Ahh, summer time. Short shorts, tank tops, bikinis, hot sun and cool drinks. That all sounds great right? Well, unless you’re a novice T1D’r OR you’re new to insulin pump therapy. No worries! Olga is here to save the day!
I know, I know…. You’re thinking, “how am I ever going to cover up this thing while wearing all these cute summer clothes?!” The pump all of a sudden went from a size of half an egg to a full blown cantaloupe right? Listen, it’s easy, believe me! I’ve been living with T1D for 20 years now and have been the master of the covert pump-wearer since 2010. Plus, once you get used to having it on you and you realize how great you feel, you realize WHO CARES?! But, until you get to that point, I am here to help you out!
Step 1 – Planning is key!
Whenever I know that I will be wearing something tight or more revealing (aka a bathing suit), I plan ahead. “Let’s see, I put my pump on Wednesday and I know I will be changing it Saturday and I’m going to the beach on Sunday. So Saturday I will put it on my bum where my scrunchy bathing suit bottom will cover it nicely!” See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?
Step 2 – Become master of disguise!
I’ll have to do a picture follow up for this one (coming in a future blog) where I will show you how easy it is to cover up the pump through clever, yet fashionable, ways. But for the summer season I usually wear it around my tummy, love handles and buttocks. Mostly because it is easy to hide under shorts, pants or tops. Since shorts are a staple of the hot season, I stay away from my legs. But keep in mind, rotation is IMPORTANT! I also don’t put the pump on my arms if I know that I’ll be in a crowded area (like a summer festival) where it is easier for someone to run by me or bump into me and potentially rip it off.
Step 3 – Flaunt it!
This is your health and your life! I have been asked if the Omnipod is a smoking patch or a BBQ dipping sauce container that accidentally got stuck on my skin. Both funny because I don’t smoke nor consume BBQ sauce. I sometimes respond with “it’s my life support” which in essence it is and that makes it extra cool and important to me. Sometimes I say “oh it’s just my insulin pump” and THAT is where I get most of my follow up questions. I love that! I get to share my story, answer questions about my health and why I chose pump therapy over shots. The best part of all the questions is when someone says “I will have to tell my daughter to look into this! We did not know how discreet it is!” or “I never knew how easy it is or how small these pumps are!” Through my experience, and my sharing my story, I am able to help someone else with T1D, and that is the best Fashion Secret!