In this challenging time, it is hard for us to balance and even determine what our priorities are as the external world is changing day to day. For people with diabetes, there is an additional layer of challenges – that darn disease that we keep hearing about every time the newscasters speak about COVID-19. What does that mean?
It simply means that if your diabetes is out of control, then you are higher risk for having a harder time if you are exposed to the virus. But wait, don’t let that be the end of the story. The American Diabetes Association advises that when your diabetes is well managed, your risk of getting very sick from COVID-19 are about the same as the general population.
As a diabetes educator, I know that the challenges of balancing your medications, activities, food, sleep are time consuming and frankly quite a drag. Now is not the time to let your diabetes drag you down. It is important that you put your health first. Just like being on a plane when the flight attendant says, “If you are traveling with children, put your oxygen mask on first, and then turn to your children” – the same applies to you. Put your diabetes first, and then you are prepared to fight COVID-19 and be available to meet all those other priorities that are showing up in your day.
With social isolation, the challenge for support in the “diabetes daily decisions” can be relieved using the many technology-based solutions that are available – some of which may be sitting on your closet shelf. Dust them off and start using them – whether it’s that blood glucose meter, activity tracker, or smartphone app. Use this time for a self-tutorial or go online for the many resources that are available. Make it a game for yourself or find one of the diabetes peer support communities (see below) and connect with a “buddy.” These groups can provide you plenty of support and “how to” for making those day to day decisions easier.
May I suggest that you start your day by thinking of three things that you are grateful for and end your day by thanking yourself for three things you did to keep yourself healthy. At Welldoc we are grateful for you, for the attention you pay to your health, and for all you are doing to help keep our country safe.
Malinda Peeples, RN, MS, CDE
SVP, Clinical Services
Past President ADCES (formerly AADE)