feel dry. Soap and water are the best option if hands are visibly dirty.




Separate your rubbish in a lined and lidded bin


Ensure you have a lined lidded/pedal bin in the room you are staying in, and dispose of your tissues, disposable masks and gloves only in this bin. Handle carefully when disposing of the liner, making sure hands are washed thoroughly afterwards.




Cover your cough and sneezes


Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw used tissues in the dedicated bin and immediately clean your hands.




Bathroom


If you can, use a separate bathroom. If there isn’t another bathroom in your house, use the toilet and bathroom after everyone else. Have a cleaning station in the bathroom with disposable gloves, cleaning spray or wipe and cloths. Once you have used the bathroom, wearing a clean pair of disposable gloves clean all the surfaces you have touched, including doorknobs. Take care to not touch any surfaces whilst wearing the gloves when you move from the bathroom to your room.




Bedroom


If you do need to share a bedroom with someone:

  • Make sure the room has good air flow. Open a window and turn on a fan to bring in fresh air.
  • If sharing a bed – sleep ‘top and tail’ with heads at opposite ends and have your own top sheets and duvet covers.
  • If sleeping in separate beds in the same room – if possible, place beds at least six feet apart and put a curtain or other physical divider to separate the bed of the person who is sick from other beds. For example, you might use a shower curtain, room screen divider, large cardboard poster, quilt, or large bedspread.




Kitchen


Someone else in the house should prepare your food and leave it at the door of the room you are staying in, leaving the food and drink at the door and moving at least 2 metres away before you open the door to collect.

Once you have finished with dishes, glasses, cups and utensils, leave them outside your room and the person collecting them should wear a mask and disposable gloves when collecting and wash them immediately with soap and water, or by placing items in the dishwasher.

If using a dishwasher, ensure that no-one removes things from the dishwasher until everything inside has gone through the dishwasher cycle. Disposable gloves should be worn when placing items in the dishwasher and a new pair put on to then clean the dishwasher handle and surfaces in the kitchen that have been touched, with cleaning spray or wipe and cloths.

Gloves should be disposed of in a lined pedal bin, wrapped separately if this is a shared bin.




Laundry


Keep your laundry separate from other members of the household and if someone else is doing your washing they should wear gloves and a mask when placing the laundry in the washing machine. The person should dispose of the gloves immediately after and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.




'High-touch' surfaces


A person that is not sick in the household should clean high-touch surfaces everyday such as kitchen counters, table tops, doorknobs and other commonly touched surfaces. If the bathroom is being shared with the person with COVID-19, bathroom fixtures, surfaces and the toilet should be cleaned after the person with COVID-19 has used the facilities. Wear disposable gloves when cleaning and use a household cleaning spray or wipe, according to the label instructions.





Managing your endometriosis in self-isolation

Managing your symptoms


You may want to consider adding the following items to your preparation kit to help manage your endometriosis symptoms:

  • A document detailing your medical background and any medications you usually take in relation to your endometriosis
  • Hot water bottle
  • Extra heat packs and / or cool packs
  • Heat patches
  • Additional menstrual products
  • Extra Panadol and / or Nurofen
  • Extra peppermint or ginger tea
  • TENS machine, which may reduce contact with others compared with having to heat a hottie or wheat bag




Sleep


Try to maintain regular sleeping patterns, and aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Rest is extremely important for your COVID-19 recovery, and for those with endometriosis sleep is important for overall wellbeing.




Diet


While you may lose your appetite with COVID-19, eating nutrient-rich foods will be important for your recovery. Maintain the eating habits that work for your endometriosis symptoms and avoid any known triggers, for example sugar, caffeine, alcohol.

If there are any foods that can trigger your endometriosis symptoms, write these down for other people to be aware of, especially those preparing meals for you.

It can be useful to have a list of the staples and particular beneficial foods you buy at the supermarket, for those going grocery shopping for you.




Movement and exercise


Rest is crucial in recovery from COVID-19 while light exercise can also help manage your endometriosis symptoms. Try gentle yoga stretches in the morning and evening as well as moving around your room to keep active.




Mental wellbeing


Your mental wellbeing is important and self-isolating may impact how you feel. Below are some ways to stay positive during self-isolation:

  • Keep in touch with your family and friends
    It is so important to keep in touch with loved ones for support. Even if you can’t physically be together there are many different digital platforms out there that you can use to stay in touch – Zoom, Facetime, Microsoft Teams, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger which can be accessed on your phone or tablet via an app or using your web browser on a desktop computer or laptop.

  • Try some meditation and mindfulness
    Meditation can help if you are experiencing anxiety or are finding your stress levels to be heightened during self-isolation. There are some great Apps out there such as Headspace and Calm, which walk you through you the skills of meditation and mindfulness. Adult colouring in can also generate mindfulness, with journaling can be useful to help process your experiences.

  • Learn something new
    If you have some energy, you may want to try something new; is there a hobby you have always wanted to try but never had the time? There are many hobbies you can start at home, with supplies easily accessible online. Maybe you want to take up knitting or crochet? Or paint or draw? Track down your family history? Try some creative writing? You could find an online class to learn a new language or coding. Try to make some preparations for new activities in advance.

  • Keep your brain stimulated
    Try and keep your brain stimulated to keep your positivity levels up and reduce any anxiety you may experience from spending time on your own. Indoor activities you could try include doing puzzles, colouring or activity books such as word searches and brain teasers. Ideally try activities which are tactile rather than on a screen.