Italy and Spain: living with t1 diabetes during Coronavirus
In collaboration with Diabefem.com
This article is a collaboration between Cronacheditipo1 and the spanish website diabefem.it. When we realised that the Coronavirus emergency was going to affect all Eurpope and not only Italy, we thought that it could be interesting to share our stories during lockdown. Here we are, Diabefem and Cronache team all togheter, at home and talking about how we are living this time.
My brother in law is a news agency correspondent in Beijing. He couldn’t come home for Christmas, so he was here on holidays for the Chinese New Year and when he left Madrid at the end of January we were so worried about him. Now, he’s worried about us, his family in Madrid. And he’s right to be.
FOMO (“Fear os missing out”) is real these days. We’ve gone from looking for ideas about things to do in this lockdown, to have too many online activities. Too much overinformation, too many IG lives, too many sports at home, too many work or homework. That’s why I think it’s important to put our mental health (and of course our general health) as a priority. Love yourself, listen to yourself, take care of yourself and those around you, allow yourself to do nothing sometimes, disconnect from the news, think about the positive changes that will come for us as a society. Create and plan a schedule of our routine, live in the moment (practise mindfulness, so anxiety won’t increase) and enjoy the little things. Joy of missing out (JOMO) is sometimes necessary.
As a person with type one diabetes, one of the things I’m trying to do to manage my diabetes the best I can in these tough moments, is of course doing youtube workouts at home and practising yoga, since I know the stress and anxiety can make my blood glucoses go up or down. My routine these days is: working from home (many people from the company I work for have been temporary fired, and they’ve changed me to a Department I was working in the past, so it’s been kind of stressing), do workouts/yoga, do something I love everyday, cuddle my cats and stay in touch with my friends and family in the distance. And dreaming about the day we’ll hug each other again.
Two months ago my doctors changed my immunosuppression treatment and they reminded me again that as a risk patient I have to be very careful, since I am especially at risk in case of respiratory infection.
I was following the news that warned of what was about to come in Madrid, although everyone underestimated them I’ve always kept in mind that I must take care of myself twice. Despite the significant increase in cases in the city where I live, Madrid, they suspended classes too late. At my work we were allowed to stop two days later, without having the possibility of working from home.
Of course, I’m afraid of this situation and not only for myself, assuming the responsibility staying at home, but for the doctors I know and for whom my heart shrinks daily due to the situation they’re living and my skin bristles because of the pride of their bravery.
I used to being very active and going out for a day running for at least an hour. Sport helps me clear my mind. I feel like I should be managing this situation better than I am, but understandably fear blocks me. I’m working on it.
I think the aim is to follow the recommendations, try to be present, listen to what we feel, take care of the relationship with the people we love (even if they are far away) and continue to maintain, as far as possible, the routines that we had. Everything will be fine.
My name is Elena and I am 36 years old. I have lived with type 1 diabetes since I was 17 years old and have never been afraid for the lives of my family, friends, and mine until now. I have taken great care of myself and have been at home for a week. I only went out for a day to shop and two days to see my father who lives alone with our dog since my mother passed away a year ago. I went to take my father home-cooked food, but I haven’t seen them in days to avoid putting ourselves at risk.
I try not to think that my loved ones or myself will be hospitalized in a few days. Out there, there are people who by vocation dedicate their lives in taking care of others. People who are health personnel like my sister, my brother, my sisters in law, my cousin (who is a doctor and has been infected).People like my partner, who lives in another city, also with chronic illnesses and having to go to work every day because their profession is related to essential activities.
I miss them, and I don’t know if I could see them again when all this will be over.These days are difficult, without being able to see or hug each other.
I hope this nightmare will be over soon.
#yomequedoencasa to avoid infection as much as possible and to avoid saturating hospitals where many people need to be admitted and cared for as well as possible, where there are no more beds or respirators and the situation is very complicated.
Stay strong! Please stay strong! Thanks to all of you who continue working these days so that we can continue to cover basic needs!
