Softball poses its own unique diabetes challenges.  For my daughter, game-related blood sugar fluctuations are predictable and we've learned how to manage those.  Her pump goes in a fanny pack and is nicely tucked under her uniform.  She's learned to find moments on the sidelines for quick blood sugar checks, and the roomy softball equipment bag has plenty of space for the meter, glucose tabs and a juice box.  At least one parent is always on the sidelines. We're cheering, but also ready to jump in should any diabetes needs arise.

The issue which seems unresolvable is the timing.  Weeknight games start at 5:30, which means warm-up begins by 5.  We're usually not home until 7:30 or 8.

I can only assume that every child plays better when fueled up.  Mine definitely needs something in her system before a 2-3 hour sporting event.  Ideally, she'll have a well-balanced combination of protein, and carbs with a healthy vegetable thrown in for good luck.  Ideally, we'll bolus this meal just right, leaving her a few carbs to burn off during the game until that nice bit of protein kicks in to sustain a lovely blood sugar through the 6th inning.  Ideally, this resulting steady blood sugar will provide her with the energy and focus she'll need to play well and have fun.

So, here's the question: does she eat dinner at 4:15 in the afternoon?

The answer has to be 'sometimes.'  Ideally, she'll eat dinner before the game, despite the early hour.  She feels better and plays better. Her blood sugar responds better throughout the game and into the evening.

Sometimes a pre-game dinner is just not possible. Today she has team pictures before the game, which would move dinner time to about 3:45.  Other days she has after school activities until game time, or homework which needs to be done before she's completely wiped out.  On these days she has to make do with a hearty snack such as yogurt and fruit or a quick pb&j in the car. 

Diabetes does not prefer 'sometimes.'  It prefers a set schedule.  Yet from time to time, we need to be flexible.  With a little planning we can be flexible and keep diabetes in its place at the same time.

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