Timing is Everything.....Not when it comes to a D... - PMRGCAuk

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Timing is Everything.....Not when it comes to a Diabetic husband who is Covid Positive, thoughts please!

Blearyeyed profile image

Auntie bee here , this time putting out a call for advice, it isn't specifically PMR related I'm afraid , but some PMR sufferers may know if they have had Covid and have diabetes too.

I am saying timing is everything because it sounds a little more polite than Sod's Law.

It really does feel like that this morning , as my period of Shielding after a serious infection finished 72 hours ago and my husband could finally sit nearer to me without a mask.

Of course now we discover that despite all the mask wearing and window opening he has been doing in his classroom and a shower and change of clothes each night he tested Covid Positive this morning.

I have tested negative this morning so touch wood so far.

Anyway , he's ok at present but coughing and a little heavy in the breath.

I have been trying to get some details about the personal experience of Type 1 Diabetics , or medicated Type 2's to see if they had any tips for diabetic relevant self care.

Specifically , I'm interested to know if anyone knows if Covid has a big impact on sugar levels, most infections make the sugars go high , does it do the same?

does it cause increased confusion if the blood sugars swing?

I have looked on the HU sites and another support group for Diabetes so far and the communities just don't seem to talk about these things like you do here ... so I am hoping you could help.

Obviously , with my immunity issues I really can't get into a position were i would need to hold the OH down to feed him or inject... the diabetic carers version of all in wrestling is something that does not fit in with social distancing and I would prefer not to have to call out an ambulance to help deal with him if at all possible.

Any thoughts or links would really be appreciated

perhaps I should make him wear a bell .... slightly perturbed , Auntie Bee

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74 Replies
DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer

Sorry can’t help on the diabetes side, but sending socially distanced hugs…And yes it is Sod’s Law! 😳

thank you , the hug is most appreciated , hugs to you too, bee xx

K, I have sent you an email. Read this before you make contact. Good Luck and let us/me know how you get on ----------🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞 can't cross eyes, but can do everything else.

If you do not make contact let me know. xx

healthunlocked.com › pmrgcauk › posts › 133818324 › pmr-and-diabetes

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to jinasc

Just remembered I can't read my emails at the moment because my tablet is down the spout and i can't remember my passwords to look on the desk top. Can it be sent in private messages or would that be impossible. Thanks for looking these things up , big hug , bee xxx

jinasc profile image
jinasc in reply to Blearyeyed

Done - just acknowledge in the PM section so I know you have seen it.

Sod’s Law indeed Bee 🙄

Can’t offer much help I’m afraid but can say that my husband who is type 2 diabetic had Covid over Christmas. In his case it was the fairly mild (omicron presumably) sort and he really only felt like he had a bad cold. I’d say the main difference was that he slept lots for about ten days - I’m talking 14-16 hours out of 24. However, he felt well otherwise. He’s on metformin but we don’t take his sugars so I can’t comment on that.

I didn’t catch it by the way!

Hope your husband isn’t too ill and that you are not affected 🤞

All the best xx

thanks for that , it's good to know. He is asleep at the moment , he has an in arm sugar monitor now which he holds a little scanner up to and it gives the readings or alerts him. Unfortunately , I can't do what I would normally do and sneek in the bedroom to scan his arm while he sleeps. At the moment , we are just a bit more concerned by the possibility of high sugar spikes for too long , as this would be more likely to send him into hospital than Covid after three vaccinations. Take care , bee xx

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador

Definitely Sod's Law ... Can't help either - except to say 999 like going to worthy call-outs where the patients are polite and well behaved or have a good excuse for being uncooperative (like diabetes).

It is just dawning on them here that opening schools and KGs has resulted in massive increases in cases. Well duh ...

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to PMRpro

Don't get me started on that , every time the schools open the figures shoot up but they seem to think they can use something else as an excuse , or forget that it isn't just young people whom might get over the virus easily that catch it , but teachers , or the vulnerable people in their families.

Ironically , this is the first term they have been able to insist pupils wear masks in the classroom despite the fact that they would be more likely to pass it to each other in a virtually non ventilated room than in large public spaces. Of course , they are changing the rules again next week despite the figures.

