Monday, February 17, 2014

How To Manage Your Child's Type 1 Diabetes During A Basketball Tournament

We won! My nine year old daughter's U10 Girls Basketball Team won their tournament! They are the Charlotte Mecklenburg champions! And my daughter made two amazing baskets, which looked easy during the game, but truthfully hadn't been easy during the season because of her type 1 diabetes.
Figuring out her best blood sugar level for each of my daughter's sports hasn't been easy. For softball her blood sugar level seemed to work well in the low 200's. Soccer the same. And, I actually thought it was also a perfect number for basketball. But yesterday's basketball championship game proved me wrong.

Every game this basketball season, Madison's blood sugar has stayed steady in the low 200's. Usually around 211 - 226. And we worked hard to get it to that level by making sure she didn't eat certain foods such as pizza, meatball sub, pasta, rice, or a bagel before a game. Those foods keep her blood sugar high for a longer period of time, where she has a harder time focusing and concentrating.

During the game's, Madison appeared fine, blocking shots and trying to make shots. Every so often she would have a delayed response or a puzzled look on her face. I wondered if it was due to her blood sugar (type 1 diabetes) or her not understanding the play. But after yesterday's game, where her blood sugar was 126 at the start of the game, I'm starting to think her puzzled looks and inability to think quick on the basketball court had to do with her blood sugar being too high for this sport.

Madison was like a totally new basketball player on the court yesterday. She was leaping out of no where for the ball. She took shots and even got two in. I was so proud of her, yet so disappointed in myself that she played the entire basketball season with a blood sugar that was too high for her to really perform at her best. My husband and I have kept it higher, fearing it would drop fast and then she'd crash. I hate seeing her shake and her face turn pale when her blood sugar is low. It's scary for her and me. So keeping it higher is a much more comfortable zone for us. At least, I thought. But now I know differently.

Fastpitch U10 softball tryouts are this weekend. And I'm coaching, which gives me the opportunity to be hands on with her type 1 diabetes and do some trial and error. I'm going to try to keep her blood sugar around 130 - 150 for all games. I know that won't be possible all the time; especially because she always seems to go through growth spurts during the spring season and the heat causes her blood sugar to increase, forcing me to make lots of changes to her insulin levels. But I'm not giving up! And I hope every parent who has a child with type 1 diabetes doesn't give up too!

We as parents of children living with type 1 diabetes have a responsibility to teach your child how to eat properly and manage their disease so they can perform at their best academically, intellectually, and athletically now and continue into their adult age.

What I learned:
  • Don't feed the disease.
  • High carb foods like pizza, fried rice, pasta, and a bagel keep my daughters blood sugar high too long, causing her to not be able to perform at her best in school and sports.
  • A blood sugar of 126 worked amazing for my daughter during her basketball tournament. Of course, I was nervous the entire time, wondering if her blood sugar was dipping below 100. It didn't!
  • After a sports game, parents need to keep a close eye on their child's blood sugar because it takes hours for it to become stable again. In fact, last night, after my daughters basketball game (4:30 pm), we checked her blood sugar and it was 90, so we fed her dinner. At 8:15 pm it was 227.  I knew it was going to drop a little more, so I didn't treat it. At 11:00 pm, my husband checked her blood sugar and it was 60. He had to wake her up and give her a juice and a few peanut butter crackers.

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