Where to Wear Your Insulin Pump - When You First Get One

When I was younger I used to enjoy playing the spot the difference game, the one where you have two seemingly identical pictures side by side in activity book. But there were x amount of subtle differences for you to spot between the pictures, that make them slightly different. And the aim of the game is to spot what they are.

I tend to think of dressing for occasions whilst being attached to an insulin pump- a small mobile phone sized device that delivers insulin, as a similar story. You want the benefits that wearing an insulin pump brings such as regular and individual delivery of insulin, generally good blood sugars and a more independent lifestyle without the daily need for injections. But there's nothing wrong with wanting to feel like your normal self too. And this can also include the way you look.

It's a very interesting occurrence that when people ask me questions when their looking to go on an insulin pump. Their questions aren't always about when you get one, does it lower your blood sugars or does it stop the high's or low's. The most common question is what do you do with it when... When you go out with friends, when you go clubbing or when you go to bed. And all of these questions are around clothing, appearance and getting back to normal life. But more specifically how an insulin pump makes you feel in your mind opposed to in your body. These were also thoughts or feeling's I had, that surprised me when I first went onto an insulin pump. So to better explain how I learnt how to hide my pump and alleviate the negative feelings associated with it I've broken it down into my transition, my everyday and special occasions in a series of blogs.


During my transition from injections to an insulin pump as I mentioned, I didn't expect to wonder about where I would wear the pump or how I would hide it. Because of course my blood sugars were so high before I went onto the insulin pump they were my first concern. But whilst I was getting used to wearing it, it hit me that dressing as I normally did wasn't going to hide it. I didn't want to hide my insulin pump because I was ashamed or embarrassed of it. I wanted to hide it for myself, so that when people saw me. The first thing they though or the first question they asked wasn't what's that box? So I remember taking myself shopping and really thinking about:

a) What could I find to wear that would be more comfortable on my semi-permanent injection sites

b) How could I detract attention away from the pump when it was on view

c) What would I actually use to hold the pump as it couldn't be left to dangle

a) Initially I stopped wearing very fitting clothing altogether at first, things such as ultra-skinny jeans went back into my wardrobe. This was because I was still learning to perfect the angle that my needle went in at. And I went through a phase that anything tight fitting or that involved wearing a belt would dislodge the needle and cause a no-delivery alarm. Which is where the pump senses that there's a blockage in the line and alarms. So I wore normal fitting jeans and trousers for a while- simple!

b) I decided that initially during my transition, floaty tops or patterned tops were a great way to detract from the pump. The ones with fitted sleeves and a tapered hem at the back were in fashion at the time. So they were a great way to still be form fitting but as I mentioned, float over my pump and injection sites. I also added a long necklace to add a bit of sparkle to the ensemble.

c) I discovered that there was a clip available for my pump that could be attached at the back of the pump and would allow me to clip it onto waistbands and pockets. This helped a lot and in trusting that the pump was secure when I moved. This also led onto me being able to be a bit more adventurous with my outfits now my pump is secure.

Look out for the next in the series of blogs about where to wear your pump. Because when your blood sugars are sorted then the fun begins!


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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