Bowling with Type 1 Diabetes

Posted by Jamie Braithwaite on

Numbers. Numbers. Numbers.  Type 1 Diabetes is surrounded by numbers to keep Gracie alive.  Your brain needs glucose to function.  Too little of glucose in the blood stream will result in immediate loss of important brain function.  Too high of glucose in the blood stream will result in long term damage to internal organs.  With our Dexcom, Tslim, and Nightscout we are able to analyze the numbers immediately and make adjustments as needed.

This is an example of the information we use to help make our medical decisions.  We have three possible medical changes we can adjust with Gracie's insulin.

  • Basal rate.  This is the "drop" rate of insulin that is constantly delivered through her pump every hour.
  • Carbohydrate Correction rate.  This is the rate that determines how much insulin per carb Gracie receives when she adds a bolus to her pump. 
  • Correction Factor rate.  This is the rate that determines how much insulin per BG over her target range will be delivered when correcting a high.

We have been working closely with our Type 1 Diabetes Educator to determine the correct ratios.  If we every have a problem or a weird few days we give her a call.  We have also started to correct the numbers on our own.  

I took Statistics in High School and College.  I use my education daily to keep my daughter alive, healthy, and thriving!  We make it a game and do not every put the pressure directly on Gracie.  We use the bowling game terminology.  When Gracie is in Target Range her pancreas is bowling in its own bowling lane.  There are two bumpers and three lanes (red, green, and yellow).  

The yellow bumper goes into Mr. Yellow High's lane when BG is over 180.  Mr. Yellow is annoying but OK to deal with because if you give him insulin he will return your bowling ball after an hour or two.  There are several reasons to jump the bumper and go into his lane.  Some possibilities are eating food which is a very normal activity for human beings.  BUT sneaking food for a pancreas in a Type 1 Diabetes bowling game will result in Mr. Yellow always taking your bowling ball!  

The red bumper goes into Mr. Red Low's lane when she is under 80.  Mr. Red has major terrible extremely dangerous temper tantrums if you bowl in his lane!  He will not return your bowling ball until you have given him glucose.  You MUST give Mr. Red glucose immediately and check with him every 15 minutes before he gets really out of control or the bowling alley might explode!  

Having that bowling game in mind we can look at these statistics with our 9 year old girl and discuss the possible issues going on in her pancreas bowling game.  She said Mr. Yellow is probably there this day because I ate 5 skittles during silent reading at school.  This helps us know when to adjust her numbers because she needs an actual adjustment vs an accidental carb over dose with no insulin.


The best part is the new game can begin anytime!  Just like bowling sometimes we have bad games and sometimes we rock the scoreboard!  

It is a number game that we choose to conquer everyday every hour!  And we will not stop fighting until there is a cure for Type 1 Diabetes.