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Is a pump practical for a gymnast?

Discussion in 'Insulin Pumps' started by dqmomof3, Jan 11, 2008.

  1. dqmomof3

    dqmomof3 Approved members

    Dec 29, 2007
    Hello to all. My 9 year old daughter was diagnosed on Dec. 28th, 2007, with type 1. Our endo is a huge fan of pumps and wants to move that direction with Jayden. Jayden is a competitive gymnast, spending 10-15 hours a week in the gym, and in a leotard. We can't quite figure out how that will work. I know that a pump can be removed, but what happens to the tubing and such? Is that small enough to be tucked inside a leotard where it won't show and won't be irritating to her while she's on the uneven bars?

    I love the idea of a pump, and she does as well, but we just can't figure out the logistics with her life!

  2. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Jul 16, 2007
    For a regular pump, when you disconnect, the tubing stays with the pump so all you have is a little site, about the size of a quarter and barely raised on the skin.
  3. funnygrl

    funnygrl Approved members

    Nov 2, 2005
    I know I've seen pics of kids in leotards with a pump belt on before, so I imagine something like that would work.

    Check out Pump Wear Inc to see all the different ways kids wear their pump:


    The first girl on that page has a leotard on.
  4. s0ccerfreak

    s0ccerfreak Approved members

    Mar 17, 2007
    I was on our YMCA gymnastics team for 5 years (pumping 3 of the years). I disconnected for practice and meets. I took half of the missed basal at the start and tested half way through to decide if I needed the rest. I just tested frequently and corrected if needed. You could also ask her endo about going untethered, that is taking part of her basal as a shot of lantus- that would reduce highs when disconnected from the pump. The site is small enough that it should bother her, just make sure the set is back far enough on her stomach that it will not rub on the uneven bars.
  5. Jeff Martin

    Jeff Martin Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    My 12 year old daughter is on our YMCA gymnastics team and has been pumping now for almost 3 mths. Just like everything with D you have to play around and find out what works for your child. We have her unhook and check often and treat as needed. For meets we have her check after each rotation.
    Also another "D" girl on the team has a belt and pouch for her pump. She keeps it on almost all of the time. She just slides the pouch around for place to place to keep it out of the way.
    Hope this helps.
  6. KTurner52

    KTurner52 Approved members

    Aug 10, 2007
    My D-daughter is also a gymnast. She did 3hr/day practices this summer when she was on shots and we had no problems. I dropped her back when school started to just 2 hours of gym per week..she wasn't showing enough excitement about team for me to be comfortable shelling out the money to keep her on it..Anyway, we started pumping with Omnipod in October and the only problem we have with it and gym is that if it is on her tummy she can't do some things on the bars. I try to make sure it is on her butt for gym days, then she only has to skip sit-ups. I can't convince her to try her arm yet but I don't think she would have any issues with any equipment if it was there. Pumping is a great option to consider--we are so glad we did it. It has given Tori so much more freedom because with it she can do almost all of her own care, we just have an adult verify her carb counts before she boluses. It has given me great freedom too by making diabetes care a smaller part of our lives:)
  7. coolinutah

    coolinutah New Member

    Jan 15, 2008

    My daughter is a gymnast as well and is also on a pump. She is 7 1/2 years old and has was diagnosed just before she turned 3 yrs. She was already involved in gymnastics when she was diagnosed. My daughter has been on a pump since the age of 3 1/2. We have never had any incidents at the gym since being on the pump. We had one scare while on injections right after she was diagnosed...but that was it. We test before leaving the house and do any corrections for high or low BG. We take her pump and her meter with us. She can recognize when she is feeling low (which is very rare while at the gym) and at that point we can test and treat if need be. She wears hers on her butt and always has. It doesn't ever get in the way....occasionally we might have to change it out because it may have gotten bumped to hard during a roll or fall (but she has never felt it or any discomfort). There is another girl there who wears it on her leg. The benefits of being an athlete and wearing a pump in my opinion are enormous. You have more control over your body's intake of insulin. With shots you have the peaks and valleys, not so with the pump. Plus, the comfort factor...no shots...just hook up for a few seconds and your good to go! I hope this helps you with your decision.

    Our family motto in regards to diabetes...."It is what it is...no pity parties...deal with it...and keep going!"



    Morgan (7/00) diagnosed 5/03 pumping since 11/03
    Matthew (7/04) non-diabetic
  8. Ivan's Mum

    Ivan's Mum Approved members

    Aug 29, 2006
    HI there, you might want to look at untethered as mentioned above. My son has ben untethered for the last 4 months and it's been wonderful. We do lantus and use the pump for corrections, extended boluses, lazy days and food. He's disconnected from it the rest of the time and doesn't sleep with it. The clincher for us was how active he was. When we tried pumping he ripped out sites left right and centre because he's always climbing something. I stumbled upon untethered by accident (having thought I invented it) and we've never looked back. His A1c has gone from the 8's to the 6's so the control and freedom is grand.

    The only problem I have found on this forum is that most don't realise that there is a middle ground if you don't want to pump the whole time. It seems to be MDI or pumping. Pumpers LOVE pumping but I don't see us changing. He disconnects for hours whilst swimming around, and there is always lantus in the background. For us it's the best of both worlds. Ivan doesn't have his pump out 'identifying' him as diabetic - he doesn't like people steering at it and is quite secretive about his D so this works a treat. When his numbers are good, and it's site change day we just take it off at night and he sleeps without one. It seems to have removed a lot of the 'urgencey' that we felt with pumping. 'Site fell out, gotta change it right now' type thing.

