News of a Different Sort

May 26, 2006 at 2:13 pm | Posted in The Sweet Life | 17 Comments

The Art-Sweet Pili Residence is proud to announce that we’re expecting.

“Smokey,” a charcoal grey paradigm 722 insulin pump will be dropped off by The stork UPS on or around Wednesday, June 1.

(McClinic couldn’t get me into Pump training until 2 weeks from then, alas. The good news is that Pili gets to go with me. And then I’ll make my public pump debut at a dear friend’s wedding two days later. Any suggestions for integrating a pump into a bridesmaid’s dress?)

So, my sweet friends, I ask of you: What to expect when you’re expecting (a pump)?

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  1. Hi Art-Sweet,

    Congratulations!

    First thing I have to say is “Be Patient”. Starting on a pump is a big change, and things are not going to magically work right away.

    There is a lot of work to start up and get everything adjusted correctly. A lot of trial and error.

    Don’t get frustrated! Stick with it and you will eventually nail it down.

    Have you read any of the “pump books”, such as Pumping Insulin, or Smart Pumping?

    I’ve only personally read (and recommended) “Pumping Insulin”, but I’m sure the “Smart Pumping” is equally as good.

    Good luck – and if you have questions you can just post them on the blog and we’ll all come rushing to your aid. πŸ™‚

  2. I have a “Smokey” too.
    Congrats on the pump…Like Scott said a lot of work in the beginning and “try” to be patient. Their is so much to learn.
    When I wear dresses I always take it out of the holster thing and put it in my bra under my arm or I put it in the undies. You need to be careful of putting it there though.
    I have had one too many incidents where it slides out and is hanging down like an extra appendage.
    Did you order a remote with it? I thought it would be helpful in the dress/odd clothing situation but alas it has NEVER been used except in training.
    Congrats on the pump again πŸ˜‰

  3. Yay! Welcome to the world of pumping. I’ve been at it 10 years so I’m a big fan.

    I haven’t read the books (bad me) but there’s another one out there that intrigues me – Insulin Pump Therapy Demystified.

    Re the Bridesmaid dress – tuck it in your unmentionables as previously mentioned or you can get a garter like thing.

  4. I don’t know a lot about pumps. I know a little about pumps. Am I allowed to ask questions?

  5. Congratulations!

    I always find the nice clothes thing troublesome, so I have to say, I never wear nice clothes. (Sorry.) BUT. What I would do is sew a little extra pocket to the inside of your dress in an inconspicuous spot, and put it in there. I find the garters slide down, and how the hell are you going to get your pump out if it’s in your bra and you’re wearing a bridesmaid dress? If it isn’t something you could sew a pocket on to, maybe wear a slip and sew a pocket on to that? (And I”m not talking fancy here, I’m talking a piece of scrap fabric and a running stitch.)

  6. Lo, you can ask all you like.

    I don’t know that I can answer correctly, but I’ll make something up.

    Andrea, I don’t sew anything.

    I’ve been assured by the friend in question, who reads this blog, that it’s a very casual wedding and I can wear pants if I want. But I don’t want.

  7. Hi Art-Sweet,

    I’m so excited for you.

    Here are my suggestions:

    1. Sign up on insulin-pumpers.org if you haven’t already. It’s a wonderful source of information.

    2. For dressing up, I’ve used “the leg thing”: http://www.uniaccs.com/thumbnail.asp?id=2&cid=57
    with pretty good reliability. But you need to be wearing a long dress. I tried “the thigh thing” too, but it didn’t work so well for me. I’ve also put it in my bra. It’s easier to pull it out of your top than your bottom when you need to bolus. But for the most part, I’ve given up wearing one piece outfits. Tops and skirts that look like one piece are great!

    When I started the pump, my A1C went from a 10.3 to a 7.0 in one month. So you can expect great things. Sorry to contradict others, but for me, the learning curve was relatively easy.

    Good luck!

