Blog Entries With Tag: infusion set


Posted: Jun 29, 2013
Most of you will be nodding your heads saying - " yuppers, been there, done that " - but for myself - this was amazingly enough my SECOND time ever ripping out an infusion set in an almost violent way (remember - I'm a semi-drama Queen here in my mind).  When I first started composing this blog - I was saying it was my FIRST - but as I put the tags in my post - I came across this blog!

I'm such a drama queen!


I'm still placing the Contact Detach infusion sets in my arms - giving my stomach that I favour the most a break for hopefully a month or more (next spot will be my legs for the infusion sets now that I have longer tubing). 

How did the infusion set come off you may ask?  A simple swipe of my hand as I scrached a spot on my upper arm. The loop of the Contact Detach was just purrfectly looped for my kitten claws to snag on it - and next thing I knew was .... S*** - dangle of the infusion set. I was actually pretty stunned by it - since I'd heard of other diabetics on pumps ripping them out - but NEVER thought it would be pulled out this way (I figured a door knob would be the culprit for me).


I think what got to me the most is that each infusion set costs on average for Canadians each time ... $16-20 ! That's like yikes - I could have bought groceries with what just got ripped out of my arm (sorry - you know I love to feed my ever expanding waistline).

So, seeing as I was semi awake - after a great day on Jenna's Journey and drive back home.  Having to think straight as I contemplated an Americano was not high on my priority list.  I was thinking of reinserting the infusion set in as I'd only had it in for about 5 hours.  I'd done a similar thing for a friend of mine a few years ago (Nel Peach - who made me fall in love with the Contact Detach/Sure T).  We'd simply found some office tape and temporarily held her infusion set in a new spot until she could place a new one in as it was due to a change.  In my case, this was a NEW set - long tubing (to prime the longer tubing it takes on average 15 units of insulin compared to 10 for the shorter tube) - so not only wss I losing out on an infusion set but wasting insulin if I chucked out the tubing.
Kitty Kat retro tape dispenser - it's so me ooooowwww!!!
Sadly, I didn't want to be wearing an infusion set in my arm held by tape for the next few days.  Plus, I don't do very well with medical tape on my skin - as I react even if it's latex free.

Now the one good aspect of the Contact Detach - due to it being in two parts (the infusion set - and then the docking station that you see below) - if using an infusion set that is an "all in one" - that has the tubing directly into it - then you lose everything - insulin in the tubing AND the infusion set.  Yes, when replacing the infusion set every 2-3 days as we're supposed to - we still lose "x" amount in the tubing that is pitched.  Though if you're frugal, I've heard of some people reusing the tubing, and not losing our precious juice of life.  Of course, there's always the debate of whether the insulin is still "good" - and able to perform it's duty of keeping our blood sugars (BG) stable.  It's totally up to the individual!

So, all I had to do in my case, was replace the needle portion of the infusion set, prime from the tubing in that small section, and reinsert a new set. You will see by my picture below - that I've got a bandage across the needle portion that goes into my skin.  That's due to not placing the set in flat (I thought I had, but with using IV Prep - it's like contact glue - you can't reposition - so get it right the first time).  The needle in my arm was causing abit discomfort - almost like hitting a nerve feeling.  I'm now realising after doing this to have a better sleep last night that I actually could have reused the pulled out infusion set - by doing a criss cross with two bandages.  I'm hoping not to do this again - yanking out my infusion set - but incase I do - I'll hopefully remember this solution!

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Posted: Jun 14, 2013
Artwork from bunbunlandia on WordPress dated March 10, 2012                                   

For those of you wondering about my little SCREAM on Facebook earlier today - about removing an infusion set (Contact Detach) - from my arm - that could be a potential gusher (in my eyes I was thinking more of a geyser) according to some of my D-mates 3 days before and how I faired.  Well, here's the LONG low down (and this is aimed at some of the commentors saying that they'd never done an arm infusion site before - it can be done - even by yourself).  


