Monday, August 5, 2013


"Does he have some Gatorade that he keeps with him?" Hockey camp coach to me...this morning... in response to my informing him that Joe has type 1 diabetes.

"Ah...well yeah..."

I thought this facial expression goes well with the "Ahhh ...well yeah..." response.

Oh man, how I wish managing Joe's diabetes only entailed some Gatorade. 

Joe attended another hockey camp today.  It runs all week.  He is on the ice from 9am to 11am and then again from 1pm to 4pm.  The camp is named "Battle Camp".  Nice.

Fortunately, I learned a few things about Joe's diabetes and it's response to the intense activity of hockey camp a few weeks ago.  I learned how much to decrease his basal by, about how many free carbs he needs trickled in pre-camp and during camp.  I learned how little his insulin needs would be for lunch.

Here was my plan:

Yes, I realize it is blurry.  I just wanted to show you proof of how "organized" I can be. 

Here was my plan (the readable version):

CAMPER:  Joe Maher     Age:  10

Mother: Reyna Maher (802)598-XXXX  Father: Dave Maher (802) 598-XXXX

What is Type 1 Diabetes:  It is an autoimmune disease in which a person's own body (white blood cells) attack the insulin producing cells (beta cells) in the pancreas.  Due to the subsequent lack of insulin, the body's cells are unable to use sugars for fuel.

Treatment of Type 1 Diabetes:  Joe uses an insulin pump as an insulin source.

Plan for Camp: 

  1. Joe must carry his diabetes bag with him everywhere during his day.  The bag contains a glucometer, SUGAR, and a phone.
  2. My husband or I will come by between 10 and 10:30 to check Joe's blood sugar.
  3. Joe will need to check a blood sugar and call me prior to snack time and/or lunch time (the phone is in his diabetes bag for this purpose)
  4. My husband or I will come by between 2 and 2:30 to check Joe's blood sugar.
What YOU need to watch for:  If Joe becomes irritable, shaky, pale,  lethargic, or says he is "too tired" to do something he could be experiencing a LOW.

  1. If you notice these signs (or anything out of the ordinary), please have Joe check his blood sugar and then have him call me.
  2. If Joe will not check a blood sugar, have him eat three sugar tablets (located in his diabetes bag) and call me.
LOW BLOOD SUGAR ~ This can happen at any time to a person taking insulin.  It can be due to low carbohydrate intake, too much insulin, increased activity level, illness, and a hot or cold environment.  It is an immediate health concern.  If it is not treated with sugar the person can go unconscious, have a seizure , and/or die.

So, here is how it went.  I fed him a 30 CHO gram breakfast and only bloused him for 15 CHO (1.5 units of insulin).  I then decreased his basal by 50% for 8 hours (the length of the camp).  During the day Joe drank a couple of G2s for "free".  I still have no idea when he chugs those.  There was not a "snack time."  He had only one time during the day to eat.  Lunch was at noon.  He received only 2.5 units of insulin to cover 120 grams of carbohydrate (CrAzY...his usual lunch ratio is a 1:18).
The numbers went like this, the BEST ever:
7:17am 127
9:15am 150
10:13am 163
12:02pm 139
2:11pm 197
4:49pm 336   I was a little bummed out about that one.  Did a half of a correction dose.  Dont' know the outcome of that yet.
A day-in-the-life of some hard earned euglycemia.


KerryC said...

Great plan, I love this! Isabel isn't doing 'drop-off' camps like this yet (still only 6) but this gives me definite hope that one day I will be able to send her to something and leave her to get on with it, at least for most of the day. Thanks for sharing!

Kristin said...

Wow! Awesome #s!
And thanks for sending me to the dictionary (euglycemia). :) A new word for "normal"!

Colleen said...

I really, really love reading about how "you make it work" for Joe.

Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Holy Cow Reyna, you ROCK!!!

katy said...

you nailed it.

i love your letter too---just enough information.

one more note: your eyelashes are giving me an inferiority complex.

Unknown said...

Welp. He is now LOW!!! Live and learn.

Sarah said...

wow! you rock.
As for that end of the day high, TJ said he often had those post an adrenaline filled day of sports and that after years of practice his parents found then needed to do one of two things either A)full correction and higher fat dinner and or snack to reduce the likely hood of a low later or
B)half correction and normal dinner in terms of fat content.

Hope Joe has a kick butt week at camp!

Misty said...

I think you are AMAZING!! You rocked the plan. So proud of Joe too, he does such a great job taking care of himself as well.

Denise aka Mom of Bean said...


it's crazy how much has to go into 'regular' activity to compensate for a stupid, lazy pancreas! you rock it...eye lashes and all!!

Dskate Hockey said...

Hi Reyna,

You have a fantastic blog and we are very interested in helping you and Joe out with managing his diabetes during hockey and other sports.

Please check out or visit us on Facebook. We are a Hockey Program for boys and girls living with Type 1 diabetes and we just completed our very first program last week in Milton, Ontario.

We had Cory Conacher of the Ottawa Senators as well as Chris Jarvis (Canadian Olympian) help with the program and had 6 NCAA Men's and Women's coaches participate along with a team from Medtronic of Canada and doctors from York University and the Toronto Maple Leafs speak with the kids and parents all week.

It was a major success and I would encourage you all to check it out as we look to expand the Program and dispel the notion that T1D's can't play hockey because of their diabetes.

Best of luck with Joe, tell him he has a team of friends and advocates available at Dskate (you as well, Reyna).

Our best to everyone on this journey. Feel free to reach out to us at


The Dskate Team

Unknown said...

Reyna, your blog is very informative and what you guys do is amazing. It looks like you ate helping lots of other patents and getting connected with resources. Way to go. Proud to know ya. Xo