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Scuba Diving

Discussion in 'Insulin Pump Forum' started by Topher, Jun 19, 2020.

  1. Topher

    Topher Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi,

    I have my Advanced open water Padi, but haven't dived since I got T1 about 9 years ago, I was thinking of taking it up again - anyone that has done it, can they let me know how they found it with their bloods, whether they went high or low - (I know everyone is different) - but it would just be interesting to know. I am on a pump

    Thanks
     
  2. porl69

    porl69 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I did a "try-dive" 2 years ago in Turkey, only went down 2 meters and was only down for around 15 mins. I made sure my BG was up around 9 before I dived when I was back on the boat it was exactly the same.
     
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  3. toddy35

    toddy35 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm curious when you do your Advanced, what have you put on the medical form? If you reveal your diabetes most places I know won't even let you in the water unless you've a special medical certificate.
    No judgement on whatever approach you're taking I'm just curious - I want to dive again at some point too.
     
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  4. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've not dived only snorkelled, it appears that BT CGM may well work underwater as reported here: https://divernet.com/2018/02/20/dan-medical-2-2/ guess you need to keep the receiver close by, but if it does indeed work it makes diving much easier.

    I would add that I would not let diabetes stop me doing what I want, there is always a safe way.
     
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  5. toddy35

    toddy35 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    It's not the diabetes that would stop anyone. It is both your own insurers and those of the dive outfit. The choices are:
    - lie on the medical form, which means if you have an accident your insurer or those of the diving outfit will not pay up, even people taking the contraceptive pill have to lie on the medical form
    - tell the truth but be required to pay £000 for a special medical
     
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  6. Fairygodmother

    Fairygodmother Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I qualified with NAUI twenty years after I was diagnosed and learned by experience how bloods behaved. It was unusual at the time to find an outfit and a company that would take on a T1 for qualification. I was very lucky.
    On the first open water dive I did, as a precaution I made sure my blood sugar was fairly high, I think it was10 before I went off the boat and after a 40 minute dive at a relatively shallow depth, 15m max, I think they were 7 (I’d need to check my log book, I kept all bloods and doses for dives there as well as all the other stuff).
    As I gained more experience I found that the longer and deeper the dive and the stronger the currents were the lower I was when I came up again. I raised my dive start blood needs to 11-12. I knew I had to have enough in reserve to get to the boat/wait for the boat/swim to the boat or shore etc.
    It did feel T1-counterintuitive to raise bloods that high but they usually fell steadily.
    If the dive was a shallow one, say above a reef (sooooo wonderful), then I’d jab when I was on the boat again and say a sad no to the after dive treats.
    Yes, there was an expensive medical and insurance was higher but it was worth it!
     
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  7. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    But is it not the diabetes that's driving the insurance and medical needs. If I really wanted to dive I would add the cost of insurance and medicals onto my equipment costs. I'm not sure incorrectly filling out medical forms should even be a suggested option. I'm always honest and straight forward to everyone about my diabetes.

    If its an extra cost you cannot afford they maybe time to look for another less costly sport.
     
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  8. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    I don't dive, but I do snorkel.

    First I take a fast acting hypo treat with me in a waterproof container. I'm sure one of the glucose packs should work. I take ginger candy.

    Second, I am on a pump so in my case I do a temp decrease of my basal starting a half hour before I start for 2 hours. I usually snorkel for about 1 hour.

    Third I start out higher, for me at about 7.2-8.9. It's actually hard to eat without taking a correction dose and hitting an exact number.

    I have a Dexcom and it will not communicate underwater for me even strapped on top of my sensor. (my iphone). I can't even hold my arm out of the water to try to get a reading as it wants to communicate all the past data first before it will read. So I am contemplating wearing a LIbra sensor too as it communicates by waving the reader or phone over it. I am thinking that I can at least hold my arm out of the water for that to work. I have no idea if it will read under water, but BT seems like it really doesn't like to communicate underwater.

    I do have my iphone out in the water with me in a Stash waterproof pouch, But I don't know the depth allowed, most have depth restrictions.

    But like @Fairygodmother says, more work and you drop more. A nice easy snorkel and I might drop less than 1-2 mmol. But if I hit strong currents and choppy water I have dropped 3-4 mmol. So it's better to be safe than sorry and start out with a good cushion. I am hypo aware, but not in the water??? Although I only once dropped to 3.7 which is around when I usually definitely start to feel it and I had a headache that sent me back ashore.

    If anyone knows of a CGM that works when you are in the water let me know! I am searching. I think I will be trying a Libre next!
     
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    #8 Marie 2, Jun 26, 2020 at 5:09 AM
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
  9. Chas C

    Chas C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No direct experience but have heard from others involved in diabetes management that Libre is used by a number of divers as it works better underwater than Dexcom, have no proof but might be worth a try.
     
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  10. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you for that @Chas C I am going to be part cyborg any time now................a Dexcom on one arm, the Libre on the other and my Omnipod pod wherever it decides to land!!!!!

    I figured that has to be my next try because it would really be nice to get a reading of your BG when you are out in the ocean.
     
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  11. Sadjers

    Sadjers · Active Member

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    I have libre and omniod and dive with both PADI and SSI. I have found a GP who will sign my medi forms.
    Good control is key, so like having a cold, when your control is fluctuating don't dive. I don't scan during dive but elevate my sugar levels (bacon cobs are perfect) before the dive and manage the high sugars later. A good dry suit helps as the libre and omniod don't do water at 30m.
     
  12. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    @Sadjers So have you ever tried to scan your Libre under water? I am thinking about trying the Libre reader in a waterproof pouch and if it will scan when in the ocean.
     
  13. Sadjers

    Sadjers · Active Member

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    Hi @Marie 2, I haven't scanned under water. I don't think my dive skills are good enough to have another bit of gear tied to a lanyard. And, I don't think I could cope with worrying about my blood sugar while diving as the sound of my breathing raises my anxiety plenty.
     
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  14. megan

    megan Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't have the libre last time I dived but I tested my blood before and straight after dive. Try it if you feel confident in your waterproof casing.
     
  15. Marie 2

    Marie 2 LADA · Well-Known Member

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    @megan I have been using a Stash pouch for my iphone and it has worked really well. I have been taking pictures with it!
    I just snorkel though and don't dive. I know an hour is safe, but I like to stay out longer and have to go back towards shore to stand to be able to get a reading on my Dexcom. And the ocean can really vary in how much work it takes to swim. So I can be at 4.4 or an 8.5. My doctor just sent in a prescription for the new Libre so I can try it. She's an endo on an island surrounded by water and she didn't know either. But I think most of us type 1's wear Dexcoms here and it is not cooperating with getting a reading out in the water..

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