If you are thinking about using an insulin pump to help you manage your diabetes – or if you recently got one – you may be wondering where you’re supposed to put it! Here are some tips to help manage your daily activities with an insulin pump.
For everyday wear, you can clip the pump to your pocket, bra, sock, or underwear. You can also tuck any excess tubing into the waistband of your underwear or trousers.
When you sleep, you can lay the pump next to you on the bed. Or, you could try wearing it on a waistband or armband, or clip it to the blanket, sheet, pajamas, or pillow.
Bathing and showering
If you have a waterproof pump, you won’t need to disconnect it to bathe or shower. Other insulin pumps may be water resistant, but they should not be placed directly in water. Instead, while showering, you can disconnect it. Disconnecting your pumps for a brief period of time – say, 10 or 15 minutes – shouldn’t pose a problem with your blood glucose. Testing your blood sugar levels before and after disconnecting your pump to take a shower will help you see how your body responds to being disconnected from the pump. If you want to keep the pump connected while taking a bath, the pump can be placed on the side of the tub, in a soap dish, or on the floor beside the tub.
The type of sport you’re playing can make a difference to where you wear your insulin pump. You will want to wear it in a place where it is not likely to be bumped or struck by you or a teammate, or where the tubing won’t get snagged. Depending on the sport, thigh and arm bands can be a good option. A popular option for women is to wear the pump in a bra pouch or within a sports bra. Another option is an insulin pump harness, which can hold your insulin pump on your back and may present a good option for jogging.
Many people wonder what – if anything – they should do with their pump while having sex. Whether you decide to disconnect it or not is entirely up to you. If you choose to disconnect, you can be safely away from the pump for 45 minutes to an hour. However, remember to reconnect! You can set a reminder alarm on the insulin pump, or on your cell phone.
If you leave the pump connected, remember that sex is a form of exercise, so you may need to readjust your insulin dose to prevent hypoglycemia. You can use longer tubing to keep the pump out of the way.
Open communication about your diabetes with your partner can help you decide which option is right for you when it comes to sex and intimacy.
This article was sponsored by an unrestricted educational grant from Animas Canada.