Diabetes Health Type 1 : Catching Up with IndyCar Racer Charlie Kimball
Hello I'M NOT AL SAMRI WELCOME TO MY show. Today I'm speaking with Charlie Kimball indycar race driver with type one diabetes. It's been nine years since we spoke last. I'm happy to see that you're still doing what you love back. In two thousand eleven had been diagnosed with diabetes for four years. I came from noma watched you race. Check your blood sugar with a GM on your dashboard for the people who don't know much about the Indycar race where drivers start in their racing career. And what's the ultimate goal which trophies a driver reaching for me and for a lot of drivers within INDYCAR We start in go car OUTTA. We started racing As young as five six seven years old I started go hurts at the age by then and just like in a lot of other sports Baseball comes to mind. There's a ladder series started in little league and work your way up through high school and college. Minor Leagues of towards the Major League. racing is very similar. There is a a ladder series. That as you climb that ladder two cars that you're racing get faster the crowds get bigger about that sort. Sorta thing and and within within Racing Day Bacar here in North America. The alternate goal is being the car. Siri and the Indianapolis five hundred. The indy five hundred is the single largest one day attended sporting event in the world there are typically three hundred plus thousand people there every single year on Memorial Day Sunday so as you talk about the trophy that an indycar driver is striving and reaching poor I if been recognized as one of the greatest sports trophies in all the world I Borg Warner and one of the special things about Borgwarner is even when you win the indy. Five hundred. You don't get to keep the Borgwarner because it's one of the kind. It is about six feet. Tall made completely solid sterling silver. And when you win. They engrave Or they relief of your face on the trophy along with your year. I and average speed to win right. Let's exciting and and then does the person me. Yeah and if the person said that the following year so who who holds the trophy Curiosity the driver doesn't but the honor is getting engraved. Is that correct correct? And the driver receive what's called a a baby board So a miniature replica. It's I think about six or eight inches tall To go on your trophy case in your trophy case on your show and the trophy itself almost has some of the same mystique bit more Stanley Lord Stanley Cup does for the NHL in the INDYCAR series. Hold jet There are a couple of people that travel with it exclusively. They carry it Molded around with white Lycra feiger gloves To get it where it needs to go and in fact a few years ago was the first year that it had first time in the over one hundred year history. The Indianapolis five hundred had ever gone to Japan Tacoma Sato a driver of Japanese heritage. won the race. I think I wanNA say twenty seventeen. And as part of his victory tour over the summer he flew with the Board Warner and a couple of representatives from being the Annapolis Motor speedway in the hall of Fame Museum to Japan and to Honda headquarters one with on power To show off the Board Warner in Japan. That's very exciting. For sure. So you must be in terms of diabetes. You must be really delighted. With all the medical device advancements with Bluetooth connectivity tell US Higher Diabetes Management has changed since then when you when I saw you. Last you've had diabetes for four years so you had a certain way of managing your diabetes in the last nine years so much in terms of medical devices and medications of evolved. So which. How have you changed with that? I think that's part of being being a competitor and being a person with type one is continuing to evolve my treatment protocols by management and I think as a driver continue to evolve on the race track but with my health I'm currently using Both TRICIA and and You know when we met in twenty eleven. I'm trying to remember but I was probably on Leather Mare and Nova logged at the time. I believe sound so as okay. So that makes sense that as The science has evolved of flooding meditation. Then my treatment has evolved as well. I worked very closely with by healthcare. I'm a huge proponent. That diabetes is a team. Sport breaks a full team to successfully manage diabetes when it comes down to medical professionals for sure by chronology Dr Peters Diabetes Educator Donna. Working with the nutritionist. My exercise physiologist integrated that. But it's also my team at home. It's it's my wife. My parents my sister. My friends that I'm having a hard day on burned out. They're the ones that support me healthy and encourage me Even people the diabetes community are the people that understand what I what I go through every day and sometimes reaching out to ban and just talking through challenges they faced or how things have gone really well for the last couple of weeks Is I think that's an important part of vantage get talked about Managing Diabetes exported working within that team to continue to ask questions about what infringer available. What injection method allergies are out there? how how things worked for me? It find having problems if I have an issue with by JAB activity. Is someone else they that overcome that. I think that that dialogue is really important to keep getting better lie. I think families are really important component. My former husband is a type. One of forty four years and doesn't have any diabetes complications. And we're really good friends and I was meeting recently. Were talking about blood. Sugars new said. Don't you remember you know? We got married in her late twenties. I don't remember every time my blood sugar was high said. Don't worry it's GonNa come down and it really made a difference and I said I really said that he's like yeah and it helped so I really. It's interesting because even for me I you know having these conversations you forget that how important your family is. Because it's easy are they're that first line of support and and sometime. I definitely kill badly. That has to get the deal with my Mood swing by blood. Sugar Swing sometime and the Beeping of my my desk com g six bedside table in the middle of the night those sorts of