Diving and Scuba Diving


Diving and Scuba Diving

A group for people with diabetes that are interested in diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, and the likes.

Members: 67
Latest Activity: 5 hours ago

Diabetes Forum

Kids w/ T1D and scuba diving

Started by Janette. Last reply by Janette Apr 19, 2013. 13 Replies

Scuba and the OmniPod

Started by mmom. Last reply by jbowler Dec 16, 2012. 7 Replies

Its Official

Started by diadiver. Last reply by Joan Nov 5, 2012. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by J. Davis Harte 5 hours ago

Thanks Rock - she is very keen to take up diving - she asks every trip if her daddy has seen "Dashi" who is one of 8 cartoon characters from the Octonauts who live under the ocean! Very unrealistic diving-wise, but very spot on for the rest of the details (she knew what the midnight zone was before I did!)...she loves to dive down in the pool, so that's a start. To be honest - we did dive in the cold water, but for only one of the 4 dives we did - Woahink Lake was up to 68! Great tip about the thermos of hot water...also, better gear. My buddy will be my husband, so he will be understanding. My 300+ number came down pretty easily. What happens if you get seawater infused?

Yes jbowler, I haven't been wearing my cgm for months now, for similar but different reasons - until this open water class, I was doing Bikram's yoga a few times a week and the humidity and sweat build up means it is virtually impossible to keep the dang thing on - never mind the actual pump site! I don't feel convinced by the Lantus swap - especially since the few times I've done it have only been for a day or two while a replacement pump was enroute. I don't have tight control by any means, but the subtle quick changes that we can make with the pump would be preferable - I just have to remember to un-suspend! and probably take a quick tiny bolus if I'm up very high before diving. I'm not sure I'll dive again before our trip, since little one and I will be joining daddy who is doing some 'extra' work down in the Falklands. Now that is cold water diving! He actually loves this sport enough to do it - 37* last weekend...me, no way - I think I'll be more like the 80/80/80 I've heard about. I like that. I also agree that, knowing myself, I really don't anticipate being able to, or wanting to dive 5 times a day...I'll probably cherish the alone time to just gaze at the horizon. Also - I have to factor in high-likelihood of motion sickness. Does the medicine do a number on your numbers - anyone?

Although we live in Corvallis, we dive with the Eugene Skin Divers Supply - and they plan regular trips up to the Channel Islands. People light up when they think about the lobster season (butter!? yum! haha). I suspect I'll go there one day. Does Brookings have nice dives? My brother and his family live near Grants Pass...maybe sometime I could combine the two outings.

Thanks for the great welcome :] - if/when I become scarce it's because I'm playing with the kid or writing for the work or traveling to far off lands...

Comment by jbowler 7 hours ago

The Lantus swap is tricky and requires some care in my experience. I would advise avoiding it if at all possible.

Prior to starting on the Omnipod a couple of years ago I was on MDI and did 24IU Lantus as two injections of 12IU morning and evening.

After the switch to the Omnipod I ended up with a basal dose of 14IU, delivered as 0.5IU/hour except for two hours of 1.5IU in the morning (to combat the dawn phenomenon.)

The change is partly because of the increased effectiveness of the Humalog when delivered gradually; something I think most pump users experience. However it is also because on the pump I can under-dose basal and correct during the day with small boluses; on MDI we simply can't deliver a 0.5IU correction let alone a 0.05IU dose! This helps enormously with physical activity; when I was on MDI if I got a lot of exercise in the day I would be continually fighting low blood sugar for the next three days because of my increased insulin sensitivity.

All that is gone when I go on a dive vacation! I ended up using 16IU/day Lantus and, out of habit, I now test and inject much more frequently - often in 1 or 2 unit amounts (which are horribly inaccurate, but I'm used to much more control than is possible with MDI.)

I could avoid this if I used a tubed pump, but then I would be forever attaching and detaching it since, at this time of year, I swim between one and three times a day.

My advice would be to stick with a tubed pump if at all possible. Even on liveaboards, which can be really intense:

I dove numerous dives in two days last October in the Channel Islands; it was a three day liveaboard at the start of Lobster Season, the boat was running seven dives a day. I was 150 or close to it before every dive, I ate after every dive; this was on the Lantus regime, it worked perfectly. However by the third day I couldn't take any more; it's nothing to do with being a diabetic, I just need to relax and snorkel, I should have sat out more dives on the first two days.

Comment by Rock 8 hours ago

Nice work on getting an open water checkout dive in 50 degree water. Glad to hear that you saw some cool stuff. We used to dive for Dungeness crabs and Geoduck clams and abalone and stuff. Talk about good eating. Although I have had a pesky sea otter swim up to me and take my abalone away. :-(

Next time you dive in that cold water, bring a thermos jug of hot tap water and pour it down the neck of your wetsuit before you get in the water. It helps that breathtaking sensation when you first get in.

Good to hear you were careful with the pump. The thing most folks don't know is that the water pressure from the dive can crush the insulin reservoir in the pump and force it into your body. Divers refer to this sort of thing as "Bad juju". There are some pumps available that can be worn while swimming, and are OK down to about 10 feet, but don't wear them scuba diving.

Covering the catheter with a waterproof bandage prevents getting a subcutaneous injection of seawater, which is also "Bad juju".

