COVID-19: a confined nurse with Type 1 diabetes

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Hello everyone, welcome to my editorial 🙂 My name is Stéphanie, I’m 42  years old, I’m a nurse, and I’ve been living with Type 1 diabetes for 27 years, and I also became a mother in 2017, of a child living with T1D.

For months the virus has been spreading in a majority of countries in the world which, one after the other, requires people to, as much as possible, remain confined to their homes in order to limit the proliferation of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

Life as a nurse in confinement

The confinement of the population has changed working conditions for everyone. I’m a nurse, I work in a French care facility, and my job requires me to be in the field. The organization of my department has been adapted to ensure the continuity of care and to safeguard staff.

However, health authorities have established vulnerability criteria, identifying people whose health status puts them at risk for developing a severe form of coronavirus. Type 1 diabetes is included on this list (as we’re constantly being told by the media…).

My supervisors have therefore decided to protect me. I am now confined at home for a minimum of 21 days – on sick leave, because working from home is a bit complicated for me… But it’s for my own good!

As a health professional, it’s hard for me not to be involved in fighting this war. Even if I don’t work in an emergency room or an intensive care unit, all patients need care, and someone, somewhere, needs my help.

What do you do when you’re a nurse confined during COVID-19? 

Well, first of all, I have to put things into perspective, remain calm, and above all, take care of myself and my loved ones…

As a healthcare professional, as a nurse, my situation has completely changed. I need to stay connected socially and professionally. I need to feel useful and to be active, despite the physical distance. So, I keep up to date with news from the field by remaining in regular contact – from a distance – with my team. I have to show them that I’m here for them and support them every day, because I feel like I’ve abandoned them a little. 

This coronavirus epidemic also reminds me that I’m “sick,” even though for the past 28 years, I’ve been trying to look at my Type 1 diabetes as a strength, and not a handicap. This time is disturbing for me because it makes me see my Type 1 diabetes as a weakness, since I’m a fighter, altruistic and strong-willed.

Help health professionals by staying home!

COVID-19 can affect anyone, young, old, sick, healthy, active or sedentary. So my goal, besides protecting myself as best as I can, is to stay in good shape in order to be ready for the post-coronavirus period and thus to join in helping my colleagues who have been at the forefront during the height of this health crisis.

For people living with Type 1 diabetes, I know that balancing blood sugar levels is especially difficult in these confined conditions.

So, although this advice is very conventional, it’s still very important: we must balance our diet as much as possible and do our best not to deviate from it. We must also be more imaginative about being active and exercising in our – now greatly restricted – confined spaces. 

Don’t forget, for your health and the health of your loved ones, follow the virus prevention guidelines

Dear readers, dear friends, to whom I address these few lines, take care of yourself by remaining in confinement at home. Help us defeat COVID-19.

We can do this together! #stayathome 

Best regards, 

Stef

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