Just goes to show how transmissable this variant is though as the OH took the same double mask and visor and social distancing precautions with the others and we got through two years Covid free. This time everyone had a mask and he still got it.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

Yeah - but they are surgical masks aren't they? Loose fitting, especially on kids who probably won't be as careful as you or I about not pulling them down. FFP2 at the very least is needed ...

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to PMRpro

The OH wears the proper stuff and a visor , and has his own antiviral gels in a pack to take about with him but yes the pupils get the dodgy masks , and of course , you can't be sure how well you have managed to dodge someone else's germs in the staff bathroom. You would not believe how slack many of the teachers are still when it comes to hygiene , and they are the ones whom are meant to be educating the children.

OH is oddly low and coughing like an 80 a day chain smoker so I am keeping an eye , the endless up and down stairs with drinks and food , and to shout orders through the door like a Snoopy character is going to start taking it's toll at some point I think.

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Blearyeyed

Hiking up and down stairs will certainly be an issue I imagine. If only it were summer, you could rig up a pulley and basket out the bedroom window! 😊

That would probably give him ideas , he'd be expecting breakfast in bed the same way even when he's well again!

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

I assumed he would - have you got a pulse oximeter to keep an eye on his O2 levels?

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to PMRpro

Yes , I can use mine , I will take it up now.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

Low threshold of doubt for 999 please ...

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to PMRpro

Yes, definitely , unfortunately i can't drive so i can't move the car if they need to get in , I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that i don't end up having the paramedics trudging through the house. The winter nights just fly by here , don't they !

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Blearyeyed

Let’s hope that’s not necessary..,

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

But they are drawing out already ;) - sun disappears behind the mountain over half an hour later than at xmas .. :)

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to PMRpro

Sun , what sun , we have dreary grey clouds here at the moment , it was so dark this morning it felt like the sun didn't rise until after 9am. I bet the snow makes it lovely and bright there too.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

It does - in the UK I had SAD for years, not helped by living oop north. Here, no sign of it thank goodness. Not often dark cloudy days (sorry) but the snow helps even then. And at night it is almost daylight near full moon!

What do you mean, ‘oddly low’, Bee? Low in mood/ energy? Is he eating and drinking well?

Do you have a pulsometer to check his blood oxygen sats? And a thermometer? Just in case……If he’s coughing like that then the oxygen sats might be especially relevant.

I got ours from A website but in fact (amazingly) the surgery also offered us one for home use while OH had Covid.

Try not to overdo it. Sounds a bit mad but can you phone OH from downstairs. to save your energy a bit?

Hugs xx

yes, I'm taking my oxygen meter up now.

His blood sugars were very low for an infection , so I am going to shout check your meter at him through the door every hour now to check that they go back up.

I can't use a mobile phone so i'm stuck with the hike!

Hike slowly then? Set up a kettle or flask etc in a spare bedroom if you have one? Anything to reduce the effort expended 😊 And you being you, I’m assuming you’re keeping a record of sugars and sats etc?

Take care xx

I am , although the arm scanner takes a 24/7 record which is sent direct to the hospital files too. it's quite an amazing little gadget , you put a sticky disc with a needle in it on your arm each month and that is what monitors the sugars for you, if your son hasn't been offered one yet it is worth asking about , it certainly helps making decisions on food and doses a lot easier.

Very interesting 😎PS I don’t have a son though 😂x

PPS Smokeygirl mentioned a son in her post…

There is the brain fog in full operating order !!

I meant your husband , they are available to people with type 2 diabetes on medication too. I know this because it was actually a type " friend whom asked if the OH had one.

You can ask about it at the GP or with the diabetic nurse at the hospital if you are already signed on their in the UK.

You get an assessment and the nurse puts the first one on I think the system is called Libre, but I can't check as the box is in the OHs bedroom at the moment.

You get a six month trial to see how you get on with it and if you keep good sugars with it's help you can get it all the time , it is on free prescription . The assessments are done by phone as the nurse can check your sugar stats as it is fed back to their computer records each day.

