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CGMS and Swimming

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by Mom264, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. Mom264

    Mom264 Approved members

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    I've been avoiding using the sensor portion of the MM paradigm real time system when DD goes to a pool.

    (IMO, when she has showered with the sensor attached, it really seems to throw off the readings. We disconnect the pump, and, when it is more than 10' away I turn off the sensor. Still when the sensor goes back on the numbers are completely off and no amount of recalibration seems to help --also the tegaderm comes off and needs to be replaced.)

    So I haven't tried an indoor pool, yet, but maybe I'm doing something wrong, and thought I'd seek guidance. Now, with a pool party coming up I'm debating -- sensor? or no sensor?

    Do you take any special precautions with the CGMS sensors? Do you let your Ds swim with them on? What is the outcome? Thanks in advance for sharing your advice.

    Leslie
     
  2. ecs1516

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    We are on the Navigator sensor and used it in the pool (large subdivision pool)
    last August and September. We had no problems at the pool. It worked great. When he was under water I would loose the connection but as soon as he came up it would pick him up again.


    Maybe someone with a MM can answer your question better.
     
  3. Darryl

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    Our daughter uses the MM Guardian, and swims with the entire package (sensor, transmitter, and receiver) for hours at a time. Never a problem with that in 2 years.

    I told my MM rep once that she swims with the receiver on and he said "No - it's not waterproof!" but I assured him that we found out it was waterproof after she swam with it by accident one day, and has continued to do so for 2 years without incident.

    Regardless of whether you try your receiver in the pool as we do (it is in fact not guaranteed to be waterproof), the sensor/transmitter combo is waterproof. We've used dozens (maybe 50+) sensors swimming and have never noticed an effect on BG, or any problem after swimming. We tape the sensor to the skin with Tegaderm, but do not attempt to enclose it. The actual transmitter and sensor get fully wet with no problem.

    Our dd likes swimming with the whole system because she can look through her swim goggles, while in the pool, and see her BG. She never has to get out of the pool, or lose BG readings while swimming.

    If you are using the MM pump/CGM, you can't swim with the pump, of course, but you should be able to swim with the sensor in place. Just be sure to come out every 30 minutes for a catch-up reading, or the sensor will go to "Lost Sensor" and you'll need to go through the cal / warmup period again. Best of all, if you come out of the pool within 30 minutes and wait for the next reading (up to a 5 minute wait), the entire 30 minutes of lost data will be restored and displayed, so you know the trend leading up to the current BG.
     
  4. hawkeyegirl

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    Jack has swam with the sensor on many, many times with no issue. Like Darryl said, we just make sure to get him close enough to his pump to pick up the signal every half hour or so.
     
  5. Mom264

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    Hmm, you've all had similar good experiences . . . Then perhaps I'm the problem. I'd been turning the sensor off (so that I wouldn't see the "weak signal" and then "lost sensor" alerts) when disconnecting the pump since it is not waterproof and then turning it on again after reconnecting the pump. Then I start up for "find lost sensor" since it is faster.

    (BTW: It sounds like fun to swim and look at the Guardian's numbers through goggles in the water!)

    One more question -- Do you have any problems with site irritations or infections with swimming? I've also been worried about picking up stuff in the pool through the sensor's port -- perhaps I am wrong there too, but I get freaked out by the germ factor :) (I usually cover the disconnected site with an extra tegaderm --O.K. TMI)

    Thanks again, this is helping a lot.
     
  6. PixieStix

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    My son swims all the time w/ the transmitter/sensor attached. I do try to walk to the edge of the pool (it's huge) and get him to swim close enough to pick up the signal every 40 min max to avoid a lost sensor. Sometimes I wait too long and miss it, and the data is lost, which I hate...but even if I do a "Lost Sensor" I've not ever noticed the accuracy to decline after swimming. Like Darryl, we use tegaderm too, but I triple tape over the entire transmitter/sensor to try to keep all water out, since water seeping under the tape seems to shorten the sensor lifespan for us. We actually use Tegaderm HP, the HP is for Holding Power, and is intended for use under moist conditions and is waterproof. Sticks great, doesn't peel or roll at the edges even after being in the pool all day. BUT if you need to remove it the same day you apply it...ouch!
     
  7. Darryl

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    If you turn off the sensor, then I think you'll be back to the 2-hour cal period again. No need to turn it off, just get back within range in 30 minutes or less. You can also adjust the weak signal alarm time to be 30 minutes if you don't want to get alarms before then.

    We've never had a problem with infections at the site. I also don't think it's a good idea to completely cover the sensor to make it "waterproof". Water is likely to get in anyway, and a complete coverage would trap the water which could create a pressurized situation that could force water into the site. I think it's safer to leave it exposed, so that there is no pressure buildup and the water can drain away naturally.
     
  8. Mom264

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    Thank you everyone. I will give this a try!
     
  9. alismom

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    Allison wears her sensor for diving all the time. We do not have any problems with it.
     
  10. ecs1516

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    Doesn't MM sell a waterproof case for their pumps that could be used on the receiver too?
     
