Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Getting All Diabetes MacGyver On The Beach~

Sometimes annoying things happen with diabetes that have nothing to do with our blood sugar or our insurance companies. 
 We can take a few beats and figure things out or we can let the D logistics ruin our day - OR we can get all MacGyver on diabetes ass  - It's our choice~
Spent a lot of time on the beach this past Sunday and Monday and I'm really glad I did. 

The sun was shining and there was a cool ocean breeze, the water temps were in the 70s and the waves were took your breath away while breathing life back into you at the same time.
I wear an insulin pump, it’s not water proof, but that fact never stops me from embracing my inner fish.  I was jonesing for some much needed salt water action - I HAD to get my body in the ocean and under the waves, ASAP.  
So I checked my blood sugar (175, perfect numbers for body surfing,) and attempted to do what I always do. 
Disconnect from my pump, grab a ziplock bag, place said pump in zip-locked bag and put  zip-locked pump in a case. Then take the insulin pump filled case and put it in another ziplock bag and put the whole thing in my cooler for safe keeping.
Sidebar: do the exact same thing with my phone.
Bg ckek, disconnecting and protecting my insulin pump from the elements takes about a minute - maybe two if I’m in mid conversation. 
But here’s the thing: On Monday, for the first time in 12 plus years of wearing an insulin pump, I couldn’t actually access my infusion site to disconnect from my pump. 
I was wearing a 1 piece V neck suit, ( Ok, I always wear a V-Neck 1 piece styled suit,)  with the pump clipped in the middle of the V-neck. But this time my infusion site was located really high and on the side of my upper abdomen.. and try as I might, I couldn’t get to the area I needed to get to.

I tried standing/ hiking up my swimsuit leg up all super french cut like, but when I shoved my hand up the side of my abdomen, I was still a good 1/8 of an inch away from my infusion set. 
 I attempted to reach the site sitting down, stretching out in my chair & hiking up my swimsuit leg
 all super french cut & then going for the grab and I got really close, but not close enough.
Also: The people behind me were this close to getting quite a show.
FTR, I don't care who sees my insulin pump or my pump tubing, but my cordoned off areas are another story. 

And yeah, I could have stuck my hand down the front of my suit and then over to the side & down, but I was with a large group of people and that wasn’t an option I felt like taking.
12+ years of wearing an insulin pump to the beach I’d never had such a crazy time accessing my infusion site to disconnect - There's a first for everything and this was mine. 
At this point the waves were literally screaming my name and I refused to let the diabetes logistics of a bitchy & logistically challenged infusion site get the best of me. 
I could have walked up to the fIshing pier's restroom, wait in long ass line and deal with it there - But I didn't want to to waste the time, I wanted to deal with it right then and there and right where I was. 
I sat back down on my chair and got all Diabetes MacGyver on the situation. 
I looked around at the tools I had on hand - a green cloth cooler and a beach towel. 
Ok, I can work with that. 

I grabbed the cooler and placed it on my lap, then I unfurled my beach towel so it covered both me (from my knees to my neck) and the cooler. The cooler acted as a pitch to the towel’s tent, thus allowing me to discretely hike the left leg of my swimsuit up super high, until I was sure it resembled a French Connection Swimsuit Catalog photo from 1986 - seriously, The bottom of my swimsuit was hiked up well past my elbow. But I was able to locate and and disconnect from my pump with my right hand, all under the privacy of my beach towel pump tent and no one was the wiser. And it took all of 60ish seconds.

Then I placed the pump in it’s triple zip locked fortress in the cooler and ran into the ocean until I was almost chest deep.
I dove under a wave and bounced up again as the next set of waves came barreling towards me.
I swam hard and rode as many waves towards the shore as I could, laughing out loud between sets. 

When I finally returned to my chair almost an hour later, my blood sugar was holding fast at 98, the Ice Cream man was in the distance and I knew exactly how to reconnect without flashing the crowd. 

Monday was truly a fantastical day on the beach and in the ocean. 
And it even ended with a rainbow~  
Don't even get me started on the diabetes/rainbow metaphors, but feel free to share yours ;) 
Embrace the rainbow~


Stacey said...

i think you should have video taped your disconnection process, so we could all learn your technique

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the giggles this afternoon!

Scott E said...

This sounds so familiar. Just last Wednesday, I was at a water park and disconnected to go in a pool. But trying to reconnect must have been a sight to be seen! I couldn't quite line up the connector right (it seems that when I inserted it, the connector was rotated slightly downward rather than straight across as I usually do it). The site was on my upper butt area, so I was reaching behind me, down the back of my bathing suit, fiddling and trying to get it right... then pulling the back down (my back was facing a fence, front towards the crowd) to try to get it. It must've looked really inappropriate. Draping a towel over my shoulders just made the movements beneath seem even more inappropriate.

In the end, I got it to reconnect, but it was a somewhat embarrassing saga. :)

Unknown said...

My issue is always the reconnect. Disconnecting rarely gives me a problem, but lining up that darn connector in just the right spot makes me so mad sometimes! I mean, WHY does something so simple have to be so cumbersome!? I'll have to remember your tent trick next time ;)

Mike Hoskins said...

Glad you got to enjoy the beach and waterfront! I tend to think I'll always face these issues when out, and would just rather not deal with them... so I usually just disconnect and leave it beforehand unless I know 100% there won't be an issue. But on your end, way to go all D-MacGyver! :)

StephenS said...

So, so jealous. Of the wave action, not the need for MacGyvering. Glad it was a good weekend.