Any diabetic climbers?

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
Location
NB
We have a ground guy interested in learning to climb. We got him up a tree today, but the saddle we had him in was tugging at his insulin pump. Are there any climbers here who have had similar problems that could make a saddle or technique recommendation?
 

CanadianStan

Well-Known Member
We have a ground guy interested in learning to climb. We got him up a tree today, but the saddle we had him in was tugging at his insulin pump. Are there any climbers here who have had similar problems that could make a saddle or technique recommendation?
Just putting it out there... You might consider rerouting the pump? Not sure.
Either way I'd be very cautious letting someone climb on a crew with no other rescue climbers if they're dependant on a constant stream of insulin
 

Joeybagodonuts

Well-Known Member
Location
Boondocks
I kinda echo Stan here.. Im not one who doubts people's abilities who have conditions, but this scenario may not be the best decision for him. Just out of curiosity here... & this may show lack of knowledge on diabetes, but what about blood circulation, are there larger risks for him pertaining to suspension trauma? I know I've had my legs go numb a few times in couple long awkward free hangs. I'd be curious if that has more serious consequences for him, whether it be immediate or even long term down the road.

The whole suspension trauma thing kinda weirds me out.. i never really thought much about it, until I saw a mountain climbing video on it, I think it was black diamond. IIRC, they did an experiment with an EKG machine, wired them up & suspended these rock climbers who volunteered. It's was as if one minute these athletes were fine, just sitting in their harness; the next minute EKG showed they were about to black out & exhibit cardiac problems. IDK..maybe I interpreted it wrong, whatever it showed, it was an eye opener.
 

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
Location
NB
Just putting it out there... You might consider rerouting the pump? Not sure.
Either way I'd be very cautious letting someone climb on a crew with no other rescue climbers if they're dependant on a constant stream of insulin
Sorry, should have clarified. He doesn't have much interest in becoming a full-on production climber. This is more so he can do some rec climbs with us. He might want to take down the occasional small tree in the future, but he's a long, LONG way from that. He just started using a chainsaw a few months ago and dropped his first big tree just last week, so he's nowhere close to using the saw aloft.
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
I am type 2 diabetic and have been for 20 years. My fault for getting to that point. Years of snickers and mountain dew for breakfast didnt help. As far as your guy goes, is he type one or type 2. That will make a difference. As far as the pump goes, the location on the body changes every week or less so that is a minor issue really. I see no reason why he couldn't do rec climbs and small tree work climbing with this condition. It would be best for you and all your crew to get an understanding of how his condition affects him and what you need to do in case he has a crash in blood sugar. How well he has things in control etc. My wife is a type 1 and is very brittle. The lowest her blood sugar has ever gone is 27. Normal is 90-105. Almost lost her that time. As a matter of crew safety it is best to discuss at a crew meeting so everyone has his back.
 

Boomslang

Well-Known Member
Location
NB
I am type 2 diabetic and have been for 20 years. My fault for getting to that point. Years of snickers and mountain dew for breakfast didnt help. As far as your guy goes, is he type one or type 2. That will make a difference. As far as the pump goes, the location on the body changes every week or less so that is a minor issue really. I see no reason why he couldn't do rec climbs and small tree work climbing with this condition. It would be best for you and all your crew to get an understanding of how his condition affects him and what you need to do in case he has a crash in blood sugar. How well he has things in control etc. My wife is a type 1 and is very brittle. The lowest her blood sugar has ever gone is 27. Normal is 90-105. Almost lost her that time. As a matter of crew safety it is best to discuss at a crew meeting so everyone has his back.
I believe he's Type 1. And everyone in the company is aware of his limitations, where his supplies are, and what to do in case of emergency. He's had a couple of hot, humid days where his pump has slid out and he's had to tap out for a bit. He's been living with it his whole life so we trust he knows what he's capable of.

He tried a different saddle, one with more padding and he said it helped. We're wondering if something beefy like an Ergovation would suit him.
 

oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
I figured he was type 1 when you mentioned the pump. The pumps need to be inserted into adipose tissue, fatty tissue. Absorption into muscle tissue is different and can cause other issues. Good to know everyone knows the information and can keep eyes on him. No idea on the saddle for him. Good luck.
 

Jonny

Well-Known Member
Location
Buffalo
Just speculation here, he should ask his doctor, could probably get a good answer over the phone without an appointment. The only options that springs to mind is get off the pump and go back to injections when he’s planning a climb, or move the pump to the arm if possible.
The pump has probably made life so much easier for him. So much less work and math and remembering.
If he’s working for a tree service, I reckon a pump on the arm might be a real pain in the ass, but for a rec climb it’s probably ok?
 

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