What you need to know:
- With any infection, besides Covid-19, your stress hormone levels go up.
- One of these hormones is cortisol, which, in turn, causes your blood sugars to go up.
- If you were pre-diabetic, or an undiagnosed diabetic, cortisol will raise your blood sugars even higher.
Free at last, thank God I’m free at last. I received my discharge orders on Tuesday, November 10, from Dr Lillian who told me that I was going to be released to home-based care. It was rather late in the evening but that didn’t matter.
As she was talking, all that my mind picked and amplified was the word “home”. I’d been terribly homesick after the 10-day stay in hospital. I have been admitted before — in both Aga Khan and Nairobi hospitals — but only on short 3-5 day stints.
This was the longest I’ve ever been in a hospital. She was however quick to inform me that normally, a mandatory 14-day stay is recommended. But my progress was deemed to be good enough taking into account my condition when I checked in on Saturday October 31.
The random sugar levels had been steadily brought down from the initial 23 to 19, 17, 14, 10 and during my last three days, I was recording between 4.5 and 5.6. Well in the normal 3.7 -- 7.8 range. Couldn’t be better. But the entire effort was also accompanied with insulin jabs -- and later tablets.
But my main question was: Am I a diabetic and if so when did I turn into one? I kept posing it. Or did Covid turn me into one? A doctor put it thus: Diabetes can be found incidentally during routine lab tests.
When was the last time you had a routine physical exam, in which the doctor also checked to see if you were diabetic? The disease runs in your family, so you have a very high chance of having it too.
With any infection, besides Covid-19, your stress hormone levels go up. One of these hormones is cortisol, which, in turn, causes your blood sugars to go up. If you were pre-diabetic, or an undiagnosed diabetic, cortisol will raise your blood sugars even higher. That was the best explanation I could get.
The saddest thing is that, even as CS Mutahi Kagwe continues reading his daily figures, there are those who still regard Covid-19 as a myth. The US is breaking its own records in having the highest single-day cases.
President-elect Joe Biden’s newly-formed committee on Covid-19 is warning of a “Covid Hell”.
90 per cent efficacy
So exactly what makes us think we’re invulnerable? We could always bank on the groundbreaking breakthrough between US pharmaceutical firm Pfizer and German tech firm BioNTech’s newly announced vaccine, but how soon will it get to our parts of the world? Pfizer’s early data is showing at least 90 per cent efficacy.
But its biggest challenge is the storage at -70 degrees Celsius and injected within five days.
According to the Financial Times, the two-dose vaccine will be made in Germany and Belgium, and the EU has already ordered up to 300 million doses, with Germany alone ordering 100 million for 50m of its 83 m people. One wonders why the AU or EAC is not in the front line in ensuring that Africans are not left out?
Mr Mbuthia, a former Nation quality editor, is currently a consulting editor
Monday: Corona spared me, only to take my friend at KU