Macy Mitchell does know when she was diagnosed with diabetes: It was back when she was 5 years old. But Mitchell, a 5-foot, 10-inch sophomore volleyball standout for Portales, said her family tries not to dwell on the moment — so the specifics of how it was revealed have been lost in time for the teenager.
Not focusing on the condition, while still being aware of its consequences, is evidently how Mitchell has decided to go about it ever since.
“She doesn’t like extra attention — she likes me to just forget. I have it in my head, of course, in case I need to help her, but she takes good care of herself,” Portales coach Ruth Chavez said. “She’s matured into a young lady who knows what her situation is and how to take care of it. She doesn’t like special attention or wants me to bring it up.”
“Sometimes I’ll ask her if she feels good, but she won’t tell me very often (if she doesn’t),” Chavez added. “She’s gonna go fight hard — she’s a fighter.”
Wearing an insulin pump on her abdomen, Mitchell checks her blood sugar four times a day and adjusts accordingly. The Mitchell family does not have a history of diabetes, so Macy is an unlucky pioneer in that sense.
“It’s just something God gave me and I have to deal with it,” Mitchell said. “I just take really good care of myself. I do the best I can and just work at it.
“I have to do a lot of counting my carbohydrates and everything,” she added. “I learned how to count (carbs) when I was young, so it’s not really that bad.”
She’s had the pump, which feeds a tube into her stomach, since Mitchell was in the fourth grade.
“If my blood sugars are too high, then I have to get myself insulin,” she said. “I check myself through my finger, but the pump usually keeps my sugars regulated.”
Mitchell switches between hitting from the middle and the outside for the Rams while playing volleyball. Also a standout basketball player, Mitchell said that pump actually gives her “a lot of freedom” to play sports mostly unhindered.
Tonight, Portales (9-6, 2-0 in 4-3A) hosts Dexter (4-13, 0-3) in a district matchup. The Portales coach said that the team plans on honoring former player Ashleah Richards, who died in a car accident on Sunday, with a moment of silence.
As for the Demons, Portales beat Dexter in four games on the road earlier this season.
“If we don’t play, they’ll give us trouble. But if we play to our capability, we’ll be fine,” Chavez said. “They’ve got a lot of seniors. They’ll go up and swing hard and play well.”