Snorkeling


(-Brianna-) #1

I am getting married in October.  We have not decided yet exactly where we are going to go for our honeymoon, but where ever it is, it's going to include the beach and snorkeling.  I have never been snorkeling but for some reason I have always wanted to.

My question?  What do I do with my pump?  I figured there must be at least 20 or 50 of you on this site who have gone snorkeling with a pump before.  :-)  I am determined to not let diabetes get in the way of anything I want to do on my honeymoon.


(ScrappyDy) #2

Hi Brianna!

CONGRATULATIONS!  How exciting for you!  I also got married in October.  Beautiful month to be married in.  Well, what kind of pump do you use?  I have the Minimed 522 and I found a waterproof case to put it in.  My husband and I went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon and did the snorkeling, white water rafting, and beach fun too.  The case worked perfectly for all of that water activity.  This is the one I have:  http://www.healthsuperstore.com/p-medtronic-sportsguard-protective-casemmt-145.htm.  It allows you to wear your pump while still attached to it, so no need to suspend it.  But, if you don't have a pump that will fit this sports guard case, here are some other water proof cases, although, I don't think you can stay attached to your pump with these ones:  http://www.pumpwearinc.com/pumpshop/index.php?l=product_list&c=20.

Best wishes!


(akint) #3

You may want to check into the place you are going.....some places don't allow diabetics to go snorkeling.  My hubby and I went on a cruise, and I wasn't allowed to go, unless it was from the beach.  Not sure why, but some don't allow it!  Congratulations!!!


(dmason717) #4

I have been snorkeling a few bunch as a diabetic so I can give you some kind of advice. Usually, when I go, I am in the water anywhere from 30-90 min at a time. I am usually fine to take my pump off for about an hour at the most, without things getting crazy. With snorkeling though, I have noticed that the swimming really helps keep my blood sugar low enough that I can go for about an hour and a half with no pump. So usually, I will just take it off, leave it in the boat and go for my swim, and then test when I get back. A few pieces of advice though. The big one, make sure if you take your pump off that you hide it somewhere well protected from the sun. I left my pump in the boat once, and it baked for about an hour. I ended up getting really sick, and I assume it was because of the insulin getting too hot. Also, personally, if I get back into the boat and test a little high, I usually wait about another half hour to correct. After swimming, I can sometimes not completely drop for a little while after, so if I correct right away I can get too low. Hope you have lots of fun.


(-Brianna-) #5

[quote user="Angela"]

You may want to check into the place you are going.....some places don't allow diabetics to go snorkeling.  My hubby and I went on a cruise, and I wasn't allowed to go, unless it was from the beach.  Not sure why, but some don't allow it!  Congratulations!!!

[/quote]

Oh no... if that's the case, I would be seriously tempted to just hide my pump somewhere and not tell them!


(jennagrant) #6

I've disconnected when snorkeling.  Being in the water drops bs, so it kind of evens out.  I even did this when snorkeling for almost a full day... I'd go back to beach and test and just take slight corrections or grab a snack when needed. 

Also, be careful having your pump around water.  I use a MiniMed, which is supposed to be waterproof, but last summer got dunked in the pool for just a second (my young son jumped on me and sunk us both) and pump stopped working. 


(ScrappyDy) #7

[quote user="jennagrant"]

I use a MiniMed, which is supposed to be waterproof, but last summer got dunked in the pool for just a second (my young son jumped on me and sunk us both) and pump stopped working. 

[/quote]

MiniMed pumps are not waterproof.  They are water resistent.  Medtronic even warns about that.  So, by no means, try to submerge your pump in water without a proven waterproof casing.  Also, I do advise that whatever waterproof case you decide to get, be sure to read ALL of the instructions on how to use it properly because when I got the SportGuard, I didn't read the instructions at first and just figured out how to put together, but then when I read the instructions, it recommended that you use a bit of vaseline in the hole you slide the tubing through.  This creates more of a watertight seal, otherwise it is possible to get water leakage in the case when submerged for a long period of time.  

Also, Brianna, I agree with everyone else that swimming does lower your blood sugars.  However, I just feel safer staying attached to my pump while in the water for a long time.  I would set a lower temp basal and make sure I have access to snacks on the boat for afterwards b/c you will need to replenish your energy.  Don't stray far from your husband either since he knows you and your diabetes.  I have to admit that once while my husband and I were snorkeling, I was having so much fun that I didn't really notice that I was coming down.  But my husband who was nearby notice that I stopped swimming around and that I was just floating there staring at the same coral for a minute.  So, he came over and asked if I needed to eat something.  Turned out that I actually needed to rehydrate.  


(ScrappyDy) #8

This is from the FAQ on Medtronic's site about swimming or bathing with the pump and may be why people get confused that the pump is "waterproof".  

Can I take a bath or swim?

