Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Opening Day

Ten days ago, Joseph kicked off his second season playing little league baseball.

Another almost three months of afternoons and evenings at the ball park...

It'll be great-- but it's also gonna be really long.

Don't get me wrong. We all LOVE baseball. And it was a lot of fun last year.

But last year, Joseph was taking in a lot less insulin (8-9 units/day vs. the 15-19 units/day he takes now). What this means is that being disconnected from his pump -- which is what we did while he played last season -- may have a much greater impact on his blood sugars.

In the course of an hour and 45-minute game, he could go high-- very, very high.

Now, we could just have him wear his pump.

But this year he's playing at a level where kids pitch-- no more pitching machine. Thus, you tend to see many more kids getting hit by pitches. Also, because he's being active, we thought that bg checks and reconnecting for small corrections halfway through each game would work well. It did last year.

And you know, he really liked having that break from wearing the pump.

So how did we do on Opening Day?

Game time was 5:30 p.m.

An hour before, Joseph's bg was 199-- high, but not bad considering he hadn't eaten in awhile and he'd soon be active. Also, we planned to eat dinner later in order to avoid higher sugars during the game.

Ryan (who is the assistant coach this year) went to the park with Joseph, while I got Evan set to go. On arrival, Evan and I took a seat in the first row of the bleachers, right behind the first base line-- and about ten feet from our team's dugout. The boys crowded around the head coach to hear the lineup, as I called out to Ryan:

"Did he do a check?"

"Yeah, he was 86."


"He had two glucose tabs."

Immediately, my heart is beating fast.

86... 86... He was 199 an hour ago. That's over a hundred point drop...

"He's got to eat more. Give him some peanut butter crackers," I say, feeling incredibly helpless.

Ryan nods, and heads straight over to Joseph.

While his teammates gather their gloves, my son eats his snack.

Please let those crackers be enough.

Turns out, the head coach is putting Joseph in left field for the first two innings.


Though he loves to play catcher, (and will get his shot in the last two innings), he shouldn't be running around much out in left.

But it's so far away.

My heart aches as I watch him take the field.

Slow down... don't run so fast.

Over the next 45 minutes, the sun sits low in the sky-- as a result, I watch my son in the outfield with the side of my hand virtually glued to my forehead in a sort of desperate salute.

When Joseph finally comes up for his first at-bat, he draws a walk.

Thank you.

At 6:30 his bg has risen to 175, and the knot in my stomach finally begins to loosen. I relax and enjoy the rest of the game.

Sure, they lost-- and by the end, Joseph's bg was 200.

But by bedtime, he was 138.

So in my mind, we won.


Nicole P said...

That is a win for you! I'm glad things went so well -- in terms of bg that is.

Penny said...

I'm glad things turned out so well. The good BGs are better than a win any day.

Kerri. said...

Hell of an opener to you and Joseph.

It's going to be a good season.

Shannon said...

Nice blood sugars :)

If you're ever inclined to have him wear the pump during a game, there are backpacks (very discreet) that athletes wear. Let me know if you're interested and I'll give you the website.

Otherwise, I'm glad you posted this because Brendon is playing baseball now, so it's good to see that he doesn't necessarily have to wear his pump during a game.

J said...

my heart pounds with you every time read you post I wish there was a way to comfort you when things happen I know there is not and that is because your suck a great mom who is always on the ball I just feel for you and think of my own mom when I was 8 with diabetes and what she went through you are remarkable.

julia said...

Can he check in the dugout? Can he have food and water if he needs it? It's probably a bit easier with Ryan coaching, but still, I know that heart-in-your-throat feeling while they're playing sports. O does soccer. Makes me a nervous wreck every time she plays.

There's a pro pitcher who wears a pump - I can't remember his name, but he wears it during games, so it can be done. He puts it in the small of his back.

Sandra Miller said...

Shannon --

I'd love to check out that website... nice to have other options.

And Julia--

Joseph does check his bg in the dugout, and yes, he can have food and water whenever he needs it.

It's just that I'm not allowed in the dugout (league rules), and Joseph's never started out a game dropping the way he did that day... so it was more than a little unnerving.

I think the pitcher you're talking about is Jason Johnson of the Detroit Tigers. This guy is very inspiring-- especially since Joseph will get his shot pitching tonight (He's been itching to get out on the mound since that first game).

In practice, he's been throwing really, really well... and my boy's a lefty.

How cool is that?

julia said...

Teach him the knuckleball and he'll be set for life. :D A lefty knuckleball pitcher would be unstoppable on the mound....

Shannon said...

Hi Sandra,

The sports pak is either on the Animas site or Minimed. It's a pain in the butt to set up an account with them to get access to their estores, so I can't say exactly which site.

It's a back-pack....but not bulky at all and can be worn under his uniform. Just pull up the back of his shirt for easy access.

The last I bought from them, they didn't have the set-up they do now with registering on their site...ugh.

Sandra Miller said...


Thanks for the info! I'll definitely check it out...