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Where Do I Hide My Insulin Pump?

I had dinner this week with a woman who has been type 1 diabetic for over two decades, like me.  She lives in my proverbial neck of the woods, so we met up in Fairfield and hung out for a while.  (Read:  Almost three hours.)  How is it possible to find something to talk about with a complete stranger for three hours?  Oh yeah - the diabetes connection!

One of the things we talked about was pumping, and how we handle wearing our pumps.  R has been pumping for three years, me for four, so we're relatively new to pumping insulin but veterans to diabetes.  R has a 15 month old son whose cute little feet occasionally kick against her pump when it's clipped to her hip, and she also expressed the same "where the heck do you put it?" question when it came to dressing for work.

"Mine?  Right now?  It's in my sock."

"No kidding?  Right in your sock?"

Being the shy and timid human being that I am, I hitched up my pants leg and showed her.

"Here.  It's attached at my thigh, the tubing goes down the side of my leg, and my pump rests against my shin bone.  The only thing that's a bit of a hassle is reaching down to bolus, but I was over that within a few days of wearing it here."

"Wow.  I may have to try that!"

I'm very fastidious about integrating my pump into my wardrobe.  I've written about this several times before and am sometimes met with the "You shouldn't be ashamed of your diabetes - you should wear your pumpinBLOGnito with pride!" response.  Please know:  I wear my pump with plenty of damn pride.  I'm proud to be taking these steps towards controlling my diabetes and I'm proud of the access I have to such progressive medical technology.  But be warned:  I'm also proud of being sort of incognito about it.  "You have diabetes?" they ask, not sure.  And I like that uncertainty.  I like being healthy to the point where people are surprised when I reveal my diabetes.  And also like seeing my reflection and noting no evidence of diabetes unless I know where to look.

Pumping - yes, very proud.  And subtle about it - also very proud.  This topic comes up so often when I'm talking with other young professionals that I'm always happy to share my techniques, and to learn any tricks from them. 

So when I heard this voicemail message on my phone this morning, I laughed out loud. 

"Kerri, hey it's R from dinner the other night.  I'm calling because I wanted to tell you that I've been doing the sock thing and I'm so, so excited.  You've revolutionized where I put my pump.  So far, it's wonderful!"

I was barely able to contain my grin.  Here's to the power of sharing ideas! 

Comments

Thanks, Kerri! These kinds of posts are really interesting to me. Where to place my pump has become a little easier over the 9 years that I've had one, but it still can be frustrating. I did start using the sock placement after reading your post about it several months ago. That's a really smart idea! I think my problem was that I was putting my pump on the back of my calf, and it always felt like it was about to slide down. Now that I took a closer look at your photo links, I see that you put your pump on the side or front of your shin. I will try that, too! Thank you and have a great day. Sarah

Isabelle might be getting a pump soon and I have been thinking about where she will wear her pump. I am guessing that the days of wearing a dress are over for her. At least till she gets a little older.

Kerri, I was wondering, where are you going to wear your pump on your wedding day?

I agree with R. Your sock style has this ninja doing kickflips again. I love it.

shy and timid are NOT two words that i would use to describe you! i love that you are such a sharing, caring individual!

love ya!
landileigh

Wearing my pump in my sock would make me crazy. I guess one of the benefits of being a man is that I am always wearing a belt. So that means two things: one, my pants only fall down when I want them to; and two, I always have a place to clip my pump.

I do sometimes have a problem when I wear an untucked shirt. If my shirt is untucked and my pump is on by belt, then my waistline looks two inches bigger than it really is and oddly dis-proportionate.

Hey Kerri!

I have kind of a funny trick when I am wearing a dress. In the past I tried the thigh belt, but it didn't want to stay and would slide down my leg. If my dress is not too tight, I wear the infamous SPANX that go up past your tummy and it fits snuggly anywhere! No clip, no belt, just drop it down in there and I don't have to worry about it again! Not to mention, it does wonders for my ass, tummy and thighs at the same time!

Okay, this has been bugging me for a while, so now I really have to ask. Doesn't it hurt your ankle/shin bone when you keep it in your sock? Following your example, I've tried, but no matter if I put it on the outside, inside, or right in front it always ends up pressing uncomfortably against some bone. Do you put yours in a baby sock or something for padding before you put it in your sock?

Does anyone else cut little holes in their pocket to snake the "wiring" through? That was the pump is safe in the pocket and its completely incognito.

I tried wearing it in my sock. It drove me crazy. So for now it's clipped to my pocket. And people are still uncertain when I tell them I have diabetes.