Of course! It's true that the pump is a fairly sensitive instrument and should be protected from being immersed in water. But there are several easy ways to handle the pump when bathing, showering, or swimming. Medtronic Diabetes makes several products that simplify this and other every day issues. Many MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump wearers like to use the Medtronic Diabetes Quick Release (QR) so that they can easily disconnect from the pump and tubing about four inches back from the infusion site. Or the pump can be placed in the ShowerPak, a specially designed plastic bag that can be hung around the neck or on a faucet handle during the shower. You can even just set the pump on the floor during a bath, letting the tubing drape over the side of the tub. The sensor and transmitter are fully waterproof. You can bathe, shower, or swim with them connected, but we do not recommend immersing them in very hot water (like a jacuzzi).

The site and tubing are waterproof, but not the actual pump device itself.


(-Brianna-) #9

[quote user="ScrappyDy"]Also, Brianna, I agree with everyone else that swimming does lower your blood sugars.  However, I just feel safer staying attached to my pump while in the water for a long time.[/quote]

I think that I will either disconnect and not stay in the water for a long time, or I will get one of those cases.  Or both.  I have to agree with you about feeling safer attached to a pump.  I love the idea of a "pump vacation" (which some people have said they have done for a week long vacation that involves a lot of swimming), but I think that I would be on edge the whole time worrying about my blood sugars.  I used to take shots, but I've been on a pump for over 12 years so it's hard to remember what it was like!

I think it will take a little work, but it's good to know that so many of you have done activities like this with no problem.  I am getting very excited!  Hawaii is becoming a real possibility.  I loved the idea of going to Belize, but it turns out that October is the cold/rainy/hurricane season....


(Megan519) #10

I am getting married and going to Belize in August! Snorkeling is on the agenda and I was looking for what to do with my pump! I will be ordering one of those cases - Problem solved!


(-Brianna-) #11

[quote user="Megan519"]I am getting married and going to Belize in August! Snorkeling is on the agenda and I was looking for what to do with my pump! I will be ordering one of those cases - Problem solved! [/quote]

Haha.  That's funny!  I'm glad that this post was of help to you too!


(Erica1710) #12

I have a story about this. I got married in July and went on a cruise to the Bahamas. I didn't have any problems with my pump until we went snorkeling. Going snorkeling was a last-minute decision, so I wasn't prepared with a water-proof case or anything. I suspended my pump and disconnected and got in the water. It was a hot day, probably in the upper 80's. After about an hour of snorkeling, I got back on our catamaran and reconnected my pump, but the buttons didn't work! I ended up having to call Medtronic (which was not cheap considering we were at sea) and had them ship one to our house to be there as soon as we got home. Luckily, it was toward the end of our honeymoon. I brought back-up syringes, but I was also able to buy some from the pharmacy on the ship. metronic's customer service was excellent and everything ended up being fine. They said that a button got stuck down because of humidity and that there was possibly a small crack in my pump. I couldn't believe that it just so happened to become a problem when we were out of the country on our honeymoon!


(sisal7684) #13

First of all congrats on the wedding! How exciting :) I got married last May and we honeymooned in St. Lucia. We did a ton of excursions from zip line to snorkeling. ( I have actually been snorkeling 2 or 3 times on cruises and such) I found it most easy to disconnect my pump. I dont know about other peoples experience with the waterproof case, but there is no way I would ever put my pump in water, case or not. Especially when your so far away from home-If by some chance it did get wet! And not to mention, those things are sooo dang expensive! lol. Depending on how long your in the water you can always jump back in the boat and test (thats what I did) and for me the swimming was enough to act as a "temp basal" to keep me regular. Another thing I did which was great for the whole honeymoon and being on the beach in the heat, was in my beach bag I carried a small lunch-like bag with insulation so whenever I did disconnect I would put my pump in it so it wouldnt get to hot or wet. Also throw in a bottle of insulin and some syringes, and some snacks!

Remember to do everything you get the chance to do! Dont let your pump or D hold you back! :) And have the time of your life :)


(-Brianna-) #14

I got back from my honeymoon in Hawaii a week ago.  I ended up going with the Sportguard that ScrappyDy recommended and it worked wonderfully!!  I was nervous at first, but I snorkeled, swam, etc. etc., and my pump was completely submerged and did not get a drop on it in that case. I highly recommend it, and thank you, Scrappy, for the great suggestion!  :-)


(2Sweet4U) #15

Congrats!

Honestly, I would seriously consider going on injections for the duration of the honeymoon. I went to the Dominican Rep. for a week and I used my pump, and it was a huge headache. Always needed to disconnect and reconnect, had to keep it safe on multiple boats, while parasailing, ziplining...it would have been a lot better had I just used a few insulin Flexpens instead. I ditched the pump for good in April, so I'm a little biased, but just saying...

It may be easier to be on injections.


(poetthing) #16

Hi there, I am going on a cruise in a few weeks and was hoping to try snorkeling. I have a mimed 670g and plan to either disconnect or use a partial lantus basal on the day that I snorkel. Does anyone have tips for this system specifically?

Also - for anyone planning cruises or trips out of the country, Medtronic has a loaner pump program where you can get a spare pump to bring with you in case of malfunction. It is $50 and you can have the pump for up to 90 days. Very useful and can save a ton of stress and logistics if something does go wrong.