Does anyone have advice about how to deal with the altitude changes when going from the Bay Area to Tahoe and being active while staying in the mountains? The last time that I was in Tahoe I had to leave a day early because I had so many problems with air bubbles. I had brought up a new unopened vial of insulin and when we arrived I changed my infusion set and cartridge and used insulin from the new vial. I wound up changing the infusion set every two days and then every day because of all the problems I was having. This time I am thinking that maybe I should go back to using pens with long and short acting insulins but would prefer to stay on the pump (I have a Ping). We probably won't be skiing but will be hiking and snowshoeing and I want to stay the whole week this time!I also have a Dexcom 7 which didn't work very accurately while we were in the mountains. Any tips will be greatly appreciated.
I ski Colorado every year, flying in from sea level on the East Coast. This past winter, I was using a Ping for the 1st time at altitude. I have used the Dexcom for the past 2 seasons.
As far as the Dexcom goes, I found it to be fairly accurate. Using the pump, I had an experience similar to yours with bubbles in the cartridge. I handled this by wearing the Ping around my neck in a cell phone case with the Ping turned upside down. All of the bubbles stayed at the top of the vial and none got into the tubing. I needed to wear the Ping around my neck to keep it close to my body, as the temperature was quite cold.
I was told by Animas that they are working on a new clip which would permit you to rotate the pump while it was attached to a belt or to underwear. Hopefully, they'll have it by next year.
Thanks Dave for your reply. Great idea to wear the Ping upside down, I will definitely try this. I have a cell phone case that should work perfectly. As the weather is warmer in Tahoe now I won't have to wear it close to my body to keep the insulin warm. Did you find that your I:C ratios or Insulin sensitivity changed in the higher altitude?
Skiing 25 to 30,000 vertical feet a day is a lot more activity than normal for me (and I'm pretty active). I adjusted my I:C ratio by about 20% and also reduced my Basil by a similar amount. I attributed these adjustments to activity, not to altitude. The area that I stayed at in Colorado was 8100 feet above sea level. I spent most of my time skiing at altitudes between 9400 and 11400 feet.On days that I was very active, I ended up eating more and taking less insulin. The Dexcom warned me when I needed extra Carbohydrates.
Tahoe elevations are generally about 1500 feet lower than Colorado. It's usually very dry up there. Make sure to drink a lot of water.
Thanks, it sounds like I will be doing more hiking than skiing and I'll take lots of water!