Beach Blanket ... Pumping.
Growing up in southern Rhode Island means having access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. The sound of the ocean waves, and of the seagulls flying overhead. The smell of clam chowder (chowdah), fritters, and onion rings from the beach stand. The ancient woman who sold popcorn from the kiosk in Watch Hill. The hot sand and the hot sun. I love it all.
My best friend and I hit the beach in RI this past Saturday, drinking iced coffees, swimming around in the August ocean, and gossiping our heads off. I'm very pro-pump when it comes to doing my diabetes thaang, so I do what I need to do in order to make it part of every day. Wearing it at work or out to dinner doesn't present many issues, but the beach is tricky indeed. Here are a few tips I use to keep the pump from interfering at the beach:
Top Five Beach Pumping Tips:
1. Bring a bottle of water. If you're like me and you love to swim around like an awkward little dolphin, you'll find that the infusion set can get covered in salt and sticky sand. Sometimes I have trouble reconnecting my pump due to the slty build-up. Using a water bottle to rinse off the site helps remove the stick and get me reattached without any trouble.
2. Bring an extra towel. If you are like me and you stay attached to your pump while you lay on the blanket, make sure you keep it covered. An extra towel or t-shirt is handy to wrap up the pump in, keeping it cooler and away from the heat of the sun.
3. Have back-up insulin. Whether it's the salt caked up on your site that's keeping you from reconnecting or if there's a malfunction with you pump, it's important to keep an insulin pen in your beach stash. I have one of those Frio things that works great to keep the pen cool and collected.
4. Sunscreen it up. If you're an Irish girl who burns with the best of them, sunscreen is your friend. This past weekend, I blew it a little and didn't wear enough sunscreen, and now my body is slightly crispy. Pushing a new pump site into sunburnt skin is not very comfortable. Also, wearing enough SPF keeps me from getting wild infusion set tan lines.
5. Be confident! People are going to stare at the pump. This is a fact - they can't help it! It's probably not something they see every day, and it's hard to hide in a bathing suit. Just remember that we're wearing this device to manage diabetes, and it's nothing to be ashamed of. Let 'em stare. ;)
What do you do with your pump in the hot, hot heat? Any tricks you want to share? (And any good recipes for chowdah? I think I'm ready to try and make some at home!)