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Pain Chronicles: Right Now, I Need the Sunflower

Pain Chronicles is a monthly(-ish) column from Caroline McDonagh-Darwin about coming to terms with living with a chronic illness. It will include funny stories and brutal honesty, with some thrown in chats with her mum Shaz, and other friends too, along the way.

When mask wearing became mandatory in July last year, I was mostly still not leaving the house. We’re a high risk family, and I felt the government were too hasty in unlocking everything.

When I did have to pop to the shops, I’d don a reusable mask (trying to combat waste) and more often than not I’d only just finish my shopping before having to run outside to fresh air to stave off a panic attack. Face shields were slightly better, although they did elicit some funny looks, and there was still an issue with allodynia where the sponge rested on my forehead.