I dithered over whether it was acceptable to write this, but this is my site at the end of the day and my space to write whatever I want. The purpose of this post is not to provide advice, it is purely a document of my thoughts and the steps my family have made when it comes to coping with diabetes during these uncertain times.

Self-Isolation Guidance

Last week the announcement came that those over the age of 70 and with underlying health conditions should be self isolating for the next 12 weeks. While I appreciate the premise behind that, I have (or rather – I had!) taken the decision to not follow those guidelines. That is not because I think the guidance was wrong – but because I know my bodies personal response.

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, just over 7 years ago, I had ketones of 0.7 (I think). My blood glucose levels were off the chart, but despite me having all the classic symptoms of type 1 diabetes my actual ketone level was low. I have never had ketones about 0.3 since that day – even in the height of tonsilitis or some pretty nasty colds. I am pretty unusual in that respect, but in general ketones are not something I fear.

The reports we are seeing in the news list “diabetes” under a blanket heading. I have been informed that most of them are referring to people over the age of 70 with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. I am 30 years old with pretty tightly controlled type 1 – it is like comparing apples and oranges.

So while I course planned of observe social distancing, I didn’t plan to self isolate. I was still taking my kids to nursery, going to the supermarket and going about my day – just with a metre of space and a ton of extra handwashing.

Houses drawn on paper with people drawn on paper in them, to indicate social distancing and isolation
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Then The Unexpected Happened

I didn’t anticipate the kids would get ill. I am fairly confident that neither of them actually have covid-19, but they both became unwell on Sunday afternoon. Piglet had a fever of 39.7 and so immediately we were thrown into isolation. It has been 4 days now. We’re keeping busy and generally it’s ok. I miss the social aspects of our lives but it’s not forever.

We have another 10 days to go, and they are dragging at the moment. The schools are now closing from this weekend and things are changing. I won’t be alone in having the kids at home with me and it feels like more people are in the same boat.

Diabetes Preparation

I haven’t actually taken any steps to prepare for isolation or a lockdown from a diabetes point of view. I do need to place an order for my prescriptions, but this is because I have genuinely started to reach the point in my medication where I need more – not because I am stockpiling.

It has been requested that we do not stockpile insulin or blood glucose measuring supplies. There is no shortage of medication in the UK, but if we start to be silly with our personal stores we will create a problem.

I have taken a moment to brush up on my sick day rules. It’s not something I’ve ever really used so a little refresher was in order. I hope it won’t be needed and that my blood sugar will cooperate if/when I get the virus but you can never be too prepared.

A woman turned side on to face the camera wearing a freestyle libre and bubble for managing her type 1 diabetes
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Am I Worried?

My mood changes multiple times a day. I am not worried about me or my immediate family contracting corona virus. JHogg and the boys are pretty healthy, although JJ has been in hospital a few times for respiratory issues when he’s unwell. I do have fears for our extended family though, elderly relatives and so on.

My main concern is for the unknown, and for the changes to life as we know it. I already know of a few people who have lost their jobs, small business that have had to close and my own clients are having to cancel contracts. JHogg is still working for now, but that is not guaranteed in the long run.

It’s a funny old time and I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better – but I hope we have a clearer idea of what the future holds soon.

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