Rich the Diabetic was born in 1968. His diabetes story begins approximately 18 months after he was born. At that time he was dx (diagnosed) with T1D (type 1, or juvenile diabetes). Back then he didn’t have glucose monitoring, so as a child he used paper litmus strips to see if he had sugar in his urine. At age 7 he gave his own shot for the first time at Camp Herkto Hollow in Boone, IA. For doing this, his parents awarded him a Red Ryder BB gun. (He still has it!) As a child, he did everything other kids did. He just had to take shots and check his urine for glucose. Maybe he didn’t eat as much sweets as everyone else, but it wasn’t so bad. He never really thought of diabetes as this big horrible monster, because he never knew life without it.
Somewhere in his teens, he started using a glucose meter, and started managing his diabetes on his own. Then he moved away from home, and he took complete responsibility for his diabetes. It wasn’t a big deal, just a fact of life. He rode the BS (blood sugar) roller coaster just like most T1D’s do, but he did his best and just kept living his life.
Then at age 34, over many weeks time, he started to get chest pains. He thought it was just because the doctor recently changed his blood pressure meds, so he didn’t think much about it. Then one day at a business lunch, as he was eating, they started, and then moved to his neck and wrist. Now he knew what was wrong. He went to the ER and was admitted overnight. The EKG that night was normal. The next day he took his first stress test . . . . . and his heart stopped. He was absent from this world for about 60 seconds and was awoken to 40,000 volts to the chest. He was rushed into emergency bypass surgery and had a quad bypass.
After surgery, he entered cardiac rehab. 90 days of controlled exercise with nurses monitoring his heart as he exercised. He lost about 30lbs, and wanted to continue exercising so he joined a gym. He hired a champion bodybuilder as a personal trainer. That got him involved in the health, fitness, and nutrition world, and he’s still there trying to help people just like you, the way he was helped.
Rich the Diabetic lives in Mesa, AZ. He uses a Dexcom G4 (continuous glucose monitor). His favorite form of exercise is disc golf, and his favorite spectator sport is bodybuilding or strongman. He’s into roleplaying and tabletop gaming, but no video games. He’s a total movie nerd, and his music tastes are stuck in the 80’s. You can connect with Rich the Diabetic on his numerous social networks listed at the top of the blog. Thanks for visiting!