If you have an episode though you do also need to do a prick test as the scanned readings can be about 5-10 minutes behind. Although when it beeps an alert it tells you well in advance if you are going too high or about to go low. It has improved the OHs number of lows or highs a lot.

Don't you have any help at all, Bee?

Sending hugs! 💐 C.

We haven't been having anyone in the house again , not even the children , because I was put back under the Shielding protocol for two months whilst I had a severe infection to prevent the possibility of me coming into contact with someone with Covid .... the irony.

My OH is usually my support and we take careful measures with him coming in and out of work but this time he has gone back into school and despite the measures has caught it.

My eldest daughter lives far away and my youngest lives over the bridge and doesn't drive , although she can bring us things and leave them in the porch , she works in a shop so we had still been keeping her out of the house as I had only just got out of shielding three days before. Unfortunately , the friend whom usually does come to assist if I can't inject or feed him during an episode takes methotrexate so couldn't be near him to help out now either.

We wouldn't want someone to come in now in case they brought in some other infection , or ended up catching and spreading the husbands lurgy around the house.

As long as he doesn't become unmanageable I can cope at the moment , but if he starts to go downhill in breathing , or his diabetes affects his behaviour he will need to get to a hospital.

I'm just surprised that there isn't more advice about dealing with giving care to diabetics for the diabetes itself while they have Covid to reduce the chance of them going to hospital , but also to help the Carer treat them without risking catching it .

Luckily neither of us have diabetes, but we are having problems at the moment.

My husband collapsed a few days ago and we had to call an ambulance. It's heart trouble!😏 He's in hospital and having masses of tests.

As you know he is my carer!🤨 However, with home help and help from my daughter I am managing pretty well. Old age....... yuk! Still better than the opposite.💥👵🏻🥃🥂🍸

I'm so sorry to hear about your husband. I hope they find out what is happening and he has a speedy recovery and comes home soon.

Glad to hear you have that practical and emotional support on hand it makes it a bit easier when these things come to try us.

I wish i could have old age as the cause , I'm only 50 , and have been much worse in my 40's , especially when the GCA was active.

Like you say though , it's better than the alternative

more hugs to you and your family xxx

So sorry to hear this Constance and hope your OH is better soon xx

Telian profile image
Telian in reply to Constance13

So sorry to hear that Constance. I do hope your husband makes a good recovery. Hugs and kisses winging their way to you. 🌺

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Constance13

Oh Constance - this is the first you've said. Big hugs. At least you have your daughter fairly handy. xxxxxxx

DorsetLady profile image
DorsetLadyPMRGCAuk volunteer in reply to Constance13

Hope he improves soon. 🌸

Cheers Constance. Here is to carrying on, eh? Love those emojis- one drink for you, one drink for daughter. Now another champagne toast for the love of your marriage and family support. Lovely family.

Prost!

Tell your husband a caring Texan sends well wishes for his recovery ❤️‍🩹.

Thanks Kelly. You got the emojis.💥My husband is improving now. He's had masses of tests (still going on) and hopes to be out by Thurs/Fri.

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to Constance13

Oh no. There's always something, isn't there? Hope he's better and back with you soon.

And big thanks for the virtual hugs and flowers , sending the same back to you , Bee xx

My wife tested positive last month. Between the two of us, she was more "adamant" about wearing our masks and taking more precautions. She was worried about me because I was the one who was immunocompromised and I have more comorbidities compared to her. I don't have diabetes so I can't say that I know about that. I do have insulin resistance and currently take metformin.

My daughter was in tears because she blamed herself for bringing covid home to my wife and me. Everything turned out fine. My wife had mild symptoms first and I followed suit soon afterwards. We both did PCR tests ... my wife tested twice because she was in disbelief. I ended up doing 3 PCR tests and struck out. I was negative all three times.

You just never know and sometimes you just need to hope for the best. I wish the best for you too!

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Dad2Cue

My husband had much the same emotions this morning , frustration and guilt , he was far more concerned about the possibility that he could have given it to me than for himself.

