To Surf, Or Not To Surf, With My Pump

surfing with type 1 diabetes

I hope Medtronic doesn’t read this post. Why? I think I’m going to surf with my pump attached this summer.


The story starts back with a New Year’s Resolution. Upon waking on the first day of 2015, I knew I had to surf this year. Not sure why. Didn’t know how it was going to happen, but I could feel the ambition. It was a true one. Now 6 months later, I’m kicking it in Hawaii with no agenda… but to surf. That’s it.


The board and I got in the water for the first time yesterday. As I stood there ready on the beach, I looked down and saw my tubing. In less than 30 seconds, I knew that I had to take it into the water. Well, had probably isn’t the best description of the choice, but a choice was made. The car was a long walk back. I wanted to keep the sugar in a good range. The beach was pretty crowded with limited shrubs for hiding. I had no flip flops or shirt to disguise it under. I’m, after all, on an island pretty far away from backup resources, like a spare pump.


So, I went into the water with it. On my first day out, I just wanted it with me, taking the risk of water damage. I already knew that the CGM sensor would be fine. Plus, I just got a new pump. The odds of this one having a crack are pretty low, limiting water-damage risk.


Nevertheless, as I sat there on the shore after an hour in the water, my heart rate climbed as I pulled the pump out of my board shorts pocket. The screen still showed the time. It still vibrated. I exhaled.


Will I take it with me every time? Probably not. One can only test a manufacturer’s warranty so many times.


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Former co-founder of DiabetesDailyGrind, Ryan's mission is to motivate others with diabetes to live their own authentic life. Most days, when not in the hospital during his medical residency, you can find him on the bike, surfboard, or yoga mat. He believes in the power of clean eating, and loves his Dexcom.

2 thoughts on “To Surf, Or Not To Surf, With My Pump

  1. Pingback: You Can’t Stop The Waves But You Can Learn To Surf… With Diabetes | Diabetes Daily Grind

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