Say hello to Ricky. Ricky not only works for mySugr as Data Scientist but is also one of our mySugr models living with type 1 diabetes. Ricky was also member of Team Bike Beyond and biked across the USA from New York to San Francisco in 2017 showing that anything is possible with type 1.
At mySugr we love to show the many different faces and stories of people with diabetes in the real world. So we do our own photoshoots and feature real people living with diabetes instead of using stock photos. In this series, we want you to get to know our shooting stars a little bit better.
1. What were your biggest fears/concerns when you were diagnosed with diabetes?
I was diagnosed when I was 5 years old, so I did not know what to fear. I know my parents took that burden. I am sure the first time they saw their child pass out from a hypo, they were full of pure fear.I found my fear when I was about 29 and I was married and my wife was pregnant. I had a hypo in the middle of the night and I thought about dying and not seeing my unborn child and leaving my wife to raise our child by herself. So sleep has been my biggest fear since that moment. However, the introduction to Loop has helped dramatically to reduce my biggest fear.
2. What’s the hardest part/biggest struggle for you in living with diabetes day-to-day?
Resisting carbs. Cakes, breads, and candies are so delicious and I love them. I know if I limit the amount of carbs I eat, my blood sugar is a lot more stable. But carbs are delicious.
3.What piece of advice would you give to a person who is newly diagnosed with diabetes?
Don’t wait to learn. Dive into the books and learn as much as you can about diabetes. Because it is empowering when you realize that you know more about your diabetes than your doctor. Diabetes requires constant adjustments. So have the knowledge so you can be confident in making small changes without having to always ask for permission from your doctor.
4. Is there a phrase/statement about diabetes that drives you crazy?
“Are you able to X with diabetes? ”X” is anything: “eat this cake”, “drink this drink”, “do this exercise”. If I am doing it, I have thought it through and know what I am doing.
5. When you think of the word “freedom” in terms of diabetes, what does that mean to you?
What would make you feel more free? A cure would make me feel free. But in short term goals, freedom is all the time in the day when you are not thinking, “I wonder what my blood sugar is right now?” As I said before, the Loop algorithm has provided me with some peace of mind at night time which is a small piece of freedom.