I have recently moved my infusion sight down to my outer thigh and have been having huge problems with it. I usually rotate the site locations depending on the season. Spring and summer, when I am in a bathing suit more than not, require that I hide the site under a bikini so it goes into my upper butt between where the pocket of my jeans is and the waistband. Fall and winter make it easier to put it into my upper thigh since I spend most of my days in jeans and skirts and the only place I get into a swim suit is at the Y to get in a workout so I am less concerned with my appearance. After three successful years of this, I have found my system faltering. My butt has developed scar tissue which hinders the insulin from getting from the infusion set to my blood stream where I can actually use it. I thought it might be time to make the switch to the upper thigh to give my butt some time to heal.
As soon as I did I started pulling out sets when I changed clothes. I had to train myself to be careful of a new spot and then I would be fine, I told myself. After a week and ten different sites being pulled out, I got the hang of it and stopped accidentally pulling out sites. But then I started to notice that the sites would go bad after only a day. When I first started using an insulin pump the sites I used, like mini IV’s, would stay open and useful for seven to ten days at a time. I loved not having to poke myself or remember to change a set for a whole week or more. As time has worn on that period of time has been reduced greatly, mostly due to scar tissue. I have had to abandon using my stomach due to the scarring and now my thighs and butt are both showing signs of deterioration as well. I just wonder how many more body parts are viable options. Am I , in ten years, going to have to affix this thing to my ankle? Luckily my ankles have very little fat. But of course this means I can’t use them as an infusion site. Maybe my chest will have to do, though, I am not sure how much Tony will like the looks of that one. So what are those other sites I have been overlooking, ones that I will not pull out easily,but have not scarred up ye?. Or maybe there’s some new technological advance to erase the scar tissue so I could go back to the old reliable sites?
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Wow Erin that is tough. When I first started the pump I was bad about changing them often enough though I usually did not keep them in for more than 5 days at a time. Fortunately no scar tissue as of yet. Hopefully those places with scar tissue will over time heal themselves and be usable again or as you say someone will come up with some technology that will help.
With as little “real estate” you have left I would be very meticulous about changing frequently. Absolutely positively no site longer than three days and with as much as you have at stake I would even suggest 2 days. Although it is not something you probably want to hear I also do not think that putting your infusion sets in one particular area based on the season is helping with the scar tissue either. I try to vary what area as much as possible (e.g. abdomen, followed by love handles, followed by butt, followed by upper thighs and then back to abdomen). I look at it this way- I would HATE to go back to regular MDI. I want to be on the pump until they find some therapy even better. At the rate the research is happening I do not hold a whole lot of hope that is coming real soon. Although I extremely dislike changing my sites and would prefer to only use my abdomen I also find a strict no longer than 3 day policy with a lot of rotation a better prospect than having to go back to shots. If the scar tissue keeps building up in your still usable sites that will be the only option left to you. Also, as you pointed out yourself, having an infusion set sticking out the top of your bikini attached to your chest would look a whole lot more funny than one hanging out of your thigh Good Luck!
I totally agree with MossDog here. I’m on an every-other-day change policy. very occasionally I will go 3 days, and I usually regret it. I have heard of ladies putting it in the chest actually, I can probably find the discussion if you’d like. I myself have not tried it there. I do keep a notebook of where I put it, and do not go within 1 square inch of a site in a 30 day period. This issue is the main reason how I found TuDiabetes, and not long after joining, I started this discussion
currently these isn’t the technology to determine where the scar tissue is, although there was a type1 med student here who was working on a device. I may have to find him again. please be assiduous in your rotating. you can get these decorative stickers to put around the infusion set when wearing a bikini, I’ve seen them and they are really cute. wear your pump out, proudly!
Yeah. i have been doing the every other day thing for almost three years now. I just am not very disciplined about rotating locations. I did, change my pump to one of my old ones and have had stable bs for the last week. I think it may have been more of a bum pump than bum sites. I am going to cal the company and get the pump changed out.