“I think many newly diagnosed people are overwhelmed by their Type 1 diabetes,” Douglas Huber says. “I know I was. At age seven my parents brought me to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. The hospital was very strict as I remember it. The diet was no fun for a kid.”
He was angry, too, for being different from other children and for having to manage this serious disease. “There was no family history of diabetes so we weren’t sure where this came from,” Doug says, “but my parents were good about explaining what it was and how I should handle it.
“My mother always said that diabetes is a family disease. ’Everyone works together,’ is how she put it. For Easter my parents would take us on skiing trips instead of getting baskets filled with candy. Being active helped me instead of dwelling on what I couldn’t have.”
That was 44 years ago and Doug has seen lots of technological changes. “When I was first diagnosed, there was no blood testing,” Doug explains. “It was only urine tests. Shots were twice daily. The technology makes managing it much easier.
“Using the insulin pump with the Continuous Glucose Monitoring sensor by Medtronic keeps things stable. Because of the sensor I don’t have to test as much – it automatically tracks my blood sugar levels 24/7. Even the blood tests are easier.”
Doug works a full-time Maintenance job in a Pennsylvania school so he is constantly moving around. “I am always on my feet,” Doug says. “Bringing some healthy foods to work so I always have my lunch and some snacks is a natural part of my routine. Being prepared pays off for diabetics.”
When not working Doug enjoys playing with their two dogs. “My wife, Jessica, and I have a Peekapoo named Penny,” Doug notes. “She’s a combination Pekingese-Poodle.
“Then we got a puppy named Kiwi. He’s a Goldendoodle. That was a year ago and now Kiwi is bigger than Penny. They love frolicking in our back yard and going for long walks. With my two dogs I get plenty of exercise!”