things. I feel badly that when she's trying to sleep and especially at the moment she's pregnant and where Trying to make sure she gets arrest. And sometimes especially if I'm hovering around and alarm blood sugar and I've a glowing above the flow it It doesn't always wake me up because I I hear it. I understand by punchers. Okay right around that alarm number. I'm fine but it definitely wakes her up. I feel badly about. I think you know as you were saying. Family's really important but also diabetes is a family disease you know. Everyone learned to participate. I know for me when I got involved with my former husband. I was really impressed. The way he manages diabetes. He really was proactive. He wasn't embarrassed about it. And the way he modeled. It was the way I expected everyone to being than later when I start working in the industry I realized that not. Everyone's like that so modeling that in having the support and having your family support you know rather than publicly shaming you for example some people write me and say hey you know i. I dated someone and they tested their blood sugar at the table. Unite isn't that improper knows like I said No. It's not so so I think that's I think to me that's one of the great things about having worked with the race with influence program for the last twelve years is being able to green diabetes into the light a little bit too to kind of remove some of those stigmas that people talk about And I can't remember who it was. It was another notice patient lassiter and he was talking about. How is his grandmother had diabetes and and they didn't talk about it they said. Oh she she's got the sugar just kind of it was. It was just kind of a nord or almost minimized and now the conversation around diabetes has changed part of it is the growth of the the community wants. Take Two's And access all right access and communication. I think social media podcast boggs. Online interaction has really allowed the conversation within the diabetes community to to remove that stick by to to make it more of a interactive dialogue with all of the stakeholders within the the disease state from. You know medication. Companies to healthcare professionals to patients to advocates to passengers. There's there's there's this great continuing to grow as low energy of bow the conversation and and the future And then something that you know being involved with no one can being part grace within flip program. I think my rookie year in Indycar in twenty eleven in fact couple years before that has been a lot of fun to be part of and does the new team that you're racing with is something that they're learning about also taken it upon themselves. They know the difference between type one type two or do you feel a responsibility to them with that. Like oh it's funny. You say a responsibility to educate I think I see it as an opportunity to you educate The new team for me. It's really exciting on a professional level to raise for somebody like Aj four Aj for history with indycar racing thing within the Indianapolis Motor speedway general as a driver. He's one all over the world. Some of US psychotic races out there and touch was the first four time winner of the Indianapolis five hundred. That's pretty rarified. Air and he has his face on the Warner Trophy. Times fighting it out with five hundred in five different decades and you talk about that and how challenging it is to just make indy five hundred not only did he make it in five different decades. But then he went on to win it four times so his history as a driver. Is it Tommy? The whole team and a culture of the team the being able to to learn from him and and work with their team at at in the card every car race. This year is pretty exciting. I think it's it's early days within by awareness and education campaign within the the race team but there are a couple of team members mechanics team managers. But I've worked with at previous rates. So they're pretty aware and they're really excited to to continue to learn and and learn about the race with programming. Will THAT BE TRUMP? Let let me ask you with the decks COM G. Sex You have the ability of having other people know what your blood sugars are. When you're driving is at something you share with your wife. You're racing and your coach and who were how do you. How do you handle that? Who gets to sit your doctor who gets to see where your blood sugars are. When you're racing well I'm actually going to answer what I thought in the race car. I I share my on g six readings with my wife And I think Dr Peters is off by share list as well I think she she follows pretty much all patient. I don't quite know how her APP or salt handled that But she's an amazing person by data so when I'm traveling and speaking or on the road and Chapel at home with our daughter her being able to check on my blood. Sugar is I think it gives her a lot of confidence and and that added safety right. There's under persons keeping an eye out and a lot of time especially when I'm in a hotel by myself and I'll get a low blood sugar alert or what Just about the time that I am drinking bottle of orange juice or having a chocolate fill. I'll get a text or a phone call. Hey you're getting sugar. You good question mark. It's a way not not only that it gives her confidence but I also got someone keeping eye obvious well and and it doesn't happen very often I to have it and not need it rather than needed habit. But he absolutely But but in the race card. It's a little different Because I'm a big advocate texting and driving or having your phone while driving idea Having your phone and driving it over two hundred twenty hour is it even worse idea. I actually use the desktop G. Six receiver So I don't use my phone as a blood glucose out. I use the receiver itself and we worked wished some electronics engineers with the car And were able to integrate to originally badge. Twenty eleven by x Com was now night on my steering wheel through the Tech Science. The VELCRO was now that that's right so that receivers now integrated with the because to not only. Does the race card charged my receiver for me but unable to see my blood glucose right all by steering wheel right on by electric dash so in front of me. I have speed. I oil pressure blood. Sugar Water