The Diabetic Hockey Game

My day can be divided into 3 parts. 3 periods. Know what else is divided into 3 periods? A hockey game. And there was a very important hockey game tonight. The New York Rangers took on the Pittsburg Penguins in the first round of playoffs on the quest for the Stanley Cup.

First period. The morning and breakfast. This blood sugar sets the tone for the day. If I wake up high, I’ll probably be in for a roller coaster of blood sugars for the rest of the day. Have a high fat/carb meal such as a bagel sandwich, and the rest of the day’s blood sugars are toast. Start out too low and the chances to over eat are high, which could set you up for crazy blood sugars right off the bat. The Rangers needed to set the tone tonight, not just for the game, but for the series as well. Anything short of coming out on top of their game would have set them up for more struggles throughout the game.

Second Period. Midafternoon and lunch. This is a checkpoint for how the “first period” went. Did I bolus for breakfast correctly? How did that correction work out? All these answers are revealed here. Depending on these blood sugars I either ramp up the attention to get them back in range (on the offense), or don’t change anything to stay consistent (defense). At this point in the “game”, if I am in the lead and have a good blood sugar, I will fight with everything I have to defend having this number and make sure it stays that way. The Rangers must reflect on the first period as well and adjust according to the energy of their team, how well they are holding off the opponent and if they need to either focus on offense or defense.

And lastly the Third Period. The end of the day, overnight, and dinner. Now this is the trickiest part because this is either where I “win or lose”. Bolus incorrectly and you can be sure that the high alarm on the dexcom will be chirping for hours. This is where there will be the final push to get the blood sugars in range before bed, similar to how it is the last push for that last goal before the official blows the final whistle. But we must be careful, because over correcting before bed can be very detrimental. If the Rangers are burned out by the end of the game, they may lose what they had worked so hard for. It is about patience, perseverance and consistency throughout the whole game to be successful at the end.

When the Rangers get through all the periods, they either win or lose. I don’t win or lose because that’s not how diabetes works. I do however, get a second chance to do better the next (game) day. Some days nothing may seem to go right, but it isn’t a loss. I’m not losing. If anything I’m gaining information on what doesn’t work and what basal or carb ratio needs to be changed. And some days I do feel like I have won. I have conquered my opponent, diabetes. When every bolus is counted and timed perfectly and the basals are on point. That’s winning.

But just like one game does not determine if the Rangers win the series, one day does not determine that I have good management. If you have a good day of blood sugars and tried the exact same thing the next day, there may be an entirely different outcome. It takes patience, and trial and error to find that perfect combination to have good blood sugars a majority of the time.

My Stanley Cup? My Stanley Cup, is not letting diabetes control me. It’s having in range blood sugars and it’s having acceptable control a majority of the time. That is what I work for all year round. A true Stanley Cup however, is a cure. Its when I no longer have to be the player in this uncontrollable “game”.

Oh, I have teammates too. My teammates are my mom (I’d say she’s captain), my dad and Christopher, plus the AU College Diabetes Network, the JDRF, and anyone who helps me in anyways deal with my diabetes. There’s also my best friends Chelsey, Acadia, Wes, although they’re probably more like my cheerleads (or ice girls). This is where I can also give a shout out to my “coaches” too, at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston.

But there is one big difference between a hockey game and my day to day life with diabetes. It is that the hockey game will end. The game ends, the regular season ends, the series ends, the playoffs ends, and hockey season ends. Being a player in the game of Diabetes? That never ends.

Rangers win their first playoff game. My numbers were amazing today. Coincidence?

**Sorry if you don’t like the Rangers. Please keep reading my blog! 🙂



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