Anyone out there doing Marital Arts & using the POD

Hi folks -

My little guy, Will, who is now 4.5 years old and been using the pod for 2.5 years is now wanting to take martial arts with is big brother, who is 8. Since we're new to martial arts, I've been researching and it seems some methods have more contact than others and I'm wondering if this is a good idea. Today we did a pod change and then within an hour, he banged the bathroom door into his back and caused the pod to alarm - so of course, we took it off and placed a new one. He currently wears his pods on the back of his arms and on the tops of his bottom. I'm thinking with all the kicks and stuff, this could be problematic. So....if there are any folks out there currently doing martial arts, I'd love to hear from you. I don't want to hold him back because of pump issues...but I want to be practical, these pods are expensive so losing one to a kick could get pricey. What are your thoughts? Thanks. Susan

susan, my son, 16, plays competitive ice hockey on two teams and we have yet to lose a pod due to the checking and physical contact on the ice.

He likes to plan to wear the pod on the back of his arm with a self adhering flex wrap around it or on his upper back hips with compression shorts under his protective hockey shorts. This seems to keep the pod very stable.

He lost a new one today on his arm playing street baseball with the neighbors but he did not have it wrapped. There was not supposed to be contact but I guess there was!

Thanks for the quick reply. That gives me encouragement that it doesn’t seem like a big deal!

self adhering flex wrap is great for this kind of thing…I’ve been doing all kinds of crazy contact activities in the past week with the pod on the back of my arm and it works great. I’d recommend this for swimming too.

Thanks Jay - we do use it for swimming and Will is able to stay in the pool all day! Love that stuff!

I do Brazilian Jiujitsu. It’s a lot like wrestling in a gi and probably the MA that will give you the most body to body contact. I don’t have an Omnipod just yet. I do wear a Dexcom though and I’ve already lost a sensor during training. I haven’t found a solution that I think will keep that from happening yet. I’ve been sticking with the Dexcom approved sites, though, so maybe the variety of sites where an Omnipod can go might open up more options.

I was going to suggest you message FHS on this…because I knew he’d have some good input, but I see he beat me to the punch! (or Karate kick, as it were). good luck to your Will, and bless you for taking such good care of him! We T1’s have to put up with so much sh&^% and having a mom like you makes a big diff, I"m sure!

I did martial arts before I had a pump and I have thought about what I would have done. I had been diagnosed and the senseis let me wear wrestling shoes rather than going barefoot to minimize injury to my feet. That was especially important when we had a class or a test outdoors on the lawn. It seems like kata would not be a problem until he gets advanced enough to start incorporating rolls and drops. The arm would probably be the best position for doing them. The top of the tuche would probably be bad because (in the style I did) we rolled from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Ouch!

It will be harder when he starts sparring. I used to get hit just about everywhere. Perhaps on the inner thigh where he could block contact easier (guys are psycho about protecting the groin right next door). You will have to discuss the pod with the sensei so he or she can compensate for it. The sensei might also want to let the other students know about the pod so they are aware and can try to avoid it. Would being singled out make Will uncomfortable? If he gets to the point of competing in tournaments, that will introduce more variables with opponites and senseis/judges that will need to be made aware of his condition and where his pod is located.

There are also some styles that incorporate less contact. That probably won’t be of help because he wants to go with his big brother and probably wouldn’t want to take another style. Depending on the style, I would think he should be able to participate, there just might be some limitations or accomodations.

Thanks Steve.

These comments were pretty specific to sparring during grappling type MAs.

I wore the test pod for a day and made it through a pretty vigorous gym workout that included running, weightlifting, and fairly intenst core routine. My Dex has no problems at all with these types of workouts. My Dex had no problems at all when I was working on basic BJJ moves with my partner, but I had it fairly well protected with tape and bubble wrap. I suspect that the Omnipod would have been fine with the same type of precautions.

Full speed grappling though? I just couldn’t protect my Dex well enough when it was inserted on my abdomen. I suspect that an Omnipod wouldn’t have fared much better there.

Since I’ll be moving over to an Omnipod soon enough, I’ll keep you guys posted on any progress, I haven’t been back to full speed BJJ training since I ripped out my Dex though.

The pod is far more durable than the dex sensors…trust me. Other than catching it on door jams and klutzy stuff like that, I never had a provlem with it. Oh, except once, in the middle of some intimate play with my wife, she knocked it oiff, but she was gunning for it, I think!

Hi Susan,

I’m new to diabetes and newer to wearing the pod, but I’ve been a martial artist since I was not much older than your son. Something like Karate or Tai Kwon Do (with punching and kicking) would be less problematic than things like Judo, Jujitsu, or Aikido–which all involve more contact and more rolling around on the floor.

I do both Jujitsu and Karate and am still figuring out the least annoying pod spot, but after six 2 1/2 workouts (with the aid of tape) I have yet to lose a pod. For kicking/punching martial are I think most places in the back (lower back, bottom, etc.) would be 99% safe–it’s just not going to get knocked into there. I do find the back of the arms annoying for Karate, because (in my dojo, at least) it’s the one place that does get hit (using your arms for blocking, etc.) If you’re looking into something that involves more wrestling it might be a little more difficult, and my favorite spot for that is high up on the thigh (but low enough so that I can use tape) and on the side, so that I can lay on the floor (or be thrown to the mat) without the pod hitting whether I’m on my back or on my stomach. I don’t know whether your son can use that spot though.

Last thought, a lot of it depends on your son. Is he generally pretty good about being mindful of the pod? Will he communicate with others about watching out for it? At some point (perhaps not often) some new exercise or some sparring match will come up where he’d be able to save his pod from harm by doing something a little differently. A good instructor should also be willing to help with that.

Anyway, it’s definitely workable.

Thanks - - the program we’re looking at is a mixed martial arts one - I think a good stepping stone to figuring out which they prefer. I had no idea there were so many. This particular one doesn’t start with sparring or anything for at least the first year. Will currently wears his pods either on his arms or bottom - the thighs just don’t work for him - he’s way too active and the amount of tape that it takes to keep it on is crazy. My main concern is him getting hit on the pod - this happened with the bathroom door the other day and it jammed into his skin, occluded and made the deep of death sound…when I took it off, he had a bruise where he hit it. That’s never happened before and he’s been using OmniPod for almost 2.5 years now so, go figure. Thanks for the great advice.

Wow. I hadn’t considered my TKD classes causing a problem. Currently, my pump is on my waistband and both it and the infusion set are protected by the hogan (chest/torso pad). With self defense techniques the takedowns could get interesting with the pod. Thanks for the heads up!