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I was diagnosed as type 1 diabetic on the 22nd August, and obviously one of my first questions was could I still play hockey. My diabetic support team said yes, but to wait until my blood glucose levels had stabilised. I've got to the point now where they're at an acceptable level, and I'm going to ask my support team about getting back on the ice next week. 

Do any of you have diabetes, or play with someone who does? If so, do you have any advice? 

I'm currently using the insulin pens, injecting 4 times per day. I'm curious about insulin pumps and would really like to hear if anyone uses one whilst playing, and any mods they've made to their equipment to accommodate and protect it.

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Max Domi of the Coyotes has Type I diabetes.  :)

I skated with a guy who had Type I and was quite a good hockey and lacrosse player (he played lacrosse for our college).  He was personally not a fan of the pump because of the issues presented by contact sports, but they may have improved them in the past 6 or 7 years. 

The important thing regardless is to work with your team to make a plan for the things you want to do so you can continue doing them safely, whether that's playing hockey or just having a day at the beach.  Make sure you have an extra source of glucose on-hand, because you're burning a lot of energy in games and/or practices - the guy I skated with carried an extra gatorade with him to the bench and had a candy bar in his bag.  Having a medic-alert style bracelet (I use a roadID for my specific conditions) is good, too, just in case something happens and you're not able to tell your teammates, coach, or EMS what's going on.  Be very attentive to cuts, blisters, or abrasions on your hands and feet - diabetes can affect circulation and the peripheral nerves, causing things to take longer to heal, and as we all know gloves are like little leather MRSA communes.  ;)

Talk to your support team about your hockey plans (x per week, practices, games, tournaments), make a plan, and have fun. 

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Hey, sorry to hear about your diagnosis.  I actually just signed up so I could chime in on this subject.  I'm a Type 1 as well, diagnosed 5 years ago.  Don't worry, I know exactly how you feel.

 

Now, as far as hockey goes, of course you can still play.  I play in three men's leagues without a problem.  For me, at first it was a chore.  Making sure I was on top of my blood glucose all day long, in the locker room before the game, on the bench, after the game... it was tedious at first, but once you get used to it, it's no more laborious than reaching for your water bottle.  Just pay attention to how you feel and trust your gut.  If you don't feel right, check yourself.  I have been on Multiple Daily Injections the whole time.  I refuse the pump.  My numbers and A1C are in pretty tight control, so both my doctor and I feel the pump wouldn't necessarily be an improvement.  Plus, I just can't get used to the idea of always being attached to something.  That said, I have asked a few different people about the pump's durability, and they've all assured me that playing hockey with it wouldn't be any big deal.

 

I'm sure you'll find a routine that works for you, but just to give you a rough idea, this is my typical game day routine - I go about my morning routine as normal.  Cup of coffee or two at work with a bagel and an apple for breakfast.  Lunch is whatever... if I bring something from home or if I get something... no big deal there, nothing to stress about.  After work though, it gets a bit more calculated.  I try to eat the same pregame meal (essentially dinner) at roughly the same time frame before my game.  I like about 5 hours before game time.  Now, exactly WHAT I eat isn't the important thing, but what is important is that whatever I eat, I need to make sure that a few hours after I've eaten, my blood glucose is within an acceptable range and that nothing has spiked too high or dropped too low.  This way, I'm not using more insulin than I have to right before a game, nor am I having to eat something to correct a low blood glucose event.  I don't like playing a game with excess insulin in my system, as you never know just how you will react.  9 times out of 10, my pregame meals are always the same.  They're easy, consistent and I know that if I eat them at the right time, I will have no problems before the game.  The only way for you to figure that out is trial and error.  Find what works and stick to it.

 

So, assuming I've eaten my pregame meal/dinner and covered it with the correct amount of insulin, it's a breeze from there.  Before the game, I test my blood sugar.  If it's good, then play on.  If it's low, some Gatorade works.  Gatorade is all sugar - always good to have some on hand.  If it's high, it's decision time.  If it's just a little high - play on.  If it's really high - I have no choice but to inject more insulin and pay attention during the game.  Regardless of my pregame numbers, I always test on the bench.  Usually midway through the game.  Just to make sure I'm not too low.  Test after the game to make sure I'm good to drive home.  It's not too bad.

 

You're very new to this, so there will be a lot of adjustment.  It'll take some figuring out, but it's not bad.  I could go on for quite a while about all this, and if you'd like, I'd be happy to, but I'll leave it at that for now.  Let me know if you have any more questions.

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First sorry to hear about your diagnosis and glad to hear that you are getting back at it! My son who is 6 was diagnosed 3 years ago. He loves to play hockey and and it has not stopped him. He had been wearing a pump for the past 2 years and we always took it off him while he was playing. I have also seen players with a pocket sown into their hockey pants to hold the pump. We just started using the Omni Pod. It has a smaller profile and sticks on the body. We have not had any issued with it an hockey so far. There is another little girl on his team who used the Omni Pod as well.

There are a few pro players that have T1D and have had good careers playing hockey. Bobby Clark, Max Domi, Cory Conacher, BJ Crombeen, Taylor Vause, Anthony Ast, and Nick Boynton are that I can think of at the moment. I also have a local friend that played college hockey as a goalie with T1D. It won't stop you from doing what you want!

After my son was diagnosed he and I started an organization Hockey Fights T1D. Check out our website at www.HockeyFightsT1D.org. You can also send me a request on Facebook if you would like.

DSkate is also another great T1D Hockey resource. It is geared more toward kids but is still a great program/resource.

 

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On 10/22/2016 at 4:21 PM, Holmes_D_83 said:

@MatthewRoach7 hi great to hear from you! I see your jerseys on your site, any chance you can ship to northern Ireland?

Hey Buddy. Sorry I have not got back to you sooner. I will ship to Northern Ireland for sure. It might cost a bit but lets look into it. Send me an email at Matt@HockeyFightsT1D.org with your address and we can talk!

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