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[IP] IP & Martial Arts

Hi everyone!  Marilyn again.  Just realized I didn't attach this great
response to my last message re:  pumping and martial arts.  So am
posting it now.  Alot of great info here for anyone doing a very active,
demanding sport.  Thx again, Jeremy!  Day 3 on the MM pump for me and
still smooth sailing!!!   Marilyn
From:<email @ redacted>
        Re: [IP] Martial Arts
        Fri, 17 Sep 1999 10:23:16 -0400 (EDT)
        Jeremy Ackerman <email @ redacted>
        email @ redacted

        I've seen a few replies to your inquery about martial arts and
insulin pumps and I thought I'd throw in a slightly different slant.
I have had DM 10 years, pumping for 5).

In college I started training in Kenpo Karate (stronger emphasis on the
Chinese side than on the Japanese contribution). I started pumping
my 3rd year of training/college. At that time there were no quick
available and I was pumping with regular insulin rather than humalog. At

the time I had a MiniMed 506 (now I've a 507c). I also spent a summer
studying T'ai Chi fairly intensively. I've also dabbled in Escrima.
college I moved and I no longer study martial arts with an organized
group. In general I have found that DM and pumping with martial arts is
not much different than any other sport activity -- provided you push
yoursef.   Kenpo classes were divided into sparring and skills classes.
Classes were from 1 to (occaisonally) 4 hours (mean around2.5).

        I experimented with a variety of methods for dealing
with the pump. For regular (non sparring) workouts, I clipped my pump to

the inside of my pants in my gi dead center on my belly. The infusion
(bent needle) would stay wherever I had put it (usually also on my
belly). In my kenpo group sparring ranged from "no contact" to full
I generally kept my pump on but tucked in my gi, usually to the side of
pads I might be wearing. Obviously, placement in sparring is trickier
because you don't want to have anything (foot, fist, hands, heads,
etc) hitting the pump. For the most part you probably won't break the
but you will get a nasty bruise if it takes a hit and it is poorly
placed. The "Sport Guard" might protect the pump (maybe) but it makes
pump way too big to find a safe place to put it (I could complain about
piece of @%#@! for hours). I would say that with 2 years sparring (twice

a week) on a pump I probably only came home with a total of eight
that I would not have otherwise had. I took many punches and kickes
right on the infusion set with no noticable damage (or interesting

        I would sometimes get an infusion set pulled, but that
is par for the course with exercise. I did once get a set pulled during
sparring. (my opponent did not retract his leg on a side thrust kick --
trapped it against my body (and unfortunately inside my gi) as I stepped

in. His foot got caught on the tubing and the set pulled right out).

        As for insulin... on regular insulin I cut my basal by
50% 1.5 to 2 hours in advance. If I was below 150 twenty minutes before
kenpo, I'd eat 15-30g of carb. I kept glucose tabs and more food in my
bag, and I usually carried 2 water bottles - one with Gatorade and the
other plain water. Most of the time I would be fine if I drank 1/2 liter
Gatorade per 45 minutes. Some days I would cut my basal further after
warm-ups (25% normal or sometimes suspend). Suspending is tricky for
workouts though. Post work-out I'd leave the basal at 50% for about an
hour and cut boluses for food about 60% for at least four hours. Now on
humalog, equivalent workouts require similar net cuts in insulin, but
much less lead - I'd lead the workout with a basal drop 1/2 hour or 45
minutes if possible. For sparring I prefered to keep my blood sugar
120 - if I did not I could easily go low during a 3 minute match. As a
precaution I had a glucagon kit in my bag at all times and my instructor
medical student) also had one with him. We never needed the glucagon,
although the glucose tabs were useful.

        Above all... test, test, test. (did I mention testing?)
Everyone is going to have slightly different insulin/food requirements.
You should learn your own patterns and figure out how to control them
(makes it sound easy!). A little planning ahead can make a huge
difference too.
You need to find the balance between taking insulin/wearing the pump and

eating that gives you a level of BG control that you are comfortable
with so you can get on with immersing yourself in your study.

If you found this useful, feel free to post it to the IP list
as I have not posted it. (I just get digests and usually just lurk on

Jeremy Ackerman

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