Do You Feel Like a T1D Warrior?

Readers weigh in on whether the imagery of doing battle with Type 1 diabetes works for them.



We received many thoughtful Facebook comments about a recent opinion piece on the possible shortcomings of the imagery of people with Type 1 diabetes as warriors. Here are some of our favorites:

I’m incredibly proud of my child with Type 1 for handling all these challenges as well as he does, and I know those around us recognize his strength and are proud of him, too. Still, I hope that as he grows up, people see him as a funny, energetic kid with many interests and talents, who also happens to have Type 1 diabetes and is not just a diabetes warrior.
-Laura B.


I’ve had Type 1 diabetes since I was three, and am so tired and over the “warrior” idea.
-Laurel W.

Diabetes forces us to become warriors, guardians who fight this fire-breathing dragon and a pile of emotional mush all wrapped up in a body that only cooperates on occasion. I never wince when people comment how brave I am, because I am!
-Melanie W.

I personally don’t feel like a warrior. It is what it is. Some days are good and some aren’t, but I go on.
-Jonna R.

Everyone reacts differently. A positive attitude has probably helped me survive this disease for close to 50 years. I know what I’m up against, but I refuse to let it stop me from doing what I want. I respect everyone and the choices they make, but being a fighter and warrior is what’s right for me.
-Kelly E.

My diabetes conquers me daily. I am a fighter, but am not a hero or a warrior. I let people see my struggles, and I think it is healthy at times to be sad and angry.
-Janet C.

I’m more a worrier than a warrior when it comes to Type 1 diabetes. There’s no normal for us. It’s not that we can’t enjoy life, but let’s keep it real.
-Kinga M.


I don’t see us standing atop a mountain declaring that we conquered this disease, as much as I see us going out to our favorite restaurant, where no one knows the carb counts, and saying we didn’t let it conquer us.
-Tamara E.

I prefer to say that once we accept our limits we go beyond them. Type 1 diabetes can and does limit us and changes the way we live our lives, but when we accept this, we can live our lives with Type 1 diabetes to its fullest.
-Hilary M.

Warriors to me are people in the community who raise money, advocate to politicians for research money and better policy, or are helping to orchestrate those functions in a supportive role.
-Patrick M.

I’m the mom of two children with Type 1, and my husband has Type 1, as well. I also have lupus. While we put on a brave face for others and most of the time we feel like the warriors we are, there are times that our diagnoses stare us in the face and makes us take a shuddering breath. Just as life ebbs and flows, our attitudes do, as well. We feel obligated to be an example to others for how to handle the things life throws at you, but we are also blessed to have each other to share the yucky stuff together.
-Beth H.

These comments have been edited for length and clarity.

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Craig Idlebrook is managing editor for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation. He's written about health policy, environmental health, community health, and maternal health for over 25 publications. You can reach him at cidlebrook@epscomm.com.