Roy Collins Show Notes

0:06 / 43:17

The Game Plan T1D Podcast: Episode 8 - Roy Collins



Sam Benger

Published on Sep 24, 2018



This episode of the Game Plan T1D Podcast features T1D athlete and aspiring Medical Doctor, Roy Collins. After being diagnosed at age 13 with Type One Diabetes, Collins would go on to play football at Choate Rosemary Hall and eventually at Yale University. While at Yale, Collins not only played offensive lineman for the Bulldogs, but also developed a passion for medicine. Tune in for an informative and uplifting conversation.



hey guys Sam bender here with gameplan

t1d I have just a few housekeeping items

to go over before we get started on

today's episode on October 13th we are

partnering with t1d in action an active

support group for people with type 1

diabetes for a morning of exercise and

learning will be hiking blue hills and

hearing from a few different speakers on

managing diabetes and the resources that

you should be aware of as a diabetic for

anyone in the Greater Boston area during

that time there will be a post on our

social media about that opportunity

coming up shortly so be on the lookout

for that post if you're in the area

outside of that we've got some amazing

guests lined up as I mentioned last week

I don't want to spoil anything but I'm

incredibly excited to sit down with this

group of individuals and share their

stories with you so again be on the

lookout for these episodes as we head

into October and November this week on

the game plan to you indie podcast I sat

down with former Yale football player

and aspiring medical doctor Roy Collins

Roy excelled in football after being

diagnosed at age 13 with t1d

and is now working through several

residences in order to earn his medical

degree Roy and I discussed how his

medical passions were impacted by his

diabetes and how he plans to give back

to the t1d community so without any

further ado please enjoy my conversation

with Roy Collins


all right well with that welcome to the

game plan to you in deep podcast

I'm your host Sam bender today we were

sitting down with Roy Collins former

Yale offensive lineman and aspiring MD

Roy what's going on man good good nice

to talk to you yeah appreciate you guys

yeah so I think you either liked one of

our old post or something like that but

I read just a fascinating article about

your background and coming from an

athletic background and you know

obviously being diagnosed with t1d and

then kind of using that as motivation

and pivoting into the medical field

right now but I wanted to ask what's the

what's your current schedule looking

like it's looking based off your social

media that you're kind of doing some

different residences right now so I just

wanted to ask how that was going yeah

yeah so definitely found you guys on

Instagram just been

pretty active in that dive a t1d

community which is which is great

definitely appreciated kind of all the

interaction there yeah I'm in a little

bit of a whirlwind prep schedule myself

so I'm a fourth-year medical student

right now and so the way the way that it

works is you have the way medical

medical school is broken down causing

the traditional system is you have two

years of what they call pre click-click

preclinical year sorry in those two

years you it's sort of like a college

extended type of feel you're both being

lectures and you're kind of getting

you're kind of getting your base

knowledge your base medical knowledge

and they're sort of taking it through

all the different body systems and and

you're learning about it mostly from

books and videos and some practical

applications but again mostly kind of

your standard textbook lecture style and

then your third and fourth year are

clinical years so you sort of ditch the

classroom and you're you know doing

actual rotation sort of training to end

up becoming a physician and so you're

your third year is spent going through

the required rotations so the required

rotations are going to be internal

medicine pediatrics neurology psychiatry

surgery family medicine as well as OB

guide and so different programs are

different lengths for those and you get

to sort of do a little bit in Dacian

outpatient mostly inpatient though and

kind of just get your basic clinical

knowledge and sort of you apply what

you've learned in the first couple of

years as well as you know much more sort

of on-the-job training and then what

happens in your fourth year you're able

to as you're sort of closing in on what

you actually want to do my specialty

standpoint they're then able to kind of

have a more elective based schedule so

there are still some requirements but

for the most part you get to actually

sort of do whatever you want to do as

you finish out your require standardized

testing and you start applying for

residency I actually sent in my

application this past weekend so that's

a big kind of weight off my shoulders

and with the kind of open elective type

of schedule but you can also do is do

away rotation so I go to school and

singles in the very but I'm sort of


and a few other places as far as

residency and so whether it be before or

after your application kind of has

different implications but what you have

the opportunity to do is to see a

different system outside your system and

even a different patient population

outside of the one that you're usually

sort of working on in the clinical

setting so I've been kind of traveling

all around as I've had different away

rotation opportunities offered towards

me and yeah you're kind of catching in

the middle one right now I'm currently

in New York City

working with the HIV population in

psychiatry which is my associate choice

so you're able to sort of work with a

population that means is dealing with a

very famous infectious disease and kind

of see all the different components that