The reason I had written this - was my tubing the next day after putting the infusion set in (my 2nd arm installation - yes - I'm no longer a virgin) - had a very very weak pinkish tinge to it - though I couldn't tell if it was inside (from rubbing on a red top - which I hadn't) or from a broken blood vessel when putting the set in.  The funny thing is - it was not at the infusion site where the needle was inserted - but further past where the detachment area is on the tubing (managed to luck in on finding a 31" tubing from the Comfort sets I used to use in the beginning).  The longer tubing is much better so I can also clip the pump onto my usual waistband of my pants - before that - it was impossible unless I had no long neck/torso.  Having that extra 10" really makes a difference (oh this sounds like a Long John Silver movie).  And yes, for those dudes out there - who asked the question - where does the pump go - check my previous blog.

Many comments on my post at the Facebook group page of Insulin Pumpers gave varied responses to my plea of "help"!  Due to being self taught on the insulin pump - and not having an endo or diabetes team I can go to for help - in person - I've had to be my own human guinea pig in many things I do - of course - along with the bible from John Walsh - Pumping Insulin (5th edition was released last year) and various other books I've recommended over the years here at Diabetes1.org.

Just a joke but Duck tape is VERY handy

So, here I was prepared - armed with my medical kit - pads & tape to soak up this potential pouring of blood when I remove my infusion set.  I actually thought I was having a low blood sugar at the time, except I wasn't.  I thought I should pop one of my Ativan aka "happy pills" I was given earlier in the year by my GP when I went away on my 2 week sailing holiday - but resisted the urge due to my fear  of becoming dependent on them (insulin is ENOUGH thank you very much).  My GP was a smart cookie - as she only gave me 20 - and I still have 9 left six months later.

I gently pulled out the infusion set - all set to put the padding/tape in place - prior to hitting the floor - NOTHING ... I mean .... NOTHING - all I see is a little teeny tiny hole where the infusion needle was inserted - that's it! Phew!  At that point I knew thare was higher life above us - that is looking down  - knowing that I didn't need any drama in my life (hmmm, what's this blog all about??). 

Today, for my third try at an arm infusion site - I've decided to use the mini-wanna-be Omnipod (humour me John as the wanna-be-Princess) - aka Inset II.  The tubing is turned the right way - and as usual - pump is sitting in it's normal happy place (BTW, it gets REALLY warm there).  Sadly, the tubing on the Inset II I use (I've got 2 more boxes before I can reorder longer tubing of 43") - isn't as long.  I liked having the option of wearing in either places the last 3 days.

And yes, to some of those on Facebook who asked the question about absorption of insulin being better or worse in the arm, than my usual stomach, legs, lower back sites - I'm wondering if it's better - due to never having been used for infusion sets that stay in place for 3 days.  I did find I had a few interesting low's with this past infusion set - that aren't quite explainable - except at the time I thought perhaps it was due to hitting blood vessel.  It could be due weather - since I tend to use less insulin when it's humid AND warm.  It also could be due to the fact the set was in part of my muscular part of my arm - which can cause faster absorption of insulin.   Lots of scenarios here as to "why".
Back of arm for latest infusion site
Luckily, the latest infusion set is now in the back area of my arm that you see above - in the fatty portion of my arm - not up front in the more muscular area that I had just removed.  I just know I'm sensitive to insulin (I use less insulin than a person of my weight should use according to books I've read) - so wondering if I've become more sensitive.  Questions, questions, questions.  Who knows - but in the meantime I'm back to keeping a written log during this arm infusion test and see if perhaps I have to make some changes on my programming (either basal / I:C / ISF).  One step at a time of course - starting with basal testing first if my blood sugars (BG's) continue wonky.  Otherwise, things get even more complicated with too many scenarios that can overwhelm what you are trying to accomplish.

I am a contented cat

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Posted: Jan 31, 2012

Well, I did an infusion change on the fly in my car this past Sunday (okay - it wasn't on the "fly" - we did stop over as Salvador was screaming to fill him up with more "food").  I knew it had to be done eventually that day, so I was a smart cookie, and brought along the necessary bit's 'n bobs that are required to do this (I'm very bad sometimes, that I don't bring a spare infusion set, insulin with me, for those "what if's").  I am getting better with age in remembering to do what I preach!

