Covid and type-1 diabetes, take 2

Covid and type-1 diabetes: here we go again!

Covid and type-1 diabetes, here we go again

Friends, I have been laid up for the past eight days with the Coronavirus attacking my insides. This is my second time with the virus and it was nothing like my first exposure.

Let’s rewind to the start, shall we.

GnR: the seed of Covid

My husband and I took our son to his first concert, Guns ’N Roses, last Monday. 

It was a blast! 

It was so much fun watching our kid rocking out to Axl’s lyrics, and exclaiming Slash’s riffs. 

However, a few ironic things occurred that fateful evening:

  1. My colleagues at the hospital that day got their Covid booster and flu shot, but I said, no, no, I’m gonna wait; I don’t want any potential side effects to ruin our evening.
  2. On the walk to Skytrain, my son asked if we should have brought masks, which we didn’t. We were going on Skytrain at the height of rush hour, and the stadium fits more than 50,000 people after all!
  3. On the way home, after the concert, the Skytrain was packed. When the train unloaded several people at the Commercial Drive stop, my son commented “I feel less Covidy now. 

Shoot — if I believed in curses, we totally cursed ourselves!!

Covid attacks innocent bystander

By Wednesday, just two days after the concert, my throat was feeling scratchy.

I thought maybe it was from all the screaming and loud singing I did at the concert. What can I say, I’m a concert screamer through and through!  But by Thursday, a cold was certain, and by Friday, I tested positive for Covid.

Covid sucks, but Covid and type-1 diabetes really sucks!

The last time I had Covid, the only real struggle was the massive headache for days on end. This time was 5,000 times worse in all symptom aspects: 

  • My head was completely stuffed.
  • It felt like every swallow was a set of daggers
  • My chest was super congested.
  • I was feeling constant nausea.
  • Fighting insulin resistance was an ongoing battle.
  • And for the first 4 or 5 days, my head felt like it was going to explode.
The rundown of at-home medical treatments

I have never taken so many pills as I have this past week.

Covid and type-1 diabetes: all the over the counter pills to manage, including Paxlovid

  • Tylenol and Advil for the head. They didn’t work.
  • Tylenol cold and flu (daytime and nighttime) for the congestion. It didn’t work.
  • Paxlovid, an oral, antiviral for minimizing Covid symptoms in an effort to keep me out of hospital. I’m not sure if it worked or if I would have been worse without it. It did, however, leave a nasty metallic taste in my mouth for all the days I took it.
  • All sorts of Gravol for the nausea (daytime / nighttime / daytime with ginger). Gravol helped a little bit, especially the nighttime allowing me some sleep
  • Double dose Advil for the body aches and significant back pain from the never-ending bed bound status. This helped, but I was constantly worried about adding an ulcer to my list of illnesses
  • Throat lozenges — so many!!!
Be your own advocate

Let’s talk about the Paxlovid.

I’m going to get on my soapbox for a minute here, because this is the aspect of my experience with the virus that I hope others can benefit from.

Friends, never under-estimate the power of self advocacy. 

When I tested positive for Covid, it was day 3 of my symptoms. I called my doctor’s office that morning requesting a prescription of Paxlovid, which is best used within 5 days of symptom onset, be sent to my pharmacy.

My understanding of the requirements for Paxlovid, specific to diabetes, was that anyone with diabetes (type-1 and type-2) that is on insulin is eligible. However, when I called my doctor’s office, the front desk person told me that I did not qualify. They told me that I needed to fit under 3 of the criterions. And because I was not elderly, nor requiring hospital admission, I would unfortunately have to “suffer through it.”

My head was a bit foggy, and so I said thank you anyway and hung up the phone. But, something continued to niggle at me. I was pretty sure I qualified, despite what they told me. I went back onto the BC Centre for Disease website and looked at the requirements again. And then I reached out to a trusted pharmacist that I worked with and asked for their opinion on the requirements. They confirmed my understanding.

I called the office back again and requested my doctor review my specific case despite their reservations. When my doctor called me back later that morning, he confirmed my eligibility and faxed a prescription to my pharmacy.

It would have been so easy to have taken the office administrator’s word for it. I might have been frustrated, angry even, but she works in a doctor’s office, surely she should know.


Healthcare professionals and their staff are knowledgable, 100% yes they are, but they are not 100% knowledgable in every aspect of healthcare. I know this first hand as a registered dietitian. And I know this first hand as a person with T1D that’s had to advocate for myself countless times. 

We all need to be our own advocates. 

Trust healthcare, but know that if something feels a bit off, we need to ask questions, be persistent, and do our own evidence-based research.

“Why?” is a really great question. Hey, those toddlers are onto something 😉

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