Thursday, September 13, 2012

Two Hours...and Still Stable

The second instalment of Masters swimming started on Monday morning.

The first session ended on August 31st. The pool was then closed for a week - the reason for this changed depending on who I asked:

  • "it's closed so they can do a good cleaning of the building" (the building only opened in July so I was kinda surprised to hear that it was that dirty already). 
  • "it's closed because the women complained that there wasn't enough privacy in the change rooms so they are making some adjustments" (seriously? There is so much more privacy than there was at the old pool that I feel almost isolated when I'm in the change room. What are they going to do - put up curtains next to each locker??)
  • "it's closed so that they can train all the new fall lifeguards since the summer students are returning to school" (for a week?)
Anyway, whatever the real reason(s), the pool reopened on Monday morning and the fall programs began. I signed up for another Masters class because, despite making progress in the first session, I don't feel that I'm ready to tackle Lake Ontario quite yet. 

When I was flipping through the Leisure Guide, deciding what I wanted to sign up for, I noticed a change to the hours of the class. During the summer, the classes ran from 6am to 8am. I could only stay until 7am because of my work schedule so I had three one-hour sessions per week. 

This time, the classes run from 5:30am to 7am. 

Gulp. Double gulp. 

5:30am is REALLY early. 

1 1/2 hours of swimming is a LOT of swimming. 

My second biggest concern about the new class times was the hour at which I would have to set my alarm. Setting a 4 on the alarm clock is just cruel but I need to get up about five minutes to five in order to make it on time. I decided to set the alarm for five am and just rush but now I worry so much about not having enough time to get there that I wake up at 4:45am on my own. Funny how that works. 

My biggest concern though was the amount of time I was now going to need to be unplugged from my pump. (Pssst! Medtronic, if you're listening. I have 16 months until I'm due for a new pump. If you could create a waterproof one before then, I would be really grateful. I love your pump and would happy sign on with you for another five years but really need that waterproof feature). 

When I was swimming for an hour, I was unplugged from 5:50am until 7:20am. An hour and a half total (including shower time). My blood sugar was really stable and my numbers would hardly change between my 5:30am BG check and my 7:30am BG check.  

There is, however, only so long those of us without a functioning pancreas can go without insulin. Exercise certainly helps keep blood sugar down but, without some insulin in the body, exercise alone isn't enough. 

On Monday, and again on Wednesday, I unplugged at 5:20am and plugged in at 7:20am. Two hours without a drop of insulin. 

What happened? 


My blood sugar hardly budged. 

I find that so surprising considering that I can't run or cycle anywhere near that long without insulin. Whatever it is about swimming - my body just loves it.  

So I now know that I can go two hours unplugged if I'm swimming. 

I wonder if I could go for three? Four? What's the magic time threshold? 

Wouldn't it be nice if, as long as I'm swimming, I can go without insulin indefinitely? 

If that were the case I'd totally be ok with gill implants. Or a tail transplant. 

Some red hair. 

A pet crab...whatever it takes. 

Heck, I'll even sing "under the sea" every morning if that helps. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this informative post. I have a friend with diabetes and advice her to read this article to fight against the disease. I think by reducing her intake of sugar-rich foods can help also aside from exercising and injecting of insulin.