Monday, October 21, 2013

Type 1 Diabetes Triggers Anxiety Attacks During Soccer Game

I know every family has their worries and concerns, especially when it comes to their children. But parenting a child with type 1 diabetes is so much more complex then anyone realizes. It was this past weekend that I accepted the fact that Madison's type 1 diabetes disease is also triggering anxiety attacks and causing her difficulty breathing when her blood sugar is too low (below 80) or too high (above 225).

It all became apparent for me on the soccer field. As her soccer coach and mom, I constantly worry that she's not going to be able to play up to her potential because of her disease. And the past three soccer games she hasn't been able to. In fact, for three games in a row, she has taken herself out of the game because she wasn't able breathe. The last game she walked off the field when all the kids were still running around. She didn't even yell to me that she needed to be substituted. Her blood sugar made her feel so bad that she just couldn't even yell. She said, "I thought I was going to pass out and you would have to call 911."  I tried so hard to hide my emotions. But I was angry and frustrated. I have really come to hate this disease.

From the sidelines, parents have mentioned how great she's doing. She scores and she's able to make a few good plays. She even gives them the impression that she's running just as much as the other girls. But as her mom and her soccer coach, she hasn't been herself. And she's walking and standing so much more than she has in the past.

Madison was born to run. If she could run all day long, she would. But lately, for unknown reasons, her blood sugar has stayed above 250 during our soccer games, causing her to have a real difficult time breathing if she runs to much. I've tried moving her to defense and even goalie where she can calm down and not run as much. But she feels even worse when she's just standing around. The reason she feels worse is because her blood sugar is already high and when she stands around, she's not burning it off, making it go higher.

Seeing my daughter take herself out of the game is heartbreaking. Tears filled her eyes last game. And the only words that entered my mind was hers. When she was five years old she said, "Mommy, I want to be an Olympic soccer player." And ever since she was diagnosed (November 4, 2011), I feel as if her dream may not become reality. I'm not giving up and I hope she doesn't too. But boy this disease has really been the greatest challenge she and I have ever had to face.

Many of you may be thinking, Just change her diet. Wish it was that simple. This past Saturday, the morning of her game, she had eggs, bacon and a half of banana. I wanted her to have some carbs (the banana) so her blood sugar wouldn't drop so fast. But it didn't matter that she had a low carb breakfast. Her adrenaline and stress kept her blood sugar above 260 the entire game. After the game it went up to 300. Then within 30 minutes it dropped to 80. I was angry that her blood sugar was outsmarting me. I literally have a competition going with her blood sugar and I'm going to win!

We have two games left in the season and then our tournament starts the weekend of November 9th. This disease isn't going to control us or win! I truly believe there has to be a way to help my daughter do the things she loves to do at her potential.

The following is what I'm going to try this week.
This week I'm going to have her visualize seeing herself running and scoring and playing up to her potential. I'm going to work with her on breathing techniques. And then on Saturday, I'm going to eliminate the banana from her breakfast and have her eat a bowl of cereal (1/2 of a cup of Honey Nut Cheerios) along with eggs and bacon.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the above will work. If you have had any experience with type 1 diabetes and anxiety, I would love to hear how you have been able to manage anxiety and difficult breathing for a type 1 diabetic.

Thanks so much for your support!

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  1. I do not have any experience with it, but I am wishing you all of the best in finding what works the most for your daughter!!

    Thank you for linking to Super Sunday Sync.

  2. She is beautiful! Hope everything goes well with you and your daughter.
    Following you via bloghop. Hope to see you at my place :)