I tested positive for COVID after living in a bubble for literally four years. I’ve been such a hermit, wore my mask when no one else did, avoided crowds and felt serious social anxiety most of the time, but it finally got me. My COVID free bubble has popped.
When the news hit a few years ago and “diabetes” and “high risk people” were buzz words, my mental health took a serious beating. I posted a FB LIVE around that time to share how scared I was for me and others living with Type 1 diabetes. We were the very top tier of those who could lose their lives.
I won’t dwell on this much, but want to share the play by play once testing positive.
It all started with a trip to Austin, Texas to visit a friend’s daughter and to spend time with a few other folks in the area. During the five day adventure, I spent the night in three different homes, all of which were very accommodating and conscience of my diabetes.
On the last leg of the trip we rolled into the Hills of NE Austin and met up with a friend whose eight year old son was at a bowling alley fundraiser. I was immediately trepidatious to be around all things small children (aka bags of germs), but we were only there for a quick glass of wine and moved along to a crowded local restaurant for dinner. We had a great time and stayed up late catching up on life.
The next morning we headed to his last basketball game where I was again, surrounded by little ones. It was one hell of a game and worth the outing even if I was nervous. The remainder of the trip involved outdoor shopping, way too much bar food, brunch and a farmer’s market before heading back to Oklahoma. Everyone throughout the trip was kind of sniffly, but I chalked it up to allergy season.
On the six hour drive home I felt a little achy, but who wouldn’t after sleeping in various beds. The next morning I started my day and headed to Costco to do a little shopping. I’ll never forget sneezing, mouth covered, in the refrigerated produce section and had a thought pop up – “what if I have COVID?“. It wasn’t that I thought I had it, but I sneezed in a small space and worried about others.
An hour later and after visiting a friend’s dad to help with his Dexcom, I was home and felt overwhelmingly tired. Still – not thinking I have COVID, I’m just tired from the trip. I took a nap and as the evening went on, I make the call to cancel all Valentine’s Day plans because I needed rest.
Around 3am I woke up in excruciating pain all over my body like shards of glass were being poked into every muscle. I had the chills and my teeth were chattering. I got up, turned up the heat, grabbed an extra blanket and took a bit of a CBD edible to help me sleep.
At noon the next day it took everything I had to get out of bed. I’m no stranger to sleeping in, but I literally could not get out of bed. I attempted to fix a light breakfast, but started to feel nauseous so I posted up on the couch with a few blankets. Around 2pm I called my sister, who is an ER nurse, and she insisted I do a home COVID test. Within in seconds my biggest fear was staring me in the face – I was positive. Ironically, no one else on this trip got sick, but everyone had already had it.
I took my temperature, 101.9 and reported back to my sister. She kindly reminded me that not eating was not an option for me so I heated up some broth. Mind you, my blood sugar was over 200 and I hadn’t eaten at that point for more than 18 hours. I knew the virus had set in and it was time to fight.
My family and friends dropped off food, meds, magazines and what not on my porch to make my situation as pleasant as possible. I began a journal to document the following per the request of my medical team.
- Blood Sugar
- Insulin Dosage if Necessary
- Any Side Effects
All of this really went down on Tuesday morning and I did exactly what was asked of me. Now that the worst is behind me, it has been interesting to see how my T1D body responded to the virus’ attack on my body. Below are a few observations and notes.
- Temperature stayed elevated from 99.4 – 101.9 for over 48 hours.
- I took three total Tylenol and one Aleve.
- Insulin was like water.
- I gave twice as much insulin for meals.
- I gave random boluses around the clock to hopefully bring my BG down. Didn’t work.
- My BG really rose at night, but this was a pattern that has been lingering for awhile now because of a shift in hormones.
- I did a self induced low BG with the help of Afrezza. Sorry medical team, but I needed to know if I could get it down.
- I remained cold most of the day.
- Mild to medium chest congestion.
- Phelgm remained clear so I didn’t worry about an infection.
- I used CBD edibles which made a world of difference in muscle pain and problems sleeping.
By Thursday evening I felt almost back to normal with the exception of a light cough.
While I sat in my home alone, for six days, I had plenty of time to reflect.
- One of my biggest fears had finally been faced and I was okay.
- Knowing my blood sugar and temperature were elevated was a reminder as to how hard my body was working to heal.
- It is okay to rest and sit in silence.
- The hard work I put in every day (diet, exercise, diabetes management, etc.) paid off.
- No one is promised tomorrow.
- I need to spend more quality time with my parents.
The most upsetting thing about testing positive was that it absolutely annihilated my time in range. I can’t help but wonder – if I had an insulin pump, would it have tackled this high blood sugar scenario?
Damn you insurance for fighting me on a tool that can absolutely prevent LONG TERM complications.
That story if for another day and one that is coming soon. I have a LOT to say!