Rick Phillips might be one of the busiest people in the Diabetes Online Community (DOC). The easiest place to find him is at TuDiabetes. He hangs out there under the name of “Rick the Blogabetic” and is an active blogger, forum participant, and member of the Care Team.
For those of you who are not active in the TuDiabetes community, the Care Team is composed of a group of dedicated members who moderate the forums, welcome newcomers to the site, post birthday greetings, look out for spammers, and provide support as needed to members of the community. It’s a big job and a compliment to be asked to be part of the team. After a few weeks of being part of the Care Team, Rick wrote a blogpost summarizing his thoughts on the “challenge to serve”. Here is an excerpt:
I truly love this site [TuDiabetes] and over the last few weeks I come to love it even more than today. Thank you so much for asking. It means a lot to me and if the reader of this post is ever asked and they accept the challenge, they will find a new way to serve you fellow diabetics and believe me it is so worthwhile.
Rick decided in late April 2013 that he needed to do something that was mega-impactful and he pledged to write 200 blogposts in one calendar year. Thus was created Rick the Blogabetic. Rick is somewhat like me in that he never uses one word when ten will do. Therefore his 200 posts represent a tremendous amount of writing and research on a vast array of subjects. You can read about anything from “Dogs and Endocrinologists” to the whimsical story of “Chick Duck” and from “What is -30-” to “When are We Not Diabetic?” To learn more about Rick, you should read his 199th post in which he described what he learned as a result of his blogging marathon. BTW Rick the Blogabetic is still going strong although maybe not at the pace of 200 posts per year.
In recent weeks I have run into Rick at TuDiabetes both in the forums and on his blog. I have read his guest-post at Karen Graffeo’s blog Bitter Sweet™ where he compares diabetes education to spring rains. I have seen him (@LawrPhil) in the thick of the controlled mayhem of #DSMA TwitterChat on Wednesday evenings. Facebook? Yes, he’s there too. So if you don’t already know Rick, chances are you will soon!
Rick and I have a lot in common. He has had Type 1 for 40 years compared to my 38 years. He is somewhat younger than I am, but we have been married approximately the same length of time and our two sons are the same age. Even our grandchildren are close in age. We both live with multiple autoimmune conditions. Here things diverge. Rick lives with severe Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) that has had a huge impact on his life. He indicates that his arthritis is much more difficult to live with than diabetes and that the severity of his arthritis required him to abandon the career he loved in education/business/public affairs. Although I also have arthritis, mine is more easily managed and has not yet required me to make significant changes to my lifestyle.
Next week Rick will be guest-blogging at Test Guess and Go about the connection between Type 1 diabetes and Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). Because many of us with one autoimmune condition have clusters of autoimmune issues, this 3-part series should be an interesting and educational read. Rick will tell his personal story in Part 1, talk about his treatment regimen in Part 2, and conclude with a somewhat scientific discussion of the links between diabetes and RA in Part 3.
Thank-you to Rick for taking time to share his story with us. I encourage those of you reading this blogpost to take time to get to know Rick in the many social media platforms of the DOC. You will quickly learn that he is a Diabetes Advocate to the core and that he is a man dedicated to serving others. Those of us with diabetes are lucky to have him on our team.