I did point out that he couldn't help it and he should be as concerned about himself as Type 1 diabetics with a little pot belly can have severe symptoms too. He also has sleep issues because of a wonky septum and narrow throat so I'm trying to make sure he does the breathing exercises.

Thank you for the kind thoughts , bee xx

Dearest Bee. Our Type one diabetic son aged 54 got Delta Covid last year after going to the England football semi. He had had his two vaccinations but still caught it like many others.He told us he felt very physically Ill for three weeks with chest infection and very bad cough and general malaise. He said the thing that helped him most was Codeine cough medicine.

Yes, his sugar level went mad for a few weeks and of course he had to adjust his insulin (. He has the arm thing like your hubby, but no pump, he adjusts his insulin himself, he has been diabetic since the age of six). but the sugar levels gradually righted as he got better.

He was never confused.

Don’t worry—— the new variant does seem to be much much milder than Delta.

Sending much love and hugs xxxxxxxx

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Smokygirl

Fingers crossed , and thank you so much for the information. Seemed a bit mad to me this morning when I checked on the diabetic forums and nobody seems to be posting any useful information or posting on it as Diabetics are more prone to severe infection , like other vulnerable groups and you would have thought they would have some useful advice about how to cope with sugar levels while you have Covid.

I might look up a codeine medicine and see if it can be delivered.

He will have to put up with my fresh ginger and lemon drinks today, although he can be a bit of a baby about it , of course , as i can't go in the room I might have to spy out of the kitchen in case he throws it out of the bedroom window!

Thanks so much and take care , Bee xx

Our son said it is best to get it on prescription from your Doc as there is more Codeine in it than the one you can buy off the shelf. He said he couldn’t have slept at all without it. Xxxxx

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Smokygirl

Thank you , I will give the surgery a call and hope they can deliver.

One suggestion if your husband is coughing uncontrollably. Have him hold his stomach during those coughing bouts. My husband had breakthrough covid with violent sneezing and coughing, and got a hernia! He will need surgery to repair it.

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Nymocaaz

Oh gosh ! I am so sorry , yes we thought of that with a previous illness and he has been holding his stomach for some time with other infections , it seems to help.

The breathing exercises also seemed to start to control some of the coughing bouts by yesterday evening . He is still very breathless and he had a few oxygen readings below 96 yesterday , he has unusually had a few short bouts of hypoglycemia despite eating and reducing his insulin , which is very unusual for an infection as diabetics usually go high in blood sugar. Today will be the test I think. Thank you for your kind and useful suggestion , Bee

Nymocaaz profile image
Nymocaaz in reply to Blearyeyed

Good luck and prayers to both of you!

HeronNS profile image
HeronNS in reply to Blearyeyed

That suggestion about holding the stomach while coughing reminds me of when my stepmother had a heart operation and during recovery she was given a (heart-shaped) pillow to hold in case she coughed or sneezed. I believe she did find it helpful.

I haven’t got any advice I’m afraid Bee but do hope you both will soon get through the worst of all this. Sending virtual hugs. Xx💐 Jackiexx

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Jackoh

thank you , the virtual hugs do give me a boost of energy , perhaps we should all have them on repeat prescription ! Take care and hugs to you too , Bee xx

Good that the breathing excercises are starting to work on his coughing, or maybe it's the ginger and lemon tea... I had a couple of times I felt breathless with lower 02 levels last year and found that lying on my stomach helped, if he's able to. Very best of luck, Bee 🌷

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Slowdown

yes , that is actually one of the breathing exercises recommended , on the stomach with pillow support under the tummy and neck and slow breathing for 5 mins or so. It can be a good morning stretch if you have lower back pain or sciatica too as long as you remember to roll over slowly afterwards so as not to cause a twinge.

take care , and virtual hugs , Bee xx

Sorry to read your news, hope all improves soon. All I can add is that a friend of mine, who is type 2 & takes metformin, was fine. Her diabetes didn’t alter at all, & behaved well. She slept a lot more than normal. But she was OK after ten days, even better after two weeks, & normal after 3 weeks. She’s about 75 years old. Hope it helps! S x

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to Pixix

thank you so much. Yes , he slept a lot more yesterday , not a bad thing if you need shows the body is using all it's effort to recover.

