Daily Archives: February 26, 2012

A stick-tap to athletes with diabetes

This is me, bottom row, third from the right, following a game in 2001 at the (then) First Union Center in Philadelphia,

I’m generally not a fan of professional bowling. But after reading an article about my favorite hockey team in the sports section of today’s paper, another headline caught my eye.

Shafer doesn’t let diabetes spare his game

The article is about Ryan Shafer, bowler extraordinaire, whose achievements at the lanes has netted him much fame (and prize money!) throughout his professional career. He also has Type 1 diabetes and, according to the PBA website, he’s also a spokesperson for Animas.

I admire professional athletes who play at the top of their game with diabetes. Heck, I admire any athlete, even at the recreational level, who doesn’t allow the disease to stand in their way. But I’ll be honest, when I think of sports where diabetes poses a challenge, bowling is not at the top of my list. It’s not physically taxing, there is sufficient “time-out” to attend to needs, and no linebacker is going to plow you into the ball-return and unknowingly rip out a cannula. But diabetes, and the ways it manifests itself, is not all physical. As Shafer describes, “when your blood sugar gets a little low, you get a little shaky, you’re not steady on your feet. Then after you eat, you want to make up for it and you feel that spike and all of a sudden you feel lethargic and you’re going from one feeling to another.”

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements