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Infusion Site Frustration – GRRRRHHH!!!

Anna's Blog
By: FatCatAnna

The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes! Whoo! Whoo!

I am a Type 1 diabetic diagnosed back in the early 60's as a child.  I am living in Montreal, Canada and enjoy scribbling about diabetes from time to time. I’ve had my ups / downs just like any person would experience with going through life - diabetic or not.  My motto in life?  Diabetes does not control me – I control it!! 

You can find more posts/discussions at my Facebook page called "The Roller Coaster Ride of Diabetes" and also on Twitter under the name of FatCatAnna.  Feel free to follow me at both places or send me a private message!

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 Blog Entries
The joys of having Bowie my CGMS – Chapter 1 - Sep 02
 Okay, for those of you who have never read my #dblogs before, I give names to all my little gizmos that I use for controlling my diabetes.  What we have today, ...
In a slump and scared - Jul 21
It’s rare for me to compose a #dblog that is not all “chirpy chirpy” … I think the last time I did one that was kind of down was at Diabetes1.org ...
Surviving the Holocaust with Type 1 diabetes - Mar 27
  " To the best of my knowledge, I am the only diabetic who survived years of imprisonment in German concentration camps. This is my story "   The above words ...
Sugar and Your Health - Mar 06
The other day I emptied out a 4 kg (about 10 lbs) of white sugar that I had dated a year ago when I opened it.  I use white sugar purely for cooking (I make my own ...
Eating from the ground - Yuca Fries - Feb 20
I am home now from a working holiday, in the Bahamas and Miami.  Despite the weather being abit cooler then normal (they only get 2 weeks of winter - we were there in ...
Posted: Jan 4, 2011 15:42
  • 1 Comment.
  • Infusion Site Frustration – GRRRRHHH!!!

    I’m still a newbie in the insulin pumping world, when it comes to other PWD (People With Diabetes) writing about their life with an insulin pump.  Take for example a blog post by Karen at  Bitter Sweet  – she is using virgin territory on her body – her stomach – to place her infusion sets now.  Due to using her tummy for years with MDI (Multiple Dosage Injections) – scar tissue had formed – so she avoided the area while it healed.  I’ve always considered myself lucky not to have “yet” experienced that – since I’ve been a human dart board for over 40 years – but then – I rotate, rotate – just like we do with our mattress (yikes – I think that needs turning over – pump up the muscles in the arm for that old heave hoe).

    Last night it was infusion change time.  I only fill up my insulin reservoir of my Animas 2020  with enough to get me by for 2 days with abit to spare for those "what if's" – as I try to be diligent about changing the infusion site every 48 hours – so that scar tissue doesn’t form where  the infusion is set in.  Nondiabetics will be going – huh?  Well, anything you have lodged in your skin, in the same spot for a period of time, starts to develop a thicker skin underneath - aka scar tissue.  You can’t see this visually, but it’s underneath, and when scarring develops, if you MDI or place an infusion set in place, you’ll either feel it upon entry – ouch - from what I’ve read  from others or your blood sugars will go wacky due to the insulin not being absorbed properly into your body due to the thicker skin.  As George Simmons aka Ninjabetic 
    puts it – “ It’s a guessing game ”.

    Contact Detach / Sure-T infusion setI’m not sure what happened last night with my infusion change.  I’ve been using a straight needle infusion set, called a Contact Detach / Sure-T.  It’s not got any fancy gadgets like some of the preloaded infusion sets have for automatically implanting into you – it’s just a 26 gauge needle which surprisingly enough I don’t feel when you compare it against the 32 gauge pen needles I use which are even thinner (the higher up the number in gauge the slimmer the needle).  The length of the needle depends on your fat composition – I am well endowed – so use a  8 mm length (I use 6 mm in my legs due to muscles there).  It’s inserted similar to how you would put a needle in.  Very  simple, and I have been using this since I have an allergic reaction to the Teflon cannula that I used prior to finally finding this type of infusion set.  Even better, this infusion set when removed leaves next  to no marking that it had been there – with the others  I used to have raised bumps that were itchy or bleeding when pulling out the infusion set for a change.  The other nice thing – I can see where it’s going – so I’m spot on with putting it in a good area of skin – though for some reason – yesterday that didn’t help me one bit.

    So, here I am, tubing is primed, area for infusion set all clean, and I put the infusion set in.  Something didn’t feel right, it was as if I’d hit a muscle, since when I moved to place the other portion of the infusion set on my body, each move I made I felt this twinge.  I patted around the area, and it didn’t feel good.  The thing I like about this infusion set is that it can be removed and reinserted.  The manufacturer doesn’t recommend this, but I’d seen a friend of mine Nel Peach do this one time when she had a little emergency situation with her blood sugars going wacky – and her infusion set (a Sure T) had been in place for longer than it should have been.  Yesterday was the first time I’ve ever had to do this, so I was abit apprehensive, but figured …. “If Nel can do it, so can I!”.  So, I pulled the infusion set out, and went a bit over to where it had been originally.

    Second try … NOT SUCCESSFUL.  Same feelings all over again where I’ve now placed the infusion set.  By now, I’m beginning to get upset, which I rarely do.  I called my hubby Mike over (he was doing some dry wall plastering) throwing out demands to him - I’d become a major at this point in time – as I was on a mission to get this infusion set in correctly.  Off he went to get some Skin Prep since the adhesive on the infusion set after being pulled out a second time was starting to lose its power.  By now I’m starting to weep abit, not because of pain, but frustration.  Is it scarring I’ve hit – despite this area not having been touched in almost 3 months?  Could it be muscles despite my stomach area being a belly dancers dream for wiggle jiggle with the Dance of the Seven Veils?  I was right pissed off.

    Contact Detach / Sure-T needle

    In comes Mike with what I’ve asked him for and because his hands aren’t clean, I’m trying to keep the infusion set needle sterile and the tubing keeps on making it want to go another way to a surface that’s not good - grrrrhhh.   Now is the time I wish I had another set of hands, even if it would make me look like a freak.  The other thing that starts going through my mind, I’m 50 now, what will I be like 20 years from now when having to handle these little problems.  Not good to start thinking things like that is it?  I get on with the job of prepping the surface for Round 3 – fighting gloves on – this infusion set is going to work God dammit!!  In slides the needle, and it goes in like a well oiled cog, no weird feelings, I can move without feeling a tweak. 

    I’ve felt around the area where I had the problem, which is only 1” away from where the failed infusion sites were – and don’t feel anything underneath the surface.  I’m hoping this is a one of thing or is something  that only occurs every 3 years (I started pumping in October 2008).

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  • By: AmariT: Jan, 10, 2011 14:40 PM

    Ouch. That sounds like quite the ordeal. I'm glad you got it worked out eventually, but I can understand how frustrating it must have been at the time. I probably would have been crying by the time I finally got it to work. 

    On what you said about what it will be like in 20 years: I always kind of hope that medical advancements will save me from these issues. Maybe in 20 years there will be a much better system and you won't need to worry about it. There are certainly much better systems in place now than there were 20 years ago.

    Sure-T (1) Contact Detach (1) Animas 2020 (1) tissue (1) scar (1) set (1) infusion (1) pump (1) insulin (1)

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