Scott continues the conversation with Molly, Kristen, and Maggie about the expectations and realities of coping with a global pandemic in this episode of Coaches Corner with Scott K. Johnson.
A continuation of discussion with Diabetes Coaches regarding how to deal with a disruption in your schedule due to COVID-19.
Click here for PART 1 of the discussion.
- Regular daily workflow for essential workers
- Anticipatory grief
- Reframing the words we use
Emotional Health and Diabetes
Diabetes Medication Support
Scott K. Johnson - Hey, great to see you again, thanks for tuning in to another episode of Coaches Corner. So much has changed over the past few weeks. These are challenging and stressful times for almost everyone. We are so full of gratitude and appreciation for everyone doing their part to get through this. One small way that mySugr is trying to give back is by, hosting these short conversations with our diabetes coaches. All of whom are Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists by the way. To talk about staying healthy in body and mind during these unusual times. First up today is Molly, she is here answering some questions that came in on Monday's episode. So, let's jump right into that.
Molly Wagman - Hi everyone, Molly here from mySugr. Thank you so much for attending our live with Scott in the Coaches Corner the other day. And, I'm here to answer some of the questions that came in. So, thank you so much for sending in your questions we're happy to answer anything that you have. So, just keep sending them our way.
So, the first question that we got was about hypoglycemia. So, I can go into a little bit of detail about what hypoglycemia is and how it happens. So, if you have other questions about it though, then you can message us directly and we can you answer the specific question. So, hypoglycemia or low blood sugar is when the blood glucose is 70 or less, and you can feel kind of shaky, sometimes you feel lightheaded, maybe a little brain foggy. And, it's really not a fun feeling. So, when that happens, then you do want to take in some fast-acting glucose. So, that could be juice, it could be glucose tablets or could be like gummy candies, but you want to make sure that you get something that's fast digesting in your system so your blood sugar can come up. You really don't want to be eating things that have fat or protein which can slow the rise of your blood sugar. So you want to avoid. You don't want to eat, just a spoonful of peanut butter that's not going to do much to bring your blood sugar up. So, if you're taking insulin, or if you take an oral medication, that's called sulfonylurea. That brand name is or not the brand name but the name of the medication would be, glyburide, glipizide and glimepiride. So, if you're taking one of those three medications or insulin, then you are at risk for hypoglycemia or low blood sugar. So, you do want to test your blood sugars a few times a day at least, to see if there's any patterns, if you're having hypoglycemia at certain times of the day, then talk to your doctor or your coach. If you have coaching through mySugr, and we can help brainstorm some ideas there to help prevent that. Now, especially in these uncertain times when we're stressed or our activity isn't like it is normally, then we are at higher risk we're more likely to see blood sugar fluctuations in general. Typically, stress is going to raise the blood glucose, but everybody's different, and again it can just be a little bit more unpredictable in these times. So, it's a good time to just be monitoring more often and really checking in with how you feel. And then, confirming with the blood glucose stick. So again, if you have other questions around hypoglycemia, go ahead and message us directly and we'll go ahead and answer your question.
Now, another great question that came in is, how do you keep yourself up? Keep your spirits lifted when you are alone, 24/7. So, this is something. I live alone, right now and I do have my dogs, so luckily, I'm not truly alone, and I can play with them, and that makes me feel happy. So, you have to find something that does bring you joy. So, and it can be just the little things. Again like, me playing fetch with my dogs down the hallway, or if you can call a loved one, if you have friends or family members that you would want to check in with then you can give em a call, a voice call or video call through FaceTime or WhatsApp, so that you can have that connection. I think that connecting with other people, even when you're like an introvert or someone who really likes to be alone. You still need that human connection. Humans are made, we're social beings. So, reach out to, to friends or loved ones if you're feeling down. And, even if you have a TV or if you have a computer where you can put on a show or a movie or music. Just something to make it feel, like there's somebody else with you, or just to lift up your spirits. So again, everyone's different. Some other things that may work for you are reading a book, or even I mean, we talk about this a lot, but I love it, it's journaling. So, kind of getting all of your thoughts out there, maybe getting dressed, if you haven't, if you've been in your PJs. I know this made me feel really good the other day I washed my hair, and I felt like a brand new person. So, just, getting dressed like you would for a normal day out or putting on something special. Like if you have jewelry or if you have special other special accessories that you like, go ahead and put em on. Cook yourself a nice meal. So, if you like to cook. And, you have the time and the resources, then go ahead and prep yourself a great meal. Who cares if it's just for you? You can save the leftovers. Pour yourself a glass of wine. This is the time to do it. So, I hope that some of those tips help and if you have other questions then go ahead and let us know, we're here for you.