temperature car and my body data right thirty. Gather and you. You mentioned who I share that with and beneath thing donald the data being in the CAR SISTA is extent via Telemetry Radio. Back to the timing standard pit lane with all the engineers so the engineers and mechanics but are watching the computer screen making sure that the cars running right and keep an eye on it and make sure the by bodies running right as well and if my wife's there she cheat and keep an eye on If you know by personal managers there they keep an eye on it. Whoever sort of has an extra set of eyes And that's part of where that education within within the race team comes in because they need to know what numbers are outside normal parameters and back. Then you used to use to have two bottles in the car. One was A glucose liquid one was water. So do you still do that or mused? I do get inside. I think back in twenty eleven the valve we used was kind of big clunky and it was mounted on the side of the car. We had basically you know to drink bags. One with water and one with a glucose rich fluid is you said when you use orange juice with extra sugar in it so it's pretty dense as far as carbohydrate to volume so. I don't have to drink a whole lot of volume to get the impact into my blood glucose But since then my dad who mechanical engineer and designed race cars designed a valve for me And we got treaty printed and plastic at Bell. Now right on my seatbelt and from the seat belt that host that runs into my helmet is pretty close to four or six fluid ounces to it gives me kind of a rough measure of how many carbs drinking based on when I switched the vowel from water which is what I normally drink to that glucose fluid which I've never never actually needed in a car to keep going because my diabetes. How do you prepare? In terms of like woody eat before arrays or do not eat much because of the speed that you're going and could make you feel nauseous What's what's that like. I don't think I could not eat before a race. The more of the challenges with driving indycar is. We don't have power steering We don't have power brakes and a five hundred mile race to be three three and a half hours long but just like the mechanics. Prepare the race car and fuelled the race car. I need to make sure that I'm doing by body as well My creates nail typically. It's not particularly exciting and by the end of the season Particularly tasty but Most by meals during race weekend hour plane grilled chicken breasts Plain White Pasta with a little olive oil on it Salad and some fruit. And it's all weighed and measured out And I'm not sure I can't without remembering digging through some of the research to make sure I could nail down. How many calories are in that meal? But I know that it's it's about forty I wanNA save forty to seventy grand of carbohydrate And I will take in fun for that with the idea that I take a little less than I would if I wasn't in the race card. Is that the night law quarrel day meal typically On on the day itself okay So so if the races at two o'clock in the afternoon usually eat lunch at eleven eleven thirty when I need those carbs that that lunchtime meal pre rate take some fun and and I'll reduce it by Dow twenty twenty five percent. I'll kind of undershoot so to speak on. My employer does because I'm aiming for my blood sugar to be a little higher than I would on it all day. If if I was a day but I was in the office or traveling. I aim to be a great a patient with diabetes. My blood sugar is ninety. Two one twenty five all the time and if he asked me I will tell you that almost with a straight face but in the in the race car I WANNA have a safety If my blood sugar is too high then I lose concentration and focus I noticed some vision issues when when my pleasure is north of two twenty to forty If the reaction times and I don't want to be too low either. One of the unique challenges of day beatty's is you're not aiming to stay above a certain number or stay under a certain number you have to stay in the middle of the road And so between my exercise physiologist Dr Peters Experience. You've taken all of that. Pgn data from the race car. And put it into a regression analysis with Competitiveness on the track the type of race track to g loads weather pitstop time And looked at finishing position starting position average lifetime time and distilled it all down and for me my performance wise my ideal blood sugar is really one fifty to one seventy five milligrams per deciliter. Bor And I know that kind of getting into the weeds a little bit about what my blood sugar is. And how advantage it race car But I think it's a good example that you could figure out how to make. Work Make Diabetes Management Work based on whatever it is. You're doing it like if that's driving a race car or something all right well. It's very impressive Charlie what you do and The way you manage it and you really have a very nice disposition in terms of your diabetes and Sharing your thoughts and being inspirational to other people. I appreciate it. It's it's very fulfilling. I never thought that I would have the opportunity Because of what I did in life is I sitting down at work and wearing a helmet to to my office that I would get the opportunity to meet so many people and hopefully inspire at least one person through what I do at work and frankly I think it's made me a better athlete because of my diabetes rather than despite because I listened to by body more than I ever have and I have a bad day at the office being out there and competing is is a victory for so many people within the Diabetes Community. True very true not letting it stock you not letting it define you in doing what you really love. Well thank you. Thank you for joining us. I wish you a successful twenty twenty racing season. Thank you very much looking forward to being in the number four car all year long The first race middle of March. Down the PEOP- boarder building up to our Crown Jewel event. The one hundred fourth running of the Indianapolis Five Hundred Memorial Day Sunday on NBC this year at the Indianapolis Motor speedway. When we're going to follow you see how you doing in real. Don't forget you can follow me on twitter at race within great. We will definitely do that. Thanks for having these.