Preparing for a Wet and Wild Summer
To date, one of the most popular blog posts here on the LOOP is the one I wrote about preventing moisture damage to your pump. I knew this was a big topic, but didn’t realize it was that big! As summer approaches and many of us spend more time at the beach or out in the sun working up a sweat, here are some more tips on moisture-filled scenarios you may encounter.
Pools and Beaches:
Some of the best parts of summer, be sure to enjoy some sunny skies and cool water with your friends and family this season. Just also be sure to plan ahead! Want to get a tan while your friends play in the pool? You can stay connected to your insulin pump making sure it is protected from the water. Medtronic pumps are water resistant (but not waterproof) so they can typically withstand an accidental splash or two. But, I like to err on the side of caution. So, I first disconnect my pump and put on my sun tan lotion (tanning lotion isn’t good for the pump). Then I wash my hands and reconnect, sit on my towel, and curl up the corner of the towel on top of my pump.
If you are planning to swim, always disconnect (just make sure that if it’s for more than 2 hours you’ve worked out a plan with your healthcare team). Store in a dry cooler along with your other diabetes supplies, or wrapped in a towel in a personal bag like a backpack or purse so that it isn’t exposed to water or high heat. Just make sure it is easy to access in case you need to bolus.
Saunas and Steam Rooms:
The sauna and steam room is normally not the first place you would think of when you think of moisture, but it is a place that is high in heat (usually over 100 degrees) and humidity (which can be up to 100%). Depending on where you are going to be, and for how long, disconnect your pump as moisture and extreme heat can be bad for both your pump and the insulin inside it. Store it in a safe place like a closed locker in the locker room or in the care of a friend close by.
Those are my tips on having a fun, wet summer while still protecting your pump from moisture – what are yours? Let me know!