Scott K. Johnson - All right. Thank you so much, Molly. Let me get the camera going here. There we go, now I'm back. Thank you, Molly. If you guys have more questions, go ahead and send them in and we will either answer them live here or get them taken care of with one of our coaches and experts. So, next up we've got part two of our Mindset Check-in Talk that we started on Monday with Molly, Kristen and Maggie and then, another special message from Molly. So, let's jump right into that as well. There's. I feel like we also should spend some time talking about those who, are in the unique situation of being healthcare workers, or those who are essential workers and, are having to go out into this kind of scary world and face everything that's going on. They're doing so much for us, and, those who are doing that I think are dealing with perhaps even a higher level of stress, right?
Molly Wagman - Yeah, it's, to me it seems like, it would have to be and we are. We're so grateful for all the healthcare workers and people who are making deliveries and are in manufacturing and food service workers who are still out there and having to go in. And, sometimes when it seems like, a lot of the world is staying at home and you have to go out there that could be stressful, but also if you feel like you're not well supported from a safety perspective, especially if you're a healthcare worker, if you don't feel like you have the proper equipment that can be insanely stressful. And then that, it affects your life at home too. So, it's, this is just a, really interesting time. And it's really important to take care of yourself and really think of yourself, in this moment I think and find something where you can find a little bit of peace.
Kristen Bourque - I agree.
Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, I think that that's really important because I as I think about it, people in those positions they've got all the same change that, most of the same change that we're all dealing with but yet they still have to, maintain that regular.
Kristen Bourque - Yeah.
Scott K. Johnson - The regular daily workflow. So, just big hats off to all of you out there and, just know we're thinking of you and working hard to support you, however, we can. And, can you guys talk a little bit about how just a value of. Everyone's got different ways to cope with their different situations and process differently and that's okay, right?
Kristen Bourque - Yeah and I think there's, like we gave some suggestions that, because we're all in this and we don't. Again, nothing we've all experienced in our lifetimes before, I think navigating this is a challenge. So, there is such value in therapy. Definitely something that is an option, talking to a friend or a family member is also great but also knowing there's an outlet, whether it's again, journaling or talking with someone, I think, is wonderful. Because again, it's important to know that you're not alone but I think all of the feelings. All of us are affected by this in one way or the other. So, and our feelings are all valid but I think it's just trying to navigate this the best we can. So knowing that there is support that's available and also many therapists are doing support via phone or telehealth in one way or the other. So that's great to know that that's an option. If needed, so.
Maggie Evans - Yeah.
Scott K. Johnson - Yeah, we've got some great resources that we'll share in the comments as well as far as therapists and offices that we know that deal with diabetes and mental and emotional health too.
Maggie Evans - So I'm a big proponent of therapy. I think that's a great outlet to have just kind of that third party, kind of neutral outlook. Family and friends are totally great for that emotional investment and kind of, you can kind of, hinder some processing of thoughts and feelings and things like that. So, big fan of therapy for sure during times like this. And, I also think just accepting that this is such like uncharted waters, right? There's so much changes going on and this is so new. And, kind of viewing, maybe even like your day to day as just like little experiments, right? So, maybe journaling hasn't worked in the past, maybe try it now and just see like, maybe I'm going to just jot down a couple things and see how I feel. Maybe I'll try and draw that bath and see if I feel better. I kind of do this in terms of working with my patients too, is just say, let's just try it out. Let's just see, like just give a small effort and see if it works out in the end. If doesn't, totally fine we can go explore some other ways of kind of coping as well. But I think we're just knowing that this is just such a new territory, giving yourself that grace to just try a couple new things to see how you feel after you do them too.
Scott K. Johnson - And.
Molly Wagman - And maybe that thing is taking a nap. And that's okay.
Maggie Evans - Yeah.
Scott K. Johnson - Yeah.
Maggie Evans - I love naps.
Scott K. Johnson - So, giving yourself space to try something and be okay if what you try just doesn't, it's not.
Molly Wagman - Yeah.
Scott K. Johnson - It's not your jam like, you're like, yeah. I tried journaling and it's it wasn't, didn't work for me, like, experiments are about learning what works for you and what doesn't. And so, you're going to try things that don't resonate for you and that's part of the process. It's not a failure, it's part of the process. That's great.
Molly Wagman - Exactly.
Scott K. Johnson - There was a phrase that, that I heard from you guys that I thought was really interesting. Anticipatory grief.
