Contact sports with a pump

My 16yo daughter was diagnosed T1 this past June. She has been doing fairly well with everything that has been thrown at her, but is balking at the idea of a pump and CGM. Her diabetes team is really pushing for it, but she is afraid it will cause problems with her sports. She currently plays high school soccer and year round club lacrosse as well as school lacrosse. Both of these are fairly high contact, she usually comes home from lacrosse games looking like she just left an MMA fight. Anyone have any insight?

Since exercise typically makes BG drop, pumpers often reduce their basal rate starting 30-60 before exercise, and up to several hours afterwards. It might work to give her a tiny bolus an hour before the game, then disconnect the pump and wrap some foam/padding around her to protect the infusion site from impact, then reconnect after the game and correct her BG if needed. If the game is long enough, she can check her BG quickly at a break and reconnect the pump just long enough to give her a bolus if needed. This will obviously take some trial and error, but you’ll probably be able to get it figured out after a few games. It can also be helpful to work with a Certified Diabetes Educator on this because they can meet with her more often than an endo can, and for a longer appointment. It’s great that she’s active. Good luck!

Hi - I have a 10yo daughter who plays year round soccer. We disconnect during games. We do a BG test before games and either bolus or have a snack depending on where she’s at. The exercise usually offsets what she would have gotten during that time. After the game she reconnects and that’s that. We’ve never had any issues with the infusion site during practice or games, so I’m not much help there. Just last week she did forget to remove her pump and it got ripped off and flew on the field. The tubing ripped from the pump, but her site was in tact.
They do sell several sports belts that work great as well. My daughter prefers not to wear it during soccer, but when she was involved with a running club, this was a great option.
Good Luck!

balking at the idea of a pump and CGM.

Which pump & CGM is her “diabetes team” advocating for?

Well, her diabetes team consists of her endocrinologist, diabetes educator, and her pediatrician. They are advocating for whatever pump and CGM she is most comfortable with, although they do recommend the dexcom because of the available app for the iPhone. They all feel as if she would have better control of her numbers with these tools. She feels like taking a lacrosse stick to either the equipment or infusion site would be very painful, as well as a hassle to constantly connect and disconnect. She plays lacrosse every day as well as weight training and swimming as part of her training.

If you haven’t already, then call the Dexcom helpline and see if they have any suggestions about wearing their CGM while playing a contact sport. It may be a wasted call, but it’s worth a shot, no?

The advantage I see to having the Dexcom is that someone on the sidelines could possibly monitor her BG (Blood Glucose) so she wouldn’t have to.

As for the pump, I am guessing that a patch pump like the Omnipod might more of a problem since it can’t be disconnected & would have to be worn during play. But I don’t use the Omnipod so I’m not a good source of info about it. Also, it is worn during physical sports by some young people. I don’t know what they do to pad it, but they do figure something out.

Any other pump you’d just disconnect. It’s unlikely she’d need basal while playing. And if she was wearing the Dexcom then, as I said, hopefully someone else could monitor here BG “just in case”.

Rather than throw it all at her at once, why not try one at a time? I’d suggest getting the Dexcom CGM first, if you get support for it. The CGM gives a picture of what her current BG range is and would help to decide how much more useful using a pump might be for her.

Ask for a free trial of the Dexcom. The thing about CGM is that one never knows how well it will work for a particular person until they have a chance to actually live with it for a while. You don’t want to make a financial commitment until you have more faith that the CGM will actually work out, no?