Infusion Set Sites and Absorption Rates

I have found that the only place I can place an infusion site and have a consistant reliable absorption rate, is in my arms. Does anyone have this problem? I have tested all areas on my stomach, and it seems like my blood sugar is all over the place. It is high and low with no mapable pattern. I have also tried my thigh area with no luck. For a while I thought it was just me, and my set basal rates. I tested for three weeks, each week at a different site, eating the same food, and trying to do the same activities. I found that placed in my arm, every number was exactly what I expected in terms of basal and bolus. My blood sugars were exactly what I expected. Am I going crazy, or does the site really make all the difference?

Thank-you! :slight_smile:

You are not crazy! I have the same exact problem. We had a discussion about this (click here), but I’m thrilled that you brought it up again. How long have you had diabetes? how long have you been pumping?

I have found a few things helpful. I change every other day. I keep a notebook with the date and location of each site, and don’t go within a square inch of a site within a 30 day period. I used to hate the thighs, but now I use 6mm cannula sets on my thighs, and 9mm for the rest. I use a inserter, and get my husband to “shoot me” in areas of my backside that I can’t reach.

I’d love to see a picture of where you put it in your arm. I need courage to try it in the arm.

mine is in my upper legs on both sides. Otherwise it is just trash. I have never tried my arms, I suspect I would have some hassle with pump placement if I did that. Do pumps work as a jewelry accessory? Diabetic bling?


Rick Phillips

I must admit I am not the biggest fan of the arms, but I can’t be bouncing all over the place either. I used to be nervous about people seeing the infusion set or tubing, but now I really don’t care. I figure I have to do, what I have to do. My biggest problem is finding a place to put the pump without it causing tenion on the infusion sets. Someone suggested just carring a little bag, (with a strap) all the time. That way I can take my monitor too. I will have to try it. Oh the joys! Have a Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays… I will get back to you on the picture! See Ya!

We could decorate pumps, and they could be the newest accessory! Everyone will want one, even non-diabetics! Okay. . . .maybe that’s pushing it! :slight_smile:

Where in the arm and does it enable you to move about freely? I have three kids and it would seem to me that putting the site in my arm I would really have to watch how I picked them up or moved to get them. Also, if you put the injection site in your arms, where to you put the pump itself?

It’s at the top part of my arm, in the areas you would inject. I place a IV 3000 both under it and on top. (I also use “Skin Tac” to prep it. It is amazing) then I tape the tubing in place, and run it under my bra stap and hook it up to my pump. I carry a little messenger style bag, across my shoulder (which can be worn under your shirt) and put in there (there is a little pocket I have sewn in) . I use the longest tubing possible and it doesn’t seem to get caught when its under my clothing. I work at a retirement community chasing around cute grandmas and grandpas during activities, and this seems to be the best yet.

Not all ladies clothes, especially dress clothes have pockets, and it seemed even when I did have pockets my pump would still fall out on the ground or get smashed up against something (I have cracked it twice!). I can lift tables, and grandmas without worrying about it falling off my belt clip, that’s really nice. Plus as a bonus, you can even carry your meter and some glucose in case you need it right quick. I hope this helps you, it has been a blessing for me.

PS~ if you are wearing pants, you can put your shirt over the bag strap. I have several bags, even fancy ones, if I am going to the Ballet. They are easy to sew, and can be made to match your outfit or personality. If you don’t sew there are several places online that sell simular products!

Good Luck!

Thanks Rachel! I honestly had no idea that you could put an infusion set in your arms.

Do you have any links for bags for the pump? Especially “cute” or exotic ones?

we have a member here who has a business making very cool bags for supplies - Rickina - if you are looking for little bags to just hold your pump, look for cell phone bags or bags for MP3 players. Hope this helps!

The only place that I can have consistent absorption is in my abdomen. My legs and butt will work for a day or two, then my average BG starts going up. Takes longer for the bolus to work also, and I am often out of range two hours after meals (by not much). I will be in range 2.25 to 2.5 hours after though. However, I do like those spots and find them very convenient and out of the way. So, it is worth it occasionally to have them in those spots, but maybe only once or twice a month. My tubing is too short for my arms I would think, and I don’t think I would like the set there anyways. Just my two cents.