Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Type 1 Boot Camp

I would like to propose some training suggestions.

More specifically, training suggestions for people who do not have Type 1 diabetes.

Maybe they are people who love and care for someone who does. Maybe they are people who work with Type 1 folks. Maybe they are people who don't work with or love someone with Type 1 but perhaps would just benefit from learning what it's all about.

Basically, I just have a list of really good training ideas that I think would help people more than, say, testing their blood sugar a few times or wearing a saline-filled insulin pump for a day.

Training Number One: Eat it dammit!

For this training, the participants would be fed a lovely meal. Something festive like Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. Right down to the pumpkin pie with whipped cream for dessert. After dinner they will go lounge on the couch - feeling really full but happy. Someone will then bring them two juice boxes, a handful of Dex 4s, a few spoons full of Nutella and a banana. They will be told that their blood sugar is 3.2 and dropping fast. They will be told that they have too much insulin on board from the big dinner bolus and they will have to eat all the food in front of them in less then 3 minutes.

And no, we don't really care how full they are. Or that they are trying to watch what they eat and how many calories they consume in the day.


Training Number Two: I'm Hungry...

In this training, the participants will be told first thing in the morning that they are having a delicious pizza for lunch. The smells of the delicious pizza will begin wafting into the room as lunch approaches and tummies will begin to growl. At lunch time, they will be told that their blood sugar is really really high and not coming down. They've bolused but will need to wait at least 30 minutes to make sure they are dropping. In the meantime, they can have water.

After 30 minutes, they will be told that they are still high and haven't dropped so another big bolus is needed. They will have to wait a little longer before their lunch but they can have a piece of cheese and as much water as they want.

An hour after they were supposed to eat their pizza, they will be told that they are still high for some bizarre reason but now they've double bolused so it should be coming down really soon. They can have a few more pieces of cheese while they are waiting...and lots of water.

An hour after that, they will be told that they have dropped a bit but probably shouldn't eat the pizza after all because it will just cause a spike again. They can have a hard-boiled egg and a few pieces of cheese though.

Training Idea Number Three: Race Day

The trainees will have been training and preparing for weeks for this training day. They will have been divided into two groups. One group trained for a 1000m swim race. The other trained for a 5k running race.

On race day, the swimmers will arrive at the pool they are used to swimming in. This time though, they will be handed a bucket that they will have to drag for the entire swim. This bucket will mimic the feeling of trying to race when their blood sugar has shot up way too high and won't come down. They will be slow and sluggish and no amount of 'pushing through' will bring them back to their regular running pace.

The runners will arrive at the start of their regular 5k running route. This time they will be given 4lb ankle weights to strap on. Again, this will help mimic the feeling of running with really high blood sugar.

To make it even more fun, both groups will be racing against people who are not restricted by buckets or ankle weights.

Training Number Four: Budgeting

In this training, everyone will be asked to create a monthly budget using their own incomes and expenses. They will be encouraged to find ways to put money towards paying down debt, money towards retirement savings, emergency savings, travel and other savings etc.

Once that is done, they will be told that they now have diabetes and will be given a list of monthly costs for insulin, test strips, pump supplies as well as any additional meds that people with Type 1 often need to take (cholesterol meds, blood pressure meds, anti-depressants, vitamins, low-dose aspirin etc). They will have to work all that into the budget and make all the hard decisions re which areas of spending or saving they will have to cut so that they can take care of their health.

Training Number Five: Overnights

Of course all of the trainees will be put up overnight in a lovely hotel. With comfortable beds, perfectly fluffed pillows and a lovely view. After the long day of training, they will brush their teeth and crawl into bed for a relaxing sleep.

You all know where this is going don't you?

That's right. The 3am wake up call. Followed by the 3am force feeding of carbs. Followed by the 4am check and the 5am rebound high. Lots of alarms going off. Lots of food eaten. Lots of pasty mouths and tired eyes in the morning.

So. Anyone want to sign up for Type 1 Boot Camp?


  1. I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this!! Training session number one is the one in which I would love for everyone to experience. Nothing like force feeding yourself when you are already stuffed! Awesome post.

  2. I'm IN Type 1 boot camp. :) Just kidding - but now that I'm living with the BF, we are waking each other up at 3 AM with our lows.....

    I've luckily learned how to use self control when it comes to holiday dinners. Nothing worse than having to eat when you're stuffed. Also, I'm pretty jealous of Canadian Thanksgiving - it happens at a much better time than the American one....

  3. But there's a beginner version, right? Sort of like a mini-tri? Hello??? ;)

    1. I thought this was the beginner's version!

  4. I just discovered you're blog, this is the first of your posts that I've read and this is, fantastic. This is one of the best ways I've ever seen our lives in a 24 hour period described!