By Claire Lynch
At age seven Laura Stubbs’ parents took her to her pediatrician in dire straits. She had severe dehydration, a significant weight loss, vomiting and an uncontrollable desire to drink. She also had trouble breathing and a rapid heartbeat.
Her doctor picked her up in his arms and ran across to the Emergency Room. Lots of tests were done and her blood sugar level was 1,025. Laura was diagnosed as a Type 1 then spent three weeks in the hospital getting her blood sugar levels regulated.
Looking back, Laura’s family was surprised because no one else had any type of diabetes including three grandparents who lived well into their 90s. They also noted that at the time of her Type 1 diagnosis, she and her brothers had the flu. They recovered from it but she didn’t.
That was 37 years ago. Since being diagnosed Laura has seen lots of changes in the management of diabetes. “The technological advances have made it much easier to treat diabetes,” she says. “It’s so much more efficient.”
For the past seven years Laura has used the Medtronic 670g and the Guardian sensor Controlled Glucose Monitoring system. She takes Humalog which is a constant drip through the pump and by automatically dispensing the insulin, it keeps her blood sugar levels between 110 and 120.
Laura has a nursing degree but these days is a full-time caregiver to her mother-in-law. She and her husband, Stacy, live in a quiet, rural part of Georgia. They keep busy with their son, daughter-in-law and two young grandchildren. “They live really close by,” she states, “and there’s a great park nearby that we go to often so they can play and be outside in the fresh air. Occasionally Stacy and I enjoy concerts and football games in Atlanta.”
About diabetes? Laura says, “By the grace of God I’m still here fighting this disease and living my life to the fullest. Anything we can do to raise awareness about Type 1 is great. Many people confuse Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes yet they are very different diseases. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease. My prayer is that someday a cure for all types of diabetes will be found.”