go into it because it goes way further

outside of just the medical

considerations is a lot of psychosocial

considerations as well as also a

psychiatry concept kind of plays a role

in assessing you know how it how the

disease can actually impact from your

mental fantasy and your emotions as well

as just kind of you know dealing with

something very chronic and and that's

also sort of ties into my Pacific nishan

within psychiatry and my personal

diabetes I'm really interested in

looking at how we can use kind of more

psychosocial modeling and in cuff how

mental health can actually impact the

treatment of chronic illness so that's

sort of what you know I bring to the

table oh that's something I've sort of

studied a lot is up myself with my

chronic illness and in mine diabetes

diagnosis and that's sort of where I'm

going again and we'll see where it goes

well Roy I give you a lot of credit man

apparently for years that Yale wasn't

enough studying for you so it sounds

like you're getting a definite you know

a well-rounded experience in going

through these different rotational

programs I want to eventually get back

to you know how you determined that

psychiatry was an important aspect with

regard to diabetes and endocrinology but

for the time being I want to go back

kind of wine back to tape - you're kind

of growing up I heard and based off of

the article I read you grew up in

Houston really texting role as a massive

hotbed for football and

didn't you know how that kind of became

a passion for you and also to I that

into your diagnosis story as well sure

yeah so football was a major part of my

growing up and growing up in that state

you can't wait until you can play I

never played Pop Warner but I did you

know start as soon as it was offered my

middle school I came from a big football


I had a first cousin played in the NFL

office for some time I had a thing it's

cousin once-removed cousin from through

my mother who also played in the NFL

kind of back in the 70s so you know

through those two and then just sort of

like a general atmosphere very conducive

to playing football and I could go into

games as a kid seeing my cousin in books

and all my cousins playing and and just

kind of watching sports or my family

that's what we do we any sort of big

family event especially like

Thanksgiving yeah we're all watching

football that's would have given you

know what's now another pot takes about

the team's going on and I remember my

grandfather sitting at the breakfast

table was always watched reading the

sports section and the paper kind of

seeing what the local high schools were

doing as far as the records even without

knowing anybody on the team

this is kind of the that we grew up in

so as soon as deficits came for me to

play I was I was definitely there and I

just you know loved the sport from from

when I was a kid and get into play was

great for me and so actually with my

diagnosis of diabetes that football was

was pretty much kind of coinciding

because I'd only played a year before I

got my diagnosis I was diagnosed in the

fall of o4

during my eighth grade year and so that

was pretty much my first question you

know it was definitely a big shock to

get diagnosed and to kind of go through

it was a sort of healing and

understanding of what it means to be a

diabetic you know pretty soon after kind

of getting the overall course of what is

going to be my first question was can i

still play football

I've heard people who've gotten bad

answers as far as that but luckily my

patient said oh no you know you should

be able to keep playing and so it's

pretty much all I needed to know I think

I might have asked couple you know

eating and drinking questions from then

on but as long as I can still play I was

pretty much cool and sort of the

the act of playing and managing my

databases that's what been something

that you know still even if I'm done

playing and continue exercise is a big

part of my life and so I definitely will

always sort of relate my football career

and my diabetes because it's just it's

been it's had a lot of ups and downs but

it's also you know got me in touch and

got me to you know it enraged interact

so many cool people so kind of an a

blessing in disguise and back on my

front definitely I've repeatedly said tu

and D can certainly be a blessing in

disguise I wanted to talk to it I read

that your your mom was also a

pediatrician was that kind of part of

the process in terms of you not

necessarily being overwhelmed by the

diagnosis and not hearing one of those

doctors one of those horror stories

where the doctor says you know what

you're never gonna be able to play

sports again and how is she able to sort

of impact that diagnosis news yeah well

for one I got diagnosed really early as

far as horror stories I heard a lot of

stories where people basically you know

having to find the symptoms of diabetes

for years before they were actually

diagnosed I had the pretty classic

symptoms of having to urinate pretty

frequently and drink a lot of water

after about a week of that you know I

was already sort of in the clinic to be

to be tested from there so that was

probably the biggest blessing I didn't

have you know I didn't have like my

growth stunted or you know any other

kind of terrible side effects that

people who go a long time without being

diagnosed have and then yeah it

definitely was pretty helpful to have a

mother it was a pediatrician just

because she just sort of knew what was

going on and she was able to speak to

the doctors who are treating me and

conferred her peer to peer level and so

you know we were kind of fast-track our

way through some of the process and they

were very comfortable you know putting

my certain plants because they knew that

she was very kind of health literate

