A new norm · T1D technology · Travelling

Just keep swimming.

Luke loves swimming. In fact, he’s debating whether or not to go out for the middle school swim team next week. (I’m nudging him in the “DO IT!!!” direction.) Anytime we have a hotel stay, we have to make sure it has a pool. Preferably indoor, especially when it’s not summertime.

28 06 vacation pool
Luke in the pool at our cabin in Pigeon Forge, TN in June, just a week and a half after he was diagnosed with T1D.

A couple of weeks ago, for the first time since having the pump & a Dexcom, we stayed in a hotel. The very first thing Luke wanted to do was… you guessed it… SWIM! Before T1D, he’d put on his trunks, walk down to the pool & jump in. Now it takes a wee bit longer.

“Let’s secure your Dex with some tegaderm.”

We open up a new patch & cut the hole out of the middle so the Dex sensor can still send signal.

“Okay, now make sure you disconnect your pump.”

His pump is not waterproof. At least not for very long. He detaches the tubing and pump from the site on his belly. Now all that’s on his belly is a little sticker with a bit of plastic in the middle.

15 02 pa pool

He jumps in, happy to be swimming and playing around with dad. Of course, they do their normal wrestling, jumping on each other, pulling one another under the water.

“I hope his Dex sensor doesn’t get pulled out. He HATES getting those inserted again,” I think to myself. “Speaking of his Dex sensor, I’m not getting a signal. I hope he’s not going too low with all this activity.”

“Hey Luke, come closer to your receiver. I need to see what your sugar’s doing.”

15 01 pa pool

It was going low fast, which is expected when he’s being so active. Joel and I were going to run out to get some things at the store. Luke was going to stay with Grandpa and continue to swim. We made sure he had recovery sugar, in case he went too low. We also gave Grandpa a crash course on the glucagon. It also helped that Luke’s pump was disconnected so he wasn’t getting any insulin, either.

When they were done swimming, Luke grabbed a cookie from the front desk. He stayed disconnected from his pump until he could get to the room and shower. As soon as he was done, he reconnected and, thanks to the cookie, his sugar was on its way back up.

A year ago, I never would have thought going swimming was going to be such an ordeal. Now I’m thankful for the ordeal. It means Luke doesn’t have to give himself 4-6 shots of insulin a day. It means I get a constant reading of his blood sugar. And Luke still gets to do what he loves- swim.


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