Pandemic Diary: April 7th, 2020 (AAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!!!)

Today has not gotten off to a good start.

I have type II diabetes, a condition related to my obesity, and recently I switched from a lancet and digital blood sugar monitor to the FreeStyle LibreLink app on my iPhone, which has the advantage that I can check my blood sugar as many times during the day as I want.

The system requires that I apply a blood sugar sensor (with a fairly large needle) into my upper arm, which I then activate and scan using my iPhone. I have to change the sensor every two weeks. When the system works, it works well.

But the sensors are expensive as hell (I still have to look into whether my health insurance covers them and how to apply for it), and out of the last five sensors I have used, only three have worked until the end of the two-week period. The sensors are applied using a fairly strong adhesive, but after one night of restless sleep (a frustratingly common occurrence lately), it detached and I actually bent the needle, making it useless.

Well, this morning, my LibreLink app was giving me abnormally low blood sugar readings, and to boot, the spot where I had attached it was painful. I tested my blood sugar using the old method, and there was a clear mismatch. Between the pain and the misreadings, I tore it off in disgust and threw it into the trash. Another very expensive sensor bites the dust. Looks like I will be pricking my fingers for the next couple of weeks.

To top it off, my brief perusal of this morning’s Google News website brought forth the following distressing articles:

Zubrin says it’s just a matter of time before others are facing the same decision she and her sister had to make. 

“Everyone is really tight with finances right now. They’re being laid off, there’s no money, they’re going to be keeping every dime they possibly can. Even though let’s say six months down, the road everything’s been lifted and everything’s fine, and they want to do shopping, they still have how many months worth to catch up,” she said.

“They’re not going to go shop, shop, shop, so us little small businesses, we’re not going to survive. We’re not.”

It would appear that the coronavirus pandemic is going to spark, at the very least, a major global recession, possibly even another Great Depression. Oh, joy. I may land up working to age 65 after all.

Wade Kidd of Winnipeg

Kidd’s family said he started experiencing flu-like symptoms on March 18. After contacting health officials, Kidd self-isolated in his home.

“He stayed at home until he was feeling so unwell that we knew he needed help. He was admitted to hospital on March 27, where his condition quickly deteriorated,” his family said.

Kidd died on April 2. His family said he was a loving husband, father and grandfather.

“He was going to be 55 in May, and had a love of life,” the family said. “Wade should be remembered for the amazing man he was, not for how he died. He was humble and unassuming in his life and would not know what to do with all this attention. He was a steady ship in a crazy storm, and now he is gone.”

Kidd’s family said he lived a healthy active life, though he did have some underlying health conditions.

Now, I don’t know what underlying health conditions Mr. Kidd had, but he was two years younger than I am, and I most certainly do NOT live “a healthy, active life”. Between my obesity, my hypertension, my asthma, and my type II diabetes, I am a sitting duck if I catch this coronavirus. I might well be stuck in my small apartment for the duration of the pandemic, creeping out wearing a respirator mask, eye protection, and surgical gloves, truly safe only when I can receive a vaccine, which is likely 12 to 18 months away, at best. AT BEST.

So, yes, I am in an absolutely foul mood today. (That’s MISTER Crankypants to you, buster.) You are all hereby forwarned. I will probably step well away from the blogging keyboard today, lest I vent that anger into a blogpost directed at somebody, or some social VR platform or virtual world that really doesn’t deserve it (as evidenced here, here, and especially here).

I’ll return when I am in a better mood.

UPDATE 12:59 p.m.: Well, things are going rapidly downhill.

I have spent the last hour and half on the phone with technical support for the FreeStyle LibreLink system, because when I replaced the old sensor with a second, new one, my iPhone app wouldn’t scan it, and worse, my iPhone app still thinks I have two weeks left on the old sensor. There doesn’t seem to be any way to reset it unless I can actually scan the new sensor, which, after quite the lengthy period of trial and error, the technical support person thinks is probably defective. So they are mailing me two replacement sensors: one to replace the old one, and one to replace the new one. She tells me they should arrive in three to five days to my mailbox.

And I’m still not sure, if I open my last remaining sensor box, whether or not it will work with the FreeStyle LibreLink app (which apparently still thinks that it has 14 days left on the old sensor).

Oh, and another thing: I forgot my password for the whole goddamn system, and the technical support person had to talk me through a password reset via their website, which (thankfully) worked. So, at least I can now uninstall, then reinstall this fucking app from scratch, to make sure that it will work with my last sensor. All my blood sugar data should be stored “in the cloud”, so I should be okay. (Should be.)

What a fucking circus. I feel as if I am beta-testing this goddamn thing.

Oh, and on top of all that, WordPress had a temporary system outage, and it wouldn’t let me edit this blogpost, even when I entered my correct username and password. So I’m like, this, right now:

Photo by Alex Iby on Unsplash

The only ray of light in this whole fucking day so far is that my best friend FaceTimed me to ask if I needed anything from the grocery store (since I haven’t gone out shopping since March 16th). He’s already picking up groceries for himself, and some breakfast supplies for his mother, who lives in an assisted-living home, so a few extra items wouldn’t be a big deal for him.

I begged him to pick up a couple of loaves of bread: real, actual, store-bought multigrain bread. I went through my entire supply a week and a half ago, and I haven’t yet been brave enough to attempt to bake my own bread (even though I have all the ingredients on hand). I expect he will be dropping them off on front doorstep later today, as I wave at him through the living room window of my apartment.

I was so grateful I almost cried. I even told him I would name my first-born child after him. (He knows that’s never gonna happen. I know that’s never gonna happen. EVERYBODY WHO KNOWS ME, knows that’s NEVER gonna happen.)

Jesus-fucking-Christ-tapdancing-on-a-cracker, what a day. I need to go lie down now. I honestly don’t think I can handle anything else going wrong today.