Last week, I went to my first hospital diabetic clinic appointment since 1978 having managed the intervening period either on my own or, more recently, with a GP with an interest in diabetes.
However, over the last six months to a year, blood glucose results have become increasingly random and severe nightime hypos have become increasingly common. Combined with some other unrelated health issues, my GP was beginning to feel out of his depth and referred me to the diabetic clinic.
To cut a long story short, they think I need a pump so as soon as the “pump nurse” is back from her holiday we will meet to start to take things forward.
So, although I have kept an eye on pump developments for a long time, I now need to start to do som serious reseach. One of the best points I have seen about the process of starting pumping was made in https://www.shootuporputup.co.uk/groups/shoot-up/forum/topic/needle-replacement-and-other-stuff/#post-2309 by @seasiderdave
He said ‘Oh and the threat of “You’ll never come near me wearing that!” from my otherwise supportive wife has an impact’ but no one has addressed that issue. Does anyone here have any thoughts / experiences or are Dave and I the only ones to have spouses that have raised that as an issue?
My husband asked: ‘Can you take it off or do you have to have it on all the time? You know?’ – and you know to what he was referring And the answer is – you can take it off if more comfortable that way, or you can leave it on (its on a ‘tether’, as long as you dont land on it (which is painful for you…) you’ll be fine just ignoring it – you wont hurt it). He just checks where I’m ‘plugged-in’ (as he puts it) and then ignores it totally – you really can get used to anything…
You can take it off. On mine you can program in an ‘absence’ of however long you want, ie half an hour, or quarter if that’s a long as you’ve got!!! and the pump gives you a percentage of your basal before and a percentage when you put the pump back on. But even if your pump doesn’t do that, you could work it out and give half and half before and after if you needed it, or just leave it off, hopefully you’ll be expending energy…
Luckily my OH wouldn’t notice if I had a dead rat stapled to my side. (Obviously because I am so stunning otherwise!)
Thanks, Annette. Your husband’s pragmatic approach is admirable and I hear what you say about the practicalities. I guess the issue that I (and maybe Dave? I don’t want to presume to know anything about his situation) have is about the perceived intrusion of a piece of technology (never popular at the best of times) into a very personal, emotionally charged, situation with the potential to either compromise spontaneity (if you decide to take it off and then have to reconnect later, retest and take a correction bolus) or to just get in the way of whatever else may be happening (if you decide to stay connected and risk entanglement or “landing on it”).
Maybe it is just a question of the personality of the “other half” and their attitude to change being apparently imposed on the most intimate of situations. I suspect the answer is, if the “other half” has these concerns, is to involve them in as much of the research and decision-making as possible so that it becomes, as far as possible, a joint decision.
I have no great emotional attachment to “going on the pump”, I just want my control to be more predictable and to have fewer paramedics appear in our bedroom at four o’clock in the morning. I know my wife feels the same and wants to spend less time feeding me jelly babies or injecting glucagon into me in the middle of the night so maybe a slow and steady joint decision-making process is the best way of minimising any adverse effects on intimacy.
I’d be grateful to hear of any other views/experiences, whether positive or negative or even just speculative.
I was intrigued as to what I should do with it in bed, but in the event it turned out to be a complete non issue. I take it off, which to be honest is less hassle than removing your clothes, it takes a second. I don’t suspend it or anything, I just remove it. The main risk is forgetting to reconnect it afterwards!
I agree with you @nigho about involving your other half. The husband came to my pump training with me and has always been involved – that means he really sees the benefit of it, which makes him pretty patient when the damn thing vibrates in the middle of the night and wakes him up to tell him my insulin reservoir is running low while I sleep soundly through it all!
The pump has never really been much of a problem in the bed-chamber. I just take it off and fling it on the bedside table, I don’t bother suspending it. The sets come with a little cover you can screw on which are designed to stop you looking like you’ve got an oddly place third nipple if you’re wearing a tight t-shirt (should you do such a thing…) but they’ll also useful to stop your set scratching your other half – useful if you’ve got the set in your tummy rather than in some out of the way spot.
I wonder if it’s possible to actually formally incorporate the pump into bedroom antics – after all they do vibrate and one could potentially use the tubing for light bondage, etc. Am I going off-topic here?
@alison – interesting to hear of you involving husband in pump training; sounds like a good idea. Also, full marks for recognising that my original (probably too wordy!) post was as much about spouses’ perceptions and emotional response to pumps in general as about intimate physical practicalities
Does that prove that my post was too wordy, or does it just demonstrate that your colleagues have a healthy (or possibly, in Tim’s case, unhealthy :o) interest in sex?
@Nigho You do realise that this is ShootUp don’t you? It never takes much encouragement to get the hoards onto general smut, innuendo or general off topic weirdness!
I took the husband to pump training so that there was a chance of one of us remembering half of it and then we could piece it all together. That worked when I could remember how to change an infusion set, but couldn’t remember the order to do it in!
Back to topic…(yes, I do think Shoot Up has healthy / unhealthy (delete as applicable) interest in sex! Certainly in smut anyway…)
Anyway, @Katie certainly came along to my original diabetes and MDI training (I was only diagnosed five years ago) and was encouraged to do so by my clinic. For us this was very useful because:
a) Katie could remember all the stuff that I didn’t;
b) she could be involved in my learning and care too;
c) she could find out about diabetes too.
People’s main fear is, of course, fear of the unknown (“the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”, etc., etc.); so the more we both knew about diabetes the less frightened we were of this new thing I had. It proved very useful. And I still use Katie for a second opinion when I’m wondering about adjusting my dose, wondering what to bolus and so on.
@alison – yes, thanks, I’ve been lurking here long enough to have worked out what kind of expectations to have of the level of “general smut, innuendo or general off topic weirdness!”
Similarly, I have read some of the pump postings while luking. Now that I have been invited to join the realm of the pump I will make sure I add the complete list to my list of detailed research sources; thanks.
I’ve done both with Fido (my pump) in intimate situations.
If I go off the lead, all that really concerns is that overenthusiatic grabbing doesn’t catch the cannula. I suppose I should finesse my basals before & after, but the exertion usually means I’m reaching for the Lucozade!
I I stay attached however, remaining unentangled & ensuring Fido doesn’t try & join in the intimacy can be issues. He once buzzed in very close proximity to a very sensitive & recently sensitised place. Suppose he wanted intimacy too. Unfortunately, the lady was shocked rather than amused.
At the end of the day, it is like all things diabolic. It requires a little effort to integrate it into your life & usually it eventually provides an amusing tale.
I may be old fashioned, but from my perspective it shouldn’t really matter if you’re hooked up to your pump or not. If your partner really loves you they should be able to indulge in the most intimate acts, but retain an awareness of your needs and avoid the areas where technology intrudes.