It may sound odd , but thankfully his first check this morning shows his sugars as a little higher than normal, but that is more common with an infection than the very low sugar readings he had yesterday.

That was my concern , if it goes too low , like many diabetics, his brain works against him and he won't eat so you either need to feed him or give him a glucose injection, neither would be an option for me to do while he is Covid positive.

PMRpro profile image
PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

That's what 999 is for!!!!!!

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to PMRpro

Luckily shouting , "Drink the Orange Juice, Eat the banana!!!" which i had sent in on a wheelie trolley was enough yesterday. Perhaps the infection balanced out the issue and knocked the fight out of him

Lol 😂 This is quite a picture, Bee! Seriously, though, I’m glad all seems to be going well xx

Just think of that Snoopy and Peanuts cartoon character called , Sally , I think I must look like that, if he wasn't at the other end of the room he'd probably do a startled cartoon somersault!

He has had so many bananas , I am expecting to go up and discover he has turned into a gorilla when I wasn't looking.... now , i wonder if that is a weird Covid side effect we don't often hear about.

Thanks for the support , hugs , bee xx

Nextoneplease profile image
Nextoneplease in reply to Pixix

Sounds much like my OH (also type 2) when he had Covid, Pixix

It’s a bit like being between a rock & a hard place, I reckon. Your damned if his sugars are too high…but also if too low. I worked with a person who had ‘severe’ diabetes & saw the effects of both high & low. Ambulances. You’re doing all you can. I think if it’s all going a bit pear shaped, you do need to consider a Hospital stay for him, where he can be monitored…just a thought. Sending hugs, S x

Good morning Bee, so sorry to hear that your OH has caught Covid. I am type 2 diabetic and take metformin , I don’t have to test .I had Covid over New Year, fortunately it was mild, a heavy cold and tickly cough. I hope he recovers soon, sending more virtual hugs x

Blearyeyed profile image
Blearyeyed in reply to York54

Thank you so much for the support , and glad that you had a quick recovery , hugs , Bee x

We're in touch with each other throughout the day with what's app!😂😂

Yellowbluebell profile image
YellowbluebellAmbassador

You know where I am xxxx

Much appreciated , you are always a great support , bug hugs xxx

Yellowbluebell profile image
YellowbluebellAmbassador in reply to Blearyeyed

Just wished I lived nearer to help out. He wouldn’t argue with me over drinking etc 🤣😂

I'm so sorry. I can't give any advice but am sending virtual hugs ((())) and flowers ❤🌹🌻🌼🌷⚘

Thank you , looks like it's going to be a bit longer before I can get over that blooming bridge , hugs , Bee xx

Can he get monoclonal antibodies which, I believe, should be given within the first 10 days, the sooner the better. Here in the states we have infusion centers and you call and book an appointment. I believe here diabetes is one of the reasons you are allowed to get them. I simply called up and arranged it for my brother who has MDS cancer and neutropenia so can't fight off infections well. The infusion helped him a great deal and he is better after 3 weeks of Covid.

Unfortunately , in the UK they are only giving antibodies or antivirals if they class you as being , " really sick enough with Covid". It is incredibly frustrating , and I have talked to someone else on this forum whom was a similar position about it, as in reality they should be giving these things to people with symptoms asap to prevent them getting so sick that I have to go to hospital in the first place. Especially with people with underlying health issues whose case could get more severe by that time and then the drugs would take much longer to help them and they will find it much harder to recover. Thanks so much for the suggestion though , take care , Bee x

Wow. I was able to just call around, set it up for the soonest date, he walked in they didn't ask for any proof of preexisting conditions, just did the infusion and charged his insurance. Since it is crucial to do this quickly, by the time people are hospitalized it may be too late. I'm sorry about that.

Positive thoughts and all the well wishes sent your way. Sorry I don’t have anything useful to add other than well wishes.

( ring GP if concerned- sooner rather than later. )

thanks , virtual hugs back to you , bee x

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