yeah there wasn't anything kind of lost

in translation one of the big things I

can kind of speak to not from the

provider standpoint is sort of making

sure that all the different aspects of

your chronic illness is going to be

understood and that's a that's a big

problem with people who who don't have

that luxury and you aren't as health

literate either you hear a lot of

misnomer is like oh well I'm allergic to

sugar or

I remember I treated a diabetic patient

the clinic once who was under pressure

he needed to eat every single time we

took insulin which obviously causes both

sugars to kind of constantly be sky-high

so I was able to avoid a lot of those

kind of misconceptions just because I

had a mother who was right there and you

could you know kind of interpret

everything that I had questions about


there certainly is a lot of

misinformation out there and you'll do a

search on google for diabetes and it's

not a lack of information by any means

but it's more you know an abundance and

an inundation of of you know yeah very

overwhelming yeah it's exactly it's

overwhelming quite um so in a very

diagnosis you're heading into high

school a time where you're certainly

taking in acting a little bit more

independently and I was diagnosed when I

was five years old so I grew up not

using by that point I had taken on a lot

of my care on my own and started doing

things independently whether it was

dealing with an insulin pump or

Techbridge are all things of that nature

but what was it like for you being

diagnosed in eighth grade and then kind

of transitioning into high school and

taking football a little bit more

seriously how was the burden of diabetes

at that point and how were you able to

maintain a stable level of blood sugar

as you were playing a pretty competitive

football yeah so there's a big part of

me that almost wishes I had gotten

diagnosed with it earlier so I could

have grown up with it like you did

because getting having the dice

diagnosed with diabetes right when

you're in that kind of rebellious phase

wasn't exactly the best thing for my

health again I sort of grew up with

football in diabetes but I had already

had plenty of growing up to do as an

almost 14 year old you know with it and

so you know definitely a lot of bad

habits as far as what I'd like to eat

and drink and you know a lot of sugary

sodas and pancakes and waffles and

doughnuts and all that kind of stuff as

far as what I like to do and so all the

sudden putting that to a halt you know I

think I was able to come to grips with

it right away but you know as time goes

on and you're a little more used to the

diagnosis you know some of those old

habits sort of pop up yeah I mean the

honest truth of it is I didn't really do

that great of a job of controlling in

high school you know a lot of it has to

do with sort of that health literacy

we're talking about earlier and so I

actually went to

boarding school during my 10th grade

years so I was I was home in the 8th

grade in ninth grade and we believe

we've moved around we moved from Houston

to this town called Carbondale Illinois

which is about an hour and half two

hours away from st. Louis Missouri but

on the Illinois side you know I played

with diabetes in Houston in eighth grade

and in Carbondale ninth grade but I

transferred schools for academic reasons

to a boarding school in Connecticut

called child rosemary hall and from that

point I was on my own so I'm at this

point I've only been diagnosed for a

couple of years it's still relatively

new as far as you know so when you think

about the rest of my life in comparison

to these two years with diabetes and so

my yeah the truth of it was my my

control wasn't great because as why

diabetics know as far as if you had to

aim one way you know being low is very

uncomfortable you feel weak you have all

these symptoms of sweating and again

weakness hunger sort of in an inability

kind of concentrate and it's very scary

so if you had to kind of in the short

term you know think about which way

you're going to lean I was going to lean

high and so you know I certainly didn't

have the kind of thought process clarity

that I would like to have and you know

maybe I was getting dry mouth and having

a urine a little more frequently but I

would sort of take that because it meant

I wouldn't have to stop playing and I

didn't have you know an extensive

coaching staff the training staff that

was acutely aware what was going on

again because you know while a lot of

people have you know type-2 diabetes not

a lot of people have dealt with type 1

diabetes associated our athletic level

and so I would you know rather be sky

high autumn was sky high you know which

is definitely like I could have played a

lot better I could have been a lot less

fatigued I remember just I played on

both sides of the ball in high school

both offense and defense such a tight

entity defensive end and I would just

crumble during halftime and just you

know try to drink as much water as

possible just cause little fatigue

either from just you know playing so

much and at the time you know being

having a high blood sugar and as long as

I just kind of waved off

anyone who asked questions no one would

really kind of interpret further it

wasn't great and when my a1c came back

as I they did

by my mom who again as a pediatrician

definitely had a lot of concern and even

threatened to pull me out of school to

bring me back home so she can watch over

and all that kind of stuff and I was

able to just kind of you know say it'll

get better get better get better and you

know luckily sort of towards the end

there especially in college they had a

lot more kind of training staff than it

did finally get better than I was able

to sort of find a routine I worked but

for a lot of high school I was perfectly

content with being out of control

