Modern advancements in Diabetes therapy have made life significantly easier in most areas and have made it so that someone suffering from Type-1 Diabetes can take greater control of their overall health and ensure a better life span than they would, otherwise. When I think back to my beginnings in the early 1980’s, I find it hard to believe that there used to be so many steps to take for everything and my family was STILL overlooking important details. But I digress…
As with all things in life, even when there’s some good, there’s usually still some bad. And that’s to be expected. It sometimes means that the little things in life that the average person takes for granted becomes something valued and important. Something like say, taking a shower or bathing. Most people stumble into the shower in the morning (or the evening, depending on the person) and just wash up, get out and don’t give it a second thought. For me, the process is a bit more onerous.
In 2015, I started using pump therapy, which means I have a very small, very expensive device stuffed in my pocket at all times. The pump is also tethered to my body through an infusion set injected in my abdomen. This infusion set is basically taped to my body through the use of an adhesive, which keeps it in place and prevents the infusion set from slipping out. What’s more is that I use continuous glucose monitoring, which requires a sensor that happens to be injected in my abdomen or tricep. This sensor is taped down using a special adhesive called “Patchabetes.”
Patchabetes is a fabric-based adhesive that’s flexible and adaptive to wherever I happen to place my sensor. For the most part, it stays firmly in place despite getting cold, hot or having me sweat into it during exercise. The infusion set on my abdomen uses a provided, built-in adhesive that’s a little less tough. I could use a stronger adhesive over the infusion set but given that I can in lip it for little things like showering, getting dressed or using the washroom, covering it with an overall adhesive isn’t exactly ideal.
The issue that comes in and the point of the post’s title, is that showering usually requires a touch of limited acrobatics in order to prevent the steaming hot shower water from melting the adhesive’s glue and causing my Patchabetes to peel off. This will usually lead to the sensor’s cannula popping out, as well. And since the infusion set’s adhesive is reasonably flimsy, hot water will usually make it peel, as well. So when I shower, I need to cover/avoid getting direct water on both of these sites in order to maintain them for their expected lifespan (sensor is 7 days and pump set is 3 days).
Once in a while, I get treated to the pleasure of having either my pump due for a change or it’s time to switch up my sensor. When this happens, a shower becomes a more pleasant experience since I have one less thing to worry about beyond cleaning myself. The sensor replacement is a special treat, since the fabric adhesive tends to soak up more hot water than the infusion set would. But a few days ago, I had the extreme pleasure of the holy trifecta… My pump was empty, my sensor had expired and it was time to shower.
This meant that I could set my sensor to recharge and leave my pump out, so I was able to enjoy a shower without the worry of avoiding hot water on any part of me. The result was a hot, relaxing shower where I got to actually take my time, reflect on my day and appreciate modern plumbing in all of its glory. It’s true what they say; it’s the little things in life. ☯️