A liveaboard is the adventure of a lifetime for a diver. Eat, sleep and dive. Two dives in the morning, two dives after lunch and a night dive. Last time I went, my diving cut into my drinking. Using Lantus might be a good idea, but be ready to adjust the basal dose, as your level of physical activity will go way up, which should lower your body's demand for insulin.

Most of all, be aware that the two most important safety features are the mass between your ears and your buddy. Know yourself and call the dive if you feel low. Arrange a hand signal in advance with your buddy and do not let your ego get in the way. Call the dive, signal your buddy, and let them take control and get you out of the water.

Keep this up, and before you know it, you will find yourself chasing that cute little scuba diver hanging over your right shoulder in the picture.

Have fun, and take lots of pictures for us!


Comment by jbowler 8 hours ago

The problem I see with current CGMs is that they are only waterproof to about 8ft yet they stay on for about a week. 8ft isn't enough even for snorkeling or free dives. The week between changes also means that a dive will add to the cost of the CGM and, indeed, given the way US health plans work, could easily mean not having enough sensors.

Comment by J. Davis Harte 9 hours ago

Thanks for the congrats everyone! My name is Davis - even though the J. is stuck out front there...My hubby is the one who has been, let's say, coaxing, me to learn and before I even committed to learning he had gotten me my own 5 m wet suit, Mares dive computer, BC and regulator etc...so it won't take much convincing to get a dry suit! I wore a 7ml rental wetsuit at the Jetty and the temp was 52 - but since I didn't rent a proper wet suit hood I had a gap between on my neck - I made it 20 minutes and got my skills accomplished plus saw some crabs and sand dabs and stuff. Pretty cool overall I must admit. I just hope I don't dump my phd work to become a diving enthusiast, haha.

For my pump, I took it off but left the catheter bit in and forgot to cover it with waterproof tape - which I will do in the future. Although I will discuss with my endo about the live-aboard trip - I'm so sensitive to insulin that drops and rises are usually dealt with pretty easily - but I may switch to lantus for the time on the boat. Have a great trip Fabio that sounds very cool! I am planning to stick with Minimed for the time being...just ready for a real cure any day now of course!

Comment by Fabio Esteban 11 hours ago

Comment by Fabio Esteban 11 hours ago

Hi everyone, congrats on certification and hello to my diving pals. You guys are all amazing, I'm a simple cavern diver who feels that being T1 is nothing compared to the mental control and confidence that it takes to in love with the underworld. Congratulations to all. I'm headed to do some experimental photography at a site located 15 meters deep in a sacred cenote at Chichen Itza. I hope to share some of those pics with you guys.

One last thing. I have been a paradigm pump user for the past 5 years and do not love the system for many reasons. For example, the Paradign apparently communicates well with the Bayer Glucose meter, however, my insurance won't pay for Bayer, only for the one touch, and although it reads it as well, I feel that I'm stuck with old technology. The Minimed CGM costs and arm and leg and then it finally broke, so I purchased Dexcom CGM which I lost and now I'm running out of supplies and tired of all this technology that I feel it is being controlled by some Wall street investor. So, I need to make my move, what do you divers use and/or recommend moving forward?

Cheers. fe

Comment by jbowler 13 hours ago

Congratulations J. I use a 9.5mm semi-dry; I dive off Brookings, so that's probably a bit south of you but the water temperature is consistently 53F. In fact I've used the same suit around LA - the water temp isn't that much different (down to 51F last Nov off Santa Cruz Island.)

My first deep dive was off Brookings in Sept last year and that was 52F@87ft, at the time it seemed pretty cold, but no one stays that long at that depth.

Pump suspend is *so* useful. I use an Omnipod (IPX8, 25ft 60 minutes), so in practice when boat diving I have to swap back to MDI. It is so much more scary to have a load of Lantus on board that can't be removed! I was diving in Fiji at the start of the year and had to wait out the last dive of the vacation because my blood sugar was 120 and I couldn't rely on it not going down during the dive, even though I take a deliberately low Lantus dose while diving.

Comment by Rock 15 hours ago

Making hubby shell out for a dry suit. Sigh... The things us mens have to do... Oh, well. It's worth it. Seeing your wife get out of the water with a blue face and purple lips and then she smiles at you because she is having so much fun. Sigh.. Time for a dry suit.

I might suggest heading north to the Queen Charlotte Straits. There is a charter outfit up that way that takes you out and dumps you in the water in the middle of a pod of Orcas. A friend of mine went and this 13 ton bull posed for him so my buddy could take his picture. The trip is high on my diving bucket list.

It is good to hear that your friend got out of the water because of a low. Self awareness of what a low feels like is important. The test strips and meters don't work underwater. Plus it is hard to catch that little drop of blood.

I find myself curious about your pump. Do I take it that you took off the pump and removed the catheter before the dive? Or do you have a pump that is designed to withstand sea pressure? A short term level of 300 or so is probably not hazardous, as long as you get in the cold water and swim around a bit. Guaranteed to bring it right back down, and fast.

I was a YMCA Instructor for a few years and it finally occurred to me one day to fork up the cash to get my now grown children certified. They are enthusiastic divers, one and all, and my son is trying to set a record for killing lionfish. Ever time he spears one, he turns it around and waves it in my face. Kind of like, "Hey Dad, look what I got!"

Hang in there and I promise you that diving in the Philippines will be the experience of a lifetime.


Comment by Clare 19 hours ago

Congrats on your certification. That is no small achievement. Enjoy your dives - and yes to the drysuit :).


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