Type 1 Diabetes

A look back at 2013 – Part 1: Sports

I read some pretty funny “good riddance” to 2013 posts on Facebook. My favorite was something like “2013, Goodbye, farewell, don’t let the door hit you in the “bleep” on the way out!”

So many were thrilled to see the end of 2013. Our family had some struggles, however the majority of the year was really good. We created so many good, life-long memories.

In our family sports are very important, so it’s natural that a lot of our memories come from basketball, football, track…

Both Joey and Tony had great sports seasons. Tony made it to Sectionals in the Shot Put, two years in a row, and continued to have a personal best each time he threw. His Varsity football team also made it far into the playoffs, and he was given an All -Conference Honorable Mention.

Joey had a good basketball season, he consistently made a difference to the teams success. He only had one instance with his Insulin Pump, where his pod, which is the device that is affixed to his skin that carries and releases the insulin to his body, started “squealing” very loudly! He was running up the court and it started. Joey said he got some looks from his opponents like “why is that kids body squealing!!” We laughed about it later, at the time not so much. What happened after the squealing pod was probably more embarrassing! Joey went into a closet next to the basketball court to take the pod off and deactivate it. When he tried to come out the door was locked, he was stuck in the closet! He had to pound on the door to get out! We all heard the pounding from across the court in the stands! He took it in stride and smiled, typical for Joey. In the Omnipod’s defense, it was doing exactly what it was designed to do, the squealing is to notify us that there is an issue, which is the risk you take with sports.

Football was another success story! Tony’s team made it far in the playoffs, it was horrible when they lost, we thought they would return to Camp Randall to defend their 2012 State Championship. It wasn’t going to be the year..however, what a great season.tony center

Joey’s team went 2 years undefeated, until this season, we ended a game with a tie!  3 years, 21-0-1, not bad.  Joe helps coach the Offensive Line,  he was told by one of the referees that this team, is the best he has seen in 25 years of coaching youth football.  A lot of the boys will attend CMH, so maybe another State title coming our way in the future??joey football

Joey’s numbers were excellent all season! He figured out, with Jake Byrnes advice, what and when he needed to eat to maintain good numbers. When I say excellent, I don’t mean perfect, we had our highs and lows, yet for the most part they were excellent!
I was sitting in my car during football practice when I heard “mom, can you take this?” I walk up to the fence and he throws me a bloody pod! During a tackle a player must have hit it, which dislodged the cannula from his body and created a bloody mess. Not a ton of blood, in fact the pod was just a little bloody, but I’m sure to the other parents watching, that it seemed like a TON of blood. I haven’t figured out why, but a lot of parents stay and watch football practice! I have to stay if Joe isn’t there, because Joey could go low in an instance.  Or he could be high, which is just as dangerous to play with high blood sugar numbers.  I haven’t figured out why in the world parents stay when they don’t have to??  The kids practice 6 evenings a week, 2 hours, starting August 1st!! That’s the perfect time to work out, go shopping, relax by the pool???

Because we practice on the same field as the 5th-8th grade teams, there are parents that I haven’t met, so they don’t know Joey has type 1.  We got a few stares from nervous parents, who didn’t have the nerve to ask us about it, by it I mean the bloody pod.  I can’t imagine what they must think it is.  I always laugh on the inside when stuff like this happens, better than crying! Again, taking it in stride!

The best part about his pump is that it’s wireless and tube free, so at least he doesn’t have to disconnect his insulin delivery while he is playing, or run the risk of having the tubing pulled! Also the wireless function is great because unlike other pumps where he would have to have his PDM on his body with a Spibelt or in a pocket, he can have his on the bench in his sport bag.

This is the pod that carries and delivers the insulin.
This is the pod that carries and delivers the insulin.

Joey’s blood sugars during basketball are a bit harder to keep in check. Because of the intensity of the sport, the constant running, and because it’s so physical in 7th grade! The players are starting to mature, and those hormonal changes affect Joey’s blood sugar numbers! Add hormones to activity and you have a whole new challenge in the T1 game. We used Gatorade to maintain his numbers above 150, which is where he needs to be when active. We don’t want a low blood sugar on the basketball court.113

We have a swimming pool so we had the everyday challenge of maintaining good numbers while swimming. All summer we swim and make sure to stay hydrated. When we moved to our house with the pool Tony was 5 yrs old. We were having a blast, it was the perfect hot summer, we had a lot of friends over swimming. One very hot day, after a couple hours swimming, I noticed Tony laying on the patio next to the pool, I asked him why he was laying there, face down. He didn’t answer me! We scooped him up and took him in the house where it was cool. Turned out he was dehydrated, even though we’d been swimming all day. Lesson learned, you can dehydrate while you are swimming! Add Type 1 to the mix and you really have to be careful! People with T1 get dehydrated much faster than without, so another challenge while swimming is maintaining good blood sugar numbers. Lots of fluids and many blood sugar checks!

Last winter I was reminded how mean T1D can be! Joey was sledding with friends, challenge here is both maintaining the 150 blood sugar and staying hydrated. After several runs up and down the hill, Joey came to the car looking for his kit. He felt low, and was only 60! After a couple juice pouches and some water he went back to the hill, he had to wait 15 minutes to retest, so he sat on a big rock at the top of the hill, watching his friends go up and down, without a worry in the world. I sat in my car and cried, which I don’t do often-anymore.

I used to cry a lot about T1, now I tend to cry only when my little boy seems to be heart-hurt about having type 1. Instances where he has to sit on the rock at the top of the hill and wait, (I wonder what he is thinking) or when he really wants to be on the basketball court but has to wait for his number to be right, or when he has to call me at 4:00 am from a sleep-over because he can’t get his number down! Or when I have to say “sure you can go sledding-let me get my coat.” There are some things that I can’t let him do without adult supervision! These are heart breakers!joey sledding sitting on rock

I’ve noticed while writing this that I have used a couple common words in this post about our year in sports with T1d: challenge, maintain, and taking in stride!  Pretty much describes our lives with type 1 diabetes. Maybe that should be our new mantra!


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