This all started with a day many years ago, when I started wearing a pump. I was all worried about everything from telling a date I was diabetic, to how will this impact my romantic rendezvous. Will this pump interfere with sex! After all having diabetes was bad enough.
For the longest time, I struggled with the clip. Most pumps clips to your pants, belt or belt loop. Some people would think it was a pager, but who has a pager these days. Others would believe that it was my phone.
Feeling awkward or angry is common. “Not again, do I have to explain again” “Not Again!!!” “It’s a pump! I have diabetes!! No, there’s more than one type of diabetes!!!” And on and on and on it goes like a merry go round in a person’s head; It can make one feel, “So, frustrated and upset!”
So we try to hide the pump, but where. Under an extra long shirt, for women a bra, in our pocket, unfortunately, size doesn’t matter. It will get in the way and poke and prod us all the time. “Wait, honey, I need to move my pump!” Not great first date, conversation and “oh the explanation. Again!” In an attempt to untangle the cord and reduce unnecessary conversations, I’ve tried it all from spandex, belts to homemade contraptions. Nothing seemed to work.
I spent many sleepless nights (due to the pump) trying to figure out how to prevent:
- My pump stabbing loved ones
- The cord getting snagged on a door handle
- Consistently moving it to snuggle with the one I love
- Regularly having to move it to lie down on the couch
- Poking strangers on the subway who sit next to me
- Worrying that someone will knock it off or break it on the subway
- Struggling to get the tube through a button down shirt when I wear a suit
And much more!
Seeing the pump during the lead up to sex can change the mood and make your partner overly careful. Being romantic with a pump can be challenging as it can impact intimacy and spontaneity. The underwear allows the pump to stay out of sight and be taken off with the underwear in one step. (The pump should NOT be worn during sex)
One day I said to myself, too bad they don’t make underwear with pockets. Or do they? I Googled it, and to my surprise a company called Clever Travel Companion does, for both men and women.
I found one pair that had two front pockets which allow for pump rotation and even without that they are the most comfortable pair of boxer briefs I have ever owned. The best part is you practically forget you have a pump on and your partner will barely notice as well. It even gives you freedom to move around during sleep.
Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
All the advice included in this blog is therapeutic in nature and should not be considered medical advice. Before making any changes to your diabetes maintenance program, please consult with your primary physician or endocrinologist.