Richard Farstad

Type 1 Diabetes, Diagnosed 1964

 

Endocrinologist: Dr. Harpreet Bajaj

Certified Diabetes Educator: Gagandeep Gill

Location: LMC Brampton

Richard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 17 years old. At that time, technology was not very advanced and knowledge of the disease amongst the general public was limited. When Richard was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, there were only syringes for administering his insulin. Today, Richard is on an insulin pump. Richard has seen a major shift in people’s attitudes towards diabetes over the years. “With the pump, I don’t bother hiding because I’ve seen people’s attitudes have changed. Diabetes is a lot more accepted now; people don’t have a negative attitude towards it like they used to. Sometimes when I see someone with a pump – and they see me – we smile at each other, and we both know.”

For many years, Richard managed his diabetes with the help of his family doctor as there were no specialist-led diabetes clinics available in his area at the time. Eventually his physician referred him to LMC to see an endocrinologist. After having transitioned to diabetes specialist care, Richard’s knowledge and skills for managing his diabetes has changed dramatically.  “There are so many opportunities now,” says Richard. “Diabetes is so easily managed if you find the right people to help you. The medications and technology available today are so different compared to years ago; even the insulin has improved.” The piece of technology valued most by Richard today is his insulin pump.  “I wish I’d gone on the pump a lot sooner,” says Richard. “It wasn’t mentioned to me until I came to LMC. I’ve gone from 6 injections a day, to changing my infusion set every other day. It’s a lot less work and I have a lot more control of my blood sugars.”

“I hope to live a lot longer than I thought I would! There are so many opportunities now – diabetes is so easily managed if you find the right people to help you.”