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Am I making the right call?

Discussion in 'Diabetes and College' started by pianoplayer4, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. pianoplayer4

    pianoplayer4 Approved members

    Feb 13, 2010
    I was considering joining the sailing club at my school, I went to the first meeting and went sailing with them last sunday and I had a lot of fun but....

    They sail what are called 'day sailors' they are very small boats that really only fit two or three people comfortably.... and with no extra cargo. It's pretty easy to fall out of them, and if there is no wind the only way to move in the water is through a small paddle. We were out in the water for a good three hours... and the whole time that annoying little voice in the back of my head was saying it wasn't safe.

    I am a fairly experienced sailor (my family has a 28ft sail boat that sleeps 6) and I know that sailing drops my sugar. When I'm on my family's boat I can bring sugar and the dex, and a meter, and we can motor to the shore in a matter of minutes.... but on these day sailors it takes a lot longer to get anywhere... they have a safety boat but they have to GET to to and PULL you in, it would take a long time....

    If I were to go low it would be very easy for me to fall off, I would be a danger to my crew members because I would get in the way, and should something really bad happen I could end up very low and in the water....

    It's not like sailing is my passion, or even like I had wanted to join this club before I came to school... is this one of those things where I just need to sit out? I hate the idea of 'letting diabetes win' but I just don't see a way I can participate safely...

    Honestly if it were too much time, or there was a conflict I wouldn't mind giving it up that much... I just hate not doing something because of diabetes....
  2. obtainedmist

    obtainedmist Approved members

    Aug 3, 2010
    Can you bring your test kit and smarties or whatever you use to treat? Of course I would be concerned if my dd wasn't able to test and treat for 3 hours. She was on the crew team and practiced for a few hours each day on the river, but she was always able to stick some smarties in her pocket. She made sure to start at a good number...or if not, she'd eat something before she got on the boat. Why can't you bring the dex in a waterproof case and attach it to you so it doesn't go missing. Do you have hypoglycemia unawareness where you've passed out before knowing you were going low?

    I'm with you about not wanting to limit activities due to T1D. Maybe with some experimenting you can continue the activity and still feel safe!
  3. Megnyc

    Megnyc Approved members

    Nov 8, 2012
    Can you just stick a roll of tabs in a spibelt or something? You can stick the dex in a watertight cell phone case and stick it in a pocket in your life jacket or something.

    I grew up racing optis and then 420s and lasers (at times pretty far from shore) and never really had any diabetes related issues.

    Even if you are thrown from the boat (which happens) your life jacket will keep you afloat until they can get to you.
  4. pianoplayer4

    pianoplayer4 Approved members

    Feb 13, 2010
    I just know that on boats I tend to go low... like very low... often when we're on our sail boat at home I hardly bolus at all... and I can't bring that much sugar... just what I can keep in my pockets.

    Honestly it's not something I was SUPER into... I was just annoyed that my reason for quitting is diabetes...
  5. TheFormerLantusFiend

    TheFormerLantusFiend Approved members

    Sep 10, 2006
    So you turn off your basal.

    I think you are making the wrong call if this is something you really want to try.

    I decided about a year and a half ago that I wanted to go swimming on a regular basis. The first time I tried it my bg dropped more than 100 mg/dl in about ten minutes and continued dropping once I was out of the pool. Didn't work, obviously.
    The next time I tweaked things. I still went low.
    The next time I tried again. Low.
    The next time I tried... high.

    I have now got a system that works for me for swimming.

    I would suggest that you drop your basal really dramatically and edge it back up when you get into the groove of it; also don't do things that leave you with much of any IOB before sailing.
  6. TheLegoRef

    TheLegoRef Approved members

    Nov 13, 2011
    If you didn't have diabetes, would you do it? I'd do whatever that answer is.
  7. KatieSue

    KatieSue Approved members

    Oct 5, 2010
    I may be way off base here. But it sounds to me like it would be possible to try and figure out a way to make it work. It also sounds to me like you're maybe not so passionate about doing it that the hassle/thought you'd have to go through to try and make it work is worth it.

    Is there a way to participate in the team without being on the small boats? You mentioned a safety boat. Could you maybe be a team manager or something where you could be a part of the activity but not be stuck out on the small boats for hours? My daughter isn't sporty, she likes to watch etc but the playing isn't her thing. So she did athletic training for 3 years where she got to be on the fields etc, but didn't have to play the sport. Now shes a manager for football which she loves.

    I don't think it's letting diabetes win if you don't want to go through all it would take to participate safely. Some things you want to make the effort some the effort seems too much for the payoff.
  8. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

    May 5, 2009
    I agree with this... if it's just not something you really want to do, and D is only one part of that, that's one thing, but if fear of what may happen if you go low is truly stopping you from doing it, then that's not good.

    I say this mostly because this is NOT going to be the last time you find yourself in a similar situation. Living with D is mostly about learning to adapt, and figuring out ways to make it work. You can't quit every time you are faced with a challenge.
  9. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    I'm going to cross the boarder from the parent board to tell you what we do.:)

    First, if you didn't have diabetes, would you be doing this?

    My daughter sails in Lasers and Sunfish and does SUP. She is untethered in the summer so we reduce her Levimere significantly (by about 5-6 units) and about 15 minutes prior she has 15-30g protein bar. Halfway through she has another 15g snack. She has a pack she carries attached to her life vest, a waterproof pack about 4x6 on a lanyard. She keeps some sugar source in there. On the spotter boat they keep her kit in a dry bag.

    Not ideal, but with planning we've only had one low in 3 years. I think if you talked to your team they could probably come up with a plan that's right for you.

    To quote Tim Gunn "Make it work!"
  10. pianoplayer4

    pianoplayer4 Approved members

    Feb 13, 2010
    I just wanted to thank you all for your replies, I've decided not to join the team, but not because I don't think I could. I hardly have time to study anyway, and sailing is just not on the top of my list right now. I'd much rather be hanging out with friends and volunteering with the hospice center (I'm a nursing major and they said they'd love to give me an internship when I'm ready for one!) thanks for the help though!
  11. MomofSweetOne

    MomofSweetOne Approved members

    Aug 28, 2011
    My daughter and I were talking about this thread this afternoon. I think it's very crucial that the kids know they can do virtually anything a non-T1 can with carefully planning and monitoring, but I also think that at times, they need to be given permission to not put forth the effort diabetes requires for so many tasks without feeling as if they're failing our expectations. There was a link to an article I read (I wish I could find it again) that listed the mental questions T1s (or their managing parent) go through just to take a walk in the evening. It really resonated with me about how much our brains never get a chance to take a break. My daughter and myself are both dealing with some levels of burn-out, and it was good to talk and give ourselves permission to not always feel like we have to put out 100% effort just to say we're not letting diabetes stop her.
  12. Ronin1966

    Ronin1966 Approved members

    Feb 18, 2010
    Hello Jess

    Going to offer you some radical "heresy", skip testing for a couple hours. Feed massively before you go and during the trip. But the hard fact is you do not require the meter to survive for a couple hours...

    If likely to fall into the water, your meter will not be of any help! Leave it ashore, have a liter of soda with you, and drink happily!
  13. Amy C.

    Amy C. Approved members

    Oct 22, 2005
    A sailing club takes a lot of time. I can understand why you chose to not participate.

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