    -Stella

  8. Art, if you have “room,” attempt to clip into your bra. I wore a strapless with my bridesmaids dress and I just let it sit in there for the couple of hours. Everything in there just kinda held the pump in place, so there wasn’t any issue. I also do this occassionally with a camisole with built-in bra when I’m wearing something that doesn’t have readily accessible pockets.

    Us ladies are always having to be creative…

  9. Art-Sweet,
    Expect the unexpected when you are expecting a pump.

    My absolute favorite, place to wear my pump is hooked on my bra in the front, between my, well, you know. I never thought that a)this would actually comfortable or b) that I had the chest for this but a d-friend of mine who is tiny tucks hers there so I thougth I would try it and I like it so much more than wearing my pump pager-style (on my waist). So there you have much more info than you were probably looking for.

    Note: not every bra works for this

  10. wow. I just googled the heck out of the pump so I could understand better. Looks pretty fancy & high tech.

    On one site it did say something about putting it in a “bra pouch”- so maybe you could get some sort of Dolly P effect with the dress? Work that pump…

    & forgive the dumb question, but do you have to hook it up yourself???

  11. Congratulations!!!

    As for the dress, I can tell you that for my wedding dress, I had a small pocket sewn into my slip to hold it. (I am utterly lacking in the “assets necesaary” πŸ˜‰ to hide it in my bra).

  12. I hated my pump my first week on it. I didn’t like being connected, my blood sugars sucked, and I was sick of calling the clinic everyday for basal adjustments.

    But that is normal. And it gets better from there. My pump and I are bonding nicely now.

    But it is a change, and not necessarily an easy one, but a good one.

    Ditto on the putting pump in bra thing.

  13. Expect to feel apprehensive, scared, excited, and pretty bad-ass about deciding to do this.

    Expect to test a little more often while you figure out your basal rates.

    Expect to yank the tubing out on doorknobs, kinked cannulas, and air bubbles that may cause big, crazy bloodsugar spikes.

    Expect to be wearing it but forget that you’re wearing it.

    Expect that people will ask what kind of phone/mp3 player/pager it is.

    Expect your cats to investigate, and possibly snack on, that tasty 23″ tubing.

    Expect a surge of self-confidence because you’re taking such fastidious care of yourself.

    And expect your Real Life, Online, and Hybrid Online/Real Life crew to support you every step of the way.

    Congratulations on your decision!

  14. I think place it jauntilly in your cleavage. Then if people comment you can berrate them for looking at your boobs, and if they don’t then you can berate them for not looking at your boobs. Berrating all round, for everyone.

  15. calliope – Yes, you have to change the infusion site every 2 – 3 days. It becomes not-such-a-big-deal, although I know it intimidates the heck out of non-d people.

    art-sweet – Congratulations! That’s great news. Like everyone else has said, feel free to ask any and all questions. The first few weeks will probably be chaos, but it should calm down after that.

  16. Hi Art,

    I’m a new reader, grateful to have discovered your writing.

    Congrats on taking this step. It’s a courageous move, and I hope it will give you what you’re looking for. For me, pumping has been a route to higher quality of life in numerous ways (control of the D, psychological, etc.).

    My adventures starting on the pump are chronicled on my blog, particularly the first few months of entries. I had/still have various issues with body identity, clothing, and so forth, but I was fortunate in that the transition was smooth from a control point of view. I’ve felt very empowered by the ability to adapt & tailor my pumping regimen to my needs.

    Good luck! Drop me a line if I can help.

  17. Hi Art!

    Congrats on the pump and while I heartily endorse the bra clipping, I’ve also worn bike shorts under a skirt/dress and clipped the thing to the leg of the shorts. I’ve also worn in tucked into my crotch (i.e., outside the underwear but inside the crotch of a pair of tights/hose) but you probably wouldn’t want to deal with that. Try the bike short thing, though–it’s easier to hike up your skirt under a table and bolus than it is to reach into your blouse and pull out the pump from your bra.


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