Fun with diabetes


Having recently enjoyed the festive season, I thought I’d share with you a few simple diabetes-related parlour games that offer fun for all the family.


At Christmas time, all of the things kids normally do that affect their blood sugars – eating, exercise, getting excited – are totally different from normal. They eat excessively, and the food is often loaded with sugar and fat. Rather than running around outside, they tend to lounge around watching telly or playing video games. Having said that, they might suddenly decide to play something ludicrously vigorous on the Nintendo Wii. As for excitement, they’re chock-full of it.

This year, Joe and Tom woke up around 4am and kept going at full tilt right through to the evening. All of this plays havoc with their blood sugars. As a parent, the game is to use your skill and judgement to try and keep their BGs between 4 and 7 mmol/L in spite of all the Christmassy chaos that’s trying to take them high or low. Consequences is not just a game for Christmas – you can also play it on birthdays, Hallowe’en or Easter. Talking of which, when Tom was a toddler he wandered through to the kitchen before breakfast on Easter Sunday, clutching half a chocolate bunny in his tiny hand, his face liberally daubed with melted chocolate. ‘How much of it did you eat?’ asked Jacqui. ‘The head and neck!’ he replied.


This one’s a bit like Cluedo, only instead of working out who killed Dr Black, which weapon they used, and where they did it, you have to work out why their blood sugars are suddenly down to 2.1. Was it a wrongly carb counted meal in the kitchen? Was it an over-enthusiastic game of Wii Sports in the lounge? Or was it a nasty bug they’ve picked up in the school library?


We have two children with type 1 diabetes, so we do a thing we call ‘diabetes snap’. When their blood glucose monitors both give exactly the same reading, Joe and Tom shout, ‘Snap!’ We even used to give them a little treat to celebrate. The problem with this is that there are no health benefits to having both the kids on exactly the same level. They can get snap if they’re both low (say, 3.2) or both high (say 14.7). In either case, nobody wins.

The diabetes news reporting drinking game

When the news is on, pour yourself something strong and alcoholic as soon as they start reporting an obesity epidemic, unhealthy eating, or a new study that says that people don’t take enough exercise. Take a big drink when they mention diabetes – which they inevitably will. Make it a double if they don’t distinguish between type 1 and type 2 diabetes – which they inevitably won’t. Such reporting means that other parents will think your kids only have diabetes because they’ve eaten unhealthily and they never do any exercise, but don’t worry – you’ll be too drunk to care.

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Exactly Derek .. My father has type 2, and my daughter Type 1 .. My father is not overweight and my daughter is underweight with a very healthy diet .. both of them have diabetes but what offends us as parents of children with Type 1 is the regular comments that our children were given too much sugar or were overweight and that’s why they got it …Exactly the same reason that you are offended in fact .. The media needs to discriminate for both our sakes – and its because they don’t that all this misinformation is so rife ..

And Olly .. LOVE the news drinking game … :)

“there are just days for no reason it all goes belly up”. Absolutely, I’m with you on that Debbie!
Anyone (doctor or untrained John Smith) who says “it is due to this” or “it is that” has to be wrong on the balance of probabilities, since the complexities of our human body are still way beyond our abilities to map. And even if we get close to mapping them, then we have to do it again specifically for each unique individual in each unique circumstance. Simple answers – I don’t accept them, do you?

What an excellent article and so very very true. My husband is a very well managed type 2 diabetic. Fed up with people saying his a large man should loose weight, well actually he lost masses of weight. He then finds out his got an over active thyroid tablets to mend means has put all weight back on due to tabs. Yes obesity is a cause and I totally agree a healthy diet portioned controlled is a must. So were going along nicely then bang a quite high reading no warning and nothing changed to cause it very weird. What’s my message if your a diabetic eat healthy and portioned controlled, do bloods, exercise and follow recommendations from doc. Doing all this can help BUT shut up all you busy bodies who don’t know what its about because there are just days for no reason it all goes belly up.

Hi Gavin, I think what was meant by the blog is that whenever a news report about obesity comes on TV they always say that there is a strong risk of diabetes. They never ditinguish between type 1 and type 2, even though it is type 2 that can be onset by obesity. This is not to say of course that type 2 cannot be had by people who are not obese, you are perfectly entitled to have it too!

Are you insinuating that all type 2 diabetics eat unhealthily or dont exercise? I am an ex semi-pro basketball player who is 6’4 and was under 15 st when diagnosed. I exercised regularly, was extremely fit and eat a very healthy diet. What about the association of giantism with type 2 diabetes? us mody 4 type 2’s get tarred with your brushes in the WORST way!