Hello, my son was recently diagnosed T1D. His father is also T1D, so I’m a bit ahead of the curve in some ways, but learning everything from a new perspective this time. My first question- I would love to hear tips and experiences from parents with kiddos who dance or are otherwise on stage. We are finding that class drops his sugar a fewer hours after it ends. Class is easy to monitor, but I worry about performances when he is backstage for several hours plus lots of physical activity, plus the adrenaline of being on stage. He will start Nutcracker rehearsal in August, so just around the corner! Also, anyone have suggestions for CGM/pumps and costumes? Thanks so much!
Hello, when my daughter played sports in high school she would definitely spike before and during games due to adrenaline- so we rarely corrected because after games she would always trend down. She always kept snacks or juice and water if she was high- that does help her with minor-highs. We didn’t have a CGM at the time so she checked herself 1-2X’s during games. (She played volleyball, softball & soccer) she now uses a Dexcom CGM and has been extremely helpful. She can in real-time tell if she is trending up or down and if necessary I can let her know too. ( helpful at night when she is sleeping too hard to hear the alarm)
I also have a T1 son who played HS & college football so I know the Anxiety but they become pretty good at self monitoring they are resilient due to necessity. Enjoy the good times and offer your support
Thanks so much!! We are hoping to get to CGM in the next couple of weeks, I cannot wait!
Hey there @azneomom! I’m a bit late to the convo but hope it’s ok if I offer my two cents.
I have a fair bit of experience both onstage and in other sports–and I agree that it can be difficult to manage blood sugar for performances. You’re probably aware that prolonged aerobic activity (like dancing) tends to lower blood sugar. Before my tennis matches, I like to eat a slow-acting carb snack; I find granola bars work well for me, but you might want to experiment and find what your son likes best. I also keep a bottle of Gatorade with me on the court–obviously that’s a bit harder for a performer, but maybe he could keep a bottle offstage and just take a sip between scenes? Like I said, I’m sure you’ll find what works for you. It’s great that you’re getting him a CGM, that’ll be a huge help!
One thing that you’ll have to keep in mind is that your son’s blood sugar on performance days might be very different from rehearsal days. Adrenaline can bring blood sugar levels up, so watch out for that! If you do end up correcting for a high, be aware that he might go low later, once the adrenaline wears off. A CGM will be a huge help with all of that, but don’t forget that your intuition–and his, of course–is your most valuable tool!
I hope that wasn’t too much information, lol. Feel free to pm me if you have any more questions!
Thank you so much! I will check in with my son and message you his questions directly, I appreciate the offer!!
My 13 year old daughter is also a dancer and did Nutcracker. She has a Dexcom and an Omnipod pump. I think getting your son a CGM is very important. You will see exactly how dance effects his BG both during and after and can be proactive. The pump is also helpful when you’re very active because you have more control over the basal insulin and can set temp basals prior to exercise. For my daughter, class and performances effected her BG similarly, dropping her BG right away. Adrenaline at performances did not seem to be a factor for her.
For performances, we always had a rule that she check in with me by texting an hour before the show started to discuss her BG, whether she needed a snack, etc. It’s hectic backstage and the kids are excited, so it was very important that she learned to stop for a moment to focus on herself. Because there is usually no eating/drinking in costume, if she did need to have a snack in costume she had fruit snacks available which are easy and not messy. If your son is on stage/backstage a lot and cannot access his own snacks, I would make sure one of the staff or backstage volunteers has snacks for him just in case.
Having a tubeless pump was helpful because of all the costume changes and because you can perhaps more easily move it around to a spot that’s comfortable for the costume/performance.
Hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions! I hope there is a Nutcracker season this year…
Best CGM, and it is approved for age 9, is the Dexcom G6. Check it out at Dexcom dot com. It has a share feature if you can put a smartphone on you child to relay the data to you. Dexcom lasts for 10 days and has been seen on some TV shows on active contestants.