which is why which is a big kind of

motivator into doing what I'm doing now

to help fellow athletes especially

teenage athletes sort of avoid the

mistakes that I made yeah I wanted to

ask I actually had on the podcast a

couple episodes ago a quarterback from

who is just graduated from Columbia and

we were talking about whether his t1d

had come up in the recruiting process

and I also played collegiate football in

it it didn't for me and it didn't for

him which was kind of it wasn't that we

were actively trying to hide it or

anything like that you know he just

didn't come up and I wanted to get your

take you know you're in boarding school

in Connecticut being looked at by some

top programs and obviously I'm in jail

but what was that recruiting process

like and you know where the coaches

aware the Yale coaches that you were

battling t1d at this point I think I had

a similar experience you guys it didn't

really come up I it wasn't that I hate

it either but I also wasn't going to

like volunteer that information

especially early on you know I think the

first time I sort of brought it up might

have been either kind of just before I

arrived and maybe as I arrived just

because I didn't it you know it can get

kind of tricky I didn't want to you know

have them be scared away but again it

wasn't really but in general my attitude

about diabetes in high school wasn't one

that was forthright with it but if you

were to ask me questions about it I

would also you know go ahead and

volunteer that information but my

general sort of persona with diabetes is

kind of I'll have the clip on my pump

but I won't wear it outside of my pants

I was kind of in my pants pocket you

know I'll have I'll check my blood sugar

not like you know in a dark alley

somewhere but I'll do it relatively

discretely you know and I'll answer I'll

give myself insulin but relatively

discreetly I just I'm not one to bring

attention to

and it wasn't until basically in college

and people ask me specific questions

about it and then later wrote about it

that I realized people cared in that way

I didn't really see the benefit of kind

of you know being a little more present

a little more vocal about it you know

just because there's so many other

people who were going through it as well

my attitude was always just sort of you

know fit in keep it rolling and and

don't this is doesn't make a scene and

so as those recruiting that's sort of

what it was what it was well I I

wouldn't hide the information but I

certainly didn't bring it up and if they

didn't they never really asked me about

it any two schools that were so I was

talking to me seriously and recruiting

me it didn't really come up in that

pocket either so so I got to ask you get

to Yale you're playing Division 1


eh what was that transition like and be

how do you sort of think back on those

times where there's weather things you

could do could have done from a diabetes

standpoint to have substantially

improved your treatment and you kind of

made it sound like it was while you were

at Yale that it was sort of a turnaround

times of getting that management really

dialed in most definitely yeah so I'll

talk about what the transition like with

the lowest active and then again kind of

circle back to what it was from a bad

news management's perspective it was

overwhelming boy we is so from so many

different aspects like my my school at

the time is small and they're actually a

little bit better now as far as taking

the football program seriously but when

I was enrolled there it wasn't taken

nearly as seriously I as far as like a

playbook especially like offensively and

defensively weebly didn't have much so I

moved to I was recruited deals as a

tight end at first so just looking at

this extensive playbook and knowing all

the different run blocking and pass

routes was I always call it like it was

football calculus like I was going from

maybe Algebra one altitude just like

straight up BC calculus right in you

know in the day so that was incredibly

overwhelming just I was pretty good at

my high school

again I'll starting both ways and all

the captain and you know football came

relatively easy to me and then to just

go to

vigilant program where it came easy to

everyone else and everyone else had

always accolades you people who were you

know mr. football Gatorade players of

the year in the States you know all

state all this you know people at Yale's

is interesting because you have a mix of

folks who you know Yale was the biggest

program that that offered them and also

folks who you know offered by you know

major programs I think we had guys are

offered by a lot of military academies

by Stanford and some other kind of

big-time schools Notre Dame as well as

transfers from big programs as well we

had a few from Boise from UCLA from

Nebraska and so just sort of getting

around people who you know you're all of

a sudden not the big fish and small pond

quite the opposite I just remember us

the first day we had workouts we're in

the gym and again used to a small

setting worked out a little bit in high

school that didn't really have to as

much I'm kind of a bigger guy naturally

and pretty athletic so I've kind of

gotten by without like really taking

there lifting all that seriously and you

know there's just hard rock pumping

through the speakers and all these guys

who are much bigger and struggling they

just single pushing weights with chains

and you know this guy's jump rope and

ferociously hair flying in the wind I

just oh it will always remember that

kind of opening scene plus because it

was a small school I was on a small team

and so you know I'm used to you know my

football team only being you know maybe

3040 guys and all sudden there's a

hundred and ten of these again big

aggressive men you know grunting and

