That insulin pump is attached to me pretty much 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There’s very little down time when it comes to being a “pumper,” and for the most part, I don’t have attachment issues. The tubing, the infusion sets … doesn’t really bother me.
Except when I’m attending a dressier event. Aside from my wedding day (where my pump was strategically hidden in the folds of my gown), I’ve always run into issues when it comes to making my pump an effortless part of my outfits. For me, this has nothing to do with tubing and everything to do with the overall size of the pump and the desired silhouette. Because battling baby weight and an insulin pump lump kind of sucks when you’re trying to look pretty.
Over the weekend, I decided to take a brief vacation from my pump because Chris and I were attending the National Board of Review awards gala in New York City. (He was award Best Original Screenplay for 2010. I am always proud of him.) And part of attending this event meant potentially having a few photos taken, and I sure as hell didn’t want any pump bulges or wires popping up. Nor did I want disco boobs blowing my cover. I didn’t want to have diabetes discussions that night, but instead just wanted to enjoy the night and celebrate with Chris.
So on Sunday morning, I cracked open a bottle of Levemir and called in a renewal for my Humalog pens. Taking some cues from the last time I took a pump vacation (see: white-water rafting) and from some diabetes message boards, I took a look at my total daily dose for basal-only (12.4u) and gave it a bit of a bump (to 15u), then split that dose in accordance with how my basal maps out during the day (6u at 9 am, 9u at 9 pm). It was some rough math, but oddly enough, it worked perfectly.
Maybe it was because I was testing constantly to confirm that my doses were decent, or maybe it was because I basically wore the battery down on my Dexcom from checking in with it, but in any event, my numbers were solid. My overnight Dex graphs were flat-lined for two full nights, and running close to 90 mg/dl throughout. The daytime bumps were trickier (remembering to shoot up a meal dose kept slipping my mind), but I didn’t see anything higher than 200 mg/dl during my vacation. (Even during the event itself, when there was an open bar and lovely food and chocolate lava cake. Thankfully, sitting next to skinny celebrity types made me pass on the desserts, which was both a blessing for my hips and my blood sugars. Sort of yay.)
But after the excitement of the gala and then sludging our way back to the hotel in the blizzard-like conditions, and after the 4 am low blood sugar induced by alcohol and a lack of dinner consumption, and after having to set the alarm to make sure I woke up in time to take the Levemir shot for the third day in a row … after all that, I missed my pump. So during our drive back home to Rhode Island, with the snow coating 95 North and bags both in our car trunk and under our eyes, I stuck in a new infusion set and reunited with my insulin pump.
For all its tubing and its beeping, for all its battery needs and weird little plastic pieces … this device makes my diabetes easier to deal with. I love that I can take a vacation from it for whatever reason I chose, but I am grateful that when I’m ready, I can just stick it back on and move forward.