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Pump Wearing

We didn’t really think much about insulin pump wearing before that life-altering, pump-containing box arrived on our doorstep over three years ago. After all, what really matters is program settings and infusion sets, right?

Wearing an insulin pump
And no.

There is also this not-so-small matter of where to put this medical device that a 3-year-old or 13-year-old, or 73-year-old must carry on their body 24-7.

We started by simply putting the insulin pump in his pocket. Convenient, inexpensive, and no prep work required. But the pump was pretty bulky on a little body and sometimes it got in the way when he was sitting down or playing on the floor. And the tubing snaked out of his pants pocket, over his waistband and into his underwear to meet up with the infusion site on his bum, sometimes poking out enough to get snagged on a hand or object. And we wondered: What if it fell out when he was doing a somersault? And what if we wanted to use a site on his arm? Tubing snaking from his pants pocket through his shirt to his arm seemed unwieldy. We needed to look for other options.

tips from the trenches of type 1 diabetes
If the pocket idea fits your needs, you can manage the “escaping tubing” problem by cutting a small hole in the inside lining of the pocket of your child’s pants, then feed the connector end of the tubing through the hole before connecting the tubing to the infusion set. When planning a place to cut, consider the shortest route from pocket to infusion site; the back of the pocket may work better than either the seam or the front side of the pocket. Please, learn from my mistake: cut the hole in the TOP of the inside pocket lining – if you cut a hole in the bottom, and the stitches unravel further, you may end up with a hole big enough for a pump to fall through. I realized this is what I had done wrong when our son’s pump hit the floor with a Clunk! as I was congratulating myself on my brilliant adaptation skills. Oh, well. File that under “live and learn.”

If a given article of clothing doesn’t have pockets, you don’t have to give up on the pocket idea. We have found it handy to construct a small hand-made “pocket” the size of the insulin pump (with or without a closing flap) from some nice, comfy fabric, which can then be sewn to the inside seam or waistband of pants, pyjamas, or a dress. With this method, the insulin pump stays close to your child’s body without the need for extra belts, straps and connectors. If you want to make an inner pocket that you can move from one article to the next, instead of sewing the pocket to the clothing, simply add a piece of Velcro to the outside of the hand-made pocket (use the soft-loop side of the Velcro facing your child’s skin) and then sew a piece of the opposite side of the Velcro to the inside of each item of clothing that you want to use the pocket in. Then you can stick it and remove it as needed.

For options beyond pockets, we started looking into pump pouches (pump packs, pump belts, pump bands, pump pockets... you get the idea) and found an amazing variety of pump-wearing accessories...

Next: see Options for Pump-Wearing Accessories

Any questions? Comments? Feel free to Contact Us.

This material has been developed from sources that we believe are accurate, however, as the field of medicine (in particular as it applies to diabetes) is rapidly evolving, the information should not be relied upon, as it is designed for informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of medical advice, instruction and/or treatment. If you have specific questions, please consult your doctor or appropriate health care professional.

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