pushing weights and everything and I'm

just like wow what did I sign up for

this is nothing that I can this is that

I'm familiar with at all so yeah I would

say from that moment to the traveler in

the playbook to go down the field and

just you know just seeing all these

superior athletes it was a lot but you

know luckily after that initial shock of

a initial season I kind of progressed

myself and got used to it and luckily

type of pave laughs molitor success so

at the same time dealing with all this

transits right on field on the gridiron

it sounds like your aspirations as an MD

and it is someone who essentially give

back to the d1d community Pro medical

community and point kind of solidified

so talk to us about what kind of spark

for you yeah so I'll start out with

again just sort of going through how my

management got better and kind of talked

about that process as well so again high

school everything will sort of put on my

shoulders I could tell the coach

whatever you're not tell them I tell

them I'm low tell them good and they can

take my word for it and keep moving but

in college

thankfully they took very good care and

took a lot of effort into like look you

know checking my blood sugar and not

just taking my word for what I said it

was yeah and and kind of helped me to

manage it so you know came in with sort

of a similar picture of really high

blood sugars and and then sitting me out

if I was to hire checking ketones things

like that so we were able to kind of

work it down to where I was a lot more

comfortable playing at you know lower

levels closer to what's more normal and

then also in my play you know just sort

of took off and so I do sort of regret

not having that same insight but you

know I also remember I was like 15 16

years old so it's I I forgive myself for

not being stringent but yes once once I

had you know I literally would have like

a month so Yale has the local so

Quinnipiac University is there as well

and so we have the benefit of having a

lot of student trainers and so they

would always get student trainer with me

with things to help me helpless here

increase if I was low wear you know what

kind of get on me if it was too high or

check my ketones again so kind of that

like one on one you know major attention

that a Division one program can afford

especially one that has a partnership

with student trainers was really helpful

and so once I was able to you know sort

of work with and also like my script my

experience of conditioning coach and

well Johnson was a big help as well and

so you know having kind of all these

different interested parties helped me

gain better control was super important

and I was able to kind of find model

success and so this end trends

transitioned into so I started my junior

year of colleges that I've been moved

from tied into quite tackle and so as a

returning starter my senior year the

local press was sort of doing profiles

on people who are returning and kind of

getting the story and I sort of

mentioned casually that that I had

diabetes and that had been you know one

of the better elements of my college

experience is kind

getting that under tighter control and

having a lot of system playing field as

a result and that sort of became the you

know main kind of crux of the story and

from there I just was inundated with you

know Facebook messages and emails from

people who had read it you know asking

for help and you know one wanted me to

talk to their sons and daughters and

that's when it sort of clicked that

because I always such as my mother being

a pediatrician she never you know

necessarily wanted me to also be a

doctor but I was sort of I guess

accustomed to the medicine in general

just you know from osmosis essentially

and that's because of my own diagnosis I

was I became kind of more interested in

the human body and kind of the few

bodies physiologic processes so I kind

of went into the high school mostly

college like kind of thinking medicine

and kind of taking pre-med classes but

you know from that point prior to the

story being read and people reaching out

to me I always kind of call myself like

it like a passive free bed like I was

doing yet I was going through the

motions but I really didn't have an idea

of how I wanted to go and if I would

really continue if I would be like jump

to move that finance or consulting or

some other type of steel that a lot of

my Yale's classmates were doing but once

again I the story was written about me

and a lot of people then reached out to

me that was I guess my account white

bulb moment and that was when I realized

okay I really have something to add you

know something to give out my story is

important and you know people really

look to me to sort of help them and

that's something that I really

registered with me nothing that became

really important to me and so it was

really that moment that box I wasn't

even my medical application was even

close to ready I hadn't taken the MCAT

which is necessary for admission or

anything but I knew that I was going to

go into healthcare and I was going to do

my part you know whether it be from like

a start up process or you know health

consulting that's when I decided to go

into public health as well I knew that

healthcare and then eventually the

suspect in the diabetic community was

going to be my life plan and so that

really sort of solidified my medical

goals and I kind of went from there so

while at Yale and you mentioned a

different kind of sub-sectors there but

was there an idea that you had in mind

and we're like a you know a vision that

you had in mind in terms of alright I

want to solve like a certain

inefficiency you know in the healthcare

market or I'd like to give back to the

community in this specific way or was it

more just a general I'd like to give

back you know my stories resonated