Kristen Bourque - Yes.
Scott K. Johnson - Let's, dig into that a little bit, please.
Kristen Bourque - So, the idea is and this is something that I'll share that my therapist actually had talked to me a little bit about so, I thought I would share with you guys. That, it's the idea that we are grieving but we kind of don't have any sense of timeframe. So, also like an example will be, if a family member is undergoing illness. So, the same idea is that we're going through the motions, but we kind of have no idea of, an end to this, we don't really know, right? So, the idea of that piece of it, I think makes us all very uneasy. So, for me, something that I've had a really hard time with is, not visiting my family. I was supposed to go home for Easter. So, that's been something I've, really struggled with and so, the idea is to help with that is, to kind of just put that, that grief out there. So, something like again, not being able to travel home for example and trying to find ways to kind of cope with that or understand that emotional state can kind of help a little bit too. So, something I've been doing more often to try to help me is, doing a little bit more FaceTime with my parents and my family back home just to kind of feel that connection. In place of, and we're going to do our little own mini Easter. My boyfriend and I had to try to kind of bring some, live in the spirits a little bit too. So again, going back to, the idea is, we have lost whether it's, a job, something physical, right? But we also have this emotional loss, you know of. We all have something planned, I'm sure in the next few months that have gone interrupted so, being able to identify that state of grief and trying to find ways to make the best of it if possible. Whether it's again, celebrating a birthday as silly as that sounds. People have come up with all sorts of fun ideas to try to again, brighten our spirits a little bit too. So, I thought I'd share that cause that's been helpful for me is, trying to work through that.
Scott K. Johnson - I love that and I've got, I've got two big events coming up soon. So, I have a birthday coming up in a couple days, but I think I'm almost more excited about, my 40th, diabetes, diagnosis, anniversary. My diaversary as we call it. I won't be throwing a big party. I had a big party in mind, long ago but that won't be happening so I've to get creative and figure out another way to mark the occasion. So.
Kristen Bourque - Yeah.
Molly Wagman - Scott, today's my diaversary. And, I think we should throw a joint virtual diaversary party.
Scott K. Johnson - I love that.
Kristen Bourque - I like it.
Scott K. Johnson - Yeah. So, a quick side tangent on diaversaries. Of course, we're not celebrating getting diabetes. Diabetes, getting diabetes is not a fun thing to celebrate but I feel very strongly about acknowledging, the hard work that I do, in taking care of myself and I also feel like I learned, new skills and new coping mechanisms and methods. Each and every year. So, I definitely make time to pat myself on the back and celebrate another year of living well with diabetes. So, Molly.
Molly Wagman - Yes.
Scott K. Johnson - A high five to us. Great. Another I think powerful tool that works well for me is, reframing the words we use. And, how that helps us respond to things. And I know that that's something that, that you guys said, wanted to talk a little bit about too, right?
Kristen Bourque - Yeah so, this is kind of also an interesting, I feel like we talked a lot about trying to stay connected during this time. So, if we all know the term social distancing, right? And so, just kind of also reframing some of the words that we're using, because that doesn't necessarily mean that we have to cut ourselves off from communication. I think initially where we were so unsure about everything so, using that term and kind of rephrasing it to like physical distancing. So, I saw some people at the park the other day, I thought it was clever, there was like a bunch of benches in a circle and they all each were on a bench just talking. A little bit challenging but, the idea is, still trying to remain social and have those connections. While we are trying to keep ourselves keep that distance. So, I love that idea and kind of, reframing that so. A couple other things were, we've already talked about this. We might not be in that mindset of boredom, trying to kind of reframe it to say, okay, this is an opportunity for creativity. Now again, remember, we might not all be there, mentally in that place but trying to, again, try to look at the other side of it to say hey can I, can take this opportunity to try to have a, reframe that mindset to try to make it a little bit easier to kind of go through the day to day.
Maggie Evans - And I even think too like, using that same kind of method and reframing your mindset that yeah maybe you have been on the couch for, six plus hours, watching Netflix, and maybe if you just kind of sit there and say, maybe if I do go for that walk outside, I might feel a little bit better, right? And even just saying, five minutes. And if I don't feel great after that five minutes, I can always come back. So, even kind of reframing those little things that we kind of set up for ourselves I think can be helpful so that they're more manageable for us to even just initiate doing that kind of like the inertia of getting started, right? And, yet again still having that self compassion that if that, just isn't working out in the moment, it's okay. Then just kind of go back to doing what you were doing before. But I think that, in a way, can help reframe mindset too in helping people kind of cope with what's going on.
