Swimming with Diabetes

I have loved swimming since I was close to my daughter’s age now. I always feel so free in the pool – weightless and enveloped in such voluminous amounts of water.  Ahhhhhh…amazing and relaxing.  It is really the perfect type of exercise for me because I have bad feet and knees, and it totally removes any issues with those pains.  I prefer indoor swimming because it doesn’t allow that bright-shiny-burning-thing-in-the-sky to turn me into a lobster on contact. Luckily,  I have access to several pools that are pretty shady (in the good way, not the crime-ridden way) so sunburn hasn’t really been an issue.Selfie in the pool

However, swimming is not a lot of fun for me anymore. Due to diabetes and all it’s accoutrements, I have to plan and pack for a nuclear holocaust anytime I want to just have a quick dip in the pool.

My usual checklist includes (I’m sure I’ll still forget something, I always do):

  • Basic pocketbook stuff like keys, ID, cash & cards
  • Cooler bag with water and ice packs
  • Snacks, snacks, snacks
  • Glucose meter case, that includes syringes and a bottle of insulin
  • Tons of sunscreen
  • Bug Spray
  • Dry place/container to put the meter case, pump & CGM receiver
  • Pump site cover
  • Clean clothes
  • Towel
  • Monsterous-sized bag to hold above items

And that list doesn’t even include anything for my daughter, which pretty much triples everything except the diabetes stuff, and adds on swim diapers, pool toys and water floatees.  I need a Mack truck to cart all this stuff to the pool.

On top of all that is the “site consideration” decision tree I have to go through to decide if it’s worth getting my CGM sensor site and my pump infusion site wet/soaked in water, and potentially having to change one or both of them out sooner than I would have if I *didn’t* go swimming. (Or is it worth destroying a Dexcom? Having my insulin go skunky from getting too hot if I hook back up while drying off beside the pool?)  Sometimes I just say forget it, and don’t go swimming because it’s way too much of a hassle.

But the times I actually suck it up and make the effort to go swimming….still amazing. (And I do get some great pictures with my waterproof camera.)2013-07-23_SwimmingDiabetes42013-07-23_SwimmingDiabetes32013-07-23_SwimmingDiabetes2

3 thoughts on “Swimming with Diabetes

  1. Ok, you got two laughs and an “awww” out of me today. 1) the shady comment, 2) packing for a nuclear holocaust, and 3) that underwater picture is awesome!

  2. I have to agree that swimming often seems to be more hassle than it’s worth lately. That’s one time when I just don’t want to show-off all my stuff, and unless I’ve put both my CGM sensor and my infusion site below-the-belt (or waistband, as the case may be), it just doesn’t work that way. Plus, since my infusion-set-of-choice, the Sure-T, has two “sticker” parts and a short length of tubing that doesn’t get removed, I’m concerned about someone accidentally catching a foot or something on there while they swim by.

    Perhaps if I had a waterproof (read: Animas) pump it would be easier. Or maybe if I just wasn’t so self-conscious in the pool. Either way, I wish I could just jump in like I used to…

  3. Aww, I love the photos! I typically “underpack” for the water because the pool is across the street from me, but you make me feel a little guilty that I don’t take better precautions..I don’t really think too much about my insulin go skunky-I probably should! Hope it gets easier for you!-Loved the shady comment as well 🙂

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