What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

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 having to put on a fake smile every time you have to explain to someone that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are NOT the same thing.

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.

Photo Credit: Josie Nicole

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.

Photo Credit: Ashlyn M.

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. 

What It's Like Living With Type 1 Diabetes


“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

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20 thoughts on “What It’s Like To Live With Type 1 Diabetes

  1. In my 50th year of T1DM (I am now 60) and I can honestly say that the only people who deeply understood and respected this with love and soul were my late Mom and Dad. The worst were my ex wife and all my endocrinologists. .

  2. I want to add-Meeting some really great friends at diabetes camp. We deal with a lot. But sometimes, great things come in to play.

  3. What a heartwarming post! My son who is a teenager now was diagnosed Type 1 and everything you said is what I have seen him experience. I know there is more but this is just a tip of the iceberg. Thank you for bringing awareness. Sending much ❤️!

  4. Ive been a Personal trainer and Nutritionalist for about 25 years and am in my third year of coaching, training and contest prepping a wonderful diabetic type one. She has definitely made me up my game and tested many practices and theories that are long held regarding the manipulation of blood sugar through carbohydrate cycling. I feel blessed to know her and knowing her has put my skills to the test. Ive been spot on in most instances however Ive learned some things I didnt know. Thank you for your wonderful story and I will pass on to you the same words I say to her, “You are a beast and an inspiration to me” so be blessed dear heart and don’t ever give in.

  5. Everyone has problems!!
    I have ra and hurt all the time.
    I have a bum heart and must operate off a pace make and def implant .
    I’m in constant pain , can’t sleep without a c -pat machine , did I tell you about pain so bad I can’t sleep , move , sit , stand .
    I’m not dead so I force myself to do everything – but my body wants to stop everything. Pain rules my life my joints rule what I can do!!! And my heart is the boss of it all .
    Better in pain than dead ……….. maybe !!!?

    1. I am a mom to a son who was diagnosised with type 1 when he was 25 years old. He was never sick a day in his life. I will never truly understand everything he has gone through and continies to fight, but i CAN say that i have watched my child almost die several occations and the helplessness is beyond my control as all i can do is watch him suffer and slowly die. As a mom i have watched my son loose his health insurance…and not have a dime for his life saving insulin. I have watched my families savimgs accounts turn to ash…and the Sold Sign posted in the front yard of our home from being so in debt…saving our sons life. I will never understand exactly the frustration, and the pain my child or anyone who lives with this disgusting disease feels…but…i assure anyone…and everyone…that diabetes changes the lives of EVERYONE in the family…every single day…and that it takes the emotional, financial, and loving support of everyone in the family. I believe we would have lost our child several times already, but we as a family continue to help our son win this fight.
      By the way…talking about our experiencs with diabetes is not a competition with other dieases or struggles. This is simply a mother sharing what life has been like for our family since that day the diagnoses was announced. May God bless everyone and their families and continue to give them all the strength and patience for everyday life.

  6. Read this heartfelt account of what life is like for you. Feel so blessed to understand. Humbled by my small ailments and feel guilty for complaining. THANK YOU for sharing and helping me understand

  7. I experience the exact same things with being an insulin dependent type 2. It’s not only type 1, type 2 is miserable as well

  8. Well spoken, you nailed it. Type 1 is a hard disease to live with. I have admitted and been able to say that after being so tough for 36 years…you know what this disease is so hard, so expensive, so tiring. Hang in there my fellow warrior!

  9. This is exactly how I feel. You hit it right on the money. This may sound bad but sure glad to know I am not the only one that goes through the struggles. God seems to have picked some strong people 😌

  10. Valeria, You rock!!! I love your post as it does enlighten those that have no idea the daily struggles a Type 1 diabetic goes through. I am Type 2 and I complain of having to poke myself and check my sugars but my A1C’s are managed well with medications and diet. I have nothing to complain about as the only issues I deal with my diabetes is getting sleepy on occasion when my sugars spike after eating sweets I know full well I should not have. Keep on fighting the good fight and keep the faith that a cure someday will be found.

  11. I have just been diagnosed in Jan as a TYPE 2 diabetic .. It is really hard for me trying to get my #s down . It was in the 400’s then I’m down to 270 . What’s worse is that I’m 96 lbs… Dr saying watch your carbs… Nutritionist saying you need to eat carbs .. I have eaten healthy for years . I’m just lost 😔 Thank you for sharing your journey .. I know it’s a tough road ahead for me as well. I haven’t givin up .. Staying strong !

  12. This is very very good and very very accurate. No one will understand unless they have this disease and some of them might not either. It’s a life long disease but I always say it could b worse even when it’s running everything in my life

  13. My husband and I have type 2 diabetes and we have struggled through it but nothing compared to what I have learned about you and your type 1 diabetes. I salute you for being strong..

  14. Having two girls who became diabetics at age 2 and 3 was awful. Besides feeling so bad for them, the frustration we experienced was beyond words. Now–after 53 and 47 years of struggle and wondering why there has been no miracle cure in sight — it is just hard to understand. We lost our older girl this year–who was just too young to die. She fought so hard all her life to live with the disease –even now I cannot accept or understand it. You are right — it is not only hard to control, but it is so expensive many cannot afford the insulin and supplies needed to control it. I have no words that will make you feel better except –stay strong and God bless.

  15. Type 1 since age of 2. My sis, who recently passed, since age of 3. Extreme lows, 911 necessary, extreme highs treated in hospital, eye damage, kidney & bladder nerves do not work, gastroperesis, feeding tube, just to name a few. I apologize before I say this, but type 2 have no idea what diabetes really is. We need to see commercials for type 1. Most damaging health wise and financially.

  16. Thank you. I’ve recently been diagnosed and you sharing your story has made me feel less alone.

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