With current insulin intake I can go 5 days without changeing sets. Everything I have read says you change every 3 days. Do you change based upon what is in your pump or just every three day. Sorry for the stupid question.
I am not a pumper but:
It is recommended by most pump Companies to change the set every 3 days. This will limit the chance of excessive scar tissue, so that too much Insulin build up does not cause Lipohypertrophy/Insulin absorption problems and lumps. So that Lipoatrophy/dents do not occur. So that the tissue has less chance of becoming infected, etc. As with any Insulin delivery system, Rotate, Rotate, Rotate, as recommended.
You really want to avoid scar tissue by changing every 3 days and rotating sites. I have a spot on my stomach that I cannot use for an infusion set because I did my shots there for 10 years or more. I don’t have any dents there but it is a useless spot for infusion sets now which is frustrating. I have a friend who pumps who uses the same areas over and over and leaves his sets in for 5 to 6 days at a time. Now he has 4 areas that are super infected and his BGs are all over the place because of the infections. He has to go see the doc for antibiotics now. It’s not worth the risk. You can always salvage that left over insulin and use it again if you want or just don’t fill your reservoir all the way up when you change sets. Let me know if you want tips for salvaging the left over insulin, I have it down to a science
I used to go for 5 or so days (never had an oozy infection but did have red bumps) but eventually realized that insulin absorption tapered off after third day or so. I didn’t believe it until I started charting blood sugars and saw that after the 3rd day, I tended to run higher overall.
And Suzanne is right about the need to rotate! I relied too much on the area below my bellybutton, which didn’t hurt. It didn’t hurt because it was waaayy overused! So I’ve branched out, up higher on my abdomen and further out to the sides, to ensure more real estate.
One thing you can do to force yourself to change sets is to put less insulin in your cartridge so there’s just a little more than you need for 3 days. Yes, you’ll go through more cartridges and sets or pods, but better rotation and avoiding scar tissue means more years of successful pumping.
I also write the day the set is due for a change on the set with a permanent marker. When I take a shower and see “Tues.” on my set, it’s easier to remember to change it. I told my pump manufacturer they should create an alarm that can be set for every third day, but so far they haven’t made that improvement!
I go about every 5 days with set changes. My pump holds 300 units, but I only fill it to 140 units and that lasts me about 3 1/2 to 5 days. Or I change it if I see blood or it hurts or my sugars are wacky high (I have only had that happen once in 7 years).
I change it when my pump is out of insulin. I have to do a set change tonight and it says on my pump I last changed it Aug. 6th, so that was last Thursday. I do rotate them every time though.
the only 2 infected sights I have had were both in my right thigh and the infections both started within 24 hours of the set being there.
It IS good to see a fellow Washingtonian on here! I saw you just started pumping and thought I’d just comment on the site rotation question. I’ve been pumping with a Minimed pump for over 10 years and although I don’t like changing my pump site every three days, I can’t tell you how important it is for all of the reasons listed below!
One of the most common things I forget when rotating is where my last few pump sites were last located as I generally stay around my belly button and waist. So I thought you might find this link helpful