For starters, each day looks a little different than the one before it.
It’s one thing to learn the little tasks like testing your blood sugar or counting carbohydrates (okay, not so little), but it’s another to imagine how those oh-so-crucial components of managing type 1 diabetes fit into life. Like, real life.
Part of that means accepting a little trial and error. “Treating diabetes is always a challenge,” says Craig Kasper, a patient with type 1 diabetes. “There’s never one day that’s exactly the same as the one before it.”
With a little practice, you develop routines and learn what works (and what definitely doesn’t). We asked three patients for the honest truth about what a typical day with type 1 diabetes actually looks like.
Prioritize Your Health
“On a day-to-day basis, I’m very mindful of how to keep my stress levels in check. … I’m constantly experimenting with the types of foods I eat. Sometimes I go back and forth between eating just veggies and making sure that I’m eating as healthy a diet as possible.
“Exercise is a really important component of what I do on a day-to-day basis, and I’m trying to get into the gym [or do] some type of physical activity at least six days a week and sometimes even seven days a week.”
—Craig Kasper, diagnosed at age 27
Monitor, Monitor, Monitor
“I check my blood sugar every morning as soon as I wake up and every evening before I go to sleep. I think those are the two most important numbers to know—so you know how you’re starting the day and you know that you’re going to be okay overnight.
In between, I check before meals and then every once in a while I’ll check in between meals. [It’s] important to know what my blood sugar’s doing two hours after a meal. In between, I do what anybody does: I do my work, I see my friends, I live a normal life.”
—Riva Greenberg, diagnosed at age 18
“Type 1 diabetes—unlike many other [conditions]—is very much an emotional and mental disease, and it controls everything from what you put in your mouth to the exercise and activity that you do, so there are just so many ways that diabetes affects and impacts your life.
“You can’t predict what scenario you’re going to be in. You could be in a slumber party as a teenager; you could be in front of a cycling class. [The trick is] always having to be prepared and thinking about it and [being] responsible.”
—Liz Van Voorhis, diagnosed at age 15
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So treating diabetes is always
a challenge, on a day-to-day basis.
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There's never one day that's exactly
the same as the one before it.
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On a day-to-day basis, I'm very mindful
of how to keep my stress in check.
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Whether it's reducing cortisol levels,
or just overall mental,
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emotional stress that makes me eat
at times when I shouldn't be eating.
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I'm constantly experimenting
with the types of foods I eat.
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Sometimes I go back and forth between
eating just eating veggies, and
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making sure that I'm eating as
healthy of a diet as possible.
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Exercise is a really important component
of what I do on a day-to-day basis.
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And I'm trying to get into the gym, or
doing some sort of physical activity,
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at least six days a week, and
sometimes even seven days a week.
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I check my blood sugar every morning,
as soon as I wake up,
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and every evening before I go to sleep.
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I think those are the two most
important numbers to know.
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So you know how you're starting the day,
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you know that you're
gonna be okay overnight.
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And then in between,
I check before meals, and
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every once in a while I'll
check in between meals.
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Because it's important to know what my
blood sugar is doing two hours after
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And in between, I do what anybody does.
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I do my work, I see my friends,
I live a normal life.
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Type 1 diabetes,
unlike many other conditions, diseases,
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illnesses, is very much an emotional and
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And it controls everything from
what you put in your mouth,
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to the exercise and activity that you do.
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So there are just so many ways that
diabetes affects and impacts your life.
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And you can't predict what
scenario you're gonna be in.
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You could be at a slumber
party as a teenager, or
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you could be in front of a cycling class.
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And always having to be prepared, and
thinking about it, and responsible.
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