Last Friday, Justice Sotomayor’s day started with a health scare when paramedics were called to her house to treat her for low blood sugar—a complication of the Type 1 diabetes that she has been living with since she was a child. She recovered quickly after receiving treatment and went to work as usual.
Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition typically diagnosed in childhood in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, an essential hormone in the body’s energy production processes. For people with type 1 diabetes, low blood sugar can be life-threatening if not recognized and treated quickly.
Justice Sotomayor has been candid about her struggles with the disease, from sharing her self-described “super vigilant” routine to sharing which glucose tablet flavor she most often buys (tropical blast is her favorite). She has said that the risk of situations like last Friday have led her to be more open about her struggles and how she manages her health on a daily basis.
Justice Sotomayor says she shares her challenges and successes in dealing with diabetes in the hope that she can inspire people who live with diabetes and other chronic illnesses. In an interview about her book “My Beloved World,” she explained:
One of the thing I wanted to do in this book, it was first to give young diabetics hope about their own life. And a real belief and understanding that they could do anything they wanted to do in life. Because there are no barriers to what we can accomplish and do. However, it is something that has to be managed in your life. You just can’t ignore it. You have to learn how to take care of yourself. And it’s something that everyone with a chronic disease does. Healthy people are those people who can recognize that disease presents you with a challenge. It challenges you to figure out how to live with it.
This post was drafted by ISCOTUS Fellow Zoe Arthurson-McColl, Chicago-Kent Class of 2020, and was edited by ISCOTUS Editorial Coordinator Anna Jirschele, Chicago-Kent Class of 2018, and ISCOTUS Co-Director and Chicago-Kent faculty member Christopher Schmidt.