Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Bathing suits, swimming, and dealing with the pump

From the defunct "Islets of Humor" website

Now that I've got the new waterproof Animas Ping insulin pump, I guess a picture of me doing this would include the pump!  Going swimming (or even the process of buying a bathing suit) has been a continuing issue for me since I started using an insulin pump.  There are a few issues:
  • How to wear a swimsuit and a pump at the same time
  • What to do about hiding (or showing) that little button on my tummy
  • What to do with the pump while I'm in the water 
  • Will I get enough insulin if I stay in too long?
For many years before I got the pump, I was into one-piece black swimsuits.  I thought they looked chic, and I had the body to carry off the look.   Although it's possible to tuck the pump into the bra part of a one-piece swimsuit, mine were never that sufficiently "structured" on top to accommodate a pump (I'm not so endowed that I really needed much top structure on a suit). 

What I did was switch to tankini-type suits.  These have a long top and a genuine bikini bottom.  The pump can be clipped on to the bikini bottom, and the little button connector and tubing are hidden under the longer tank top.   At first I was afraid that these suits were going to look too "old lady," but they come in all sorts of interesting varieties, many with decolletage-revealing, body-hugging silhouettes.  And the fabrics can be delicious.  I have a couple in animal prints, a yummy ocean-blue suit, and one with bright, tropical designs.  I even have one that has a cute little matching skirt, but you have to be careful when choosing one of these if you don't want the "old lady" look.  Opt for something that rides low on the hip.

I haven't dared to wear a tummy-revealing two-piece bikini for a while, but maybe I'll be more daring in the future since I can now keep the pump on when I swim.   Of course that solves the problem of what to do with the pump while I'm in the water.  It really never felt safe to leave a $9,000 piece of medical equipment sitting on a towel or pool chair, no matter how nearby it is. 

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