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Invisible Bicycle.

There are very few times when I want to make sure my insulin pump is completely concealed.  I don't have a shred of shame about having diabetes, and I'm proud that I manage my disease using the technology available to me, but I'm not out to advocate at all times.  Sometimes, I want diabetes to be off the discussion table.  Like at my wedding (hid the pump perfectly in a secret pocket in my dress).  While I'm always ready to advocate for diabetes, sometimes I'd rather just hang out.

This past weekend, Chris and I were invited to attend a 40th birthday party for M. Night Shyamalan.  (Chris is working with Night on a project.)  The party was at Night's house, with his family.  And I had never met Night before.  The very last thing I wanted to grapple with was pump tube sticking out of the top of my dress.  I didn't want to be shuffling through the whole, "I have type 1 diabetes and ..." explanation while I'm trying to enjoy a party. So, for the first time in my seven years of pumping, I gave a go at the "bike shorts trick." 

'Tis invisible!
I still love this one the most.

Bit strange, sporting the spandex bicycle-style underwear underneath my dress, but they were perfect for concealing the pump.  I just felt goofy not having a bike.  ("I can haz invisible bike?")    Wearing the shorts, I could tuck the pump into the waistband near my hip, with the face of the pump turned in towards my skin and the clip on the outside.  Because the dress was sort of flowy in the front, the pump wasn't visible at all.  Using the meter as my remote, I was able to bolus during the course of the night without drawing attention to the pump.  (Almost wrote "to the bulge in my pants," but while that's kind of what I meant, it's totally not what I meant.  /digression)  And busting out the Ping meter looked more like I was texting instead of bolusing. 

"You can't see it at all?"  I asked Chris, turning to the side to see if the pump was visible in my profile.

"Not at all.  You look great."

"Not cyborgy?"


The party was awesome and Chris and I didn't get back to our hotel until almost three in the morning (never, ever admit to this party full of people that you haven't really had a drink since the baby was born - all of a sudden, you'll find yourself doing shots of Patron with the Shyamalan family).  Blood sugars were suspiciously well-behaved, holding completely steady in the low 100s, despite drinks and dancing and these really delicious little dessert things that tasted so much like a blend of creme brulee and cheesecake - making it the ultimate taste combination.  We had a blast - the house was amazing, our host was so gracious, and their family made it easy to feel comfortable and have fun. 

And the bike shorts kept me from having to jump rope over tubing while partying.  Thank you, invisible bicycle!

[Animas disclosure]


Pretty much any time I am wearing a skirt or dress I am riding an invisible bike. Haven't ridden a visible bike in 7 years though! :)

What an awesome opportunity! I've rocked the bike shorts, too, and they work GREAT. I like it so much more than the pump peeking out from in between my boobs as is often the case when I'm trying to hide it in a dress. Mike calls me a Fembot. :)

Ooooh! I haven't tried bike shorts yet -- just Spanx.

But I will now!

I LOVE the bike shorts! I learned about that at one of the ACT1 Ladies support group meetings. Ever since, that is my method of concealing my pump every time I wear a dress or skirt. Which is not all that often but still. And to be honest, the Ping and invisible bike go perfectly together!!

I use bike shorts as well in my dresses - just hadn't gotten around to blogging about it yet. The only difference is I keep my pump clipped on the bottom of my bike shorts. I keep the clip on the outside, and the pump towards the skin. It's low enough the I can just flip up my dress a bit to bolus without worrying about flashing a bunch of people. I also found that the A-line hem usually conceals it.

Did you have to go to the bathroom to bolus since it was up at the waistband?

Linds - I usually put the pump in my bra and clip it to the front part, so it hangs as low as possible, but I hate when the tubing pokes up. I wanted to avoid that for sure!

Allison - I can use the Ping meter as a remote to bolus, so no need to go to the bathroom to bolus. :)

wait wait wait...
you went to M. Night Shayamalan's house and you're reporting on your pump?? !!

dirt, we want the dirt! All the gossipy, hollywoody, dirt!

and fwiw, Ian's a pump hider. He's not at all interested in people seeing it, or knowing he has diabetes. not sure if that's a bad thing, a good thing, or a nothing. he has no desire to bond with other kids with diabetes, he sees no point. How was it for you as a kid?? Were you just always very open about it?

love it!
we often use shorts under dresses/pj's for my daughter (i dont pump...yet!)

Very cool!

Patron. YUM!

I use a leg cuff fro T&J design and its pretty good :) I've never tried the bike shorts, I might have to give that one a go!

And patron! sounds like an awesome night :)

I am not blessed with enough space to hide my pump on the upper half of my body so this method is my only choice to conceal it. I have been doing this for years just using tight underware. I do not have a remote or monitor that controls the pump so it does make for some bolusing issues, I usually just go to the restroom or work discreetly under the table. I can relate to your "bulge" comment I have often ended up looking like I have a package when wearing a snug dress!

What I usually do is wear tight spandex shorts, and roll the pump into them on one of my thighs. You have to have long enough shorts that there's enough fabric to cover it, but this works really well usually. Plus, it even works on tighter dresses because it lays flat against you unlike when you use the clips.

I used to do the same thing when i first got mypump

I've used those control top girdle things that are similar to bike shorts. Honestly, because they are really girdles, they are so uncomfortable - I feel like I'm stuffed in a sausage casing. The bike shorts sound much better. Now if only Minimed users were able to bolus from their meters. :( (Are you listening, Minimed??)

Wow! Great idea! Did you leave your DexCom at home, or put it in your handbag?

Um, I secretly wish I saved all our random letters from when we were at camp because you and your husband are the closest people I know to celebrities. :) What a wonderful opportunity for both of you, and I am glad you were able to experience it successfully with diabetes.

Great question on the Dex. I also busted into laughter at the picture! When cats jump from being scared it is so awesome.

Then they try and walk away all calm, looking around to see who saw them...

Re: Dexcom - I had the sensor off for the weekend. Best diabetes management plan? Nope. But best for what I wanted to do. (New sensor going on tomorrow, post-shower!)

Maybe I've been living under a rock but until this post I had not heard of the "bike shorts solution." I think it's a GREAT idea. I've been trying to problem solve the dress/pump situation for an upcoming wedding (the thigh thing absolutely doesn't cut it...especially if dancing is involved) and you, my friend, just showed me the way. Thanks, Kerri!


General observation: I don't like walking around in chamois when I don't need to (even high-end chamoix have a bit of a "diaper effect"), but I have some shorts I got at Target which are styled after cycling shorts, but without the chamois. I use them for short rides, gym workouts, in place of a black petticoat (when I can't find one), and to prevent chafed thighs when wearing dresses without nylons.

My daughter wears shorts under her dresses too, not bike shorts. More like pajama shorts, but I guess she's not old enough to care if she looks like a cyborg....she used to hate jeans, but not she loves them beacause she can tuck the pump in the pocket. She wears her pump wherever, one day I saw she had it clipped to her panties. Some days she doesn't care if people see it or see her doing the finger poke and other days she is shy about it. She's still new to the pump only 2 months and everybody is curious to see it and how it works, so I think sometimes she gets tired of talking about it, (or tired of hearing me talk about it). Such is life I guess.

Yep, have done this for a long time. If you clip the Dex to the other pant leg (I also clip the pump to one leg) you can casually check them out as you're sitting at a table for dinner without flashing anyone.

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