This is our first summer having J on an insulin pump and CGM so there once again is a learning curve as to how to manage:
*The insulin pump settings with having so much more exercise and being exposed to heat.
*How do we get his OmniPod and Dexcom to stay adhered on his body while he is swimming and so active.
While we were vacationing in Florida and J was swimming in the pool we noticed that his OmniPod started to come off after only a short time of being in the water. We made a mental note of that and when Friday of last week came and we decided that it was time to take the first dip into our pool, we took some precautionary measures and taped both his Omnipod and Dexcom sites before he got into the water. Well it didn't take long for the OmniPod to come right off! We decided that since his blood sugar was good and he was going to continue to swim that we wouldn't put a new pod on until after he was finished swimming. We just kept a close eye on his Dexcom numbers. Amazingly his BGs stayed level and he got to finish playing. Shortly after getting out of the pool and drying off, his Dexcom site fell off as well. My conclusion......the tape didn't have enough time to adhere to the skin and form a seal before he got into the water.....mental note! (We normally only have to tape the Dexcom, as the adhesive is very poor and will only last a few days, even under normal conditions.)
Before dinner we replaced his pump and CGM and this time I decided to put on the numbing cream for his OmniPod site so that it would be a little more comfortable for him. He is still very anxious and nervous about the anticipation of the insertion, since we never know when exactly the "click" is going to happen. We have only used this cream a few times before and it never seemed to be a problem. We got both of the site changes completed and ate dinner. After dinner we let the kids jump on the trampoline, after only a short time J yelled for me......his pump had come off again! WHAT THE PUMP IS GOING ON???? We brought him into the house and it occurred to me that we had only cleaned the skin before putting the numbing cream on, not after, and maybe that caused the adhesive to weaken on his pump.......mental note!
This time, we changed his pump without the numbing cream and I immediately taped both the OmniPod and the Dexcom knowing that the next day was his birthday party out in the heat and also that we would be swimming again that evening. Worked like a charm! Both stayed on without any issues at all. Cue the Happy Dance!
The tape that we now use and LOVE is called Opsite Flexifix (pictured above) made by the amazing Smith&Nephew. I have completely fallen in love with their products! (Their adhesive remover is beyond compare!) Leading up to using this tape, we had tried every tape under the sun and even Skin-Tac which J was not a fan of, he said that it hurt him and made him itch! Nothing worked for the 7 days that the Dexcom is worn. Until now....This tape is very thin, almost skin like, and we haven't had a single complaint from him while he is wearing it. It does an amazing job of staying adhered to the skin for the 7 days and is almost "difficult" to remove when needed. So, if you're looking for new products to test out, give these a try! We order our supplies off of Amazon.
While this is our second summer dealing with diabetes, as I mentioned it is our first with the Dexcom G4 CGM and insulin pump. We are now able to see how the heat and exercise are affecting his blood sugars both during activity and after. Lately his blood sugar average overall has been amazing but there are times he is running a bit on the lower end and even dropping low. This indicates that we have to make some changes to his basal rates and perhaps even start suspending insulin delivery during swimming and jumping on the trampoline. As the next few weeks go on, I will be able to go into more detail about how we are altering these and the precautions that we are taking to prevent low blood sugars, but right now we are still in the trail and error stages. So stay tuned :)
As always, I'd love to hear how you deal with the summer heat and exercise, so please comment below or email me with your summer practices!!