The wildcard post is about exercise and type 1 diabetes. How do we keep Joey active and how does he manage type 1 while being active.
It’s not hard at all to keep him busy. He’s an athlete, he loves to be in a sport with each season, so as a freshmen he started with football, he played on the freshman team and suited up every week for Varsity, so he got his Varsity letter his freshman year.
I worried the most about football, because I couldn’t see him under his helmet. Joey was very diligent about checking his blood sugar, if he was low he would sit out until his blood sugar was in good range. He also made sure he ate well on game day, he would eat 2 hours before the game. He also had good low carb snacks in his bag. When you play Varsity as a freshman, you stand on the sidelines and wait for the chance to get in. You may or may not get in, so you need to plan on standing for a couple hours…believe it or not his blood sugar would fluctuate a lot standing there. His trainer Brad was very attentive to his needs, he kept Joey’s diabetes supply bag with him, along with fast acting sugar. It was sweet, one day Joey was feeling low and Brad asked him if he would like a glucose tab, he reached in his own bag and gave one to Joey. He went out and purchased them so he would have them available if Joey needed one, now that’s a supportive trainer.
After football he moved on to basketball. A completely different type of training, a lot of running. This was a hard transition coming right off of football. Joey plays defensive & offensive tackle in football, so his goal is to be as big as possible within healthy standards, in basketball you need to be in a completely different kind of shape..it took a few weeks of hard work to make this happen. Staying in range during practice and games was a challenge. Joey always has adrenaline highs during games, so that means his blood sugar stays on the higher range. The most important thing is to stay hydrated. He drinks a lot of water, and if his blood sugar is on the lower end he sips on Gatorade, he also checks his blood sugar at half time.
This winter Joey tried his skills on the mountaintops! He wanted to try snowboarding for some time now but he didn’t have the gear. One of his friends belongs to a ski resort and invited him for a day on the slopes. Luckily they had everything Joey needed, which was great so he could try it before making a huge investment. He loved it so much we went on a snowboarding weekend with friends! I was so nervous (nothing new) when he was on the slopes, he carried Glucose tabs with him, but I worried about if he could get to them in time. He would come down after two runs and check his blood sugar, he only had to sit out once for about an hour, to regroup and get his blood sugar where it needed to be He loved snowboarding so much that after the season I was able to find all the gear, at great prices!
After basketball Joey moved on to track. He threw the shot put and the discus. He had a new personal best each time he threw the discus. Keeping his blood sugar in check during track was easier than basketball or football. He was lifting a lot more, so he would change his diet to accommodate for this. The key to playing any sport with type 1 is to know your body, and how it responds to the different activities. Joey found that his body responded differently to running in basketball than lifting for shot put. So he adjusted his regime accordingly. Now that track season is over, Joey is playing basketball again with his AAU team. Always busy, and active, and always checking his blood sugar.