Living on my own with Type 1 Diabetes

For the first time in my life, I am living on my own. I moved out of my parents their house around 7 years ago. After that, I always lived together with other people. I lived with other students while I was still going to university and after that I never lived completely on my own. It has been six months since I moved into my own apartment. I must say, living on my own with type 1 diabetes can be challenging. Absolutely doable of course. In this blogpost I will share my experiences and tips.

Survival mode

The biggest challenge for me so far, has been the low blood sugars. It was a calming idea that I wasn’t often alone when a hypo would happen in the past. I would check my glucose level and ask someone to get me some carbs like apple juice if I was really dizzy or disoriented. Now, no matter how low I am, I have to keep myself alive without help from someone who is with me. I thought I would find it quite scary. However, I found out that I just go straight into survival mode! Go go go, Myrthe!

Yes, a hypo can be scary, especially if there is no one around. So long as I prepare, I trust that I will be ok. I have apple juice boxes in every room of my apartment, so I don’t have to walk far when I am low. I have my parents on speed dial in case I feel more comfortable having someone there to talk to. My diabetes nurse and I take a look at my basal rates on the Omnipod DASH System often, and adjust if necessary, to prevent hypos at night. All of this together helps me with dealing with lows when I am on my own.

Perks of living alone with diabetes

I don’t know about you, but when my glucose levels are high or low, I’m not in the best mood. I either get grumpy, annoyed or really upset about the smallest things. I guess I just don’t have my emotions under control. Living with someone else meant that I was extra aware of those emotions and I was trying to hide them because I didn’t want to be a burden.

Hiding it only makes it worse, I know. And it costs a lot of energy. As if a hyper or hypo didn’t take enough energy already. Living on my own makes it easier for me to just go through these emotions without feeling like I have to explain myself. I consider that a perk! And if I do want to talk about how I feel, I’ll just text or call family or friends.

A few tips from me

Living on your own doesn’t mean you’re alone. What I mean by that is that you can ask for help! Whether you ask your neighbor, a family member, a friend or your diabetes nurse… There is always someone who can help you. You can ask your neighbor if it’s alright if you give them a call when you need help. You can ask family if you can call them when your glucose levels are out of range, a friend can maybe come visit you and your diabetes nurse can help you prevent some hypos and hypers.

What I would recommend is to talk about what you need from those people, before you find yourself in the situation that you actually need help. Family members or friends can get quite worried if you call them while you’re low. Maybe it helps to give them some tools. Do you prefer they keep talking to you even though you might not want to say anything back? When do they have to take action because the situation is too dangerous? It helps them to stay calm and it helps you because you get the help that you feel comfortable with.

I do want to add though, in some cases you (or someone else) may have to call a doctor or the emergency number. Talk to your doctor or diabetes nurse about when you should do this.

Long story short, living on your own with type 1 diabetes comes with some extra challenges, but I learned along the way.




*Myrthe is an Omnipod Ambassador and has an ongoing commercial relationship with Insulet. Insulet pay Myrthe a fee to create content.

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