14 April, 2009
I have a bride who will be coming to the mikveh in the fall. She has Type I Diabetes and wears an insulin pump. The pump can be removed, but she has a piece that is attached to her body by a sort of catheter ⁄ shunt all the time. She changes this piece once every 3 days, but cannot leave it out for too long.
Am I correct that the shunt is not considered a part of her body, and that if she can remove it for the time she is in the mikveh, she should do so? She did say that she prefers not to have to take it out if possible, so I wanted to check to see if it's okay for her to immerse with the piece still in her body.
Since the infusion set needs to be changed every two to three days, it is considered a chatzitzah and must be removed prior to immersion. She can try to time it so that her immersion will be around the time she needs to change the piece.
She should perform all her preparations for immersion with the infusion set and catheter still attached. Just before immersion, she should remove the entire piece and clean off any sticky residue on her body. After her immersion, she should insert the new infusion set right away. This way, she will only have the insulin pump removed for a matter of minutes.
Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.
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