You can die of diabetes. You can do your best to survive, but if you ask me, life is about living – not about surviving. Was that really what my life had been reduced to after I’d been diagnosed with diabetes? Survival? Not if it was up to me – which it was (and is).
In the last episode of my diabetes story, I told you about how I arrived at the conclusion that diabetes and my life as an entrepreneur were incompatible. That’s why I chose to sell my parts of my companies and pursue a more structured life. One might call it a more diabetes-friendly life.
It didn’t take long for the conclusion to be clear though. I wasn’t built for a life like that. After my diagnosis, I got the feeling that it wasn’t me, Peter Lucas, who made the decisions in my life. Diabetes called the shots. Diabetes took up so much head space and influenced all aspects of my life. It was the constant worrying, thinking, the constant fear that ran my life and existence.
All of a sudden, all I had to do was survive until I died. I was the second pilot of my own life. This feeling stayed with me through the last of my 20s and into my 30s. And even though I know, the headline of this article is a bit sharp, it was truly how I felt.
It wasn’t an existence I found appealing. Something had to happen. I had to take back the control of my life.
And Then Along Came My Daughter
As some of you might be familiar with, becoming a parent isn’t necessarily what gives you back the control of your life. Still, I became a dad to a gorgeous little girl in the summer of 2013.
All of a sudden I had to take care of a new human being. (Luckily for both Carla and myself, there’s also a strong woman involved :-). The new role as a parent made me reflect upon my life. Was this really how I wanted it to be? No.
New Business Adventure – Same Result
That’s why I tried to start a new business in 2013. It was incredible to be back. I love building and developing my own business. I felt like I was also growing as a person again.
Unfortunately, Diabetes didn’t agree with my new business adventure. My blood sugar started to fluctuate again as I got busier and busier, became stressed and I had more hypos. I didn’t want to die of diabetes.
This is when I started using apps and other tools to control my condition. Without much luck, though. I couldn’t find anything that fitted with the lifestyle I wanted to have. With the life I wanted to live. My many frustrations would be the seed that would later grow to become hedia however.
Keeping the balance between managing my diabetes, being an attentive father and boyfriend, while holding on to the feeling that I was professionally adequate wasn’t easy, as you might imagine. But as the person I am, I kept my nose in the track and kept working.
First Step Towards What Would Become Hedia
In the same period, my girlfriend was studying her Master of Science in Public Health with a speciality in diabetes and self-care. I could see how the knowledge she was gaining about my life and condition grew exponentially every week. While Christina was becoming wiser on diabetes and how to manage the condition, I kept working on a different startup company.
For this company, I was going on an investment trip to the USA. I did a lot of research on what American investors invested in. I quickly realised that there were a lot of investments in MedTech and that digital health solutions were gaining more and more attention.
I remember lying in bed with Christina the day before the departure of my pitch trip. We talked about (OK, I talked – Christina tried to fall asleep), how awesome it would be to build a product based on her knowledge. She wasn’t exactly thrilled about the idea, but she probably said something like “sure that could be interesting” to shut me up and let her go back to sleep.
October 2nd 2015 I flew to LA to pitch. On the 14th I was back home. The 15th was the day the first wireframes were sketched by Andreas (who was my previous partner from earlier companies). What would become Hedia had just been drawn upon a piece of A4 paper.
I gave up on the company I’d just been pitching and went all in on the diabetes app: Hedia – diabetes assistant.
Now What? Does Diabetes and Life as an Entrepreneur Go Well Together Today?
The short answer is: YES! I’ve been able to let go of so many of my worries, calculations and constant reminders to measure my BG level and hand it all over to one device that helps me. I still have ups and downs, but a lot fewer than before and most importantly: I am in control of my life again. Now Diabetes is the second pilot of my life and I respect and accept it.
My Life with Diabetes – but MY Life!
This is the last episode of my diabetes story. It’s the first time I’ve told it in such a structured manner, which might not come as a surprise to you if you’ve read all four episodes 😉 If you want to see, what hedia – diabetes assistant is all about, the finished version of my initial vision will be ready in a couple of months. This time it’ll also be available for Android. I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to this!