Type 1 Diabetes

It’s a Small T1D World!

I received an email the other day from Brian, who represents Omnipod. He told me that someone wanted to contact me regarding football and pod placement. Apparently one of my Suite D followers read my posts about Joey playing football, and had some questions. His grandson will be starting football soon and uses the Omnipod, and they are concerned that the pod will come off during practice or a game. The same issues that we worried about 3 years ago.

With Connors Grandpas blessing I thought I would share our conversation for anyone else that may have the same concerns.

From Connor’s Grandpa:

Got your email from Brian at Suite D, thanks for letting me contact you.

My 10 year old grandson Connor was diagnose one year ago today with type 1. A shock as you would know but life goes on and he is doing great. He played jfl football last year but was doing shots,the practices and games went well and had some issues with lows but were handled as needed. He got the pod last January and is doing good. Just finish baseball and the pods held up well, swimming daily has caused a few pods to detach. My daughter uses wristband sleeves when they are on his arms and sometimes additional taping on other parts of the body. But now she and my son in law have real concerns about him being on the pods and playing football. He does get upset when they come off early and she sees problems coming with football.

I saw your story and thought you might be able to help with your experience with pods and football. My questions are where did you place them and did you use any additional protection to keep them secured. Any help would be appreciated.

My response:

I am glad that you were able to reach me. I am always sad to hear about a child being diagnosed, but the good news is Conner is doing fine as you said.
I can understand your daughter and son in-laws concerns regarding football. When Joey wanted to play football I had the same concerns that you/they have! We actually just placed the pod in areas that wouldn’t be touched by the pads. In the 4 years that he has been playing, only 1 pod came loose and then he pulled it off. He likes to wear it on his stomach area, but is open to wearing it on his arm and even his leg!

The time it came off he ran over to the fence and threw it to me, you should have seen the looks on the other parents faces! Mortified!

We live in WI, where it’s hot and muggy in July and August. We found that IV Prep sheets work great. We cover the pod completely, we also use it when he swims, which is often because we have a pool.

Joey is very athletic, he plays basketball too. Once while running up the basketball court the cannula came out and the pod started to screech like it does. Joey said “mom, you should have seen the looks from the other players!” Like why is that kid’s body squealing?? He laughed it off.

Some people have asked us if it makes more sense to go off of the pump system during football, our answer is NO! He doesn’t want to take a step back to MDI, he wants to maintain his my pump “lifestyle.” The wonderful thing about the Omnipod is the wireless, tube free technology! His PDM can be on the sidelines, he doesn’t have to remove it, and stop insulin delivery. Also, if your grandson’s blood sugar goes lower during practice, you can adjust his basal to either suspend or reduce the amount of insulin that he is getting at the time. That is a huge benefit to us! You can’t do that with MDI and Lantus!

I hope this helps you. I do have a blog aside from the Omnipod Suite D. It can be found at the bottom of this email. Best of luck to your grandson! BTW, Joey was 8 at diagnosis, but he never looked back! He is the WI Youth Ambassador and loves talking with other kids about how to live their lives to the fullest regardless. If you are ever in our area with Conner, let us know!

Our friend Jake Byrne (former WI Badger, current San Diego Charger) told me this: “Don’t ever tell Joey that he can’t do something because of Type 1!” We are so glad we listened! I was so concerned about not being able to tell the signs of Joey’s blood sugar going low, and under the helmet I would not be able to see his face, which is how I could tell! He is great about checking often, and always keeps a Gatorade nearby! Best of Luck! Therese

It really brings Joy to our family to have the opportunity to help others with their questions about life with T1D and a growing, energetic, teen! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask! Support is what gets us through it day to day!

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