In a candid Instagram post on Sunday, actress Sophie Lichaba said that she had recently landed in the emergency room as a result of elevated blood sugar levels.
According to Health24, research showed that people with diabetes could experience a more severe course of illness, should they contract Covid-19.
Due to the dangerous combination of diabetes and the coronavirus, the former Generations actress, who was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2014, says it made the emergency room visit even more frightful.
Speaking to Channel24, Sophie spoke about how her businesses have been affected by the coronavirus, her recent visit to the emergency room, and the extra precautions she has been taking at home.
Sophie, who runs an event management company, says that lifestyle events and weddings have come to a complete halt due the coronavirus restrictions. Together with her husband, the couple run two successful restaurants and bars, which she says has produced "zero income" during the national lockdown.
But she says that acting work has been picking up slowly, and her other ventures have been keeping her working: "Luckily I have other businesses that are keeping me occupied, like my pharmaceutical company. We supply institutions with Covid-19 related, and other medical supplies - from testers for diabetes and syringes to cleaning services. Together with two other ladies, who are my business partners, it's growing, and we're happy to be supplying neighbouring African countries too."
About staying positive during such an uncertain time both professionally and psychologically, Sophie says: "One has to reset mentally and emotionally to survive any drastic uncomfortable change in your life. But feeling anxious is normal. The virus shut down the entire world. I respect all the regulations and take the highest precautions to keep myself and my family safe."
About her recent visit to the emergency room, Sophie says that she spent an afternoon in the ER during Level 4 of the national lockdown.
"My sugar levels were super high, at 27. I went on a drip with insulin and medication and was discharged later that night. It took hours to bring my levels down."
About what caused her spiked sugar levels, she says that it could have been a result of work pressure or the food she consumed, although she takes great precaution when reading nutritional labels.
"You only realise that something is wrong when you start feeling pins and needles in your head or experience blurry eyesight that your levels are high. Sometimes you collapse without notice. Regular testing is key. It's truly a dangerous disease, and our health is not to be taken for granted."
She admits that being in the hospital during a global pandemic was scary, but that she assessed the safety precautions when she entered the facility and was comfortable with the level of precautions taken. "Some people still take the virus lightly, but the disease is fatal," she says.
After the health scare, Sophie says that is feeling great, and "fighting one day at a time," she adds: "The other day I had a problem with my eye, but I visited the doctor, and it's much better. Other than that, I have normal allergies, and I suffer from aches and pains in my neck."
Although some people might she spas and massage therapy as a luxury, according to Sophie, it is an essential service, as it related to her health.
"My kids and my husband have offered to massage my body, but it's not as effective as a professional. The disease takes a toll on my body. Some treatments need to be allowed, as it is therapy and helps with alleviating stress and discomfort," she says.
Because diabetes put people at a higher risk of contracting the virus, Sophie says that her "house is like a hospital."
"I disinfect my entire home from the walls to floors once a week, and generally sanitise the floors and counters twice a day, especially if I leave the house to buy essentials. I shower right after I get home to protect my family as well, and nobody is allowed to touch or hug me before I've washed. All the groceries are wiped and sanitised before it is packed away, and we have hand sanitiser in the house that everyone uses, even after just taking a walk."
Sophie's unwavering faith has kept her positive and confident that we will overcome the virus. "My faith has kept me safe. I have fasted, and I dedicate two hours a day to connecting with my God. Mostly very early mornings and evenings.
I join online sermons, and I'm using this precious time to get to know more about my spiritual journey. Its kept me filled with hope, and I have a lot to look forward to in faith," she says.
"Let's do everything in our power to protect ourselves our families from this virus," Sophie urges South Africans. "Use this time to introspect and create positive change for ourselves and our families. God bless and protect us all," she says.