I'm a relatively new Type 1 (Jan 2010) and have been active in triathlons over the last 4-5 years.  I'm currently using both a Omnipod and Dexcom regularly.  While I haven't really had much issue with running, biking or other training, swimming has been a challenge.  I wanted to see if there were others out there swimming and/or training for triathlons that are using a Dexcom. 


Does anyone have any tricks to keep the site dry or at least drier so that it doesn't fail from getting wet?


I'm happy to share any of my experiences as well if you are interested.  So far my experiences with the pod and the dex have been pretty solid and my BG levels have been pretty stable.




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We just got back from Mexico where our 3 year old daughter who wears the dexcom was swimming all day every day for an entire week. We had no problems keeping the sensor on. Just to be sure i did some slight reinforcing with medipore tape ( the kind that holds the sensor on on) The sensor acutally was still on a week after the vacation working fine. We took it off after 15 days just because it had been on so long. I dont think you need to put anything over the sensor to keep it dry, we never did. Just dont let the edges start to peel up, thus the prophylactic reinforcement.
Im cuirous about this too. We were told our son could wear the sensor and swim for 30 minutes but after that he had to get out and let it dry out - say maybe 20 minutes or so. There is no way he is going to go to a pool and get out for 20 minutes every 30 minutes of swimming ! Also curious about taping right on top of the sensor - what kind of tape and all ?
I have tried some basic (i.e. inexpensive) tape on my sensor and it works good to keep it in place. That said, in one of my pool workouts I wasn't wearing anything at all over it and did ~1.2 hours of laps. When I got to work it wasn't reading anymore. I changed it out later in the day and noticed there was water between the sensor and the connection on the site. For my race last weekend I was wearing a wetsuit and I think that protected it enough from direct water that it worked fine. I'm wondering if just wearing a swim shirt or tri top will be fine.
My son spends a lot of time in the pool, and for his first two sensors he had tape on the adhesive - the one he had on today did not however, and it's on it's sixth day and died in the pool today. Once he was out and stayed out for a while (I think it took about an hour) it came back and has been working fine ever since. I think the longer you have it on the more protection it probably needs in the water. At the beginning of the week it was fine under just a swim shirt, but after a week of lots of pool time I think it probably could have used some protection beyond that.

Have you found anything that works for you yet?
Of topic a bit, but when you are tracking your BGs with a Dexcom while training, if your actual BG is changing quickly (sudden drops), is there going to be much lag time before the Dexcom picks up those changes?
I've found that the Dex does a pretty good job of guiding me during training/racing. Of course I don't expect it to be 100% accurate, but it's a phenominal tool in conjunction with a good HR monitor. Net, I think it's definitely close enough. In my last race, the CapTex, I went into the swim at a high BG (~200), but when I hit T1 I was 76 - big drop. I had expected a drop, but not that much. Put the Dex in my back pocket for the ride and started adding food on the first lap. From there forward I used my Dex throughout the rest of the race to monitor and adjust. I ended up with a very nice average of around 110 or so for the race and after the finish I was 83. I felt like that was a good BG range for me personally and the Dex really helped to manage and reduce stress. Let me know if you need more info.
Thanks Todd, much appreciated.

I'm filling out the paperwork now for the Dexcom. I'm sure I'll have a ton of questions once I get situated with it.

No worries...the Dex reps are pretty solid. Main advice I'd give once you get it is use the data to adjust your non-workout basal. I found I had a dawn effect of high BGs around breakfast and then a low spot in the afternoon. I monitored for at least four weeks to get real averages and then started to make slight adjustments. I now run 0.25u/hr from midnight to 4am, 0.35u/hr from 4-10am, 0.25 from 10am to 2pm, 0.20 from 2-6 and then back to 0.25 till midnight. I'm sure I have some more tweaks and would love to have smaller than 0.05u changes to work with, but right now I'm averaging between 95-105 on a daily basis and pretty happy with the tight range.
Will do!

No pump just yet though. I asked my endo to write up a prescription for both the CGM and a pump but he wants me to consult with him about the pump first. I'll see him next nonth about that. In the meantime, he will go ahead and fax the paperwork over to Dexcom for the CGM.

Do you think there are issues with going CGM before the pump?
When I ski or play golf, I keep an eye on "movement" of numbers more than the actual numbers. A diagonal arrow down (indicating gradual declines) gets my attention, and a single arrow down (a sharper decline) even with a reading in a normally acceptable range (say 125-150 while playing a sport) calls probably for something to eat or drink. A double arrow down no matter what the number reading is means I need to get some glucose quick because the actual BG level will likely be significantly below what the Dex says.

I mention golf above because for some reason it is a sport that I've always had a hard time keeping my BG levels up. I played 3 sports in high school (football, soccer and golf) and one sport in college (rugby) and it was only golf that I had a hard time with. And that continues today (20+ years later).
I teach, and for some reason, my BGs can drop like a rock from normal to 40s at any time while I'm engaged with my class. The only other time it will do that is on a run or if I've totally misjudged my meal and insulin requirement.
Just did my first triathlon a few days ago, and honestly didn't even think about the sensor having issues when I was training swimming. I've been at it for about 3 months, and no problems as far as the sensor being in the water for over an hour.




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