  11. swimmom10

    swimmom10 New Member

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    Where to put pump?

    My daughter will be getting a Revel soon and will start CGM for the first time.
    She is on a year round swim team and we are always fighting lows. We love the idea of the transmitter storing the 40 min of data as long as you get back to the pump in time.
    First question - Will it be able to transmit while she is in the water or does she have to get out?
    2. How close does she need to be for the transmision?

    I currently have her test every 30 mins trying to catch the lows before they happen. It would be great if I could figure out were to put the pump so that the coach could hear the predictive alarm for the lows.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  12. hawkeyegirl

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    Our experience is that it does not transmit through the water. Range is 6-12 feet depending on factors that I've not yet been able to determine. If you put the transmitter on her arm, you'll probably have the best luck with her not having to get out of the pool to get close to the pump. She can just put her arm up on the pool deck. It only searches for the signal every 5 minutes, so she'll have to be near the pump when it is searching.

    It really is great for swimming, even if it's a bit of a pain to get near the receiver at least every 40 minutes. I think you'll really like it. :)
     
  13. Darryl

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    We found that the Guardian does not always receive the signal underwater, but since it fills in missed readings, dd does see her current BG most of the time that she checks the monitor while swimming. Even if the most recent reading is "weak signal" there is usually the reading from 5 or 10 minutes prior, plus the trend, which is all she needs to know at that moment. This will be her 4th summer swimming with the Guardian.
     
  14. emm142

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    I used the MM CGMS whilst on vacation last year; I was in and out of the water for about 8 hours a day for two weeks. I kept the whole thing on, sensor and transmitter, I just made sure I got out and got close enough to my pump for the readings to transmit every 30 minutes or so. It worked great - readings were always accurate.

    I have tape covering the whole of the sensor and transmitter, so a bit less water gets in than if it was fully submerged, but it does still get really wet inside. I'm always surprised that swimming doesn't affect the readings because the actual bit that goes under the skin seems pretty exposed, but *touch wood* I haven't had a problem so far.
     
  15. Flutterby

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    We have Kaylee come out and walk by her pump quickly, and then go about her business swimming. It doesn't need a whole lot of time to pick up the signal.. if she keeps the pump with her stuff, after a race if she gets her towel, it'll pick up the signal. The transmitter stores up to 40min of data, so as long as she's back within that 40min all the data will download from the transmitter to the pump.
     
  16. Abby-Dabby-Doo

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    Abby goes to the pool a couple of times during the week (in the summer), and is in the pool a couple of hours.
    We have no problems. We'll get weak signals but that's just if she's away from her pump for too long. I usually have her sipping on Gatorade while she swims, so when she comes out for a drink we'll wait until the pump finds the sensor and then off she goes again.
    We cover Abby's transmitter and sensor with Opsite tape. Works like a charm IMO.
    I'm pretty sure the booklet states it's waterproof as long as the sensor and receiver are hooked together, up to 8 feet. (the pump is obviously not waterproof).
     
  17. Darryl

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    If you do leave the receiver outside the pool, the data will be restored when the transmitter and receiver are in-range. But keep in mind:

    - If away more than 39 minutes, you'll get a Lost Sensor error, and will have to go through up to a 2-hour recal / BG check

    - When you come back in-range it may take up to 5 minutes to restore data. The transmitter sends a signal only once every 5 minutes.
    So the safest time away is 34 minutes if you want to avoid getting a Lost Sensor.
     
  18. hawkeyegirl

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    Actually you don't! If you just go to "Find Lost Sensor," it will search and find the sensor within 5 minutes. No calibration necessary. :)
     
  19. denise3099

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    I dont' do anything special with the pump and sensor during baths. I just hang the spibelt on the door knob or towel rack while dd is in the bath. My bathroom is not that big so it doesn't even lose the signal and even if it did, she's not in the tub for 40 minutes so when she puts it back on it finds the signal by itself.

    If you do lose the signal just do a find lost sensor. If you know you are going to lose the sig and don't want to hear the alarms, just turn the alarm off. Also, I keep the whole thing covered with flexitape, comes in a roll and sticks like crazy.

    Another hint for those with the guardian--they make waterproof belts and without tubing it shouldn't be hard to find one. There are many, I'm sure but he's one to get started that I've heard great things about here but haven't acutally used myself. Apparaently it can be used with a pump too but may slow delivery. dd like to remove her pump in the pool/ ocean, so I haven't gotten this.
    http://www.ekaccess.com/pages/aquapac_wp.htm
     
  20. swimmom10

    swimmom10 New Member

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    Thanks so much for all the great info! I can't wait to get started on the CGM. It is hard for her to know what to do when she gets out of practice for her mid practice check. She gets a number, but unless it is below 100 she does not know if she needs to eat anything. Sometimes she could get a number like 95, she eats 15 carbs and waits 15 min only to find out that she continued to drop and is now 70. She then has to eat more and miss another 15 min of practice. She hates missing practice time. It looks to me from all my reading that the CGM will be able to help her know when and how much she needs to eat.
    Her friends are always jealous that she gets "force fed" candy at practice.
     

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