Monday, September 24, 2007

From The Mountain Top to the Valley

This past weekend was as bad as last weekend was great. Going from an incredible win with my kids last Saturday to a heart breaking loss Friday night and having some upsetting issues occurr in my personal life made the past 72 hours not as wonderful as I had liked. Additionally, the CDE who I had hoped to save the day has given me the same feedback as all the others.

On Friday night for the first time in at least 20 years a Manhattan based youth football team took the field for a night game. The Downtown Giants are only in their 2nd year of existence and we're playing teams from the boroughs who have fielded teams for years. Friday we played the South Bronx Chargers. From the opening kick off things were not good - our kick return didn't field the ball so we lost our opening possession. Once we finally got on offense we scored on our 3rd play but it turned to provide false hope. We had a second touchdown called back because of a holding penalty and two drives stalled because of multiple offsides penalties. With about a minute left in the 4th quarter we were up 7 - 6, came up with a defensive stop and simply needed to hold onto the ball to win the game. Since my assistant coach and I think the kids need to learn how to play the game we refuse to take a knee. We moved the ball to the 9 yard line, then had an offsides penalty then fumbled the ball on the next play - the Chargers recovered the ball on the 1 yard line and punched it in to win 12 - 7. The frustration of the game spiked my bs to 189 but I was able to bolus for a bacon cheeseburger!

Until I meet with the CDE I'll hold off on naming him - but I had hopes that an exercise physiologist who is also a CDE would have had better advice than "your blood sugars look great." I understand that my A1c is really good but unfortunetley I'm a perfectionist and simply good isn't good enough. Type 1 has an impact on my life, far more of an impact than I find acceptable. I've had to cut too may workouts short to be happy with how I'm handeling the disease. Each day will continue to be a battle and I'll win some of the fights and loose some of the fights; however each of us deals with this disease in our own way. One person may have to fight tooth and nail to get their A1c to single digits while another person may be thrilled to have an A1c of 6.5 or 7. For me I won't be happy until I feel like I truly have this disease under control, that I can adapt to any situation and can face that Ironman without a fear. I've learned how to bolus for cheeseburgers, continue a long bike ride while fighting a low, complete a sprint triathlon but I haven't yet figured out how to consistently go on long runs.

Coaching is also an obstacle, during practice I have to turn my pump down and have a clif bar with a minimal bolus. I like to get in the trenches with my kids, run with the, be hands on, show them how to block, how to tackle. I've told them - there is nothing I will ask them to do that I'm not able to do myself. But when we have a game I'm pretty stoic on the sidelines, sit there in a crouched position, and am intent on what is happening in the game - as much as I'd love to put on a helmet I think having a former college football player play against 11 year olds would be against the rules. So I'm still getting used to adapting my insulin to the different situations of coaching.

For those of you who read my blog this morning I've made some changes to the post - I wrote that at 6:30 am and was way too tired for it to make sense.


Shannon said...

The first part of this post might as well have been written in Japanese. I didn't understand a word you wrote. Brendon, on the other hand, could probably interpret for me.

I'm sorry to hear about the heartbreak. It's never ever easy.

Train-This said...

The disappointment of the big game.... it is an important one for all of us. We all simply need to learn to play the game of life. We have wins, we have losses. We ride the high and we try to flow with the lows. Such important lessons in the lives of these kids that can shape them forever. The biggest one being..... never give up.

Amylia said...

I applaud you for not accepting less than you deserve, and for not allowing diabetes to control you. I also applaud you for teaching those little guys not to win the easy way--to take the chance of losing, the ball, the game, the big victory, by staying in the game until the end is a great lesson. They lost, which is a big bummer for anyone (let alone a perfectionist), but if they learned from it, then it's not all bad. The obstacles are there to teach us that we can overcome them. Managing diabetes and life as a perfectionist must be awfully hard, but I give you a lot of credit for the amazing job you're doing. You learned a lot of things in recent months that I still have yet to learn in over 18 years of having this beast! :)

Anne said...

It has been my experience that very athletic type 1's are unusual for the diabetes medical profession to see, and they don't have a lot of answers. There hasn't been much research on it; although there is some, and more is being done. Have you read Sheri Colberg's book, "The Diabetic Athlete"? It's a good place to start.

I know how frustrating it is to have low/high blood sugar during a workout. You will learn over time how your body responds in different scenarios and it will get easier.

Although I have had some very helpful interactions with my endo and CDE and nutritionist, most of what I have learned has been on my own, through trial and error, and from talking with other type 1's.

And sometimes, I've done things directly contrary to medical advice. For example, it used to be (and maybe still is) taught that a diabetic shouldn't exercise with BG >250. But, in my experience, exercise + a little insulin is the best way for me to bring down a high BG. I thought I was always breaking the rule until I realized that many other people do this, too. Experience is hard to beat.

Your team is lucky to have you as a coach. You are probably already making a bigger impact on them for the good than you know.

Take care.