Hi, ya’ll! Remember me? It’s been a while since I’ve posted so this is a big hairy post to bring you up to date on my life and hopefully impart some encouragement to you if you find yourself stuck at home and going stir-crazy. Technology has left us with an incredible reach to communicate and stay connected all while social distancing. Need some ideas? Read on!
Everyone else is talking about it, so why not discuss it here on Flawed yet Functional too? Depending on where you are reading this update you may be in “social distancing” mode, full-fledged quarantine, or somewhere in the middle. Things are getting serious in the USA: stores are closing, schools are closed for weeks, and no dining rooms are open in restaurants. While it feels limiting, I see my family in Europe dealing with far more restrictions.
I’m taking one day at a time and trying to maximize it…as I do every day. Coronavirus does not diminish my desire to live my best life. It does not discourage me from providing quality education to my kids, and I WILL NOT allow it to steal my joy.
In that light, what am I doing to keep myself and my family healthy and safe? Let’s start with my health as a type 1 diabetic.
Coronavirus & Type 1 Diabetes
First up, I found out early February that my insurance changed how much insulin I can get from the pharmacy at a time. I was shocked when I went to refill my prescription to find out they would only give me 1 insulin pen instead of a box of 5! What!
The worst part is I’ve increased my insulin dosage a bit so the one pen falls just shy of a month. Sigh. Back to the doctor’s office…
A call and email to my endocrinologist to change my prescription to a vial (300 units of insulin to 1,000 units!!) to give me more of a buffer each month. Whew!
My prescription is filled, and I am now at peace that I have a little extra insulin just in case things get even more restricted.
So overall, what am I doing to stay healthy and prepare for the future as a type 1 diabetic?
- Keep as much insulin on hand that my insurance plan will allow.
- Maintain a Paleo-minus-eggs diet which is fairly low-carb (I eat <100 carbs per day).
- Continue to closely monitor my blood sugar levels so my immune system is healthy and ready to fight infection.
- Continue to take supplements that encourage a healthy body and immune system (calcium, vitamin C, and vitamin D3).
Coronavirus Preparations (or lack thereof)
I have family living abroad in areas that are currently hard-hit by COVID-19. Because of that, I have personal experience to help me prepare. What I relay below is mostly common sense but with a few tips from my family.
Menu Plan For 1 Week
Menu plan and have food for 1 week on hand. I buy for 2 weeks at a time normally, so I stuck to my normal schedule. As food is a necessity, I am moving forward under the assumption that the grocery stores will remain open. People have to eat!
However, I do have some long-term shelf-stable food that we will dig into if food becomes hard to come by. You may recall, I reintroduced legumes a while ago, and I do fix rice for my boys and husband on occasion. So we have a huge bag of rice and beans to feed us a good long while in our pantry.
I did not purchase these with the intent to stock up. They just happened to be already in my pantry, and I know beans and rice could sustain us for a while. However, if we do begin to eat these foods regularly, that will greatly cut into my insulin supply, so that is an area of caution for me.
Stock-Up on School Consumables
The only items I bought intentionally to help us get through quarantine were construction paper and craft supplies. Must keep the kids busy, right? ha! In all seriousness, my family abroad has found that school supplies do eventually run out in the stores, and they are not being restocked.
I did not go crazy. I left some in the store for other families, and I hope you do too! One pack of construction paper, extra paint, watercolor paper, and a few canvases are all the “stocking up” I did.
Wash Your Hands, Sleep, and Eat Healthy
Other than that, I have done no stockpiling. I’m not buying extra toilet paper (paper products are not necessary!) or hand sanitizer. Bleach, Lysol, or disinfecting wipes are not a usual purchase, and I do not intend to buy them now.
The tenants to a healthy life that I hold to are the same ones I’ve been preaching since before the coronavirus every hit: wash your hands, get enough sleep, and eat healthy food. Rather, rinse, repeat every single day!
Bottom line: I am washing my hands, staying to ourselves, sleeping, and eating the healthiest food possible.
Life in Quarantine
How has the social restrictions changed our day-to-day life?
Well, we are a homeschooling family and my work is on my computer at home. So we are used to being home, BUT we are also used to many social activities. There are memes aplenty out there saying how introverts and homeschools have prepared for this their whole lives, and while that does give me a chuckle (I fall into both categories!), we participate in many things that have been canceled, so we feel the squeeze and isolation too.
For starters, church was canceled BUT every service (including children’s church!) is available via livestream or recording. The church staff has even put on extra livestream worship events to keep our church community encouraged with their focus on Jesus. What an amazing opportunity for the church to speak into every life of the church body (and those not attending our church!)!
Second, the weekly Bible study I participate in was canceled BUT my small group leader is setting up a group Zoom call so we can still discuss as usual. Even though not meeting in person, we will still have the accountability and fellowship we look forward to.
Third, our homeschool group was canceled BUT the material was emailed to us so we could do all the lessons with our kiddos. The best part is our director made packets of the science experiments for every family and hand-delivered them to our houses. What a sacrifice and a blessing!
Fourth, our social gatherings are very limited. While the three activities mentioned above keep our calendar fairly full, I do work to schedule playdates with friends every other week or so. In place of those, we’ve been creatively using technology and video.
- After a math lesson via video call, my son and his friend stayed on the call to color together. They each were coloring their own picture then eventually turned it into a game of guessing what the other person drew. What? They figured out Pictionary all on their own!
- My super-sweet sister offered to play Pictionary with my boys too (after hearing about the impromptu session earlier in the day). So we’ve had one video call taking turns with their aunt at drawing and guessing. It made my boys day!
- Have you heard of Marco Polo? It’s an app to communicate via video chats. I have group chats with my sisters on both sides of the family. This week I also created a chat for my boys to send messages to their buddies.
We’re only a few days into our quarantine so I’m sure we’ll get more creative as we go, but so far, we’ve found a way to stay in touch and communicate.
Overall, I am amazed and thrilled by how our community has responded to the threat. There is no dissension here. Schools are coming around their students academically and nutritionally. Businesses are continuing to pay and feed their employees. Neighbors are providing childcare to those who have to work. My community is showing love, and I couldn’t be prouder.
How are you faring? What have you done to keep your chin up and stay healthy?