2015 was an important year for me as a Type-1 Diabetic, as I started a new leg of the journey by starting pump therapy. I remember it clearly; my coworkers were pretty miffed at me, since I had just come back from several months of parental leave after Nathan was born. THEN I start on the pump and my employer’s medical branch opted to throw me on administrative duties for a few months to get acclimated to the pump. It was not well received, haha.
Over the past six years, I’ve gone through a number of concerns and issues as they relate to the insulin pump. Although I can say that I’ve enjoyed some of the best blood sugar levels of my life and my last A1C result almost moved me to tears, it stands to reason that any technology is only as good as the user and the environment that it’s in. And that’s why on occasion, things go a little haywire,
On Saturday, I decided that it would be a good idea to bring my son Nathan to the public pool. My wife and I usually prefer the splash pad, since it allows Nathan not only to run around and burn energy, it just happens to be free. But considering that the temperature was expected to be disgustingly hot and I didn’t want either of us sitting out in the sun for an extended period of time, I opted to pay the entry fee and make use of the actual, indoor swimming pool.
As we got ready to go in, I brought my backpack along with our towels and belongings poolside, where I would be able to indulge in my paranoia and keep a passive eye on them. Among those belongings would be my insulin pump. Despite the fact that the manufacturer boasts the device being waterproof, I wasn’t taking a chance. As I took my first steps into the pool, I had a sudden realization: this would be the first time I entered the water and submerged my CGM. Although that was also said to be waterproof, my Patchabetes adhesive was a mystery and if that came off, the CGM would follow suit. Uh oh…
I started running numbers through my head, how long the current sensor had been attached, how many I had left at home and whether or not I wanted to potentially sacrifice a sensor just to go swimming. Since I’m cheap and had already paid my entry, I decided to throw caution to the wind, suspended my pump (since it would be left in my bag) and hit the water. I checked the adhesive occasionally, and made sure to keep it out of the water when I was in the hot tub.
We were in the pool for about three hours. I had to basically drag Nathan out, he was having such a good time. When we reached the backpack, it had any alarm going off with such volume and frequency that it was a wonder that no one was evacuating! Turns out the pump didn’t like the fact that it couldn’t read my sensor (because I was too far) and had started vibrating, then setting off an alarm, then increasing the volume more and more…
I silenced the alarm, hooked back up and it only took a minute for the pump to pick the CGM up and start monitoring again. All things considered, it was nice that the CGM held on and the adhesive lasted for several hours worth out peeling off. At time of writing this, the adhesive is still firmly in place. So, kudos to the CGM for roughing it out in the water, but also to Patchabetes for lasting through all that, as well. ☯️