Omnipod & Dexcom at a Waterpark

Hello All, This will be our 1st summer with using the Omnipod & Dexcom G6. With summer right around the corner I was hoping that someone may have some advice as to how to manage everything at a waterpark. As you all know, the bluetooth on both devices only go so far before you lose the signal. Obviously, you can’t bring your phone into the water and I’m not sure how safe it would be to use a water case for the phone at a waterpark. My other concern is her going low with all of the activity. Any suggestions? Thank you

Jeannine @jfrancise , I’m really happy to see that you permit and encourage your daughter to act her age and really live a full active life.

Now to your questions: Both the OmniPod and the Dexcom transmitter are “waterproof”, so they will survive getting wet - no problem there, but with your daughter being active there is the possibility that horsing around and banging the devices on a waterslide something could be knocked loose. I certainly wouldn’t want to be searching under water for my transmitter. When I wear any of my devices on my are, during activities where they could be dislodged, I place a length of tube bandage [or a section of tight stocking] over the device to minimize disturbance.

As for picking up signals on her phone, you are aware that the Dexcom transmitter will store up to three hours of readings, and download those readings to your phone as soon as Bluetooth connection is reestablished. So, periodically, she just needs to return to the location of the phone and stay close-by for as long as five minutes. I haven’t used an OmniPod, but I suspect that wireless connection will be restored once she is back in range with her PDM.

Enjoy Summer!

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Hi @jfrancise . The technology we have is great and I wouldn’t give mine up for most anything - just don’t forget that our body is its own tool and a very impressive one at that despite diabetes.
Make sure she knows how to recognize her own signs of lows so if she’s out of range she’ll know she needs to stop for a check and a snack.

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I wore pods for several years. A few suggestions

  1. bring spares.
  2. pods will come off if they’re exposed to water/swimming/water parks long enough. Overtape of any kind will help. Same for the dexcom.
  3. come back to the reader/pdm/phone every 30 minutes or so. Especially at first. You may be able to feel the drop but maybe not as soon as you would like in this situation.
  4. snacks, snacks and snacks along with whatever you you to raise your blood sugar.
  5. You most likely will have to set a lower basal for a while before, during a while after the park. You’ll have to figure out that with experience.
  6. that combo did work really well in the water for me, I expect you will find it to be a really good one for you also…

Have fun

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Hi, Jeannine @jfrancise, and I hope someone can answer your question about the waterproof-ness of a waterproof case for your phone, if that’s how you decide to handle it.

Great advice from Dennis @Dennis, Dorie @wadawabbit, and Kevin @Grumpy, of course!

FWIW, we had many highly successful water park outings before my daughter started using a pump or a CGM. She pricked her finger at the usual times, and paid attention to how she felt. Most (all?) places have a locker where you leave your wallet and clothes; we put her kit in there, and accessed it throughout the day as needed. (Since this was FL in the summer, we either used a frio case for the insulin or threw it all in the cooler with the food, depending). Now that she’s on a pump and a CGM, I expect we’d do the same: just throw it in the locker and check throughout the day.

We saw a woman in the lazy river wearing a Dexcom once, and a teenager wearing an Omnipod ahead of us in line for one of the slides on a different trip, and struck up friendly conversation with both of them. Oh, and there was the man we saw on the beach that one time with a tslim (just the site — I presume the pump was elsewhere, with the rest of his stuff). Bathing suits are great for spotting fellow T1Ds. :slightly_smiling_face: Have fun — we love water parks!

Thank you for your advice. I want her to feel like she can do everything she used to pre-diagnosis. And if I prepared ahead of time, I’ll know what to expect and hopefully prevent any added anxiety.

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Thank you for your advice. I agree. The technology is great when it’s working. We’ve had some bumps in the road with both devices. But better than fingerpricks & injections.

Thank you for your advice. I will definitely pack a bag with extra stuff. Getting used to that now. I have adhesive patches for both devices. I guess this will be another situation of trial and error. Definitely will lower basal. Already noticing blood sugar dropping with just moving around more being outside with the warmer weather.

Thank you for your advice. We jumped right into using the dexcom(2 months after diagnose) & pump(3 months). She just get frustrated with having devices attached to her as see just turned 15. But prefers them over being stuck multiple times a day. And I prefer just looking at her #'s overnight & giving her a correction if needed instead of waking her.
I was thinking that maybe we should change the placement of her pod if we know in advance what day we will be going to the waterpark. She prefers it on her stomach. So I rotate it through 12 locations that I set for her. And the dexcom is always on the back of her arm in 4 locations. Do you think that having the pod on the arm would be better for a waterpark? I’m thinking less disruptions. I know it’s only April & the temps in NY are only high 60’s. But I want to be as prepared as possible for the summer. Since she was diagnosed June 27, 2020 her summer really sucked to put it lightly. And she just got diagnosed Celiac. So my daughter has had a really crappy 10 months. I would love to make things as normal as I possible can. Thank you again.

