Tuesday, February 16, 2010
The D-Olympic Games
In quickly Googling "diabetes" and "olympics," I also stumbled across this outstanding 2009 blogpost by Brensdad at Diabetes 360 that can't go without mention here:
* 200m Pump-Dangle Sprint: Participants must run 200 meters with their pump dangling between their legs, just like when your pump detaches itself from your pocket and makes a run for it.
* 400m Insurance Hurdles: Participants must sprint 400 meters while clearing a hurdle every 50 meters. Hurdles shall be made up of insurance agents, appeals paperwork, and DME exemptions.
* 100m Hypo-Treatment: Participants must bolus themselves down to 60 mg/dl, and then run 100 meters to a juice box. First person over 80 mg/dl wins!
* Syringe Darts: Participants must, using only a mirror, throw an insulin syringe into a small marked target 10 feet behind them. The target represents an area of skin not scarred by infusion sites.
He also makes a funny point, that D-Parents have their own unique set of D-Olympic Events to deal with: Test a 3-year old In Middle of Night. School-Nurse Roping. Testing in Pitch Dark. Make a Kid Drink a Juice. Hide the Chocolate.
Another great one.
Regardless of the event, many of the D-Olympic Events have a similar theme. We can plummet fast, just like the Luge. Speeds can be slow or fast, sometimes allowing us time to adjust and correct our course. Navigating twists and turns, and you need endurance, speed, and patience. In many ways, it's like trying to keep your balance amid so many obstacles trying to knock you down. For example, on Friday, an unexplained Low in the morning hours forced me to crash quickly and score a 34. It was like rushing down a steep ski slope and crashing into a tree. Luckily, I got back to my feet and what followed was the Sky High Jump to 334 (within three hours). Just one personal example of my days in the D-Olympics.
Enduring The Games can be challenging, but we strive for those best qualifying scores every day in order to reach those coveted A1C numbers. Sometimes, we get honors like the 25, 50, or 75 year awards from Lilly and Joslin. Or the various online patient-blogger awards that are becoming more common. But despite all the work, the Highs and Lows, and challenges in achieving that Tight Control that will take us to the D-Olympics, it's a part of life we can't get a break from. We're always training, always enduring, always playing The Games. This is a 365-day journey every year that can be both frustrating and rewarding, and essentially puts us at the same level as any of the best athletes in the world.
(It's important to recognize some of the Type 1s who are in fact real Olympic athletes, such as cross-country skier Kris Freeman in 2010 and Gold Medalist Gary Hall Jr. who participated in three Olympic games. These PWD deserve even more credit, in not allowing D to get in the way of their athletic achievements.)