Diabetes and Basketball

Diabetes and exercise is something incredibly hard to manage.  It is difficult to get my blood sugar where I want it for exercise, and even harder to get it to stay there.  For many people, managing blood sugars before, during, and after, is so hard that they just don’t exercise.  I don’t blame them.  It introduces a million new variables.

I still ended the day at 277 mg/dl.  Do I blame it on a few too many gulps of Gatorade?  Maybe a temporary basal rate reduction that was too aggressive? Who knows.  I’m extremely lucky that I enjoy basketball enough to keep working through the hard blood sugars to find a way to play.

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12 thoughts on “Diabetes and Basketball

  1. I am retired now, and I can be much more consistent with my day to day schedule. I eat lunch at noon every day, and exercise at 2 PM. I test and find my BG an hour before exercising. I sometimes need some fast acting carbs before exercising, usually ice cream (sweetened with sugar). The amount I eat depends on the BG. I want my BG to be 120-130 before exercising.
    If I am at the gym, I use the same exercise machines every time, for the same number of reps per machine, and with the same weights. I watch my CGM very carefully, and eat some Skittles, if needed. My workout is usually 40 minutes. It used to be one hour, but I am 79 now, and I am exhausted after 40 minutes. I don’t go to the gym every day, sometimes I take a walk on local roads with hills. Same walk, same hills, for 30-60 minutes, depending on my BG. On bad weather days I use my treadmill at home and do indoors exercises.
    Not everyone can be this consistent when exercising. My being retired makes it possible. When I was employed, I also had problems with high and low blood sugars, because of the inconsistencies in my schedule.
    Consistency is not always possible every day, but it sure helps, whenever possible.

  2. What’s up Scott. Very insightful post. I had no idea how much you continue to go through just to get a little exercise. I wanna commend you for taking life’s challenges head on and also inspiring others to do the same.

  3. Scott, no shame in diet coke whatsoever! I can so totally relate to this. Seems like some days my body gives me wiggle room in the exercise equation, and others, it doesn’t give even a millimeter (or is that a deciliter? ha, ha!). Today was one of the “not” days…270something at 3 miles into a run. Some days I would give 1/2 a correction and keep going. But today I don’t know if it was the heat or the high or both that had me on the verge of hurling. Decided to correct and walk it home from there. Should have been a quality 7 miles in preparation for trying for a PR in a a 10K next weekend, so hard to not mourn the loss of the rest of that run. Anyway, thanks for sharing the reality of one of THOSE days in your life. It means a lot to not be alone in them.

  4. There is no shame on you for not drinking water Scott! If you had water instead of Gatorade, you probably would have gone the other way. I can do the same thing 10 different times & get 10 different results – you just have to go with the flow & cross your fingers. At least you are getting out there and getting some exercise and that is all that matters.

  5. Hi Scott, Thanks for sharing this. I love to bike and kayak. We live on a salt marsh (hence my username) and I can put my kayak in a salt water creek right behind my house. The creek leads to the river and the river goes to the beach. The water is tidal and has a strong current when the tides go in and out, so I expend a LOT of energy. I tend to get my BS over 200 before I go out. Sure would HATE to go low out on the water, alone… I miss being able to just jump in and go. Now I have to make sure my D supplies are stored in waterproof bag, take cell phone, glucose and snacks, etc. But I will NEVER give up!!! 🙂

  6. Great Post Scott! I’ve been playing soccer for 33 years now, 27 of which I’ve been a soccerbetic, and I’ve hit everything you posted on — and a bit more. 😉

    Just like you, I test my blood glucose whenever I’m off the field and its variable. However, I’m also much like J.B. and underreact to a low. Were it me, and my BG dropped 12 mg/dl in a minute or 2, I’d put that up to the industry standard deviation of my meter and let it go — but I’d test again next time I got subbed (10-15 minutes) and see what was going on.

    In my case, I _know_ how much being high affect my play, and I do almost everything I can to be less than 200 when I’m on the field… and yes, I’ve had some lows (in the 60s) while playing, but that’s why I have at least one “real” Gatorade in my bag (and 2 bananas) for every game and practice I attend. I also know that I can recover from a low within 15 minutes and I’m back at ~130 (My goal while exercising is 120) whereas if I’m High (>200) I’d give myself a bolus (if I’m above 200 and exercise, my BG goes up, guaranteed) to drop into the 100s, but that takes 30-45 minutes.

    You might (or might not) be surprised how many readings I take leading up to practice or a game, just so I can “make sure” I’m between 120-150 when I start.

    I also love the “drink more water” but I’m hooked on Diet Coke too… you purchased and drank exactly what I would’ve after a hard game. 😀



  7. Exercising is such a pain for many reasons. Ugh and this is why. I hate when I have to eat whatever calories I just burned. skdfjdskf oh diabetes….

  8. Scott –

    You overreact to the possibility of a low and I underreact. Funny how different people manage things differently. Neither of us is right or wrong. We’re just both doing the best we can with all the tools we have and given out own fears, experiences, etc.

    Thank you for continuing to share your very real experiences with us. Reading your blog is a helpful reminder that I am not alone.

    Whatever you think about how things went today, I say well done for keeping up the effort and also for sharing your experience with us!

  9. Great post Scott, It really is all about trial and error, and no two days are exactly the same. Never know quite what to expect with “D”. Your “shame on me for not drinking water” comment cracked me up! Mmmmm Diet Coke!!! 🙂