So we've entered new territory: Eric and exercise. Yes, I know he's an active boy. Yes, I know he has PE class, swimming lessons, and horseback riding. Yes, I've dealt with exercise-induced lows before...
But now we're taking gymnastics class, and that's a brand new ball game [no pun intended].
See, for all the activities described above, Eric is kind of a sedentary kid. Living on a farm in the woods, you'd think that any little boy would be out and about, running around, playing with animals and getting into mud puddles and so forth. But Eric would rather sit in the living room making robots out of Legos. He loves his Legos. He literally leaves a trail of them wherever he goes. I find them in the car, in the driveway, in his bed, in the bathtub, in the washing machine.
His love of Legos is so strong, they are really the only thing his dad and I can use as leverage. The other night, Eric refused to go to bed. His father told him that if he did not go upstairs by the count of 5, he'd lose Wii privileges for a week. Eric protested, but did not go. Then his father said, "OK, now that you've lost the Wii, I'll give you another count of 5 to get upstairs or the Legos will be taken away for a week." Eric let out a despairing wail... and ran for the stairs. He was up the stairs, in his room, and under the covers before you could say "Legos" — in sharp contrast his response to the threat of losing the Wii.
So you get the idea. Eric is a boy who is in his head a lot, and I find it worrisome that he doesn't get as much exercise as he perhaps should. But he isn't overly excited by riding (enjoys it, no question, but he can take it or leave it) and the swimming is only marginally better. But he DOES love to bounce. In fact, while playing Wii, I often see him jumping around on the rug in the living room just from sheer excitement and absorption in the game.
Eric's older brother Nate's best buddy, Ben, does gymnastics at a place down the road, and loves it. So I talked with Ben's mother and got some info, and decided to enroll Eric in one of their beginner classes. His first class was last night — and he had a blast. For an hour, he exercised harder, and with more enthusiasm and engagement, than I'd ever seen him have. He ran. He climbed. He bounced on, crawled over, squirmed under, and rolled down all sorts of padded obstacles. He was so into it, that during the times he and the other little boys in the class lined up to hear the instructor's newest set of challenges, he was jumping up and down the whole time.
And of course... this had an impact on his blood sugar. I'd expected him to have a pretty high-energy session, so I'd given him a snack on the way over — not a small one, either. A bag of peanut-butter crackers (26 g) and a juice box (15 g). Even though his BG before the snack was 77, I felt pretty sure that 41 g of carb would hold him through the gymnastics session. Not to mention the fact that his pump was off him for the whole hour, meaning he'd have 0.4 U less insulin in him. So I felt pretty sure we'd have no problems during the session.
I'm sure you see this coming: I was wrong.
Midway through, they stopped for a water break. I grabbed Eric as he was lining up to go back and took a quick BG. It was 63. The 17-carb juice box I had in the bag was fished out and gulped down, and then off he went again. With me, watching him like a hawk for the duration of the remaining 30 minutes.
At the end of his class, he was 84. Not a bad number. So we'll be working out a protocol by which I can give him a little less insulin with his snack and then double check him at the halfway point.