clearly with the community and that was

kind of the arrest and going forward now

through your residency's and dialing

into a specialty has that sort of

solidified for you at all in terms of

you know what your specific vision is

for helping the t1d community yeah so

it's definitely been an evolving

question I would say once this once I

realized the story resonated that sort

of became something and then actually

this guy named Charlie O'Connell who

runs cuckoo zone formerly fitscript out

in New Haven also reached out to me and

I had a lot of good conversation with

him about how safe certain heart rates

can impact how your blood glucose is

affected by certain exercise which then

kind of helped me also further tighten

down my control and and so yeah I would

answer the question as one does

definitely helped the community once I

realized that with Charlie that there

was a market efficiency in using

exercise as a way to control your blood

glucose that then became part of my part

of my goal part of my life plan and then

taking it into medicine I can kind of

further expand upon it as not just

helping diabetes however I can in

incorporating exercise but I first you

know wanted to go into endocrinology

realized that wasn't sort of overall

feel to me and now we kind of say well I

want to incorporate both exercise and

mental health as far as how to best help

the community so

you know as far as how exactly all those

playing you know deficits or playing

around some ideas they are definitely

all sort of connected and it's been sort

of fun to watch it all unfold in front

of my eyes because everything I've done

thus far as far as school has needed

kind of a step so I haven't really

needed the exact plan thus far but the

more steps I take you know the deeper I

get into this process and and now as a

you know fourth year student going into

actually my residency and becoming an MD

I'm able to

use more the resources afforded me to

find exactly you know how these things

sort of play and play a part because

it's been shown that exercise can help

diabetes this show the exercise can help

your mental health and so I think that

is obviously a clear sort of linear line

of how an exercise can affect both you

know in my opinion live your diabetes

management and other kind of chronic

health management has a lot less to do

with like you're the medical biological

understanding and more just like how can

you form better habits and how it can be

feel better about the management that we

do and the way we treat ourselves and

the way we feel about ourselves and so

that's that's kind of becoming a picture

that's making make itself to me more

clear and honestly it's just is usually

exciting to get to this point and kind

of see where where it takes me it's

exciting man yeah I think you know

exercise especially for diabetics but

otherwise you know other chronic

illnesses is exercise is one of the most

a neglected treatments in terms of

preventing diseases but at the same time

you know especially for diabetics one of

the most cost effective and cheap I

guess if you want to call it like drugs

or treatments that you can take in terms

of getting more stable blood sugar

levels but over the yes and so

prescribing yeah well does I want to

stop there every second yeah prescribing

exercise is something that's like

relatively new but we are starting to

see it a little bit and so I definitely

want to be on the forefront you know I

know for me kind of anecdotally having a

strong kind of baseline exercise level

from sports or just sort of my active

life otherwise if I'm not able to

exercise I do feel worse about myself

and my blood Sugar's are just you know

automatically in less control I think I

become a little bit insulin resistant

and so you know you really see in myself

like like clear examples of power we can

kind of better your control and sort of

better your thought process in general

in your fields in general yeah I think

there are some really cool developments

that are kind of about to be ushered in

in this next wave of innovation that

package exercise along with the it's

funny you mentioned glucose own I think

I just came across them a few days ago

but that app based almost gamification

of exercise in terms of being a

prescriptive treatment for diabetics and

people of with other chronic illnesses

as well that's really kind of an

exciting new wave of innovation

in the field of medicine yeah that's a

good way to kind of better the access

that's sort of my public health

background and sort of another kind of

michigan psychiatry i want to increase

access for those who aren't able to get

it you know it's no secret that it can

be hard to see your your provider as all

because you would like or people come

from you know hours away to see the

doctor and obviously the cost and

consequent up and up and so i think

using technology especially apps and

other sort devices in order to kind of

be that filler and really you know take

the place of novels are not replaced

obviously but the kind of augment rather

some of the care that you're getting

from your doctor's office is really

important so you know from someone who's

now on the provider side i feel like

that's a it's a new wave of intervention

that i want to be a part of and i'm

excited to kind of see where the sort of

feel is but where the feel the whole

goes so is there a thing a single thing

that you can kind of look at over the

course of your time at yale and also

your residency's as well that has kind

of been the most important discovery for

you and this could be in terms of your

own diabetic treatment but also it could

be kind of more broadly about the

community as well mmm

a question most important thing i would

say my most important as far as my

diabetes treatment especially in the

face of exercise and football it's just

