Play Ball! How the Omnipod System Helps Kids Round The Bases
Growing up in New England, my ten-year-old son Miles knows a thing or two about Spring Fever. Even before the last of the snowstorms, he’s dreaming of green grass, warm sun and hours of outside play, because in his world, spring means one thing: baseball!
Yes, April is finally here and with that, the start of baseball season. It’s hard to tell which is more exciting for Miles – his own return to the game with his closest buddies in Little League, or the Pros down in Boston taking the field at Fenway. Either way, this kid’s got baseball on the brain 24/7. And because he’s a Podder, type 1 diabetes doesn’t stand in the way of his game.
Miles and I recently sat down to talk all things baseball, and how using the Omnipod System to manage his diabetes makes life a little easier for him while playing his favorite sport.
Mom: This is your third season playing baseball, so you’ve had the chance to play lots of positions. What’s your favorite?
Miles: Hmmmm. I don’t know, I like playing in the outfield. I want to be just like Mookie (Betts, Red Sox Right Fielder). I remember seeing him make a catch over the wall when I was eight. He robbed a homerun from the hitter and I thought, “I want to be like him.” But I also like catcher, because I get to be in every play of the game.
Mom: Yes, I suppose that’s true. But isn’t that also a lot of pressure? How do you stay calm and focused?
Miles: I just picture myself doing well. I tell myself to stay calm and visualize myself making the catch.
Mom: You are a good catcher! You also do really well playing with type 1 diabetes. How do you stay healthy during the game?
Miles: I wear a fitness belt to hold my CGM receiver and glucose tabs. I check my blood sugar between innings, and have a glucose tab or two before the game starts. I don’t want to think about diabetes when I’m playing.
Mom: I understand that, completely! Your teammates and your coaches help you a lot too, don’t they?
Miles: Yeah. Most of my teammates are friends I’ve had since before I was diagnosed (at age six), so they understand it pretty well. They ask me if I’m feeling okay, and if I’m not, the coaches will call a time-out if I need it. But I don’t like it when that happens!
Mom: No, neither do I. It’s cool that if you are running high, I can give you insulin from your PDM without having to interrupt you. All you have to do is come see me next to the dugout, and we can quickly bolus you without anyone even knowing!
Miles: Yeah. It’s so much better than if I were on shots. I’d be so embarrassed.
Mom: What else do you like about using your Omnipod system instead of your old pump or shots?
Miles: With my Pod, there’s no tubes to get caught or snagged when I throw or swing the bat. With my old pump, I would have had to run around the bases with this huge thing on my belt. My Omnipod is easier because I can just press the buttons and go!
Mom: That’s true. It’s also waterproof. Can you think of a time when you were glad you didn’t have to worry about getting your pump wet?
Miles: Oh yeah! Last season, at the end of our last game, it was really hot – so we all dumped water on each other’s heads. Good thing the Pod was waterproof and you were holding my PDM!
Mom: That was a fun game. I can’t wait to see you play this year! What are you most looking forward to?
Miles: Playing in the majors. My coaches all said I was good enough, so I hope I make it. I know it will be harder – throwing, catching, hitting – I’m going to have to work hard. But I know if I work hard, I’ll feel good and do well.
Mom: Just like with your diabetes?
Mom: Yeah, yeah. I know. You just focus on baseball. I’ll try to take most of the work away from you.
Mom: What do you like most, playing baseball with your team or watching the Red Sox at Fenway or on T.V.?
Miles: Both…and I like playing pass in the yard with our family, and practicing my diving catches. I like it all. Baseball makes me happy.
Until there is a cure, Miles won’t ever forget about his diabetes. But baseball helps him escape it once in a while… and the Omnipod System steps up the plate in a big way when it comes to managing his type 1 diabetes.