    It's been just what the doctor ordered.
  9. flipflopmom

    flipflopmom New Member

    Jan 27, 2009
    My DD is on a pump and is also a competitive gymnast. She works out 6 days a week for 4 hours. She has never worn the pump during workouts or meets. We manage by checking before practice and half way through. During meets she checks before the meet and after the second rotation. She has always worn her sites on her butt. As she moves up we are more and more concerned about the length of time she spends off the pump. Endo wants to see her wear the pump during the work out but I doubt it will ever happen. I am interested in learning more about the untethered method. I’ve read about it but that’s about it. I’ve mentioned it to the endo but he hasn’t heard about it before.
  10. Tapdancing1

    Tapdancing1 New Member

    Jan 31, 2009

    I pumped while competing in gymnastics --I simply wore a tighter sports bra than I usually would, and then just put the pump in the bra under my right arm. Yes, you could see it (and the tubing ifyou looked carefully), but it was not that obvious frankly. I competed all events w/o a problem. Once in a while, s/o would ask me what was there, but again, it just wasn't THAT obvious. Also, lots of people already knew it was a pump, so they didnt ask.
  11. dpergolizzi

    dpergolizzi New Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    My daughter has been a competitive gymnast for 4 competitive seasons now, the last 3 using a pump. She used to put the infusion set on her leg but now uses her buttocks. She used to disconnect while at her 4 hour practices, but the doctor told us today to have her stop half way through and give herself a little bit of insulin. During competition she stretches with the pump on and only takes it off while she's warming up the event or competing. It actually works much better than with shots since we used to have to pump her sugars up before competition started so that she wouldn't crash at the end. The infusion site has never bothered her during practice or competition which was initially her fear.
  12. clj2302bu

    clj2302bu New Member

    Jun 2, 2009
    Hello My name is Chalsey Ive had Type One Diabetes since i was 5 i will have had it a nine years in february. I am in gymnastics and i do have an insulin pump. since you are so active you will be fine disconnecting since you blood sugars will stay consistant they wont go low that way. but you may want to use a cap over the site or it may catch on her leo. it is also possible to keep the pump on depending on where you wear your pump and depending on what events she is in. if you wear the pump while competeing and performing you can see the tube and pump better the tighter the leo is but its not anything new considering usually people at school know and can see it too so it wont be anything embaressing. it may bother her tho but at least its not flapping because of her leo if shes only worried about about people seeing or noticing..She may want tlo Consider an omni pod im not real famillar with that tho. i hope you find this helpful.
  13. ecs1516

    ecs1516 Approved members

    Dec 11, 2007
    My friend's daughter wears the Animas and disconnects for gymnastics.
    He insulin use also goes down a lot during her training.
    The benefit of wearing a tubed pump you can just take it off.
  14. curediabetes14

    curediabetes14 Approved members

    Apr 7, 2009
    Hi, my daughter is 8 and also a competitive gymnast. She is currently on a Minimed pump. Her sites are located on her behind above where the leos sit. Pump control is so much easier. If your daughter is like mine workouts can at times drop her sugar. On a pump all you have to is half a juice box and small snack and she is back to practice. We disconnect her pump during practice, check every hour and reconnect if needed. Usually the exercise keeps her sugar down during practice and we do not have to reconnect except after break for her snack.

    Meets are a little harder, but nothing huge. We would not go back to shots. If you need more info just let me know.
  15. someone

    someone Approved members

    Feb 9, 2007
    It might be worth considering for some, but for me, part of the reason I got a pump was so I could have full control of my basal rates. This is a big advantage to pumping, so to many people, using Lantus for basal isn't going to be the best of both worlds.

    I am also very secretive, but concealing my pump has never been an issue.
  16. Kalawilliams15

    Kalawilliams15 New Member

    Sep 22, 2011

    I am a 16 year old with Diabetes, I have used 2 different pumps trying to pick one for my 20+ hours of gymnastics a week I have found that if you put the site either in the arm or side for the omnipod it works ok. If it is a regular site with a small quarter like size dome really anywhere works just don't put it to far down on the tummy because if u go on bars and slam the dome hard enough like when u do a babygiant and don't move your hands you will crack the dome. I usally stay connected the whole practice and check pretty often. I use either my pump band/belt or I wear my shorts I lock the keypad and put a small piece of reusable tape which isn't mega sticky, to make sure it doesn't fall. Now on beam I always worry it will fall, so I take mega extra careful, I usally hang upside down over the beam or hang upside down over the low bar to make sure it won't fall and I also put sports tape over either the reusable tape or over the pump pocket on my band/belt. I haven't really had a problem with competitions and I have been doing competitions for at least 6 years.
  17. Rapunzel

    Rapunzel Approved members

    Jul 11, 2010
    My daughter is 7 and is in lvl 2 of her Gymnastics. She actually started in January do to the insane amount of flips and back bends and what not. I was scared, to say the least but now we know that just like with swimming, Gymnastics makes her blood sugars plummet. When we get to gymnastics she tests, if any insulin is needed I give her half. Then she disconnects and runs on her merry way.

    She only goes 1 day a week, but starting in the fall I have a feeling it's going to be 2 or 3x a week. So far so good, while we were figuring it all out the first couple of weeks she'd come out feeling low and the lowest was 46. :eek: Thats when I figured we'd disconnect. Each kid is different, and for me every day and every activity that we haven't done yet is a learning experience.

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