One word: OmniPod ;)

The sock does sound innovative and I'm glad it works for you (and hopefully for your friend too!) I don't really have an opinion on pump hiding vs showing; to me it just boils down to practicality and what it actually FEELS like to me.

I've found over the years that the only truly comfortable place for my pump is clipped to my belt, or in a back pocket. I wish I could hide it with more ease, but it just annoys the CRUD out of me when it's in my bra/underwear/around my leg/somewhere else incognito. If my pump is hidden, chances are it's because my wardrobe left me no other choice! ;)

I wear mine on my belt 80% of the time the other 20% it is usually in the pocket of my PJ bottoms. I have been a diabetic for 20 years now and a pumper for 5 years.
As I have said before I just upgraded to a Minimed 722 about 5 weeks ago. I just had a follow visit with my Doctor and Pump Specialist and my A1c has gone from 7.9 down to 6.6 (yes in 5 weeks). I just love the Bolus Wizard for carb counting and corrections (since it reads my BD meter. This all prompted a High Five from my Doctor who is also a Pumper.
God Bless,
Lee

I definitely agree that the wearing a Spanx is the way to go when wearing a skirt or a dress!

Kerri,

Riley has been pumping for almost 2 years now. He has never worn his pump out in the open. He has pockets sewn into the waist band of all his pants.

I am not ashamed that he has diabetes. We pull out the pump in the middle of crowded places all the time to bolus. But, I don't want the first thing people notice about his to be his diabetes.

Hey guys, I have been a diabetic for nearly eleven years, and wearing a pump for 5 years now, i find that being a girl is really helpful sometimes. I wear my pump in my bra. I know it may sound funny, but the underwire helps keep it in place. :-) it is good for those people who don't want everyone knowing you have diabetes!!

I bought one of those tummy minimizers (they have different panty type options) and I wear my pump in the small of my back with a little black dress. Everyday, I wear my pump on my shin in one of those legs things...

Yeah, but, where do FAT people put them? Most "accessories" made to accomplish aren't "wide, long, etc." enough to accommodate my flubber! P.S.: I know I'm silly a lot, but what are spam-monkeys. (Seriously new to internet-ese!)

I have only had my pump for a couple months now, and it is driving me bananas. I love the control it gives me BUT I am a dress girl. I wear dresses everywhere! An i still haven't found a good way to wear my pump! I tried in my bra, or the spanx thing but it gets so hot you know? I worry about my insulin being in a hot temperature all the time? Advice? :)

Hey- I'm 18, and have had type one for 17 years . . . but now i have a slight problem.

I'm going to a wedding tomorrow, and My dress is really short . Too short for Spanx, which is my usual solution, and my bra just won't hold anymore, if you cantch my drift >.

PS my pump is usually attached to my hip or stomach .

I've been a diabetic since I was 11 (so almost 38 years now) and been using a pump for the last 8 years. I've always just tucked my pump in my bra. (Mind you I could hide a bowling ball in there and you wouldn't notice, I'm a 40G.) It's great and I never worry about someone banging into it and it's never fallen out. Even when my 2yo is all over me!

Hello, I have been Diabetic for 9 years now and im a 22 year old girl. I am a dress girl. I found this new thing online with the pockets in the underwear. I personally think you could buy whatever lacy (boyshort) underwear and sow your own pocket in the side to your own comfort. I have found this to be absolutely perfect for me.

I was also an athlete all the way through college. It was a struggle with my diabetes. I had a slim fanny pack attached around my waist and turn the pump to lay on my back.. thats just if you wanted to know with sports.

Im one that hates showing my pump. SO my advice is the underwear. :) Hope this helps!

how do you bolus or see the minimed screen to see CGS readings if pump tucked into bra or under dress.
I have given up dresses since getting CGS :(

Great thread! I have been a diabetic for nearly 10 years and I have been pumping for 9 of those years. I have tried doing the belt thing and I found I was always catching it on something. One time it even ripped out my infusion set. . .needless to say that hurt. :) Anyways, as of now ALL of my clothes including shorts, pants, suits, everything has a hole in each of the pockets that help me to carry my pump where ever I go and without the fear of catching it on something. I also wear a CGM and I have become very aware of the various types of buzzing that my pump put off. So much that I often go an entire day without taking my pump out of my pocket. The best part, if I am at a business meeting or somewhere where I am unable to take out my pump, I can simply bolus using the key pad through my clothes. It works great! I have used this method for nearly 7 years and I have maintained a 6.2-6.8 A1C, it works! Give it a shot and I bet you won’t go back to your belt clip!

I guess the only downside is that I have to cut a small hole in the pockets of my clothes but that is a small price to pay to keep my pump out of the way.

how do you get lines long enough to reach your legs:s?

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