August 24, 2010
This past weekend was my daughter’s “last hoorah” at the beach before her first day of kindergarten next week. Naturally, we spent a lot of our time by the pool. As I was preparing to put on my swimsuit on Saturday morning, a quick jolt of anxiety shot through me. I thought the same thought that many women with diabetes who are on an insulin pump think, “Did I put my infusion site in a place that will be covered by my swimsuit?” Ahhh! Relief….I pulled up my bikini bottoms and saw that the infusion site was covered. (Tip: I bought a cute swimsuit cover-up from Target that has small pockets on the front bottom. It works nicely to put my insulin pump in the pocket while walking to the pool or walking on the beach. Aside from the clear tubing that trails up to the pocket, you really don’t notice it.) Infusion site placement is just a part of life as a woman with diabetes that someone without diabetes wouldn’t understand. Yet, I’m sure many readers can identify. I got my first insulin pump back in 1996—when there were no insertion devices. I am often asked what kind of insertion device I use and when I respond that I don’t use one, there is an immediate gasp, followed by, “What? You don’t use one? How do you do it without an insertion device?” I feel really old when I explain that when I went on a pump (way back in 1996!) there were no insertion devices, at least none that I knew of. To my younger counterparts, not using an insertion device sounds barbaric!
All of this talk about infusion site and insertion devices is very timely for the upcoming National Infusion Site Awareness Week (Aug 30– Sept 5). You can read more about it here: www.infusionsitemanagement.com. (Note: If you have type 1 diabetes and aren’t on an insulin pump or type 1.5 or type 2 diabetes, the previous site will provide more detailed information to help you understand what an infusion site it.) The Week is sponsored by Roche Diagnostics, maker of ACCU-CHEK products. The purpose of the Week is to increase understanding and education about proper infusion site management – and complications that can result from poor site management such as infection, poor insulin delivery and tissue or skin damage. Personally, I am glad that there is some awareness being brought to an aspect of diabetes that isn’t often given much thought, yet is VERY important in overall blood sugar management. Although there are over 26 million people in the US who are living with diabetes, the number of people that use an insulin pump to control their insulin is about 400,000.