Sunday, August 22, 2010

How Does That Work?

Diabetes calls for user customization.  Sometimes you borrow an idea (like trying to find alternate places to put my insulin pump under clothing), and sometimes you come up with solutions on your own.  I thought I'd share a few of the tips I have found most valuable so that the next "me" that comes along might be able to use them.   

Tip #1:  Wow, this thing is ugly.

"Um... it's... a wallet.  With weird
plastic holsters and mesh pockets."
Challenge: One Touch (the manufacturer of the blood testing meter/remote that came with my insulin pump) sent me what every meter comes with - the standard, black, rectangular, business-like zip-up case. Except, this one is huge! I've had many, many test kits throughout the years, and they had all come in a pretty reasonable size, except for this one. And it just felt... clunky. Medical. Awkward. No one could be fooled into thinking it was anything other than what it was, which I'm not a fan of.

Solution: I found a $5 cosmetic bag at Old Navy, and everything fits - meter, bottle of test strips, lancing device, extra lancets, alcohol swabs, and spare pump caps. And it's sneaky!  Granted, everything slides around all willy-nilly in there, but it's a price I'm willing to pay.

Tip #2:  Free is better than spending $10.

Challenge:  I know you can go out and buy a sharps container, but I never have.  I used to just throw needles and other diabetes paraphernalia in the regular trash, until it was pointed out to me that it's a terrible idea to do that.  (Sorry, trash collectors of the past - I promise, diabetes isn't contagious.)  A CDE that I saw a few years back gave me an idea....

Solution:  Save your empty laundry detergent bottles to use as sharps containers - the rigid plastic and screw-on cap make the containers acceptable for sharps disposal.  The opening is too small to accept larger things, like my Dexcom sensor applicators, but it works great to house old insulin pump tubing, used insertion site harpoons, and other diabetes discards.

Tip #3:  I can't find my (insert name of diabetes object here) in this cavernous purse.

Challenge:  I have to carry a lot of d-stuff with me.  Testing kit, back-up insulin pen, pen needles (btw, the "snack size" Ziploc bags are the perfect size for these, no?), extra pump infusion set in case I rip out the one I have currently installed, IV3000 tape for CGM sensor secureness, glucose tabs, other snacks...  it gets jumbly in there. 

Solution:  Make sure cavernous purses have two sides.  One for, eh, normal stuff... and one for d-stuff.  Voila!  My hypoglycemic hands will never again be confused.

Tip #4:  I'm wearing a dress, and want to appear as non-robotic as possible.

Challenge:  I don't wear dresses a whole lot, but those occasions do come up.  Normally pants are an intregal part of pump wearing - the pump is either clipped to the waistband somehow, or stashed in a pocket.  With those options gone, there aren't a whole lot of viable options for invisibility. 

In the name of science, I'm uploading
a picture of my bra.  Parts of me can't
believe I just did this.  At least it's for
a good cause, right?

Solution: The pump-on-the-bra trick. I know others wear the pump on the side of the bra, or on the inside, but this is what works for me. It's hard to describe, so for simplicity's sake (because, definitely, it's not in the name of modesty or shame) I uploaded a picture of how I wear it. The Animas-provided clip comes in handy here, and the pump faces out.


  1. ahahahahahaha i just saw your bra on the internets. ~C

  2. One trick I use for finding things in a large purse is to make sure every container (cosmetic bag, meter case, first-aid bag, wallet, etc.) has a different color and a different texture. This way I can see what I'm searching for (or direct someone else to find it) when it's light out, and I can feel what I'm searching for without having to look down to see it (or, in the dark).

  3. thanks for this, it's great!
    I, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS keep my pump facing out clipped to the middle of my bra. It's very unnoticeable despite the size and shape of the pump. LOVE the pictures!


    For fancy meter cases.

  5. ...used insertion site harpoons...

    Still chuckling. Love it.

  6. You know, I don't think I'll ever get to a place where I have a happy hiding spot for my pump when I'm wearing a dress.

    Even in the cleavage, it feels obvious. And I have, well, room for it, if you know what I mean.

  7. This post couldn't have come at a better time. I'm switching over from the OmniPod to the Ping, and I've always wondered where to stash the goods when I'm wearing a dress (I know in between my own goods, but how exactly?). Also, the meter case was a curiosity. I need colors I can see in my black hole of a purse!


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