Emma Barker and Kyler Fields grew up playing sports and living a very active lifestyle. Their worlds were turned upside down when they were diagnosed with type one diabetes.
Emma Barker said, “I was first diagnosed July 27, 2013.”
Kyler Fields said, “I was diagnosed around two or three years ago in March of 2015 and it was a really rough beginning faze… started out as just a mild headache and then it pushed to the point where my body was attacking itself and I couldn’t do anything to fight that.”
Type One Diabetes is a condition where the body produces little to no insulin. Insulin is a hormone needed to break down glucose from the bloodstream to distribute to the body’s cells.
Emma Barker said, “I wear an insulin pump, so that’s how I get insulin. So I always keep my blood sugar kit right by me and my insulin pump and also some Gatorade just so like just incase I don’t go low as well.”
Kyler Fields said, “Its my Dexcom G6 is what its called. It shows my levels and where I am at right now or even on average. It has helped me stear clear away from seizures and anything like that. Its saved my life a couple times. I have it on my phone on the app.. its really helped a lot in my life. It helped my parents too. They have the app too on their Ipad at home and even when Im asleep and don’t wake up from it. They know immediately that something is wrong and they can just immediately come to me.”
While it has been a journey to learn how to manage their health.. Kyler and Emma have developed their own game plans to keep their blood sugar in check during games.
Kyler Fields said, “Just basically notify my coaches to signal me out of the game, let me check.. see if I’m in good condition to play more and play my best. If it gets low I treat it with a juice box or candy or anything with carbohydrates really. If they’re really high I just usually take a insulin injection that will help stabilize my blood sugar throughout the entire game.”
Emma Barker said, “I really get into games and you know with the adrenalin is makes your blood sugar go high so sometimes like before a game.. Im normally.. my blood sugar is 90 but then if I check at halftime, it could go up to 500 so at halftime now I normally check my blood sugar and make sure everything’s okay.”
Kyler Fields said, “I mean,yes, sometimes it is tedious and you really don’t want to do it, but its really important that you have to do it. Now.. it just feels normal, apart from doing all the carb counting.. insulin injections and checking my blood sugar, but it feels normal. Like any normal daily routine I do.”
Playing sports is rather routine for most athletes…. but can present challenges to those who battle Type One Diabetes.
Kyler and Emma… well.. they’re not letting that stop them from playing the game they love….