The Power of Waterproof.
When my friends and I were on vacation last week, our goals were to do three things: hit the beach, eat countless times, and enjoy the fancy swim-up bar. Armed with my insulin pump, my Dexcom, and my NurseBestFriend (who is quick with a lancet and also to jump over any bar to grab orange juice, should the need arise), I was ready to participate in all three things.
For the beach, my pump remained attached at all times, except when I was in the ocean for a quick cool-off. My moments of disconnect were very brief. If we were walking around, I kept it clipped to my bathing suit bottom with the tubing tucked as best as I could manage. (Some people stared. One woman asked me, point blank, "What the hell is that?" "An insulin pump." Silence, and a bit of a dirty look. So I responded, louder: "It's an insulin pump! That's what the hell it is!" And smiled. She didn't. Moving on …) Staying connected on the beach helped me keep track of things, and the pump site and Dexcom sensor create some really interesting tan lines.
For the restaurants, the pump did what it normally does: sits either clipped to my waistband or stuck in the front of my bra (a la 'disco boobs'). Bolusing for meals was pleasantly discreet because of the remote option, so my main concern was calculating carbs. (Which means I SWAG'd the hell out of this vacation, yet only had one high over 225 mg/dl and one low under 45 mg/dl. Not too shabby, considering.)
But the swim-up bar at the pool gave me pause. How was I going to hang out with my friends without disconnecting my pump for an extended period? Also, was I just going to leave my expensive piece of medical technology just sitting unattended on a pool chair, waiting for disaster? And if I decided to have a drink (and they were all the frozen, high-sugar kinds of drinks at this particular bar), how was I going to bolus without retrieving my pump?
NBF came up with an excellent plan: clip the pump to the back of my bathing suit top, right at the neck where the halter tied. This way, it was out of the water, shielded by my ponytail, but still accessible and safe.
"Because your new pump is waterproof, right?"
"Right. So long as I don't go deep sea diving or something."
And then we both thought of the time I was in St. John with Chris and I ran screaming from the water because some kid saw a tiny octopus waaaay off shore.
"Yeah, no chance of that," she said.
Despite the fact that an older woman asked, "Is that the most high-tech cell phone EVER?" and a drunk 18 year old boy exclaimed, "Yo! You love your cell phone a lot!", no one paid any mind to the insulin pump at the nape of my neck. Mango margarita in hand and a blood sugar meter well within reach, I was able to hang at the bar, on vacation, with my girl friends without letting diabetes make an awkward mess of things.
NOTE: This blog post does not advocate drinking. It doesn't advocate pumping insulin. It also doesn't advocate mango margaritas, swim-up bars, or bathing suits. This is just a post about a vacation, and the decisions I made for myself while on said vacation. This is not medical advice. It's a disclaimer in italics, advising you to make your own decisions. Because following my advice is sure to lead to bad things, anyway. ;)