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Wedding Bells and Diabetes

By Karrie Hawbaker

Public Relations Manager

Posted:  9/29/2011 12:00 AM

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Today our guest blogger is a very familiar face and voice to the DOC – Allison Blass, assistant editor at Diabetes Mine. She also writes on her personal blog, Lemonade Life. A diabetes blogger since her teen years, Allison is now a newlywed. (Say it with me...awwwwwww…..)So, who better to share with The LOOP her answer to a question we often hear from young women with diabetes – what do you do with your insulin pump on your wedding day?

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes almost 18 years ago, and for the past 11 years, I've been using a Medtronic insulin pump to help me manage my diabetes. For me, wearing an insulin pump has given me the freedom and flexibility to live the kind of life I want, though of course I still have to manage my diabetes closely and check my BG at least 4-6 times a day.  But like most things with diabetes, sometimes it can just get in the way! I recently got married and while I was planning my wedding, I had to come to terms with what I was going to do with my insulin pump. Wedding dresses are not exactly designed with beeper-like medical devices in mind!

Because I have grown so accustomed to wearing an insulin pump, the idea of taking it off for the biggest day of my life was very scary. Using injections is not something I'm used to, and I wanted to keep my blood sugars as close to normal as possible. I also didn’t want to switch medications - to a long-acting insulin – right before my big day!

Many brides who have come before me sent in suggestions for what I should do. One popular suggestion was creating a pocket inside my dress. Pockets are made by creating a slit along the seam, and then putting fabric on the inside the dress, and then sealing the pocket with some velcro. But unfortunately, my dress was made from a layer of organza covered with lace, beads and sequins. A slit in the organza would have been very noticeable. I did not want my diabetes to dictate what kind of dress I would get (it's the most important dress I'm ever going to wear!), so I decided that option just wasn't for me.

I wear a lot of dresses and skirts in my daily life, and because of that, I wear a Spanx almost every day. It makes me feel and look better, and it also works as a handy insulin pump holder. However, the pump occasionally slides or moves in the course of the day, so I wanted to make sure that I wasn't messing with it while I was up at the altar.

Instead of clipping it to the bottom of the Spanx, with the pump between the Spanx and my leg, I asked my seamstress to create a pocket that could hold my insulin pump. That way, I could easily lift my dress up, either in private or while sitting down, to quickly access my pump, do a bolus, and then be on my way. Using the pocket worked perfectly during my wedding. I only had to touch it twice, once while I was with my bridesmaids in the bridal suite, and once while I was sitting down at dinner. No one noticed! And, thanks to thoughtful planning, close management and a little bit of luck, I managed to keep my blood sugars in my target range the whole time!

Sometimes with diabetes, you have to get a little creative with how you handle big moments, but you should never let diabetes get in your way. There is always an answer. It just sometimes requires a little ingenuity!

How did you hide your insulin pump on your wedding day? 

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION
- Medtronic Diabetes insulin infusion pumps, continuous glucose monitoring systems and associated components are limited to sale by or on the order of a physician and should only be used under the direction of a healthcare professional familiar with the risks associated with the use of these systems.
- Successful operation of the insulin infusion pumps and/or continuous glucose monitoring systems requires adequate vision and hearing to recognize alerts and alarms.

Medtronic Diabetes Insulin Infusion Pumps

- Insulin pump therapy is not recommended for individuals who are unable or unwilling to perform a minimum of four blood glucose tests per day.
- Insulin pumps use rapid-acting insulin. If your insulin delivery is interrupted for any reason, you must be prepared to replace the missed insulin immediately.

Medtronic Diabetes Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) Systems
- The information provided by CGM systems is intended to supplement, not replace, blood glucose information obtained using a home glucose meter. A confirmatory fingerstick is required prior to treatment.
- Insertion of a glucose sensor may cause bleeding or irritation at the insertion site. Consult a physician immediately if you experience significant pain or if you suspect that the site is infected.

Please visit http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/importantsafetyinformation for complete safety information.

Comments

Kelly Jungling

Posted on Wed Oct 05 20:20:01 GMT 2011

It is my daughter who is diabetic and her issue was a flower-girl dress rather than a wedding dress. Her dress had a flower and sash across her abdomen. It worked really well to build in a pouch (pump-pack) underneath the flower and attached to the sash. We sewed a small "button hole" into the dress to run the tubing through. It worked great and she looked lovely! We love the pump!

Karrie

Posted on Thu Oct 06 20:39:00 GMT 2011

@ Kelly How cute and creative! Do you have a pic you’d be willing to share with us (loopblog@medtronic.com)?

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