Diabetes And… What Impacts Your Life with Diabetes?


Editor’s Note: In November 2020, Beyond Type 1 and our friends at Insulet, makers of the Omnipod Insulin Management and Delivery System, hosted an online conversation around the many things we live with beyond and alongside diabetes. You can still join in the conversation online by reading others’ and posting your own #DiabetesAnd experiences using the hashtag #DiabetesAnd.

This article is also available in Spanish, French, German, and Dutch.

While it has always been true that none of us lives with only diabetes, it’s impossible to ignore how everything beyond diabetes has impacted and is impacting our lives. That’s why we’re asking our community to share their experiences of #DiabetesAnd—the many experiences, identities and challenges we each live with alongside and in addition to our diabetes, and what we wish people understood about them.

While each of us lives with diabetes—and that in itself is hard—each of us also lives with a unique mix of other things that influence our experience of diabetes. For some, navigating being an athlete, a student, or a parent creates a unique set of situations to balance. For others, facing issues of healthcare access, systemic racism, or stigmas and ignorance creates additional burdens in caring for diabetes.

No matter what comes after the and in #DiabetesAnd, each of our experiences is unique and worth listening with the intent to understand.

Below, hear from some members of the Beyond Type 1 team:

I live with #DiabetesAnd homesickness. This truly has an important impact on, not only my emotional health, but also my blood sugar levels. I wish people would understand that living with diabetes of any type is not just managing food, exercise and medication. We need to cover many other pieces of this complicated puzzle including our emotional health. Diabetes has no holidays, nor breaks. There’s a strong need to talk about mental health as part of our self-management to help us live better… and stronger. —Mariana

My daily life is #DiabetesAnd parenting, which means dealing with the guilt of knowing my child worries about me and having to sometimes put my diabetes first, rather than my family. I would prefer her to have a childhood without worrying about the health of her mother, especially during COVID-19.—Christi

I deal with #DiabetesAnd other autoimmune issues, so sometimes my health dive-bombs and it’s hard to know why or when it’s coming. I already work a bit too hard to counteract feeling like my diabetes holds me back sometimes (I HATE having to take stop a work out to have glucose or bow out of a meeting when my blood sugar is too low), so having additional health issues that wipe me out sometimes is incredibly frustrating, and makes me feel like a burden. I wish more people understood without pitying me—that they knew I can keep up but may need some time to take care of myself first.—Lala

I manage #DiabetesAnd emotions, because we have feelings and yes, we know for a fact that they impact our blood glucose. We are more than diabetes, we are people and we have feelings just like everybody else.—Eugenia

Thank you to our friends at Insulet, makers of the Omnipod Insulin Management and Delivery System, for lending their support to this conversation.

You can join in the conversation online by reading other’s and posting your own #DiabetesAnd experiences using the hashtag #DiabetesAnd

WRITTEN BY Lala Jackson, POSTED 11/13/20, UPDATED 11/27/22

Lala is a communications strategist who has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1997. She worked across med-tech, business incubation, library tech and wellness before landing in the type 1 diabetes (T1D) non-profit space in 2016. A bit of a nomad, she grew up primarily bouncing between Hawaii and Washington state and graduated from the University of Miami. You can usually find her reading, preferably on a beach.