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This may be a bit much since you’re busy starting out but some people take a pump break when they go to the beach and use injections (and CGM) instead.

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Oh, yay — celiac, too! We got that one first, when she turned five, and the diabetes Dx a year and a half later. In all seriousness, I felt like the celiac was harder. Gluten is literally everywhere, cross-contamination is a real thing, and for us, anyway, the emotional and behavioral fallout from being glutened doesn’t show up until 24-48 hours after the exposure, and then it lasts for three or four days. It was a nightmare. But the good news is that maintaining a gluten-free diet is a lot easier than it used to be, and far more people know about things like changing their gloves and not using the same work surfaces and so on than they used to, too. And like everything else, it got easier to manage as we got more experience.

I’m sorry you’re dealing with both at once. That’s a lot. If you have questions or just want to vent, please do. If nothing else, sometimes it helps to know you’re not alone.

Yay! Good Times. We haven’t experienced any symptoms with Celiac. She went for her routine blood work & her #'s came back high. So we had to have endoscopic procedure done to confirm. Doc said 1/3 of his patients don’t have symptoms. So maybe she’ll be lucky and not have to worry about that. I think the hardest part is finding gluten free food that she likes or even the family likes. I can’t make 2 types of pastas or cutlets. That is too much work. The positive from the Celiac diagnosis is that the gluten free food keeps her blood sugar from spiking. It’s not perfect, but I think we are getting there. Still working on figuring out the digestion of fats & proteins. Thanks for all your help. It is much appreciated.

We went 100% gluten free in the house because I didn’t want to deal with everything we’d need to do to prevent cross-contamination. For me, anyway, it’s easier if it just doesn’t come into the house.

Not assuming this will be your experience, but even some asymptomatic people find that once the gluten is out of their diets, they feel better, and it can make a huge, clearly-perceptible-to-loved-ones difference. I’d guess it’s like the frog in the water that gets warmed up gradually. Humans are very adaptable; those folks just got used to how they felt, and then figured that was normal. Check out the classic post (comments, too) for insights, if you don’t mind a little coarse language: Instant A**hole...Just Add Gluten

Oh, and GF definitely can equal low-carb, but it doesn’t necessarily. We do a lot of rice and rice-based GF pasta, breads, crackers, pretzels, desserts, etc., which of course spike her right up. No whole wheat, you know, so it’s all super-fast acting. What can I say? She likes that stuff, and I pick my battles. :slightly_smiling_face:

That thought did cross my mind. I would have to discuss that with my daughter to see if she would want to or not.

I think the hardest part is getting everyone to like the gluten free food. It’s only been not even a month, so I have not noticed much of a difference. I think it will take a few months. I am definitely going to check out the link. I’ll take any info people are willing to share. I’ve learned a lot in these 10 months. Thank you for your help.

Thank you this post and all of the suggestions. We are heading to Disney World this summer and our first water park since my sons diagnosis. So I was curious about the same things. Amazon has a bunch of Dexcom and OmniPod adhesive patches. It’s just trail and error to see which ones work best for them.

Thank you for the reminder of Dexcom storing data and just revisit his phone to download. I too was worried about him wearing a waterproof phone case while playing at the water park!

We were told it can take as much as two years for the body to rebuild the villi in the small intestine that got taken out by celiac. (But, hey, the fact that the human body will repair itself, period, in the absence of gluten is pretty awesome.) The improved mood and sense of physical well-being that they didn’t know they’d been missing came sooner at our house, but it was still probably six months or more after going GF to really see the difference. Now that they both have been GF for so long, the occasional accidental glutening is a much more isolated event: maybe 4-5 days of feeling crappy, but then it’s gone.

I don’t know if your dr. talked with you about dairy, but ours told us that the tips of the villi that get attacked are also the part of the body that produces the enzyme that digests dairy. So in addition to being GF, we were also dairy-free at first. We tried reintroducing dairy at the 1-year mark, but that was a failure, and then tried again at 1.5 years, and that time it was successful. I was extremely grateful when I could start putting cheese in things again! Gluten-free and vegan (which we did only when we had a vegan houseguest a few years ago) was tougher still, but can be done, too.

As far as finding GF (or DF, or anything-else-free, for that matter) that your family likes, is just a lot of trial and error. If you want suggestions for anything in particular, I (and plenty of other posters, I’m sure — celiac is more common among folks with T1D than it is among the general population) would be happy to share what works for us.

I purchased the Simpatch for both dexcom & omnipod. We have tried the patches & they work well for just shower use so far. I like how the omnipod patch has a strap that goes across the pod. My daughter said that it feels more secure.

Have a great time at Disney.

Our doctor mentioned that only 1 villi was bent over from lactose & said that if she has symptoms to take a lactose pill(which my other daughter has to take before eating certain dairy products, but doesn’t have celiac) before eating dairy. So far we haven’t noticed any symptoms.
Thank you again for your support & knowledge.

Thank you! I will look into these!!!