Man Shares Struggles Living with Diabetes

Posted: Updated: Mar 29, 2016 07:29 PM

EDINBURG – There was a time when an Edinburg man held steady jobs and was able to provide for his family.

Things changed for him when he learned he had diabetes. He lost his sight and depended on his family to help him get around.

 “I’m not used to anybody doing nothing for me. I would do everything for myself, you know. And now having somebody to cook my meals, to dress me up, to take me to the bathroom, you know, to guide me where I’m going to walk it’s a whole different story,” he said.

Ramos said he keeps going and puts in the effort for his family. Every day his wife checks his blood sugar levels. She injects him with insulin. That’s how they make sure his sugar levels stay under control.

He goes through the process seven times a day. He said he regrets ignoring the signs, ignoring his mother’s warnings.

“First of all, I never went to the doctor or never checked myself. I knew I was a diabetic for a long time. You know, my mom would keep telling me to be careful, you’re diabetic,” Ramos recalled. “One of these days you’re going to lose your kidneys or your eyesight. You need to check yourself. I never paid attention. There were things more important for me at that time.”

Before he knew it, the disease crept up on him. Five years ago it robbed him of his eyesight.

“When I lost my vision I fell into a big depression. I was taking depression pills. And I stayed in that room by myself, because my wife couldn’t even handle me. I was very mad about everything,” Ramos said.

He said he was devastated.

“You never realize that you’re going to, someday, you’re going to be in this situation till it happens to you. You know, suddenly the life I was living, it was a very fast life, you know, not taking care of myself properly,” Ramos said.

He reminisced about the old days when he maintained steady jobs and led a carefree life.

“I used to work up north with big companies, so I would live up north most of my life, good paying jobs. I would have everything I wanted, like any other person who would try to work to get a better life, but I never, you know, anticipated that I was going to be like this,” he said.

Ramos taught himself to stay positive. He credits his wife who stands by his side every day. His stepson and three young boys keep him going, as well. Two of the young ones are autistic, which sometimes makes it difficult for them.

Ramos said their love and God’s will keeps him strong.

“I never had God in my life. I always thought I was. I was the one doing everything for me, for myself, you know. I never, I never thanked God for everything he gave me. At that time, I never realized that he even existed,” he said.

Thanks to his Christian faith, Ramos said, his family is able to make ends meet. His disability check isn’t enough, so three times a week he and his wife pack up their push cart. They fill it with goodies and supplies to clean the headlights of vehicles. Then they head out. One of their boys tags along to help.

They walk miles and set up shop in busy business parking lots. Then they wait, hoping someone will stop by to buy some candy or pay to get their headlights washed.

“We’ve been fighting together for a better life, for a better future for my kids and me and her. But it takes a lot of determination,” Ramos said.

Some days they get up to $40 and others they don’t make any cash. On most days, they come home with something.

“A lot of good people out there will give us food, will give us groceries, little things for the kids and we’ll come here and everybody starts going to see what we got. Chips, cookies, whatever we got in the little cart,” Ramos said.

The money they make goes towards paying the bills and rent for their two bedroom apartment. He said he feels blessed.

“I never appreciated life. I just go through the world like there was nothing else besides me, but now I enjoy every single day. And I can see things much better today that I’m blind than what I used to do before,” Ramos admitted.

His message to others suffering from diabetes is if he can do it, so can they.

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