being comfortable being at a lower

glucose level you know i think a lot of

people are just again it putted harkens

back to where i felt in high school

where I was fine being in the 200s even

with 300 sometimes just because I just

didn't want to go low and so you know on

that front I would say two things a a

routine was probably like my biggest

help especially in the context of

college dividual in football where I

kind of know what the schedule is I know

what we're eating

you know the developing routine was

insanely helpful just because there's

going to be so many variables as far as

how tired you are and what type of kind

of general life events happen that can

impact your blood sugar so just kind of

controlling what you can control and at

least having a handle on that was super

important and then again just being

comfortable being closer to the normal

level so for me personally

I like to play between like 1:30 and 1 7

which for a lot of people when they

first are dealing with diabetes and

exercise is a little bit lower than

they're comfortable being you know I

know some people that run marathons

you know below the level of 100 so I

never got there my college career I

don't mind sometimes being a little bit

lower you know that's the states aren't

as high and if I have to you know take a

second from exercise I'm not you know

disappointing thousands of fans and the

rest of my team oh but but it it

definitely is something that I think a

lot of diabetics have to kind of get

over that fear and operate at a lower

glucose level but you know what you get

back as far as energy and mental clarity

and kind of overall fitness and this is

just monumental at those lower levels as

opposed to at the higher one so that

that was kind of my biggest revelation

along with again just being very

regimented because you know both those

together so it was what was a big

breakthrough for me yeah it's funny you

say that I mean I also had a training

staff that was really on me especially

my senior year terms of making sure that

I was between 80 and I don't remember

what the upper range was but they would

hold me out for 15 minutes if I went

below 80 and sure it was it was

certainly high stakes but in terms of my

own did the pressure I put on myself

once I started doing internships and

getting into corporate settings and it

was almost like any more high stakes

then and I definitely know you when it

comes to erring on the side of caution

to a fault so I would say I'm not going

to go low and I would end up writing the

whole day between 170 and in 220 and of

course you know that that sounds fine

juxtaposed to crashing at 50 or 60 but

over the course of time as you can

certainly attest to you know through

your through your studies that can be

very few Julie detrimental in terms of

long term complication so I definitely

think there's there's a an argument to

be made for trying to kind of get

outside your comfort zone in and ride a

little bit and in either of us are

talking about driving our numbers down

into the low 70s or anything like that

but right right

hundred as opposed to you know like 150

160 and I think like you said in the

moment you'll definitely feel better but

extrapolate that over thirty or forty or

fifty years then you're talking about it

serious improvements in terms of your

like long-term health but I wanted to

and where did you put Carnegie Mellon

so it was Division three and offer okay

not quite the level of Yale but I was

looking at a few Ivy League schools but

um it goes apart and I'm a 5/8 running

back so sure sure

ultimately just they were saying too

small to play at that level but ya know

it was an awesome

I don't awesome time and as I'm sure you

know it's it's tough walking away from

it is my first August with their

football so I'm definitely mid missing

the games and feeling washed up sucks

but uh I want it they say app is bad two

times and I definitely understand that

benefit comes from oh yeah not stuff but

uh I wanted to go back to there was a

phrase that I read about in your article

and it was sudden change and it kind of

sounded like I was a bit of a rallying

cry for you and that you've been able to

apply that to your life and you know not

only in athletic context but also with

regard to your diabetes can you talk

about you know how you apply that to

your life yeah so son change like isn't

that monumental of a phrase but it

definitely is just super applicable and

and even though you know you kind of

hear oh well the past is the past or you

know kind of keep in mind forward just

that phrase just knowing that phrase and

then it was always in context of three

air horn whistles for us and so the

context that wasn't in football was we

would be in the middle of individual you

know where for the audience you're kind

of working on like individual skills you

might be in some sort of you know team

or or some other kind of activity and

then all of a sudden you hear those

three sounds they would tell a feel that

we were all spreading to we would go and

it would be you know some sort of

quote-unquote life-or-death situation

like you know fourth and one on the

one-yard line to win the game or so and

the whole thing which is sort of keep us

on our toes and to not get flustered by

the fact that we were you know doing

something that has been totally

different as you can imagine that

really kind of comes into play a lot of

times in life in general especially

diabetes so I've noticed in general it

was something that we thought was kind

of on the coronary side at the time

however we did buy into it especially

just because it happened you know all

the time to practice and then work out

some things not everyone sort of has

that mindset and I sort of experienced

that you know people people do get

flustered and people do waste a lot of

