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Pump Site Supplies to help you site last longer | Charming Diabetes

Keep Your Pump Site Longer In Summer Weather

Summer! I love almost everything about summer. In fact, living in Florida I don’t even have to deal with winter much, and I like it that way. I’m all about humidity, palm trees, and flip flops.

Diabetes in warm weather, however, can add a whole new dimension to the way I think about summer. Between the heat and frequent trips to the pool/beach, it can be tough to keep an insulin pump site dry and in place for as long as I’d like. Let’s face it, I’d like to be able to go more than a day or two without having to change it, especially given my less-than-stellar insurance plan (cue the small violin). And I’d really like to stop living in fear of the swimming pool knowing that the flimsy tape holding in my lifeline could loose it’s stick and fall off at any moment!

Seriously. I HATE the peeling tape. After countless summers full of what would have been sad face emojis ūüôĀ at every pool party back in the day, here’s what I’ve found most helpful. These are a couple of tips that have worked for me keep my insulin pump site in place through the water-sporting, humid, fry an egg on the sidewalk, dog days of summer. As with everything else on this site, this is not medical advice, this is just what works for me. Maybe it’ll work for you too, but talk to your own doc or health care provider about what’s best for you ūüôā

Keep your pump longer

1. use alcohol swabs to clean your site before inserting

2. ¬†IV Prep (or if you need hard core stick, Mastisol Liquid Adhesive) –these make the skin a little sticky and provide a barrier to help adhesive irritation. If you use these, an adhesive remover is not a bad idea because if the adhesive skin prep is working properly, the tape will be tough to remove once you’ve used it. If you don’t have an adhesive remover on hand, baby oil can work wonders.

3. Site Placement Is EVERYTHING! I wear a medtronic pump, and typically place sites low on my stomach or around my waistband area. The problem with summer is that these places have a tendency to be closer to clothing and, well, get sweatier. If you’re using a cordless pump like an omnipod, this might not be as big of an issue as you can use a spot like your arm (which honestly may or may not be better? I don’t wear and omnipod so I can’t say for sure).

For summer, I place the pump high on my torso..like, basically my back. I go as far back as I can comfortably reach just under my rib cage. I thought it would be insanely painful, and it took me a while to work up to trying it, but I was running out of real estate and needed some new sites to avoid scar tissue build up from using the same old areas over and over. It’s now one of my fave spots. Not only does it interfere less with my clothing (fewer accidental rip outs with waistband movement), but in general the site stays put much easier, for much longer, without tape issues.

pump site placement | charmingdiabetes.com

yep, just posted my torso on the internet. proof that diabetes causes insanity.

4. Anti-Perspirant. Yep. (Not Deodorant.)  It needs to be an antiperspirant-only spray (cannot be a gel or cream), and you spray it on the skin before inserting your infusion set. The antiperspirant acts to keep your skin dry, thus the site can stick better.

5. Tegaderm on the skin under the infusion set. ¬†This is where the Tegaderm tape goes on the skin first, and you insert the infusion set through the Tegaderm. ¬†This way the site is sticking to Tegaderm, not your skin. Less moisture, less chance for it to come off. ¬†You can even add another layer of tape on top of the site if you’re feeling particularly industrious.

6. On those days where you know you’ll be swimming or in the water, if you’re site is in good shape use extra tape or a waterproof bandaid to cover it. If your site is already peeling, and you attempt to place more tape on top, it could end up pulling your site out all together. If your site is already peeling or loose, I use¬†extra tape to the spot where it’s peeling instead of over the whole site, and then pray for the best. On swim days I always make sure I have a back up infusion set on hand just in case.

Here’s a pin so you can save the list for later!

Pump Site Supplies to help you site last longer | Charming Diabetes

 

Those are my best tips and tricks. What do you do to keep your sites dry and help them last through the summer heat and water sports?!

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xo

Sara

shrine

Make A Shrine | Surviving Diabetes With Toddlers

So I’m the head chef in our house. I cook the meals, I make the snacks, I prep the food, I simmer, stir, and sautee all the time. I LOVE IT. I love to cook. My mom taught me, and since she passed away getting in the kitchen and measuring, mixing, smelling, and taste testing is my favorite way to keep her memory close.

I may be the Chef de Cuisine here at the Charming Diabetes maison (ooh la la),¬†but by no means do I have it all under control. Yes, it’s relatively easy for me to whip up something yummy and cooking is another creative outlet for me. No arrogance in that, it’s just one of my gifts, I’m no Top Chef and I’m terrible at lots of other things.

