I spent the better part of this year, like many of you, doing my part to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. I practiced healthy habits like wearing a mask and social distancing when necessary. For me, it has been no big deal, but I have seen the toll it has taken on my neighbor, Marion, who is a diabetic. Marion is having a more challenging time than most of us, thanks to her compromised health. That is why I wanted to share her story, hoping that it will help others dealing with this chronic condition during the pandemic.
If you have a diabetic condition like my neighbor, take heart, there are some steps you can take to keep your health in check while still practicing safe COVID-19 protocols.
Managing Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Dealing with diabetes in optimal conditions can be difficult. But when a pandemic gets added to the mix, it can seem downright impossible. Here’s what Marion is doing to keep her diabetes in check while staying home.
Follow a Diabetic Plan and Medication
Marion is very consistent when it comes to following the prescribed diabetic plan that she received from her doctor, Dr. Quyen Trinh. When Marion can’t get to the pharmacy to buy her medicine, I take her or she has it delivered. Following your doctor’s prescribed plan and taking your medication is crucial to your health, so make sure you have some on hand at all times. It is also vital to keep in regular contact with a doctor. When Marion can’t go in person, she schedules telehealth visits with Dr. Trinh.
Staying active is also a critical step in keeping diabetes under control. Marion goes for a walk every day, and sometimes I go with her. Other times she goes with a relative or other neighbors. Pick an activity you are willing to do and recruit people to do it with you. Not only will it help your blood sugar, but it will keep you mentally fit as well. If you can’t get outside, play a YouTube exercise video, or find another way to exercise in your home.
Stick with Your Diet
Marion has been cautious about her diet. She eats lots of non-starchy vegetables, fruits, beans, and whole grains. I often shop for her, so I know she eats foods that help keep her blood sugar down. When I drop off her groceries, I also make sure she has a full pitcher of cold water in her fridge. Staying hydrated is also vital to her health.
Practice Clean Hygiene
From the beginning of the pandemic, Marion has been vigilant in taking care of her immune system. She frequently sanitizes items she uses regularly, washes her hands according to CDC’s guidelines, and wears a mask to prevent the spread of germs.
Marion tries to keep a positive attitude. Her blood sugar can go up when she’s stressed, so she keeps her stress levels at a minimum and seeks out ways to keep depression at bay. Being active and enjoying life has helped her mental health.
I try to stay informed so that I can help Marion manage her diabetes during the pandemic. One article I read that I found helpful was from the American Diabetes Association, How COVID-19 impacts people with diabetes. I hope you find this useful too.
Diabetes Awareness Month
November 2020 is National Diabetes Awareness Month. It’s a time when communities across the United States come together to bring attention to diabetes, and it an event that Marion and I don’t miss.
We want to help spread the word about the millions of Americans living with this life-altering condition, which many may be unaware of having. If this is you, a simple diabetes test can help you find out. It’s important to get diagnosed so you can start managing your symptoms to feel better.
Diabetes Doctor in Houston
Marion and I are from Houston, Texas. She is a patient of Dr. Quyen Trinh, and is so grateful to have found him. Before Dr. Trinh, Marion saw another doctor for a few years who tried to help her manage her diabetes, but nothing seemed to work. But after only a few visits with Dr. Trinh, Marion feels so much better, and her diabetes is now under control.
Be smart like my neighbor Marion – eat healthy foods, stay active, and manage your stress. COVID-19 does not need to take over your life, and it does not need to take precedence over your other health issues.