Playing Field Hockey with an Insulin Pump

Posted by kayley on Fri, 11/22/2013 - 12:49 in
Diabetes (and shin splints) won't stop Kayley from being a field hockey star.

As both a sophomore and second year varsity player, field hockey has been a huge part of my life. In the fall everyone close to me knows that my priorities are school and field hockey. I spend more time with my team than with my family most of the season. Last year as a freshman in high school, I made the varsity team after only two full seasons of playing, which came as a big surprise to me. I don’t think I was quite aware of how different it’d be from middle school and how much more time I’d be spending with my stick in my hand.

Managing Diabetes While Playing Field Hockey

Playing field hockey with type 1 diabetes can be very difficult, because it is such an aggressive and fast sport. There is a lot of running and fast play involved. This means, if not monitored, blood sugars can go from being fine to low in a matter of minutes if you’re not watching yourself.

This is where I really enjoy the temp basal option on the Omnipod insulin pump, because it allows me to reduce my insulin before, while or after playing – to help make sure I don’t go low. Before practices and games I check and correct for either a low or a high blood sugar. If my blood sugar is high before either a game or practice I make sure I fix that, because I know my body cannot perform to its full potential if my blood sugar isn’t in the correct area.

While wearing my Pod in games, I’ve never had a problem with the refs even questioning me about what it is or if I needed to take it off, mostly because I wear it on my stomach and back 99% of the time. To give those areas a break these last few weeks, I’ve been using my arms - and to my surprise, I still haven’t gotten any questions from the refs about it.

Mid-Season Problems (Thankfully Not Diabetes Related!)

This year as a returning varsity player, I was ready to dive into the season head first with full force. Little did I know my season would be off to a great start and I’d then be hit with problems mid-season. Roughly after our fourth game while at practice, I began to get a crushing pressure all throughout my shins. I told my coach and she advised me to go to the athletic trainer. Soon after that we found out I had the beginnings of shin splints, and if I continued to run, there was the possibility of them evolving into stress fractures. This was probably the worst news I could’ve heard at this point in time. It meant a short amount of playing time and little running at practice. I was our right forward in our starting lineup and was crushed to hear the news that I would no longer be able to play full games.

Soon after we began to think I was recovering, I was told that I have trigger points throughout my calves and on my shin bone. Trigger points are what some may call knots and they cause lots of tightness throughout your lower leg and an uncomfortable ripping pain when you run. But now at about our 11th game of the season, I’m back to playing almost full time. After many painful chiropractor appointments and lots of stretching, my legs are almost able to make it through a full 60-minute game!

Who would’ve thought that my legs would be the problem mid-season instead of it being diabetes related?!

You can wear the Omnipod insulin pump most places you’d give an injection, so it can be convenient while playing different sports and being active with diabetes. Click here to learn more and try a free Demo for yourself.