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From Washington, New Jersey, USA:

My daughter is on a competitive gymnastics team. We (myself, my daughter and our diabetes team) work hard to maintain controlled blood sugars. Her coach at the gym has started to question her blood sugars lately. I have tried hard, over the last three years, to help her coach understand type 1 diabetes better, but she doesn't get it and often mistakes it as "an overweight" problem. In fact, she has asked me lately (and other coaches) if my daughter is growing or gaining weight.

Last week, my daughter's blood sugar was 317 mg/dl [17.6 mmol/L] during practice. She had felt bad and came off the floor to check it. We left practice and believed the high was due to a cold coming on. Her coach demanded to know what her blood sugar was. She acted shocked it was so high. There is another girl with diabetes on my daughter's team who is also being treated like this lately. Does this coach have the right to ask their blood sugars? I am frustrated and almost am ready to pull my daughter off the team. We have stuck it out for three years and don't want to be pushed away either. But enough is enough and it seems to me like abuse. What is my daughter's privacy right in this situation?


What a challenge AND a potential opportunity to educate this coach. Why do you think the coach is so curious about the blood sugar number? Does the coach have any guidelines for dealing with specific blood glucose values ?

It may help to have a care plan in place with the coach which guides her actions and her "need to know." If the coach's intent is to keep your child safe while participating in the sport, then the coach needs additional information to follow through with a reported blood glucose value. If the coach is merely curious about the blood sugar and is then judgmental, then the coach needs to be reminded of your child's desire for privacy.

For help creating a care plan for school, check "Helping the Student with Diabetes Succeed", available on the NDEP (National Diabetes Education Program) web site.


Original posting 10 Sep 2005
Posted to Other


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:10:04
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