Sets and sites - can't find any that aren't unbearable

Sorry to repeat other’s topics but my pain seems to be slightly different from previous posts…

Been on a minimed pump for 2 months. Been experiencing pain with my sets from pretty much day one. started with quickset in stomach. tried 6mm and 9mm but very painful - sometimes straight after insertion but others after a few hours gradually becoming unbearable. Painful boluses (possibly due to using Humalog - currently trying to swap to different insulin although no problems with humalog when injecting) but also becoming very red, itchy, painful to the touch - nightmare with toddler who wants picking up and I m flinching when he comes near me! Feels bit like a splinter. So have also tried sure t ones - no improvement. Have also tried silouette - again no improvement. Bit weird cos very rarely some of them are ok but very few. One DSN suggested I have a ‘neuropathic stomach’ - any clues?!

So have tried my thighs. Can put in a small area on the outside otherwise again gets painful. And when in ok area still have very painful boluses. Its obvious the 9mm are too long for certain areas of thighs (hitting muscle etc) but silouette and sure T also painful in those places.

Use a barrier cream to prevent irritation from adhesive.

After reading forums gearing myself up to try arms and bum although previous two sites not very successful am starting to think maybe my body just won’t let me use a pump…

Any suggestions gratefully received - my DSN says ‘nobody else has a problem…’. Very helpful :slight_smile: injections just weren’t working for me (hence the high a1c) and running out of options but not sure can cope with this levels of discomfort for much longer.

I know you say it can be painful even when you are not bolusing but perhaps if you could reduce that, overall it might be a better experience.

Others have found setting the bolus for 15 minutes or so using your square wave bolus has decreased the sensation when bolusing. I know not much help but there you go…

I think it may be the Humalog. I was able to inject humalog fine but after about 12 hours of humalog in the pump my site goes bad (no absorption) so I would have to change my infusion set and it would happen again and again- very frustrating! I have had no problems like this with Novolog.

Can you try placing a tape barrier between you and the infusion set - I do not have to, thankfully, the tape on the infusion set is ok for me (more allergic to the other tapes!), but since you are trying all else, maybe that would help.

thanks for your suggestions. Don’t think it is a response to the tape - feels like having a splinter - hurts inside under the skin if you see what i mean! Def going to give insulin swapping a try. Square wave boluses are def less painful so prob something to do with the humalog. or at least some of the pain is due to that. how can you tell if the site has been ‘used up’ or goes bad?

Some people are just more sensitive to pain signals from their bodies.

I know that when I take one baby aspirin per day (81 mg) that I have less pain in general from everywhere I hurt (back and knee issues).

The baby aspirin will thin your blood a bit, so don’t start using it until you get clearance from your doctor, but I swear that its general anti-inflammatory properties helps me with weird, chronic pain. Whenever I have to go off of it (e.g. five days before a surgical procedure) I’m miserable without it (back pain keeps me awake, etc.)

It might not work for you, but it might be worth a try.

I really feel for you. This is what puts me off having a pump tho my control is pretty poor now. Hope you find a solution soon.

Darn Kat - I feel for you here - as well as your frustrations with trying to figure out the solution. The suggestion of maybe having your bolus spread over a longer time period MIGHT be the solution to causing less pain with bolusing. I know with my pump (I use an Animas) - I can set the flow of insulin to a slower rate - which I find helps. I also tend to spread my bolus out over a period of X hours (everyone is different).

I had problems with the teflon plastic cannula’s before - sounds similar to what you are going thru’ -but I switched to Sure-T - and so far - touch wood - no problems - but have hit what some say is a nerve under my skin once in a blue moon. Makes you want to rip out the infusion set and quit forever - but I haven’t so far.

Nice of the DNS to say what they did - oh how I’d like to thump folks like that. In the perfect world wouldn’t it be great if DSN / CDE’s could all be diabetics themselves - it would make explaining our problems way easier - since they will “get us”.

