I've been dreaming of sunshine, warmth, sandy beaches, blue waters and a plethora of adult beverages a lot lately. Granted, I'm almost always dreaming of some of those items (no, not the beverages). If I spend too much time thinking about sunshine and warmth and sandy beaches, I become disappointed with myself because I have yet to determine a way to make my permanent location somewhere with sunshine, beaches, warmth and blue water. The reasoning for these things consuming my mind lately is it is time for my December getaway to the Caribbean.
And it cannot come soon enough.
My family shall visit the beautiful islands of Turks & Caicos. And like all of our previous Caribbean vacations the days will be consumed by lounging at the pools and beaches, playing in the water and drinking. The evenings will be filled with dressing up for dinners, enjoying quality time with each other and just relaxing.
My pump isn't waterproof and it probably shouldn't sit out in the strong sun for hours and hours. Before I agreed to go on my pump, this was one of the things I was concerned about. How was I supposed to enjoy the sun and the water if I had to have something attached to me all the time? Could I still wear a bathing suit because if I'm out in the sun I'm going to have minimal clothing on to maximize the opportunity to improve my tan. Duh.
I did some research online and saw several blog posts about "pumpcations." They were a slight comfort. Before completely agreeing though to the pump, I interrogated my doctor and the Medtronic sales rep. I specifically discussed in-depth about my family's Caribbean vacation. From the research and interrogation, it was confirmed it was possible, if I so chose, to stop using my pump.
And here we are with my trip quickly approaching.
My beloved endocrinologist left for a fellowship in the summer. I saw the other one in her office in September and laid the ground work for my vacation. He said, yes, I could go off it and to visit him in less than three months to make a game plan (and for him to give me free insulin pens). The appointment was scheduled for November but I didn't see him. Apparently they scheduled me with a visiting P.A. from another hospital. I'm not complaining as she was pretty awesome. I could tell she took the time to read my medical records and notes from my previous doctors. I hope I am able to continue to see her until my original endocrinologist returns...if she returns.
I explained to her the purpose of the appointment and also gave her an intense overview of my plans for this trip (laying out, snorkeling, surfing, windsurfing, maybe even scuba diving). She agreed, it was best to switch to the pens for the trip considering how little I would probably actually wear my pump.
And so, she and I determined what I should take for my long-acting (Lantus) insulin and my insulin (Novolog) to carbs ratio. I'll upload the info from my CGM and meter on the Wednesday before I leave so she can do a final review of our plan and make any needed adjustments. She even gave me some free insulin pens to make sure I wouldn't run out while on the trip. I still had several from my pre-pump days which don't expire until 2015 and 2016.
I'm excited to be pump and CGM free but I'm also terrified. I know my control won't be nearly as great. Having had such an amazing control for the past year I need to remember this and not get worked up and stressed if my numbers aren't perfect. Easier said than done.
I'm also confident that by day two of the trip I will dearly miss my pump and CGM and be anxious to have them back. The other thing I am confident about is my body will be thrilled to have a break from all of the insertions as I'll be able to use often ignored areas for my injections (arms, butt, legs).
Have any of you ever taken a vacation from pumping? Any advice for a newbie to this concept?