Sports · Type 1 Diabetes

Why is that kid’s body squealing??

Joey loves sports, almost all of my posts talk about him playing in a sport, and most talk about Joey overcoming the challenges that having type 1 diabetes present with sports.

This day was no different.  Joey’s basketball team was in a tournament where they lost their first game, won their second, so put them in the consolation championship game.  The boys were all very pumped to win the trophy.

The game started out pretty evenly, then we started to pull ahead, sometimes up by 8-10 pts.   Not sure what happened, but in the last quarter, we were doing great, but they caught up.  With a minute left, with us up by 1 point,  Joey ran off the court, and sat by his dad, who helps coach.  He took a measurement, (blood sugar) which he can do in a couple of seconds now. When he didn’t go back in, and we lost the game, I was mad.  I was thinking, “why did they take him out?? The game was so close!”

We lost by 1 point.  When Joey came over to me, I congratulated him on a good game played, and asked if he was low, that being the reason he was out at the end of the game.  He said, “my pod was squealing!”  Which basically means his insulin pod, that is affixed to his body, either malfunctioned, or was hit off, and it caused the pump to alarm. The alarm is a high pitch squeal, intended for the user to hear it, hence react. I wanted to cry right there on the spot.

We need his pod to make this noise, so that Joey knows to change it. It’s loud, which it should be, it’s an alarm for the insulin pump system.   I felt so sorry for him in that moment.  I put myself in his shoes at age 11, how would I have dealt with this? I probably would have been embarrassed, which I’m sure he was.

Just imagine, you are a  player on the other team, and this kid that is blocking you, has this loud squealing sound coming from his body.   And imagine the kid that has the squealing sound coming from his body, how embarrassing that must be.

We talk about how blessed we are to have the insulin pump, it’s made our lives so much easier, and it’s the next best thing we have to a pancreas for Joey’s body.  It releases insulin to his body all day long, much like the pancreas.  He doesn’t have to get a shot when he eats, he simply enters the carbohydrate info into the PDM and hallelujah,  he gets his insulin.

The thing is it does “alarm” when there is a malfunction, or he’s out of insulin, etc.  What probably happened during the game was that when he was using his body to block his opponent, his pod was hit, and his cannula came out of his body.  The cannula is the soft needle that is inserted into his skin.  When that happens, thankfully an alarm sounds.

Joey doesn’t like it when his pod alarms during school, or anytime others might hear it, but he realizes that this is his life support, so he takes it in stride, and moves on. I should take a lesson from my almost 12 year old on resilience!!  I was nearly in tears, he just shrugged it off like nothing and said, we’ll get ’em next time.

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