Saturday, February 9, 2013

Wait, so you wear it in the shower?

I find that the majority of diabetes related questions that I get from people besides, "do you have the bad kind" and "so, you can't have any sugar, right!" are questions about my insulin pump.  A lot of people find it fascinating wondering how it works and what it does.  It's funny though because instead of asking sometimes the general public tends to assume things about it as well.  So, I decided I would make a list of pump misconceptions:

1. "Did you have surgery for that?"

I did not require surgery for my insulin pump.  I know you will compare this to something like a colostomy; however, no. I put in the site every three days myself with a cute little pink apparatus.

2.  "It must hurt!"

I'd be lying to say it never hurt; however, most of the time it does not hurt. There is the odd time that there is a stringing sensation when you first put it in or it will hurt over the three day span depending on a lot of things, one major one being if you've tugged on it a lot.

3. "How long do you wear it for?"

You are meant to wear it 24/7.  Some pumps are even water proof so you can wear it swimming. I have to wear my insulin pump in bed, the gym, to class, every single day - forever.

4. "Wait, so you wear it in the shower?"

My insulin pump (Medtronic) is not water proof, so no I don't  wear it in the shower. However, even those with water proof pumps, I'd be interested to know where they put it while showing... I would assume they also take theirs off.

"Oh right because you're naked..." 

5. "Do you like wearing that thing?"

It's not a fashion accessory I would have picked out myself; however, it  is a lot better than having to take needles in my own opinion. I have a lot more freedom with it being able to snack and work with different schedules.

6. "My cousin has diabetes, but is just on needles, does that mean he doesn't have your kind of diabetes?"

Not at all!  Diabetics can choose how they manage their diabetes.  While some choose syringes, some choose pens and others decide on the insulin pump.  I used needles for 1.5  years of my diabetes life.

7. "Does the tubing get stuck on things?"

You bet! The tubing gets stuck on a lot of things.  I once lassoed the oven door and opened it.

8. "Where does it go into?"  "Can I see it?"

The tubing leads to what looks like a bandaid with a plastic piece on it.  I put it mainly in my stomach and my lower back.

Usually I let people see the site and I unhook it so they can see what the piece going in looks like.

9. "Oh my gosh, you just unhooked it are you OK?" 

Yes, I am OK. How do you think I take it off to shower! I can unhook it for up to an hour.



  1. Good post. I was lucky enough to have been in over eaters anonymous in my twenties so already had some tools to help with diabetes in my forties. I'm motivated to control it with diet and exercise so as not to end up like some of my relatives.

  2. this is a cute post Kayla. my son is only 10, so I am always interested in hearing about experiences of young adults with T1. i wonder how he will handle going through high school and college with all of these challenges ahead of him. i hope he will have a sense of humour about questions like these and can answer them as articulately as you have here :)