I could have changed the infusion set in the loo at the Tim Horton's we stopped off at on our way home after checking out how Jenna's Journey is fairing during the winter months - but I have this thing about bathrooms and how clean they are (mine isn't much better ).  I tend to change my infusion set at home in the kitchen, where there is lots of sunlight - to bang out the bubbles in the insulin cartridge, along with splashes of grease on the counter from an earlier fry up (only kidding - sort of - I'm not one of your most uber fanatical clean gals - I do my best - as there is more to life then chasing dust bunnies around the house).

So, you will find at this link  a few pictures of how I did the change - complete with revealing my sexy muffin top.  I actually did have some better shots of my tummy after putting the infusion set in - but sadly - when transferring the pictures onto my hard drive - they went missing in action.  Lost in space time continuum - what more can I say - I fail miserably as a PC user.

In the end, due to the confined space in the car (wondering how it would have gone in my Smart CDI), the pictures that got lost, showed me putting the infusion set standing up outside the car.  I just couldn't do it sitting hunched over in the car seat.

So, have any of you done an infusion change or needle injection in an awkward place?  Would love to hear your stories!

Infusion change

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Posted: Jun 22, 2011

Okay - don't freak out - I've not suddenly quit my day job to become Uri Geller and perform fork / spoon bending feats - I mean - I'm hoping that this is a one time event - that it does NOT happen again.

Now you are all wonder, what is FatCatAnna on today - has she been smoking something strange - sipping abit of drinky poo - having a low blood sugar?  Well, nope, I am in the right mind at the moment to be able to show you this amazing piece of metal that came out of my body the other day in a bendy shape (I smile as I type this - as my friend Jennie is known as
Bendy-Jen).  Luckily, I had no idea until changing my infusion set which is a 90 Degree 8 mm needle Infusion Set called Contact Detach (or Sure-T for Medtronic pump users).

Amazingly enough, if this had been the usual plastic cannula infusion set that I used to use (I have allergies to the teflon coating in these sets), I would have been having problems with my insulin not pumping properly into my body and abnormal blood sugars.  It had happened once to me with the
Inset II Infusion Set - but thankfully only once.  When that occurred, I didn't realise the cannula had become bent, and my blood sugars went abit wacky near the end and I was having to do needle corrections to stay within the range I like to be.  I only realised when removing the infusion set like I did the other day.

In this case, with what you see below I didn't notice any difference with my blood sugars at all.  Insulin was still managing to go through alright.  The reason this happened though I'm afraid to say, it was not due to my phychic powers .... but because of my anal way of using as much "real estate" on my body.  I actually went abit too far over into the hip area - where I went close to the bone plus I sleep on that side at night so my weight probably added to the bend as well).

We all know that in order to to avoid scar tissue below the surface, which often causes insulin not to be absorbed properly, so rotation and giving that area time to heal is a big thing with for diabetics both on needles and insulin pumps.  I only had scar issues when younger in my buttocks, and taking one needle a day, but in large quantity compared to the small doses I now take.  I also wasn't paying attention then at that age (I was around 12) - to where I was jabbing myself, I just got it over and done with, then off to school I would go. 

So, I now feel for folks that don't have the ample coverage like I do for when they put their infusion sets in place, besides hitting boney parts of their bodies if their not careful, there are also muscles, etc. that can sometimes get nicked.  We diabetics are a tough bunch aren't we?

Due to having to resize for posting at Diabetes1.org picture has become abit blurry - the actual needle portion is not as THICK as what you see here - it is actually 27 gauge thickness - and in real life - more sleek looking!  ***NOTE*** - if you do not see the picture below (Diabetes1.org has been having problems with hackers lately - urrhhh) - please take the extra step (aka click) and go to the pictures that I have posted at the following link - http://www.flickr.com/photos/fatcatanna/sets/72157626907428447/

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Related posts:

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