Man with t1 describes his COVID-19 experience

Official sources of information about COVID-19 are providing facts. The following story is about one man living with type 1 diabetes who has contracted the virus.

His story does not represent how every person with diabetes will be affected but it does describe how one individual who lives with type 1 is faring.

A 39-year-old man living with type 1 diabetes in the US has been reported in media, describing his experience of COVID-19 as feeling very different to the flu.

Justin, who did not give his surname, said he first fell ill early this month. He developed a headache and deep ache in his lungs before his breathing became progressively laboured.

As his symptoms worsened, Justin said he “nearly passed out for no apparent reason” before eventually taking himself to his local hospital’s Emergency Department.

Justin outlined on Twitter: “By that point it hurt to breath. They treated me for flu, gave me Tamiflu, an inhaler, and sent me home. They said if I felt worse to come back, so I went back.”

Justin was then hospitalised.

“Today it hurts to breath so much. Walking to the bathroom is like running a marathon.

“Don’t think chest pain like a heart attack or flu – this isn’t the flu. We all pretty much know the flu.

“Think deeper, think lung pain. It’s hard to visualize but I think when you breath cold air and that ‘pain’ in your lungs before they warm back up. It’s kinda like that.”

Justin said the inhaler makes his lungs hurt worse. “With the inhaler, think of when you cut yourself and apply alcohol to the wound. It’s kinda like that. Applying medicine to a wound,” he said.

“This is no flu. The flu is its own thing. This feels SO much different than a flu.”

Justin was allowed to leave hospital and return to his family, who are all in lockdown.

“I’m home and ‘quarantining’ with my family.”

Justin used the media exposure to urge people to say home in a bid to stop the spread of the disease.

Justin’s tweet @jwdaddy80 said: “I have it. Don’t sleep on this thing, people. I’m a very healthy type 1 diabetic. My body is fighting it very well but it’s kicking my ass. Don’t be a moron. Stay home!”

Justin is still tweeting and his post on Tuesday, March 24, was “FATIGUE! That’s the prevalent deal right now. Headache is still around, lung pain is subsiding, and breathing is painless, FINALLY!”

Join our community of over 33,000 people living with diabetes