Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trial by Water

On Monday night, at approximately 5:30pm, I disconnected my Medtronic pump and snapped my new green Animas onto my belt.

We grinned at each other like two little kids who were just sent to the store to buy ice cream cones.

Lucky was a little nervous as it was her first time being connected. I, a veteran pumper knew what to expect. I tucked her in, nice and tight, and gave her time to settle.

Later that evening I introduced her to Doug and the three of us climbed in to bed together. Don't worry, everyone is over 18 and fully consenting.

Tuesday was a pretty easy day. Get up early, spend an hour in the basement with the spiders doing our weekly Bending Crank Arms session. That was followed by a calm day at the office and a quiet evening of dinner and a trip to the driving range.

Wednesday morning however, I raised the bar.


The alarm went off at 4:50am. I pulled on my bathing suit and clipped Lucky to the front, facing in. That little tip came from Jocelyn, my go to Animas expert. I pulled on my sweatshirt and pants and padded to the kitchen. It was 5:05am.

Here was the plan (and the logic behind it).

When I had to disconnect my pump during my swims, I would be without insulin from 5:30am-7:30am. I would then reconnect, set a 150% basal rate for two hours and carry on with my day. My blood sugar, during the 90-minute swim, would have climbed about 4-6 points.

Now that I don't have to disconnect, my plan was to keep the pump running at 100% basal during the workout and NOT increase the basal afterwards. I figured I'd either a) still climb but not as much b) not climb at all or c) drop and then I'd need to figure out a plan to reduce basal.

When I got to the kitchen, I tested my blood sugar and it was 3.7.


I hate being low before a swim because, as I mentioned, my blood sugar climbs when I swim. Even if I treat a low with a tiny amount of carbs, say a few raisins, I'll go up to 5 or so before the swim but then spike up to 11-12 by the end of the workout.

I had about 10 raisins and crossed my fingers.

I got to the pool and discovered that we were in for a crazy workout. Pushups. Planks. 4 x 300m of pulling buckets. Fifteen repeats on the stretch cords and, finally, 50m sprints.

I was a little worried and wanted to eat a bag of fruit chews just to be safe but decided to trust my gut.

I started the workout with a blood sugar of 5.0. Every time I stopped swimming, I tried to gauge how I felt (which seemed tired but fine BG-wise). I pulled buckets. I stretched stretch cords. By the end, I was exhausted and shaky but not low blood sugar shaky. I showered, dressed and drove home, still feeling ok.

I pulled out my glucometer, pricked my finger and tested. Doug and I both watched the five second countdown. And saw the number 5.7 flash on the screen.


It hardly budged despite a really tough workout.

My blood sugar did well after breakfast and no mid-morning spikes that I thought might happen because I didn't increase my basal.

It will take a few more swims before I know for sure if it's really going to be that easy but I'm thrilled with the first experiment.

I thought I might notice the pump tucked in my bathing suit but, once I started swimming, I didn't feel a thing. The biggest deal of the morning was figuring out my new locker routine. I used to disconnect before my swim, tuck my pump in my bag and then reconnect after my shower. Now I need to disconnect after my swim but before my shower. So I had to set things up in the locker a little differently.

Other than that, Lucky survived the first big test and passed with flying colours.

Green colours that is.


  1. Whoohooo!! I have been waiting to hear how your first swim with your new pump (I dig the name btw) went and so happy to hear that it went well :) I also find that my sugars stay pretty stable during and after. Were you nervous the first time you jumped in that it would explode? Very happy to hear how it is going so far!