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Work situation & covid19. Advice/thoughts & opinions please

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Sunshine2297, Apr 4, 2020.

  1. Sunshine2297

    Sunshine2297 · Member

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    Morning
    So it's been a strange couple of weeks. I work in an oncology day unit, so we have patients coming in and out all day as it is outpatients. Just last week we only had standard PPE, gloves and aprons. I has a risk assessment with my manager and sister in charge that Monday, the anogram of this assessment given by the trust basically flowed in such a way unless you work in directly with covid 19 confirmed patients then you are at no higher risk and carry on. I then mentioned to them that I had spoken to my GP and she told me their receptionist is type one diabetic and working with a mask, may be worth negotiating this? My manager straight away shut me down, said it isn't proven to protect you and basically said she doesn't understand why diabetics are on the risk list anyway... Ok I accepted this and carried on working during the week, speaking with my diabetes nurse she advised similar to my GP and suggested I ask for more PPE. I phone infection control who advised me to speak to occy health who then questioned why I phoned them so hit a brick wall there.

    Enough was enough, I'm sorry i felt awful. Government guildines are so hit and miss what we should be doing to protect ourselves, anyone I went to for advise couldn't help or didn't seem to want to help so by the middle of the week I was starting to feel in quite a dark place. I would sit at the top of my stairs ready for work and cry, walking to my unit I have to walk past the red zone of covid wards. Mentally this whole situation is driving me mad, when I go home I scrub everything, I don't like to even hug my partner.

    Anyway, by Friday I came home and thought I actually can't go on like this I'm so stressed my glucose is constantly high, I can't sleep and I have a tight chest. I phoned a union and he advised me to immediately email my manager and say I'm self isolating.

    The next day the union rep was in discussion with HR and then my manager phoned me that afternoon. She gave me a few options, a couple being unpaid leave or taking annual leave and then advised that we now have fluid resistant masks. Great. I felt ok to return with the masks, see you next week I said.

    I then get a phone call saying I will be working at the sister unit (trust is across two sites) as our chemo patients are now going there.

    With everything on the rise, my depressive and anxious tendancies, feeling like I'm being sent pillar to post, unable to tackle my high blood glucose I feel I may just take unpaid leave. I feel like a complete coward. I feel I will let down my colleagues and the patients. But I just don't think I can carry on like this. I'm having tight chest and a tickly cough, I'm not sure if the tight chest may be related to stress or high blood glucose?

    I just wanted to share my experience, my thoughts. Maybe someone else is going through a similar time? All advice, opinions welcome good or bad
     
  2. VashtiB

    VashtiB Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you are having such a hard time. That much stress cannot be good for anyone. It is a very strange world we currently live in and I think many are struggling. We have no real idea of how long it will last and what are the particular risks etc.

    You need to take care of yourself and now that is tough.

    Take care.
     
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  3. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    An interesting point I heard mentioned on the radio the other day is that if you join the armed forces, you know that one day you may be asked to put your life on the line in defence of the realm.

    Similarly, joining the Police or Fire Service comes with associated risks. But health workers didn't sign up with the expectation of putting their lives at risk. So the stress you are experiencing is quite understandable. My wife is a nurse in care home and they have no suitable PPE yet, all the staff are quite scared as you would expect

    I work for a company which makes radiotherapy equipment and we are installing and maintaining the equipment in oncolgy centres all over the world. I myself only go to site when field engineers cannot resolve problems by themselves but if I get the call, I will go.

    My employer is providing PPE so the risk is reduced. This is obviously a big factor in determining one's comfort level. I do feel that your employer should be doing more to help you. If they are saving PPE for frontline staff then you should be allowed to maintain the "stringent" social distancing that the government is advising.

    Ultimately in these troubled times you must do what is right for you and your family.
     
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  4. Daphne917

    Daphne917 Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    @Sunshine2297 My understanding is that if you develop a cough you need to stay home and self isolate.
     
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  5. Sunshine2297

    Sunshine2297 · Member

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    After reading your comment i phoned 111 and they advised my cough isn't to worry about and I should drink hot drinks and take plenty of vitamin C
     
  6. DavidGrahamJones

    DavidGrahamJones Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    His knowledge is out of date. Here's just one bit of research: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/04/200403132345.htm and that's just a recent report. This one goes back to 2013 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3591312/.

    Even without that, as I have said on other threads. Wear and mask, if you're wrong, so what. Don't wear a mask and if you're wrong the outcome could be totally different.

    As for diabetics, does is showing a complete lack of understanding, he obviously does not know the mechanism of how this virus works. The fact that Glycated hemoglobin decreases the oxygen carrying capacity and limits the tissue oxygen delivery means that you are at a disadvantage when this virus comes along and hijacks other bits of hemoglobin and further restricts it's ability to carry oxygen. It's a double wammy, the lung problems plus the inability of the blood to carry enough oxygen. I haven't mentioned the body's inability to get rid of CO2 (probably lung function) because I don't understand it.

    I hope you can get hold of a mask, otherwise you might have to make one. Surely they can't discipline anyone for wearing a mask? Maybe they can, judging by some of the stupidity I've seen.

    BTW, making your own mask. As always Mr Google comes up with all you need to know, not forgetting to do 'due diligence' and checking what to find. All the best.
     
  7. NicoleC1971

    NicoleC1971 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    As I understand it you are signing out for reasons of mental ill health since your diabetic status and age do not put you in a high risk group Not that there is any shame in being depressed and anxious in these circumstances but you should consider whether being at home will make you feel any better?
    I do not know whether you have any other relevant other conditions (high bp, morbid obesity etc?) so forgive my assumptions.
    As to your cough you should of course take advice as to whether you're at risk of infecting your vulnerable chemo patients. Going forward I believe we will all be exposed to this so its well worth focussing on managing stress/anxiety levels so as to get your blood sugars down! Obviously having a slight illness can also explain escalating blood sugars.
     
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