“I’ve been told I will need to start on IV epoprostenol soon and I don’t know what my options are in terms of how I can carry the pump. I’m a woman who likes fashion and I like to go out, what can I do?”
PHA UK Support Nurse Sian Richardson says:
“Your pump will be provided with two bags, supplied by the manufacturers, but there are plenty of other options that can help you feel comfortable when out and about with your pump.
Choose a style that works for you and your body. You can get bags in all sorts of different sizes, from small ones that just fit the pump, to larger ones that will accommodate your purse and make-up too.
These are available in all sorts of different colours, and can range in price from £5 upwards, depending where you shop.
Make sure the bag is protective – for example with a zip that will keep the pump secure. And consider a strap that will feel comfortable on your shoulder (thicker ones tend to be best).
Some people like to make their own bags, or they buy them and customize them to suit their personality or their style. For example, I’ve known patients who have covered bags with diamantes, to match glam evening outfits.
If you don’t want to have a bag on display, you can alter your clothes to allow a pump to be tucked away inside them, for example by adding a deep pocket to a dress.
Lots of people carry their pumps in bum bags, which sit around the waist and leave arms and shoulders free. If you’re self-conscious, these can be hidden under coats.
If you choose to find your own bag, my top tip is to then use the ones provided with your pump as your ‘shower bags’. They are not waterproof, but you could place them outside of the shower and you don’t need to worry about them getting a little splashed. Keep them in your bathroom and swap them over as you need to.
Or you could keep one by your bedside and use that as your overnight bag, so you’re saving your ‘nice’ ones for the daytime.
You can embrace the pump and the bag and make it part of your style or hide it away if you’d prefer. There are plenty of options.
Don’t be afraid to explore different ways of carrying your pump until you find what works for you.”