Hi all, I’ve been T1 for about 30 yrs. I was on MDI’s with Lantus and Novolog before I started on the TSlim about a year ago. I was using Cleo 90’s for a while and was having problems with high sugars and some bent canullas. So they put me on the Comfort Shorts because I am thin (I’m 6 ft and weigh around 165). I like the Comfort Shorts and I thought everything was going to be better when all of a sudden I started getting infected insertion sites. The last one I had to be put on oral antibiotics for a week. It was about the size of a half dollar and sore as hell. So they (my Endo) told me to start changing my site every 2 days. I use a CGM so now I’m running out of real estate and my stomach doesn’t hardly work at all. If I inject like I used to it works fine but the pump is just not working like I want it to. Why I can inject but not use an infusion set is Beyond me, I don’t get it. Anyhow sorry for the rant, but I’m just about ready to through in the towel.
I use standard sets with my Medtronic, but there are a lot of people who have had problems and bad reactions to those and who have had success with stainless steel ones and whatnot. So there may be other options to try.
But mainly I wanted to chime in in sympathy to your rant. I’ve had T1 for 32 years, so we’re about the same generation. For me the big liberation was getting off that R/NPH crap after 20 years and onto Lantus/Novolog MDI, which was truly life changing. Got my first pump 3 years ago. Everyone raves about pumps but in my first year I had a LOT of times when I was ready to throw the damn thing at a brick wall and go back to good old reliable MDI. I still have a few moments like that. There are just so many more failure points and they all seem to crop up at 3 in the morning given half a chance. It did settle down for me eventually but I never quite got the euphoria around the thing that some people have.
I did try a stainless needle for a short time. I do a lot of bending and lifting things off of the floor at work and it felt like it was always poking me. I kind of miss the days of giving myself a shot anywhere in the abdomen I wanted and knowing my BG was going to fall. Now it might fall and it might not and in the mean time I’m tired as hell and falling asleep in the chair and sure as hell don’t feel like working. On top of that, lugging the thing around, tucking in a shirt tail, etc.etc. Oh well, thanks for the reply DrBB. It’s good to know you know what I’m talking about
Have you tried sites other than your abdomen? You can use your arms, legs, hips, or butt as sites (and some even use other areas). As someone who has put up with a lot of troubleshooting pump issues surrounding allergies to infusion sets, I sympathize. I also think there is nothing wrong with a pump vacation if you feel you need one…
Hi Jen…I have tried the hips and legs, as a matter of fact the bad infection I had was in the thigh. I also had infections in the hip area. I’ll have to wait and see how changing the set every other day works out. I hate to do that because it seems like all of this money spent on CGM’s the Pump and infusion sets should hopefully give one a better experience than cause more problems. I do have good insurance it’s just that sometimes it seems Not Worth it. My A1C hasen’t improved it’s about the same as before around 6.4 Like I was saying too it seems like when I bolus with the pump it just takes forever to kick in. Do others find this same experience of latent BG drops with the pump as compared to a syringe?
If I’m having problems with the BG not dropping even though I’ve bloused more than enough, it’s been because of a bent cannula. Other times I think I’m not dropping fast enough compared to injections but I didn’t have a CGM until I started using a pump. Therefore, I wasn’t checking until two hours later so I wasn’t watching the “insulin in action”. Now I can check whenever I want and am more impatient waiting for it to go down.
I also use Comfort Shorts and have had a couple of minor infections in the past 6 months. I also periodically have allergies to the adhesive. What I have done recently is put a small rectangle of Opsite Flexifix on my skin and then insert the infusion set on top of the barrier tape. It has definitely helped with allergic reactions. For me the barrier tape has also minimized infections probably because of reducing trauma to the area.
Because I have not had many infections, I can’t prove that Opsite Flexifix is preventing infections. But I am back to using most sites for 3 days after a period of only being able to have them last 2 days.
I have been pumping for 12 years and had my first infections ever in the last 4 months. Not quite sure why things have changed, but in general my skin is less resilient because I am getting older (age 63) and am having more allergies and skin issues in general.
Maybe try the stainless steel again before you give up. Make sure to change it every 2 days. I still inject if the site isn’t working for some reason. Remember when you inject it’s only one injection but a site is getting everything in the same spot for at least 48 hrs as well as the cannula/needle there too.
My BG drops a lot quicker with the pump than it ever did on shots - plus I’m using a lot less insulin for the same results. I don’t like abdomen sites for the pump, so I’ve been rotating between thighs and arms. May try another place next time… The Dexcom sensors go on the sides of my chest or high on my abdomen (in the same general area)… I change infusion sets every 2 to 2.5 days – the skin gets very irritated if I wait longer than that, most of the time. The sensors stay in place 2-3 weeks.
Ruby, you have a very good point about the CGM. It does seem to make me impatient also. Laddie, maybe I’m not understanding you correctly but are you inserting the needle right through the flex tape? Meee, if my every other day change doesn’t pan out I’m going to try the stainless needle again. I’m surprised to hear the pump brings your bg down faster than injections Thas for me there’s no comparison.
6 feet 3 inches, 155 pounds. I understand thin. I use the steel sets and I’m generally very happy; I don’t feel the thing hardly at all but I have to be very careful about where I place it. I don’t have any advice; only sharing that steel sets and the pump do work for me. I definitely have quicker BG lowering from the pump than an injection. If I started to exhibit what you are, I might place a set and wear the pump at night, to control my dawn phenomenon, then suspend it and remove it during the day and use MDI for my daily control. My morning numbers are dramatically better with the pump. Good luck, that’s a hard problem