’m a passionate snowboarder and, for the last 14 years, whenever I have the time, I take the advantage of the opportunity to go to the mountains.
Along with my board and boots I take with me something else: insulin.
I’ve had type 1 diabetes since I was 17.
I’m happy to tell a bit of my story and I hope it can encourage others to do the same, as I like to share my experience and how diabetes has contributed to the formation of the young woman I am now.
Since I was a child I’ve always been intrigued by skateboarding, its evolutions and its context, and the colourful environment, full of music and fun.
So I started to go to skate parks with in-line skates to jump and slide on handrails with my friends, and the transition to the snowboard on the mountains was easy.
Of course I’ve managed to do all of this thanks to the continuous support of my family, which has always encouraged me, and the pediatric diabetology ward, coordinated by Dr. Manca Bitti, who has always provided me with suggestions based on my needs.
On the mountains, for example, there are several factors to be considered if you want to spend a nice day and be prepared to deal, in my case, with the snowparks’ utilities, such as, for example:
- at very low temperatures, insulin can freeze, and the glucometer could also not function properly, signalling LOW TEMPERATURE, so you can’t do anything;
- hypoglycaemia risk must be zero because ski runs have a set of rules, prohibiting us from “giving in” to the board, or we might get hurt or hurt other people using the runs alongside you;
- during a competition or when you deal with a more challenging structure (like a bigger jump or a more difficult trick), adrenalin increases and together with it, so does sugar.
With a little bit of attention and also learning from some mistakes, you can do anything you want, if you just want it:
- keep insulin in a warmer place, like a sealed pocket inside the jacket in contact with your body;
- always take with you a backpack with snacks, juices, and sugar always in the pocket;
- monitor your blood glucose during competitions and eventually support it with some extra dose of insulin, if necessary.
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