Diabetes Details 2: Bottles & Belly Shaving

Like the first Diabetes Details post, I have no idea how many people will be interested in this, but I’m writing it anyway.  A few of you will be happy to know this one has zero needle-related content.

I’ve been using an insulin pump for about six years now.  Basically, the pump is a pager-sized device that provides a constant baseline flow of insulin into a small catheter in my belly.  I can also program an extra dose of insulin when I eat, or if my blood sugar is too high.

The problem comes about because I have to change that catheter every two days.  It’s held in place by a very strong sticker about the size of a Canadian Loonie coin.

Strong adhesive plus belly hair is a bad thing.  I finally got tired of waxing a round spot on my stomach every time I changed the silly thing, and have taken to just shaving the belly.  This is … strange.  But far less painful.

The other interesting (to me) aspect of changing out the pump is brought to you courtesy of my four-year-old.  If he knows I’m going back to switch things out, he’ll follow me and climb up on the bed.  There he’ll wait not-so-patiently for me to finish drawing insulin into the new plastic bottle.

You see the plunger on the end?  That’s how you pull insulin into the plastic bottle.  Once it’s full, the plunger unscrews, and the bottle goes into the pump.  At this point, my job is to attach the plunger to the old, empty bottle, which now becomes the Best Toy in the World, for about 1.2 seconds.  That’s how long it takes to yank the plunger back, creating that wonderful popping sound as he pulls out the bottom of the bottle.

Changing the pump is still a pain in the ass, but the enthusiasm of a four-year-old makes everything less annoying.