Kristen Bourque - I love the kind of the, different things you're seeing online and stuff now nowadays is, the idea of us staying home to help protect those who are out. And that's essentially why we're doing that is, to keep ourselves safe, to keep them safe because this whole thing you again is. There's so many unknown. So, I think that's also important to remember too is as hard as it is for us, it's hard for them to be able to have to do that everyday, and we all want to try to do our part and so I think that's also important remember is, by staying home we're doing our part. So again, trying to reframe that thinking which is not always easy, we all are struggling, right? But, it's also important to remember to.
Scott K. Johnson - Great points. So, we've covered a lot of stuff. Again, we're going to put some resources to different therapy options that we're aware of and know deals specifically with diabetes and some resources from places like the American Diabetes Association, for example. That pull together some mental and emotional health resources there in the comments. So, you'll have those as well. Is there anything else that you guys want to cover before we wrap things up today?
Molly Wagman - Well Scott, I just love what you always tell me and you, I think say this to yourself a lot too and I want everyone to feel the same which is, you do you. Like, this is the time where you just, you do you. Think about what you want and try to take care and have compassion for yourself right now.
Scott K. Johnson - Very important, and thank you for that great reminder. So, with that, thank you all for joining. This was a super fun chat. We'll do this again very soon. And, we're going to wrap up this section of the interview, and we'll catch you again soon for the next installment.
Kristen Bourque - Bye guys.
Molly Wagman - Hi everyone, Molly here from mySugr. I want to address the topic that we didn't cover in our last conversation. And, it definitely deserves some attention and that is the fact that, many of you may have lost your job. Or, you've been furloughed, or you've had your salary cut recently, and that on its own, is really difficult. But, to have to deal with this when you're managing a chronic disease, or have a family member, managing a chronic disease like diabetes, it creates a whole nother level of emotional distress. So, we just wanted to take the time to acknowledge that this may be an especially hard time for many of you, and we wanted to provide some resources to help you out in this area.
So, first I just want you to know that, if you were if you were getting your insurance through your employer and now you're no longer employed with this company. Then, you have the option to extend your same insurance through something called COBRA. And, you would be receiving something that tells you how to sign up for that in the mail after you were terminated. The, other option because COBRA can be quite pricey sometimes. You're essentially paying for the entire amount of your health care where in the past your employer may be paying for part of it. So, COBRA can be expensive. So, another option would be to sign up through the Affordable Health Care Act. And that may differ by your state, on which website you have to go in. But that's available to everybody in the United States. And, you also depending on your income level you could also qualify for Medicaid coverage. And again, that would, may depend on state by state. The eligibility and the coverage that you would get. But know that you have those three options of health care. And, we know that it's stressful to go through applying for that and you may also be applying for unemployment benefits. So again, we're going to give you some of those resources here. We know that this is just a huge disruption too and if you. So, doctors know it too. So, if you have a relationship with your one of your doctors, whether that's your primary care doctor, or your endocrinologist, your diabetes specialist. Give them a call. See, if they're able to help you out or get you in for an appointment right now while you still have coverage maybe through the end of the month. Whether that's a telephonic appointment or if they're still doing, in-person appointments just get on the call with them and see what they can do for you.
And, if you're concerned about getting certain medications, they may also be able to help you out there by giving you samples. So, there some doctors do have samples of certain medications. So you can ask them for that. Or, they may be able to give you copay cards, which are also available on a manufacturer's website. So, if you know the brand name or the manufacturer of your of the medication that you're taking or medications, you can go to their website, you can just do a Google search for them. And, on the websites, many of them have a financial assistance or copay card program where you may be eligible to have to pay zero copay for your meds, or a significant decrease in the price. So, definitely take advantage of this right now, when you feel like your finances are tight and unpredictable. You don't want to have to add this extra layer of stress in your life when you already have all this going on. So, we recognize that this is a significant disruption in your life. in your diabetes, in your healthcare. So, again, we'll provide those resources for you, and our heart goes out to you and we're here for you.
Scott K. Johnson - There you have it. Thank you so much for joining again today. I hope that you, found the discussion helpful and interesting. Some really heartfelt messages in there. And, I hope you'll come back on Friday, where I talk with both Kristen and Maggie again about strategies to help with some of the mindless or boredom eating that, I know I'm struggling with, while being kind of cooped up at home, so much. So, I hope to see you there. Until then, thanks for doing your part to help during all this. Stay well and we'll see you next time. Bye.
Click here for PART 1 of the discussion.