How To Wear An Insulin Pump
I seriously laugh when I think of all the different ways I have chosen to wear my insulin pump. I sometimes hide it as if it didn’t exist. Other times I wear proudly and boldly on my sleeve (literally). But in all reality I am sure many of you wonder where do you put this pager-sized device that is attached to your body. Well, let me share with you the different ways I have worn my insulin pump over the years.
Now you can actually insert your insulin pump is any fattier part of your body, your stomach, butt, thigh, or your arm. I choose my stomach, 1) become it isn’t as scary to me to put it there, 2) because it just seems to be in a great central location, and 3) that seems to be the fattiest part of my body. I just think it would be weird to have it on my arm, butt, or thigh because then you have this long plastic tubing that will be hanging from those areas and it just weirds me out.
Cannula goes in my gut, great, good, now what do I do with the actual pump? Great question let me tell you. Your insulin pump should come with a clip attached to it, unless you are like me and broke only the clip when you tripped over the seatbelt getting out of the car, mind you I was completely sober, I just have the tendency to trip on random objects. Then you have to get even more creative until you get a new clip, but back on topic pump/clip. This nifty little clip makes it easy to clip your pump almost everywhere; I usually throw mine in the back pocket of my pants. The only problem I have with this method is my lack of a butt meaning lack of cushion so after awhile sitting on my insulin pump feels like I have been sitting on a bleacher, or begins to hurt my hip because it messes with my body alignment.
Now, I know what you are thinking, where does my pump go when I don’t have back pockets? Well, luckily God gave me these two large assets on my chest that hold my pump perfectly. I have to be a little creative with placement of my pump because sometimes it can sit on my sternum wrong and become uncomfortable to breathe. Now, have I mentioned the whole your pump isn’t 100% waterproof thing yet? Yes, I am going there, those two large assets can get a little slippery during the summer and cause a problem for my insulin pump. When I mentioned this to my doctor she said to use a baby sock it absorbs the wetness to protect your pump and holds your pump in place better. Brilliant!
Now I have to admit it is a little awkward before a meal to yank your pump out of your blouse and there are certain people who I just don’t feel comfortable about doing that in front of. But if the outfit calls for it, I will just behave as if I am using syringes and excuse myself, so not to embarrass anyone. The other odd moment of hiding your pump there is when your 2-hour after meal alarm goes off. People look at you funny when noises begin coming out of your chest. Now, be precautious if you use this method while traveling by plane. I made sure though when I was getting a body scan before boarding a plane to London to tell the tenant that was an insulin pump, so they didn’t think I was carrying a bomb between my breast. I can only imagine what the x-ray machine showed, a small box tucked in my chest and a wire connected to my belly…awkward.
Then there are times when I could care less what others think and I just clip my pump onto my shirt. In hopes that if I pass out someone will see this device and realize I need help fast! Or when I am just too lazy to care about hiding my pump that I just clip it in the most comfortable place for the time being. For example I will sometimes clip my pump to my seatbelt while driving in my car, it’s comfortable, but I have to admit lately the fear of a car accident has made me want to rethink that one. But I guess that is just a choice diabetics have to make for themselves.
There are many more options if you dig around online. For example, I have yet to do this, but have always wanted to because I think I would feel like a secret agent. Medtronic has a thigh pouch and a waist pouch that hold your pump in place. My problem is I would begin to pretend I was a 00 agent and pull my pump out on people like it was a pistol. I try to avoid those awkward moments and have chosen not to purchase any of those cases.
My point is don’t be afraid of an insulin pump because you have no idea how to wear it. Nine times out of ten people don’t even know I am diabetic until I pull my pump out from its secret hiding place. You just have to get a little creative. Where would you hide your pump?