The Beach

I love going to the beach, and so does my daughter.  Floating on the waves, picking up shells, building sand castles, playing with hermit crabs, and taking long walks are among our favorite beach activities. 

Our constant traveling companion, diabetes, is not as fond of the beach.

We try to leave the pump plugged in as much as possible, when walking or digging in the sand for example, but there are long periods of being unplugged in the water.  The pump we have is waterproof, but given a choice, I choose not to put a multi-thousand dollar piece of electronic equipment in the ocean.  We try to compensate as possible with quick bursts of insulin to make up for the missed basal.  But it doesn't work quite the same, and there are often exercise-induced lows after these boluses and/or insulin deprivation highs which appear later in the evening.

None of our diabetes supplies like the beach.  Insulin becomes less effective when it gets hot.  Keeping the pump covered and the tubing enclosed is the best defense but sometimes sand castle building becomes a higher priority and we forget.  We've had the meter cease to function because it got too hot (which begs the question why they put them in black cases).  A few minutes in the cooler and it was back to normal, but even the temporary lack of information was a bit nerve-wracking.  The afternoon I spent picking sand out of our old pump grain by grain after my daughter had buried herself in a hole while wearing it was a long one. 

Nevertheless, we take diabetes with us wherever we go.  If it doesn't like the beach, tough luck.  It's not always easy, but it's much more important to dig the toes (and some days even the pump) into the sand.  If only we could set diabetes off on a nice sail into the sunset while we were there.


  1. Hi Pam. This is my first visit to you blog and I have enjoyed reading your posts. I love that you and your family are able to go to the beach and enjoy yourselves even when diabetes has to tagalong. I have had diabetes for over 60 years and let me tell you it's important to be able to do the normal things in life. Over the years it has been amazing to see technology develop items like the pump, when I was young they didn't have those. I wish you and your family well!

  2. Hi Pam. Enjoying your blog! Have you ever tried the 'unteathered regement' when you go to places like the beach? (using Lantus to cover 75% of the basal rates / other 25% covered and bolus covered by the pump) Helps even out the blood sugars when disconnecting.


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