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Cyborg Vacation.

The first time I truly tested the waterproofiness of my insulin pump, it was when I accidentally (almost, but mostly) dropped it in the toilet.  That was fun, and embarrassing.  The second time was when I went on vacation with my friends and we spent a few minutes (days) in a swim-up bar setting where removing the pump was way more trouble than it was worth.  And the third time was the entire first summer at the beach after Birdy learned to walk, because I spent most of my time bolting in and out of the water in an attempt to keep track of the happily splashing (and very fast on her feet) kid.

Today marked the fourth new experience, testing out the waterproof capability of my pump, because we took it swimming in the plunge basin of a waterfall in Hawaii. And despite being submerged and potentially knocked around on a few rocks, the little bugger kept on ticking. (In that insulin-dispensing sort of way.  With the word "dispensing" making me immediately think about Pez.) 

This flower is yellow. It is a yellow flower.  This alt text is boring.  Let's get a hamburger.

I do forget that pumps and CGMs aren't commonly sighted in the wild, and I am reminded of this every time I wear a bathing suit.  Even though Chris and I are used to the CGM lump and the housing-and-tubing circus of the pump, I forget that other people don't usually adorn their bathing suits with medical devices.  As I eased into the fricking freezing water of the plunge basin, a woman already in there was concerned about my "wearing your cell phone in the water, honey!"  I told her it was a medical device for diabetes, and she, in turn, told us the noodle she had rented from the lifeguard wasn't particularly buoyant.  (A fair exchange of information, I thought.) 

When we made the walk back to our car, drying our bathing suits as we walked because the idea of putting dry clothes over wet bathing suits was gross (and also, what's hotter than wearing socks, sneakers, and a bathing suit?  Everything Nothing.), I remembered my pump and CGM were in plain sight, and people were taking a second glance as they passed by us on the trail.  In regular clothes, the devices are barely visible, but in bathing suits (or, as Birdy calls them, "baby suits"), they're on full display.  And sometimes that makes me feel a little shy, or awkward.

But the awkwardness passes quickly when I look at the Dexcom graph and see that the hike up to the waterfall caused a downward trend in my blood sugars, letting me catch a low before it hits.  I sport these devices because they help me stay on top of things, and that system works for me, both at home and while I travel. 

Cyborg vacations rule.

Comments

I met some really nice people in Florida, because my pump was visible. Turns out they had a T1 son that was looking into pumps!

This is exactly why I want to get a pump that is waterproof. I don't know why MiniMed hasn't gotten on board with with being waterproof. We decided to bag the River Kyaking in Hawaii this year for fear my pump might get soaked if the boat capsized. I need to check out Animas. It's been five years and time for an upgrade.
Aloha,
Christine

Love "baby suits" - how great that you guys are in Hawaii!

We cyborgs are destined to rule the world!! (at least until there is a cure)

ppl who don't know think it's a cell or ipod. The ppl who stare are ppl who know what it is and are dying to walk up to you and talk D, b/c they or a friend have D themselves. When you see someone really staring it's b/c the KNOW.

I actually made the switch from my Medtronic to my Animas Ping the week before I went to Jamaica last year. I spent that whole week in the pool with my pump clipped to the strap of my suit and didn't have one issue (and when I say whole week I mean roughly 5 hours a day in water.)

It was totally helpful with the swim up bar cocktails. I didn't have to get out to bolus for the 50 carbs a drink!

Only once was I asked if the thing should be in water and then i told them it's an insulin pump and was quickly told that that lady's niece had a purple one. :)

I'm convinced my pump loves snorkeling as much as I do! Yay J&J and Animas!

With a recently diagnosed 11 year old, we have just started researching pumps. The information you provide, on pumps and in general, has been SO helpful! I love your blog - Thanks!

I think the swim up bar should be the test all "waterproof" devices should have to pass. Strictly for the sake of science, I volunteer.

I was actually thinking about taking a pump vacation just so I could have at least one pic by the pool without CGMs and infusion sets in view. However, my boyfriend got a little nervous about changing up my routine while in a foreign country, so I'm sticking with the pump for now.

...and you're in Hawaii, the most beautiful place on planet E

Cyborg? When I first got my pump, my son called me the Bionic Woman. Close enough! :-)

awesome !
enjoy every cyborg second of it !

Briggs's Ping fell into the toilet, which was already holding numeros uno AND dos.

Yuck yuck yuck.

Much better to test @swim-up bar.

I never would have guessed that apump was waterproof.

I am so looking forward to the Animas Vibe and having a sensor augmented pump that is waterproof. Do you worry about salt water and sand at the beach?

I swim five days a week with my Ping and have never had a problem. It's why I chose the Ping. Now if only the Dexcom G4 receiver was waterproof.....and I'll volunteer to test pumps at swim-up bars too! For a diet soda, of course......

I just switched to the Animas Ping because of the fact that it's waterproof. I've had several people including staff at my endo's office and the MEDTRONIC rep that called the other day to get me to upgrade if that was the "only reason" I switched. People that don't wear one don't realize what an inconvenience it is to worry about getting caught in a soaking downpour when you're out for a run or capsizing your canoe. Can't wait to try it out at the beach this summer!

Thank you for the thoughtful post, waterproof pumps, gave us something good to think over for our next vacay. Please pop in on my foodie/diabetic blog soon!
nopastaforpenguine.blogspot.com

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