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Tumbling: Power Through the Extraordinary

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Welcome to post #2 of my series on Powering Through the Extraordinary created by! (See post one HERE)  Power Through the Extraordinary is a program created by Roche and Duracell to empower people living with diabetes to follow their dreams and go after their passions.

Where did we leave off last time?



Ah, yes.  I really did not expect tumbling to have such a dramatically different effect on Sweetpea's blood sugar compared to tumbling.  But it did!

We tried different strategies to keep her blood sugar in range and as steady as possible during class.  We did things like lower her basal rate, turn her pump off, and give an uncovered snack prior to class.

It didn't take long to realize the problem.

After school snack.

Sweets gets home from school about 4:00.  Tumbling starts at 5:00 and lasts for an hour.  She is STARVING when she gets home from school.  She can not wait to eat something until after 6pm.

So give her snack uncovered?  Is that what you're thinking?

That makes sense, right?  We thought so....

The thing is... she is STARVING.

 You see, she eats lunch at 10:50 AM!!!  She does have an afternoon snack at school.  That snack is uncovered because after lunch, she has recess, a special class like PE or Music where there is activity and dancing, and another recess before the end of the day.  SERIOUS activity.

I do not like uncovered snacks.  I feel like (and this is just me - our Endo even told us that it's ok) if her basal was set correctly there should be no need for uncovered snacks.  However, it was the ONLY way we keep her in range and not dropping 100 points (I kid you not - I am not exaggerating) in the span of 15 minutes each and every day.

So she's already on the low side.  And she's STARVING.  (Have I mentioned this before?  At our house it is mentioned A LOT.  And it sounds like, "Mooooooooom. Daaaaaaaaaaad.  I'm Huuuuuuuuungry.") So she eats.

A nice little 15g snack should be ok - right?

If only.  She is seriously hungry.  She wants more than that.  And she's going to strenuous exercise for an hour.  So we let her eat.  We try to include protein.  Food that will help keep her bg up and steady.

It doesn't matter.

Because this is what we see...

If we give her a snack of over 15g and do not bolus for it....

That did not work out well, did it?  At least she is FINALLY coming down from the exercise... Still.  Yuk.

If we bolus for part of the snack, the insulin is peaking during class.  And that's when we see....

And then....

Hello Rock!  Meet Hard Place!

It's so frustrating.

Every week we would try something else and tweak things a bit.  Some weeks we did well.  Others.... notsomuch.

What we found was KEY was her blood sugar going into class AND having no active insulin.  The weeks that this happened were the weeks when we saw the best, most steady numbers.  The thing is... that just could not happen every week.

Thank Goodness for all the tools in our Diabetes Arsenal that we have to keep her safe (like the ACCU-Chek Nano meter that I trust to be right on the money).  And Thank Goodness for a place to tumble where the teachers know her, love her, and look out for her.  They are so good about noticing if she's not quite right.  They notice if her strength is off.  Or her balance.  Or if she's clammy.  And they give us the "sign"... and we can decide what to do.

We try our best.

That's all we can do.

(And trust me... it KILLS me to see those numbers and it KILLS me to post them online so you can all see them.  BUT... this is truth.  It isn't all perfect.  We have lots of good numbers and great A1c in spite of tumbling!  But we have ugly numbers, too.  So don't hate on me.  I'm just keepin' it real.)

She's going to tumble again.  So we are going to have lots more practice!  Of course, next year her school schedule will be different and so it won't be the same.  But then again, when is diabetes EVER the same?!?

We will just keep trying to figure it out.

Because SHE is going power through no matter what.  And so are WE.

Quitting is not an option.  Giving up is not an option.  As long as she WANTS to do this, we are going to keep trying and make it work.

And you know what?  She has no idea how hard it is to manage her blood sugar during tumbling.  She knows it is important to eat something healthy before.  She knows the activity can make her drop and she should tell her teacher if she feels off.  But that's it.  We deal with the numbers.  She deals with the stunts.

Sure - it's just a tumbling class for a seven year old.

But it's more than that.  It's an example we are setting that diabetes is not going to hold her back.  It's not a reason to say no or quit or give up.  It's not a reason to not do something she wants do.  It's not even part of the equation.

**Disclosure: By participating in the Power Through the Extraordinary program, Accu-Chek has provided us with an Accu-Chek Nano meter and Accu-Check Smart View test strips for a month.  P&G/Duracell has also covered our cost of tumbling lessons.  I have agreed to blog about our experiences.**



  1. Sounds vaguely similar to our experiences with swim team! Morning practices send her crashing down, and evening meets elevate her numbers for hours...until she inevitably crashes sometime after midnight!

  2. Love your attitude! You are awesome parents:)

  3. Love your attitude! You are awesome parents:)

  4. I know how frustrating exercise and diabetes can be. I was on both the swim and tennis teams after I was diagnosed. Everyday was battle of the lows or battle of the highs. Sounds like you're do a great job at finding the perfect balance! You'll get there!


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