Keep us posted. Hopefully you can lick this problem in the butt (no pun intended)!

Anna aka FatCatAnna - The Roller Coaster Rider of Diabetes - Whoo! Whoo!

Well, I prefer to kick it. LOL


I know my site is bad because my blood sugar goes sky high and will not come down after a correction bolus . If any high blood sugar does not come down as expected after a correction a bad site should be at least in your list of possibilities

My Humalog problem was interesting. If I did not eat/bolus- no problem, my basal would work just fine which is not real typical when you are dealing with a bad site. After 12 hours of humalog in my pump, when I bolused for a meal my blood sugar would go up into the 300-400 range and not respond to a correction bolus. I checked any outlying problem that may account for this- bad bottle of insulin etc and confirmed on three seperate occasions it was the Humalog. I have heard of others that have the same problem with Novolog or Apidra. I looked into what might be the difference with Humalog. Only thing I could find is that Humalog reports their PH to be 7.2-7.6 and both Novolog and Apidra state it is an exact number (e.g. 7.3).

What is DSN?

Definitely set your pump for either a slower bolus (some can do this) but more helpful is have it do an extended bolus over 15 minutes… Is this soreness immediate or after a day or two… some people have to change their sets every other day, or every 2 days instead of 3… Have you tried the upper butt (above the pant line)… also have you tried using hibiclens/hibistat to wash the area your putting the infusion set through (kinda sounds like its getting infected in addition to hitting a sore spot)… also do you insert your set while standing up or sitting… try standing… Really… and pinch a bit while your inserting then let go before you retract the needle…iv had more sore spots that seem like they are being pulled if i put in a set sitting… I really wish you luck…Id also suggest a different set, like a Cleo 90 or a Orbit 90 but their isnt a luer lock on MM pumps (proprietary, yes you can use third party reservoirs to adapt it to LL but… not sure how much that would help)…

I also use Sure-Ts and find them to be the most comfortable infusion set. The catheter is thinner than the Quickset. It can be much finer because it is metal.

Thank you :slight_smile: It is nice to have new things to try! Currently have silouette in stomach and is fine so far - very random. interestingly pinched when inserting which is the first time i have done that (not advised to when taught how to put them in originally but read that most people do that on this website). Could it be that simple?! Read an interesting post on another thread about anxiety exacerbating pain so have tried very hard to stay relaxed with this set and not panic when twinges. but then have had the odd ‘good’ one before.

Haven’t had the sky high blood sugar thing so don’t think my sites are getting used up or going bad. But possibly the build up of pain and redness and stuff may be the signs that mine have gone bad. Possibly i do just need to change them more often although most in my stomach don’t last overnight! I have had days where I have had no option but to change set three times!!!

Painkillers def a possibility - have considered them and taken for very bad sites which are v painful when set is removed have taken. If nothing else helps…

DSN is diabetes specialist nurse.

thanks again and any more suggestions gratfully received :slight_smile:

thanks for the DSN reply-I figured diabetes----nurse, couldn’t figure out the S word though!

i had this problem when i was looking for a set to use. i finally found ONE that works! the cleo90. im also allergic to adhesive so that was a big problem for me, but the cleo90 doesnt bother me.
lol when i was little my parents didnt know i was allergic to adhesive and they wondered why i couldn’t keep a band-aid on for more than 5 minutes.
the only sites i can use are my stomach and back of my arms. anywhere else hits muscle (yeah i dont have much body fat on me…)
i say keep trying different sets and sites until you fine one that works!


Jhust for anyone out htere following this thread who is having similar problems (always irritates me when no answers left for those who follow!):

Things that helped -

  1. Inserting when standing up - genius idea and reallt helped with pulling when fat moves.
  2. Changing area of body every change (ie stomach then thigh then bum) - body seems to get ‘sensitised’ if placed in same area more than twice.
  3. ‘Forcing’ myself to relax before insertion (plus painkillers after some painful ones).