Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thanks for the Tips!

I forgot to mention a few things in yesterday's Finding Nemo blog about my first swimming adventure.

First of all, I want to thank several people whom I have never even met.  I tossed a question out to the universe and received several very helpful answers from the DOC (that stands for diabetes online community for those of you who aren't pancreatically challenged)

I asked what I needed to know about swimming, pool running and diabetes.

Lindsay from Lindsay on the Go and Tei jumped right in to tell me what aquatic activities do to their blood sugar and what to do with my insulin pump.  Taking it off is apparently the best option.

Scully suggested that I email Katie from Princess of Pavement which I did.  She replied with three different emails detailing how to get a proper workout pool running (or aqua jogging as they apparently call it in BC), how to deal with the diabetes details and even sent a few encouraging words re getting over an injury.  

Thanks ladies!

I also learned that swimming, when it comes to diabetes management:

  • is just like running
  • is kinda like running and 
  • is nothing at all like running 

Swimming, just like everything else in the world, apparently affects people's blood sugar differently. All I can do is listen carefully, start somewhere in the middle, cross my fingers and jump in the pool.

Some people don't adjust their basal at all.  Others reduce it completely (like I'm talking 100% reduction).  I decided to try reducing it to 50% - same thing I do when I run.

When Klari and I got to the pool, I took off my pump, put two juice boxes within reach and told her that if I ask for juice - to get it.  NOW!

To her credit - she did not look too panicked by that request.  Not everyone would be that cool about being told that they may have to play a part in saving me if things took a turn.  Happily, there were no emergencies on Day One.

My BG before we started was 12.4.  After 45 minutes of pool running and swimming it was 10.0.

Not a bad start.  A little too high both before and after for my taste but I'd rather play it safe for the first few times.

The next trick will be to see what happens when I do the 6am swim.  There is no way I'm setting the alarm for 4:30am just to reduce my basal insulin.  So I'll be keeping my blood sugar up with food rather than with lower basal.  It's the same trick I use when I run in the morning before work.  Let's see if it holds up in the water.


  1. I am so glad you got some advice! Lindsay and Katie are a wealth of information, I know first hand!
    As with any new sport and diabetes it's really scary at first. It's really quite amazing how different our bodies react from one sport to another. Now, is it mandatory to wear those headache inducing swim caps?