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An honest take on Type 1 diabetes

Diabetes on Instagram

I’d like to introduce one of my favourite Instagram feeds, Tracy Sanders. Also known as @type1tracy. Tracy has Type 1 diabetes, but that doesn’t stop her from doing anything in life… Check out what she has to say, below, on a solo trip to Italy.

type 1 diabetes tracy

You can do it – with or without Type 1 diabetes

H O N E S T Y  H O U R: Firstly, I just want to say whatever you want to do, whatever you dream of, or whatever adventure you seek. You can do it. With diabetes. Without diabetes.

Secondly, this isn’t an inspirational “Diabetes can’t stop you from living your dreams” message, let’s be potently honest, it sure as hell can. If you choose to passively sweep through this life ignoring diabetes, your body, it’s messages, type one will create walls and obstacles.

Take responsibility

You have to be practical. You have to take charge. You have to apply yourself and take responsibility. Take on responsibility WITHOUT resentment. Without wishing otherwise, “I wish I didn’t have diabetes, I wish I could be lucky like my friends who don’t have to inject”. It is important to acknowledge these thoughts, be intensely curious about them and their origins, and let them go.

Taking responsibility does not mean aiming for perfection (it does not exist). It’s about refusing to let numbers define you, putting effort into working FOR your numbers and looking after your mental health too: patience, self-love and kindness, forgiveness, gratitude.

Being alone in Italy, it dawned on me the kind of responsibility that I was carrying with me. If I had a low, the only person I could rely on was myself.

Make a change, take charge

The thoughts of mid-sleep hypoglycemia developing into seizures did creep into my mind. I have never had such before, but this does not mean it’s not possible. It just means I better make 100% sure it doesn’t happen as there will be no one to run into my room to help me. Careful bolusing, dinner well before I sleep, glucose sweets always on hand & at my bedside. Small practicalities that make all the difference. But I had gelato, I had pasta, I skipped dinner, and ate until my tummy was bursting, I had some nasty BGs and a lot of good ones.

Yes, you can be free, you can explore, you can run that event, you can lower your HbA1C, you can have a beautiful healthy pregnancy. But you first need to have a RAW and HONEST conversation with yourself. How can you make a change, take charge and free yourself of any little bits of a victim mentality that can lurk in the setting of chronic disease?

Published inInspiring Stories


  1. shannon shannon

    Hi Tracy,
    Thanks for your honest take on Type1. There really is no way to candy coat this challenging condition. My 2 and half year old grand daughter was diagnosed 6 months ago and has been very difficult for the whole family. We are still in the process of trying to turn this into a positive ‘thing’. Due to her young age and rapid growth and exceptionally fussy palate, her highs and lows remain relatively extreme with very few ‘middles’.

    How long have you had Type1? I’m interested to know if you were diagnosed as an infant, toddler etc?
    BTW well done on adventuring through Italy – may it only be the beginning of many more adventures!

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