Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Rose the Swimmer

Yesterday I wrote about Rose's heroic feat during her first half marathon. How she kept accurate track of my blood sugars despite the activity, the heat, the humidity, the dehydration and the sweat.

And yesterday, in response to my post, my friend Jeff asked me how Rose performs when I swim. Does she still achieve such stellar results in the pool?

I was going to respond to him directly but then decided that other people might be interested in what I had to say. So that is the topic of today's post.

Rose is a wonderful sidekick on runs but how does she do in the pool?

Well, not very well as it turns out.

The way Rose works is like this. I have a continuous glucose monitor sensor attached to my abdomen somewhere. I move it every 7-14 days. My pump, Rose, is usually attached to my belt or, when I swim, to my bathing suit.

The sensor takes a read of my blood sugar. Rose and the sensor communicate every five minutes and my blood sugar numbers show up on a graph on my pump.

If I left Rose on the kitchen counter and sat on the living room couch, she would still register my blood sugar numbers.

She does well over reasonable distances...unless there is water involved.

I've only worn her a few times in the pool so far but, every time I did, she lost the sensor signal almost immediately and didn't find it again until I got out of the pool.

As soon as I was in the water, Rose and the sensor could no long communicate. She would vibrate every 30 minutes to let me know she had not found a signal in half an hour. And then as soon as I got out of the pool, she would find it again. I didn't have to dry off, I just had to get out of water.

So my dream of being able to see my blood sugar in the middle of an open water swim are not going to materialize. But I'm happy to know that, as soon as I'm out of the water, she's good to go. That will make a big difference during triathlons and help me keep on top of my blood sugar on races days.

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