Ok so this is just my much needed rant.
I have not been able to use my abdomen at all for my site as I have little absorption there and I don’t feel like adjusting my settings to account for it. So I have been using my back, the back of my arms, and my thighs and rear end. I’m noticing that these sites are starting to be sore and/or bleed. Are these areas going bad too? Where else can I use? I am so discouraged right now. I love my pump and don’t want to go back to MDI. I can only use sites I can reach myself to both insert and to unhook for showers. I have nobody else to talk to about this issue as my mother thinks my pump is the devil and causing me more problems than it solves (not true at all). I know if I try to vent to her she is going to flip out and tell me to get off the pump. This has been a serious adjustment for me. I have only been t1 d for 3 years and I still don’t have great control over my numbers or myself (lifestyle changes suck).
I had an extended run of poorly absorbing infusion sites several years back. One thing that helped me was trying other style infusion sets. At the time I was using the Inset 30, an angled insertion set. When I changed to a 90 degree inset, most of my problems went away. At that time I also started using the “love handles” area, fresh tissue for me at the time.
I suggest you call some of the infusion set suppliers and see if you can get a variety of infusion sets that you can sample. Even something as simple as increasing the cannula depth from 6 mm to 9 mm may help you. It’s time to experiment!
Also, it sounds like you are already, but remember to rotate your sites as much as you can.
One thing I do that seems to help protect my skin and make my pump sites more durable is to put down a rectangle of Opsite Flexifix underneath the set. My issues are not the same as yours. I am 64 years old and have thinning skin due to aging. I was getting irritated sites after two days and was starting to get minor infections. The Opsite Flexifix provides a stable base for my infusion sets and most of my problems have been eliminated.
I use manually inserted Comfort Shorts (same as Silhouettes) and have always had success with them. I did not like the Inset 30’s. I have never had success with any 90 degree set because of pain and too high a failure rate. I hated the metal sets, but a lot of people think that they are great.
I buy Opsite Flexifix through my durable medical supplier and my insurance pays for it. However you can also get it at Amazon and one roll will last for years. I use the 2 inch tape under infusion sets. I use the 4 inch tape with a cutout for the transmitter to keep my Dexcom sensors from falling off.
I agree with Terry, in that trying different types of infusion sets may help. Some have found that the steel sets work well, although I have not tried them.
I have been using the 90 degree Quick Sets from MM for probably the past 15 years, after using the angled sets for about 7 years. Most of the time I use my stomach, but occasionally use thighs or hips, particularly if I ended up with a bruise on my stomach.
You may also be able to get samples from your endo or CDE. They were helpful when I needed to try out different sets, and quicker than getting them mailed from Medtronics.
I will look into trying different types of sets. I tried the 45 degree for a little while but it wasn’t better for me at all they kept coming out. I use the flexifix for my dex and only used it once for my sites (I was on vacation and didn’t want any accidents).
I’m starting to think that the problem isn’t my sets or sites though. I changed my site this morning and found the area not only sore, but also inflamed and warm to the touch. Upon inspecting it in the mirror I found it was infected I squeezed out the pus and cleaned it up as best as I could given the awkward location. I called my pcp and left a message and if it doesn’t appear any better in the morning I may be taking a trip to the er.
Thanks for the suggestions!
How are your BGs? Infections can play havoc with blood glucose levels. If I were you I’d go to urgent care this evening, the sooner the better.
That red and warm to the touch site was likely absorbing poorly. Did you overcome the basal deficit with your new site since this morning? How are your BGs?
Surprisingly my bgs haven’t been too out of the ordinary. They have been running a little high but I’ve had worse.
Is there a trick you use to get your insurance to cover this? I find that my insurance does anything humanly possible to avoid paying for non-prescription items even with a doctors prescription.
I use Edgepark as my durable medical supplier. Most people hate Edgepark, but I have had extremely good service from them. I do have good insurance and I think that definitely makes the ordering process easier.
When I order Opsite Flexifix, I have to specify a “medical condition” because my on-file Type 1 diabetes does not typically suffice as a justification for tape. I then enter Type 1 diabetes again and then magically my tape is shipped and my insurance company pays for it. Fortunately a roll of Opsite Flexifix can last for years, but in the last year I have ordered Both the 2-inch tape that I use for infusion sets and the 4-inch tape that I use for sensors.
Here’s the latest… So after going to my endo, it was decided to try changing my insulin. I think the few days since I’ve made the switch from novolog to apidra I have felt so much better. My site has no signs of infection and my bgs have leveled out. I have used novolog since I was dx in 2013. I never even considered that my problems were related to the type of insulin I was using.
Sounds funny but try putting hand sanitiser on your site before putting cannula in. Wait a bit let the stuff dry before trying to stick something to it. Also u can apply the sanitiser every 24hrs to keep infection down. It has worked well for me and stops infection.
I have switched to stainless sets. It seems my issue was not insulin related at all but a reaction to the non-metal sets. I haven’t had any issues with the contact detach sets and have been using them for a while now. While I did have some great results with the apidra it was not compatible with my pump and I was having occlusions like crazy (the tslim is only good with humolog and novolog).