I started a new pod on the back of my right arm on Saturday morning and fought highs all day Monday. Around 2pm, it started to feel pinched. By 6pm, I was in total agony. When I removed the pod, my arm was red and swollen at the insertion site. There was no blood in the cannula, no kink, and only a little blood mixed with insulin at the site.
It is now over 24 hours later and half my upper arm is on fire, bright red, swollen, hard, with a lump at the insertion site larger than a half dollar. If I put any pressure on my tricep area or even attempt to lift my arm above my head, I get a sharp pain. The redness spans an area about the size of three PDMs now.
Anyone know what the heck I did to myself? When I removed the pod, several drops came out of the cannula, which I take to be a portion of a bolus I did not receive all of. Insulet is replacing the pod and wants me to return it, but in the meantime, my arm hurts to move. Do you think I hit muscle? A nerve? Is my arm going to fall off? Has anyone had this happen with a cannula?
I happened to be at the dermatologist with my daughter today and casually asked about it and he said it looked like irritation that should subside in a few days, but if the redness continues to spread, I think it’d be foolish not to call and make an appointment to see my GP at least.
Was the cannula as long as it usually is when you remove a pod? There may be a piece stuck in you that’s causing it to swell. That would be my first guess. Next, you maybe just got it a little inflamed from hitting muscle. I’ve had it where it feels like a pinch when I move and I’ve always thought that was because it was near a muscle.
I would call your Endo/OmniPod rep/etc. to see what’s the deal. That’s not normal to have it that inflamed and I would get that checked out.
And no, I doubt your arm is going to fall off. Take a deep breath, put some ice on it, and call someone in the morning!
I hope all goes well! Keep us updated!
Cannula was normal length, yes. I’ve iced it three times today and twice yesterday to no avail. But thanks for the reassurance that my arm will stay attached. LOL
I think I’ll call my endo’s office tomorrow. Good suggestion.
It sounds like a staph or strep infection in the skin, get to your doctor ASAP, some of these can be serious. Any redness, pain and burning as you describe is not the cnnula in muscle. If you hit a nerve it would be a sharp pain immediately.
Since I’d already called Insulet and asked my dermatologist, today I went to the GP. He (1) inspected the site with tweezers to make sure there was nothing lodged in the insertion site, (2) lanced the hardened area to rule out pus and abscess, (3) told me to ice it (which I’d been doing often because it helps with the “on fire” feeling, and (4) prescribed oral antibiotic for 7 days.
When I left his office, I decided to call my local Omnipod rep and he gave me the phone numbers for the former clinical and current clinical specialists for my area - both of whom I have met but didn’t have numbers for. I called both of them and they each said that the oddity in my case was how large the area of redness seemed to be (over 10cm in diameter, radiating across most of the back of my arm) and the fact that it hurts to touch or lift my arm. Both of them said they agreed that oral antibiotics were the best and most proactive course of action, especially considering my pregnancy.
One said that since I experienced a staph infection with a site (a Minimed Quickset) four years ago and had a flare-up 6 months after that, that I was a staph carrier and was likely facing it again.
The other said that I should watch my next few insertion sites for infection because they are open wounds likely facing the same infection risk. He also pointed out all of the traveling I’ve been doing and the fact that I don’t actually do any kind of thorough site prep other than making sure the site looks okay. I thought it was a fair point. Without using any kind of alcohol, antibacterial soap, or antiseptic before insertion, I’m susceptible to whatever is on my skin.
Both of them said site infection seemed like the most plausible diagnosis.
In the meantime, I’ve been strapping ice packs to my huge, swollen, painful, fiery tricep and I’ve started my antibiotic. I go for a follow-up on Friday with my GP and all of my local Insulet folks have asked me to keep them posted.
Thanks. BTW, here’s a photo I took yesterday. The redness has spread since then, but not streaked.
That was Tuesday. By Wednesday, it was most of the back of my arm that was red. Today, after only one dose of antibiotic, the redness is isolated to only the area with the large lump underneath. Antibiotics were definitely required, I’d say. Pain is still there though. And heat.