Everything started with masks appearance. It happened on the train, at the grocery’s store, in the streets. It didn’t bother me, at the very beginning. I just followed the orders: to keep distances, to wash my hands, carefully clean my smartphone and my insuin pump.
I was at Francesca’s the night before the locking down of Milan. We ate, we drank but never thought the next time we could enjoy that time would be after months.
It was February, the 26th. From there on, I kept waking up early in the morning, practicing yoga, meditate, I kept with my eight hours working and cooking.
Anyways, my mind is constantly 900km away, where my mother is, wonder when i would have the chance to even look at the see, wondering how our tomorrow will be.
My life now is signed by highs, after lunch sweets, face masks and my writing practice late in the night. When asked to identify a pros about this situation, that would be definitely finding the correct flow of things. I am truly convinced that this hard moment will leave important teaching about ourselves and the surrounding world.
Here it was the first italian positive case, in Codogno: it was a Friday. I was in Bologna with a colleague of mine. As the most of us, I thought it would just be a bad flu. Everyone was talking about it, the virus, but hugs were still a thing.
I have decided not to go to work since Tuesday, the 25th of February: as an “at higher risk patient” it would not be feasible at all to go and run my experiments at the lab, in San Raffaele Hospital, during these days.
I completely lost any time acquaintance: every other day is the same, hours are count down by Emergency siren sounds, somewhere, out there. Am I frightened? Of Course I am. I worry not only about myself or my family. I worry about my Country, and I am worried about our future.
I am forcing myself to maintain certain habits: I wake up at the same time as before, then have breakfast with my boyfriend and straight at working Until lunch time, and then again i go back to my Computer.
My routine is then scanned through working, cooking, playing game and sports. To be honest the thing I miss the most, apart from relationships, is going out for a walk. For now i am forced to run up and down my house stairs and have some not very much convincing home workouts. It’s not that simple, but i am sure that our efforts are nothing compared to the ones of our Medical Operators.
I would never have imagined something like this. 2020 was the year I planned the best: lot of travelling, marathons and projects… all to be replanned. Ten days are already gone. I just break the rules when going out to run: six to seven in the mornings, all alone, not every other day. When i do not run, i spend some time with my bride Nadia, working out following Kayla Itsines BBG.
For me, smart-working is not feasible. I can just do some emails or solve emergencies while dedicating time also to my two children: Emma and Andrea. I found out that taking care of them two is really challenging!
The “best” of my days is of course when Emma, Andrea and my blood sugars are not co-operating: something that everyone of you should experience, now or then!
I try to do some sports, despite the tough situation, mainly for two reasons: i DO eat more during these days (mainly to get time pass) and because it helps me to de-stress.
My daily routine right now is composed of drawings, diapers, whims, hugs, kisses, wine classes, hours spent in front of the chimney, cookings, and the certainty that, once everything will be passed, I am gonna miss these days.
It was December 2019 when i thought for the first time about my birthday: 20th of March, 2020. 30 years old. I have always been charmed by connections between numbers and events.
It was February, the 26th: I checked for my temperature, 38.5°C. In the same time, at the news, everyone was talking about this deadly virus coming from China, heading my name: Corona. “I am scared”, i thought. At that point in Sardinia, where I live, even if no positive cases were already listed, i phoned the emergency number and asked how i was expected to act.
I have been said I got just a “normal” flu, to inform my doctor and stay home.
My quarantine started the 26th of February and never stopped. Once the flu was gone, in fact, the #iorestoacasa law has just been stated. Here comes the worst correlation between number and events.
The key points of my days are healthy eatings, sport and hydration: these rules allow me to control my diabetes and to respect the rules in order to take care of myself and my beloved ones.
From a more emotional point of view, i feel like a broken tap: water drops are tears, both for all the deaths, and even for the emotional involvement when i hear the “Va Pensiero” sang from the neighbours. Everything will be okay. I can feel it. 20th March 2020. I am turning 30 years old, during the quarantine. With me, only my mother. With me, thanks to the tech, my family and friends. I do feel all the love i need.