Don’t bother me with the details…

DetailsI play basketball over my lunch break three days a week. It’s a blast. I do it because I really enjoy it, and the fact that it is great exercise is an added benefit.

Playing that often, I have developed a bit of a routine. Everything from getting my clothes ready, mixing my Gatorade, making sure I have my shoes, etc.

I usually wear my pump when I play. I have found that I need a fair amount of my basal rate at around the halfway mark. I wear it in an elastic waistband that has a Velcro pouch for the pump. It works great. I tuck the tubing into my shorts, and nobody even notices the pump unless my site is above my belt line (we play “shirts & skins” to keep the teams straight).

I recently forgot to pack that ever important elastic strap, and that little omission from my routine caused a fair amount of trouble for me.

Details!! They’ll get you every time!

When I realized I forgot it, I tried to figure out some other options.

I thought about just sticking it into my shorts or underwear, but that wouldn’t hold – the pump would fall out and trip someone (probably me!) with the infusion set tubing! Can you just see it? The pump slips out, catches the tubing around my legs and does like a tether-ball on a pole as it wraps my legs up as I’m running down the court!

Not to mention the site being ripped out or any possible physical damage to the pump itself.

Maybe I could use the tubing to my advantage? Maybe I could rig up some kind of “leg thing” or iPod like arm band with it? You know, wrapping the tubing around the pump and my arm or leg to hold it in place? Again, didn’t seem like a great idea.

I settled on just disconnecting it. I thought that I would be Ok with just testing a little more often and connecting up to deliver a quick bolus every now and then.

It didn’t work out so great. It also didn’t help matters that I started a little higher than I would have liked too.

I ended up running high 200’s for most of the time. Getting pretty aggressive with the boluses as the games went on. But in the back of my mind I was so scared of going low while playing, that I still ended up backing off too much.

I think that I was using the mind-set of correction boluses and forgetting to include missed basal rate insulin.

It’s really hard to play competitive basketball (or any sport I imagine) when your blood sugars are not in a good range. When I run high like that I find my reflexes are slowed down quite a bit, and I’m just not playing smart. When I run low, my brain is telling my body what to do, but my body just wont cooperate. It’s like trying to drive a car with no gas. Doesn’t matter how hard you mash on the gas pedal, the car is not going to move!

In the end, I survived. But it now sounds like a really good idea to stash a spare waistband in my gym bag somewhere.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, and advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer.

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…