I’m just relaying this so you understand that despite the fact that cooking food comes easily for me, I am very bad at everything else that goes along with meal time. I’m useless¬†at clean up, awful at setting the table, I usually don’t have everything finished at the same time, and I’m always forgetting the drinks. Martha Stewart I am not.

It seems that between trying to keep the kids from killing each other or tearing the house apart while I cook, I get a little distracted. I never get around to any of the dinnertime set up that needs to happen beforehand so we can eat. So every night, after all kinds of mini interventions and referee calls with the kids, at some point, dinner is ready. And then I herd them all to the table like cats. Kid one, kid two, and husband. Kid one gets down, put her back, kid two cries, get her settled, ok now we’re all at the table. Oh wait, forgot the forks. So then I scramble to get forks and napkins and sippy cup refills because I have an inability to plan ahead. ¬†And of course I’ve gotta GET THE GREEN BEANS away from someone’s APPLESAUCE. Oh and did I mention that part of this chaos stems from the fact that I usually have two versions of dinner (one version is more toddler friendly. I’m not a fan of that, btw, it’s just a self preservation that I’m working on changing).

So THEN I sit down, usually without anything to drink, but who cares because the silence that comes over the table is so seductive….

Ahhh.

The fork comes up to my mouth and….UGH!

UGH! I DIDN’T CHECK MY BLOOD SUGAR.

Every night. Right at dinnertime. Since I didn’t check it, there’s no way I can know if I need to correct it, plus I need insulin to cover the meal and now here I am ready to eat with no insulin on board. Super. So now I’m up searching for my meter and lancets and UGH. I suck at diabetes.

This is how things went for me for a long time until I decided something had to change. I have two toddlers. This season of my life will involve hectic mealtimes, certainly. I can accept that. But I couldn’t afford to completely ignore my blood sugar in the chaos.

So I made a Shrine. Here it is.

making diabetes more fun with a blood sugar testing shrine | www.charmingdiabetes.com

Let me break it down for you. My shrine is basically a cheap plate from target, with a cute bowl to hold my lancets, and that’s where I keep my meter, lancing device, test strips, etc.

I’m visual, so it was important to me to have it¬†look a certain way, hence the cute bowl and the flowers nearby. It helps me feel happier about it. The medical devices themselves are less than inspiring, so the creative in me just has to spruce it up a bit to distract from the “meh” feelings they give off.

I love having it on a plate because I can just pick the whole thing up and move it; ¬†Over to my desk if I’m working, out of the way if we need more space one the counter, beside the couch if I’m having a sick day.¬†I keep one downstairs on the kitchen counter, so that when I’m in the dinnertime trenches it’s close by, and I can check quickly and move on. I have a second one in my bedroom, so I don’t have to go downstairs at bedtime when I’ve inevitably forgotten to check it until I’m in bed.

Plus now that it’s all together, the random lancets and test strips floating around are greatly reduced. Nothing like a toddler finding a used lancet on the floor to make you feel like a good parent. The kids know this is my diabetes plate and not to touch it, and should they have a toddler moment and forget, I can easily grab it and get everything up out of their reach.

Here it is again, after I found some gold spray paint and a lost monkey and decided my shrine would need a mascot. I reeeealllly love gold spray paint.

Charming Diabetes Shrine with a gold monkey because, why not

The shrine (both with and without the monkey) has changed my life. It’s aesthetically appealing to me, which is the biggest deal, because I like how it looks. I’m bought in; I don’t dread searching for my meter, or wander around muttering curses to my faulty pancreas. I have a nice little spot set up and ready to go. I’m checking more often, and I feel less stressed about it. BOOM! Diabetes = Charmed!

All you really need to set up your own is a plate, and a container of some sort for the lancets. If your plate is big enough, you could even have a separate trash bowl on the plate to drop the used lancets and test strips in. The one in my bedroom consists of a bingo plate I liked and wasn’t using for anything else, and a short, clear plastic, party cup for the lancets. Easy. I got the extra meter FREE from the doctor’s office. Ask and you shall receive. Don’t buy a second one until you’ve checked with your doctor–odds are good they can hook you up with a freebie.

 

It works for me…I hope it works for you too! When you get yours set up, let me know!! Send me your pictures to sara@charmingdiabetes.com or share it on instagram and use the hashtag #charmingdiabetes

Happy checking!

Making Diabetes more convenient with diabetes checkpoint near the bed  | www.charmingdiabetes.compretty diabetes set up | www.charmingdiabetes.com

xo

Sara

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