What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes
By: Valeria Guerrero
What’s it like?
It’s pricking your finger endlessly throughout the day.
It’s not being afraid of blood because you get used to seeing so much of it.
It’s no longer feeling tremor to a needle because you’ve had no choice than to be poked by them every day.
It’s being woken up countless times throughout the night to fix blood sugars that just won’t become stable.
It’s waking up feeling hung over because your sugars were high all night no matter the amount of corrections you gave yourself.
It’s not being able to eat whatever you want before carb counting and analyzing how it will affect your sugars later.
It’s not being able to go a single work out without stressing if you’re going to go too low, drop too fast or go high.
It’s seeing all the scars all over our tummy, arms and legs from all the site changes and pokes and just cry.
It’s people staring at you while you poke yourself and watching you like something is wrong with you.
It’s people telling you “you can’ t have that” or “should you be eating that?”
It’s people assuming you have type 2 when you say you have diabetes.
It’s watching people look at you like you’re breaking the law by having a candy.
It’s asking yourself what you did wrong because you got this disease even when they say it isn’t your fault.
It’s remembering what it was like before being diagnosed and feeling nostalgic.
It’s struggling with money and possibly going into debt because supplies are just so expensive.
It’s wanting to cry whenever you hear a representative say “your insurance doesn’t cover that entirely so your out of pocket cost will be…”
It’s seeing a medical bill in the mail and getting a knot in your throat.
It’s thinking of all the money you could’ve had if you didn’t have diabetes.
It’s watching people turn their head away when you’re about to poke your finger or give yourself a shot.
It’s watching your mom walk out of the hospital room because she wasn’t able to handle watching you give yourself your first shot.
It’s worrying if you will wake up the next day because you don’t know how your sugars will be throughout the night.
It’s being terrified to think about even having babies in the future because you’re terrified there might be complications.
It’s feeling lost and in a haze when you’re going low.
It’s panicking that you don’t have a juice box around that you’re dropping too fast.
It’s waking up in the middle of the night dripping in sweat as your body is begging for sugar.
It’s not being able to go straight back to sleep after a low because you have to wait until you come back up.
It’s eating anything and everything in your fridge when you have a low sugar.
It’s avoiding anyone who is sick because you don’t want to get sick and have to deal with high blood sugars.
It’s the possibility of ending up in the hospital over a stupid cold.
It’s finding test strips everywhere you could possibly think of.
It’s looking like robotron with so many devices connected to you (CGM, pump).
It’s your pump tubing getting caught on something and tearing out and trying not to scream in pain while trying to stop the bleeding.
It’s having people ask you and assume that your CGM is a nicotine patch.
It’s people telling you to correct your blood sugars over and over when little do they know that you’ve been trying everything you could for hours.
It’s having to go to the doctor every 3 months.
It’s having to have medical insurance no matter what.
It’s having to throw out a vial of insulin that has gone bad and just thinking about the money that you just threw away.
It’s ensuring you have all your supplies anytime you plan to leave the house.
It’s the fear that it’s too much for a loved one to handle and love you for.
It’s wanting and praying that your mom will eventually try to learn more about the disease so she understands you a little bit better.
It’s wanting your loved ones to know how you feel to know how hard it is; that this isn’t easy but knowing they don’t.
It’s being in denial for years after being diagnosed because you don’t want to accept it.
It’s worrying more if you have enough money for your supplies more than buying a shirt you’ve been wanting for months.
It’s having to always have a purse with you because you have to carry your supplies with you. It’s hating the word “disability” because it makes you feel less of a person.
It’s the feeling that no one gets you because everything you feel is invisible.
It’s arguing with your dad and having to yell at him that your sugars are high and that it only makes you more irritable.
It’s arguing with your boyfriend over the stupidest things because your blood sugars are high.
It’s your friends getting upset with you because you tell them you can’t go out for some reason, but in reality diabetes just has you feeling like shit.
It’s putting up listening to people who think they know more than you on this disease.
It’s having to be okay with death because in reality, it’s a possibility at any given time with this disease.
It’s seeing all the people who pass away from this disease and feeling your heart drop to your stomach because you know that could be you.
It’s having people tell you “there will be a cure soon” but you just feel like soon is never soon enough.
It’s not worse than cancer but this stays with you forever.
It’s not something I would ever wish on my worst enemy.
It’s hard. Man, does it get hard.
It isn’t easy. There’s so much more to it. More than anyone could see or understand. I could go on forever. There are and have been so many times where I want to give up. Where I just want to go a day or two without the pokes. To try and feel “normal” again.
But I know I can’t. I know better. Because my life depends on it. But it has shaped me into who I am today. I thank God every day because I could’ve been one of the many children who die from a misdiagnosis. I was close to it. But I didn’t. I believe and I know I am stronger than what people believe me to be.
I have gone through hell and back. There will be rainy days. But the sun will always shine again. No matter how hard the rain may have beat down on me. But I won’t let diabetes win.
“With my chin up, I still stand here. Strong. I wear these scars proudly. I’m a warrior. No blood sugar nor person will tell me otherwise.”
-Valeria Guerrero, Type 1 Diabetic