One Insulin Pump, Five Scenarios
Your insulin pump is a stalwart ally in everyday life, but some situations will require special attention (or a bit of ingenuity) from you; here are five examples.
In the shower or bath. Most pumps are resistant to splashes, but cannot be submerged in water. You have two options: either disconnect your pump or find a safe place for it. If you choose the first option, check your blood sugar before and after the disconnection, and don’t spend more than an hour without your pump. If you’d rather keep it with you, you can place it on the edge of the tub or in the soap dish. Special cases for hanging it around the showerhead or around your neck are also available.
While driving. Your pump should definitely not hinder you while you’re driving. The best option is to carry it in an arm holster, which ensures comfort and freedom of movement. Don’t attach it to your seatbelt or leave it on a seat—should an accident happen, you wouldn’t want your pump to fly away from you.
In the action. Unless you’re practicing a sport where you’re likely to fall on top of your pump, it’s easy to find a comfortable and secure place to attach it. To keep it in place, you have many choices of accessories, from elastic belts to arm or thigh holsters to bra pockets. Things get more complicated with aquatic activities, though: you have to use a waterproof case or disconnect your pump while keeping a close eye on your blood sugar levels and injecting insulin as needed.
At a fancy evening. It’s easy for men to conceal their insulin pump in a pocket, but women will need to find clever alternatives when they wear a dress, especially a form-fitting one. You can opt for a discreet leg holster, or attach your pump to your garters, your tights or your bra… assuming your neckline isn’t too deep!
In bed. Sleeping with an insulin pump, especially when sharing the bed with your significant other, can be a headache at first. It all depends on your sleep habits and how much you move at night. You can place the pump next to you, attach it to your pyjamas, store it in a pocket or place it under your pillow, if the tube is long enough. Experiment to find out what works best for you.
What else? Feel free to discuss this with your health care professional to figure out tips to make your life easier with an insulin pump. Keep in mind that it’s there to help you, not slow you down. Every conundrum has a solution!
American Diabetes Association, “How Do Insulin Pumps Work”: http://www.diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/treatment-and-care/medication/insulin/how-do-insulin-pumps-work.html. Accessed February 9, 2016.
Diabetes.co.uk, “Bathing and Insulin Pumps”: http://www.diabetes.co.uk/insulin-pumps/bathing-and-insulin-pumps.html. Accessed February 9, 2016.
Roche, “How to Get Comfortable with Your Insulin Pump”: http://www.accu-chekdiabeteslink.com/how-to-get-comfortable-with-your-insulin-pump.html. Accessed February 9, 2016.