Fathers Day on ice
For Fathers Day, one of the local ice rinks held a “father-son” hockey clinic. Since hockey – to a six-year-old – is always more fun when he’s with his dad (and since dad hasn’t played since last summer), the two of us left the house early Sunday morning for some ritual bonding and much-needed exercise (on my part).
After breakfast, my blood sugar was trending in the 140 mg/dl range. With dawn-phenomenon what it is (i.e. unpredictable), I didn’t know what to expect. But (at 8:14 am) about an hour before we were supposed to get on the ice, I set a Temporary Basal of 55% for the next hour and a half. It was an hour session, and if my basal returned to normal halfway through, it wouldn’t affect by BG until we were done anyway.
A few minutes after that, my CGM signal was lost. And it stayed lost for quite some time.
Granted, my sensor had already been reincarnated twice and was on its third life. It had also been reading some arbitrary and isolated LOWs overnight. But it wasn’t worth changing it beforehand, knowing it could get knocked or pulled out at any moment while on the ice. So I had decided to give it a try, and que sera, sera.
Well, what sera’d (go ahead and criticize my Spanish all you want) is that the sensor was lost for precisely the amount of time that would require another warm-up period, which meant I’d be skating blind.
At 9:11 am (when we were supposed to start, but the rink schedule was about half an hour late), I did a fingerstick test and was down to 114 mg/dl. Without the luxury of trend-arrows, I ate a bag of Fruit Snacks (about 17 carbs).
At 9:30 am, I was just about changed and ready to get on the ice. Not knowing if the shakiness I was feeling was a low or just nerves, I squeezed a LevelLife gel in my mouth (Vanilla Cherry, I think. It probably would’ve tasted good if I were somewhere else, but the effect of locker-room stench on my sense of smell was so intense that it completely muted my sense of taste.) Then I re-set my temporary basal for 10% for an hour.
Many people would probably disconnect their pumps to play. I know some T1D NHLers do (and some don’t), but I choose to keep mine on. It’s like a security blanket for me — even if the CGM feature is in perpetual “Lost Sensor/Warm Up” mode.
Anyway, the pump was comfortably nestled in between the laces in front of the hockey pants, to which it was clipped, and the little flap that sits behind it. (The flap is kind of like the tongue on a pair of sneakers, but they don’t call it a tongue because of the location and inevitable sexual connotations). It sat there, unobtrusive and unbothered, the whole time.
The workout was fun. It made me want to do it more often. (Odd, everytime I exercise I tell myself I should do it more often – yet I never do).
My little boy towed me the length of the ice with a pair of hockey sticks. I was impressed. His skating is so much better than the last time I took the ice with him.
With about six minutes to go, the pump vibrated: METER BG NOW (great timing, eh?). I removed my gloves, silenced the alert, and kept on playing.
Eventually, we made it back to the locker room and I changed into my street clothes. Checked my blood sugar and clocked in at a healthy 109 mg/dl. I call that success.
Overall, I’d call it a good day.
(In addition to the Fruit Snacks and the LevelLife gel which I grabbed in the morning, I found the following in my hockey bag: two granola bars, a juice-box, and a PowerAde bottle, all at least a year old. They will remain in my bag until next time/next year. You can never be too prepared).