time so complaining about wiring

situation is that it's you know kind of

going forth making the best of it and

that's sort of diabetes you know in a

nutshell in diabetes with diabetes

rather you'll be doing all sorts of

activities whether it be studying or

exercising or just sort of trying to

kind of lay low and your your blood

sugar will tell you all of a sudden you

need to do something about this you know

maybe you have a kink in your insulin

pump and your blood sugars are just


even though union pholis multiple time

Corrections or you know maybe you know

you're using pens and your erotic

needles all of a sudden and you're set

no way of getting it or for whatever

reason you're you're maybe a little more

active very little more stressed out you

just shoot down out of nowhere so you

have two options you can you can sit

there and you could be you can pout

about the fact that you know you're

crashing down into the 50s you know on a

date or that you just want to you know

sit back and watch the game at home and

all of a sudden you're you know just

rooted to the 400s or you can just sort

of you know accept the reality situation

and do something about it and then also

you know important they kind of learn

from the situation so that's that's

generally how I apply that sudden change

to my diabetic life by you know don't

spend a lot of time lamenting over the

fact of the situation I'm in I'm trying

to think back about what got me here

maybe I skip breakfast or maybe I you

know spent a day too late the same

injection site and I should have change

it out and I kind of going to make that

mental note for the next time and then

go ahead and go about my business you

know luckily we are at the point with

our medications and in sort of the

advancements and diabetes that you know

you can pretty easily make adjustments

and kind of figure out what was wrong

and that's kind of part of the

regimented schedule out that is

important as well because you don't want

to be making sudden changes every single

time of your exercise service all the

time you have something important to do

you don't want to be in the corporate


if we have a big meeting and just

crashing for absolutely no reason you

know you want to kind of learn from your

mistakes and find out ways to generally

avoid them so keeping the regiment is

schedule to avoid the sudden changes but

when they come take it in stride and

making the best situation is sort of

really important to you know my overall

success both isn't actually as a

diabetic event as a picture doctor -

yeah no it's diabetes is a constant

learning process and you know anytime

you start to get too complacent with

your care and you're like alright I've

got a good n1c well I'm super stable I

got my CGM going to my phone and great

and sudden you're in rash or you have

one of the situation like you said where

you have a kink in the pump and it's you

know it seems like t1d can crop up at

the most inconvenient of times like you

said on a date or some before so for

sure kind of like Murphy's Law on that

on that front but um I was going to ask

you what your message was more broadly

to the t1d community and you kind of

answered that you always ready to adapt

to any situation because most definitely

unlike athletics there's no schedule to

t1d and it's always going to be there

but at the same time you don't have to

attach these negative emotions to a

certain high or low or a certain event

you just have to be constantly learning

I agree with that totally yeah it's not

really again yeah you don't don't get

too emotional about it but just learn

from it like you would any other

situations diabetes or not and try to

make the best of it and you know people

can be understanding and as long as sort

of educate the folks around you but it

also I would say as part of the message

to you know don't be embarrassed a bunch

situation you didn't put it upon

yourself okay is this sort of is what it

is and you know as become kind of more

health leader as the culture you know

people tend to be more understanding and

you know ultimately it's important for

your own health so sometimes we do have

to kind of take a step back but if

you're prepared for it if you have you

know snacks if you're low and if you

have alternate sources of insulin you

know you'll find yourself in less those

kind of embarrassing or inopportune

moments and you'll be able to kind of

ride through it but you know I recommend

everyone again I think you sort of have

a similar background with me I never hid

it but also wasn't as vocal about it but

you should be you know it doesn't have

to be a look at me type of situation but

you find people being a lot more

compassionate when they have kind of a

heads up and and advance notice so you

can kind of get a lot of those gears out

especially socially if everyone knows

what's going on and you're not really

embarrassed you're able to sort of

handle your situation as you need to be

and then you know again learn from it so

it doesn't happen the same way again

that's been really helpful for me and I

think I told some sort of s your

audience - perfect alright Roy well I

don't want to keep you too long because

you're a very busy guy I think you have

some time to yourself tonight but um

again thank you so much for coming on I

know I can speak for myself when I say

appreciate you going into the you know

the medical profession field and trying

to give back to this community on the

provider side hopefully we see you're

doing amazing things for the t1d

community and and you know the broader

community overall as a doctor so thank

you again man I appreciate appreciate

you inviting me automatic rate time

talking yeah go t1d really I'm Roy

Collins I have t1d

and I have a game play


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