As many people in New South Wales look forward to increased freedoms from next week, there are others who would prefer to stay home.
Author and mum-of-two, Stephanie Thompson, feels increasingly anxious knowing that life is about to get a lot busier. Stephanie experienced a traumatic childbirth injury in 2015 that changed her body and her life forever.
"Before we went into lockdown in July 2021, I planned my life to the letter," Stephanie told Mamamia.
"I have a pelvic organ prolapse (POP) which means that from the moment I wake up, I have about two hours pain-free before the prolapse slips down.
"During those two hours, I usually try to do as much as I can for the household. That means preparing dinner, getting myself and the kids ready and doing the round trip required for school and pre-school drop offs."
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After her busy morning, the former triathlete and teacher returns home exhausted, taking time to rest before she can contemplate working.
"The pain of the prolapse is so bad that I have to lie down, or at least sit down for the day before I can find the energy to go and collect the kids by 3pm.
"By the time we return from pickup, the kids need afternoon tea and I supervise until my husband Tom gets home from work just after 5.30pm.
"On weekends or days where I have to add in other plans like school carnivals or birthday parties, then I need Tom to help me. I can’t physically do it without support and while Tom’s work in IT is flexible, it does put a lot of pressure on him.
"A lot of people don’t understand how hard it is to live with an invisible disability like POP."
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During lockdown, as the family remained at home, Stephanie says their quality of life actually improved.