I believe in pump vacations (and CGM vacations- but I’ll mostly mention pump right now).
Now, I love being on an insulin pump- and I have ever since that first moment when I was 9 years. That’s when I first went on the pump- almost 15 years ago. It was the days of NPH and Regular which meant certain carbs at meals and snacks and eating at certain times. Most importantly, this meant not being able to sleep in. (I still love to sleep in). So when I first got the pump, I exclaimed “I have my life back.” (I promise that it was mostly about sleeping in).
I’ve basically been on the pump ever since, but the later half of living with T1D, I started taking the occasional pump vacation. Until one of my friends from diabetes camp mentioned it, I never even thought about it as a possibility. It felt like all or nothing- either you were on the pump or you weren’t.
Now I’m not talking when I use POLI and disconnect for a few hours during prom or when I was on stage for theatre. No- my pump vacations were longer stints. I used to take a pump vacation every summer during high school and the first two summers of college.
So for me- summer felt like a natural time to do it. A few months to give my body a break and a chance to heal. Plus- a good ol’ break for myself! But then, halfway through college, I got a lot better about rotating my pump-sites. There was often less frustration on my end. The idea of pump vacations slipped off my radar for about 3 summers.
Then this past summer happened (the PCOS and endometriosis diagnoses and “chaos”). I decided I was overdue for a break. I decided I needed to make sure I take the occasional break for some proactive self-care. After camp and switching to Tresiba, I said see ya later to my CGM for about two weeks and my pump for about a month and a half.
It was definitely needed. When I inserted a pump site after my vacation- I was ready for it. I appreciated it more.
So- why do I believe in pump vacations?
- It gives my body a chance to heal. I wasn’t great at rotating my pump sites so scar tissue… yeah that was definitely a thing. Sites wouldn’t work as well and frustration would build.
- Summahhhhhhh (embracing my boston side?). Mannnnn- those GA summers- the heat- sweating off pump sites and insulin overheating. Disconnecting for water- needing to remember to reconnect (LOL- forgetting is kind of a thing in life)- so then your BG is spiking. Fun times. Plus summer outfits aren’t the most conducive to having something attached to you.
- It keeps you on your toes! Let’s be real- we don’t usually remember our ratios and correction factors when we have an insulin pump. So taking a break helps me to remember it all again. It makes me think on my feet. I’m more aware of what I’m doing.
- Changing up management is good for the soul! It’s good for mental health. Changing up management is a form of self-care (it’s also really good to help with burnout). I also need a break every now and then from frustration and annoyance..
- Finally- there’s that sense of freedom of having nothing attached to your body. When you pull on a shirt or put on a bra- when you pull up your pants- you don’t have to think about accidentally ripping it off- (which I have done a few times). No beeps or alarms. No wondering if it’s working or not. (SO MUCH FREEDOM!) Like when you take a bath on pump site and CGM site day so nothing is attached? Yeah- that feeling- but extended!
So yeah- I really love pump vacations (but I also love my pump!). I believe in their power- whatever power they may have for someone. It makes me appreciate that device attached more when I’ve taken a break.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
I touched on pump vacations in the early years of my blog– but I wanted to revisit this topic with fresh eyes.
Disclaimer time! Please remember I am not any type of medical professional, research, “expert,” etc. Consult with your doctor before making any major changes and about the health/science background. I have not been asked or paid to write this blog by any company or group- I just wanted to share my experience.
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