In an effort to give my tummy a break and a little healing time, I tried a “flank” pump site Monday morning. Yep, my back. I know people wear insulin pump sites there. Its an approved spot on those pump site diagrams. I have attempted this before without success. Animas (Unimedical) blue 6mm cannula and I was ready to go. It’s a little strange to rotate around to do the insertion BUT it’s a spring loaded site inserter and I suspect that makes it a hell-of-a-mucho more manageable.
*BAM*. I was good to go and made sure to wear jeans yesterday that were far lower than the site spot. I was aware that the site hurt. It didn’t hurt like a tummy site that gets all crazy stabby immediately upon insertion and you just know you have to yank it out and then you’re either prepared for a geyser or your cursing at yourself because you have blood tie-dying your clothing AND you SHOULD have been prepared. Nope, the flank was not that kind of pain. Just irritating.
Mind over matter? I was busy all day but it hurt. A bit stingy. A bit itchy. The insulin absorption from the site seemed off, but eventually worked (although slower than usual). I went out to dinner and sat on a bench type seat (I happened to be on a boat which was lovely) so my back was never pressed against the back of a chair and I avoided that irritation completely. Getting ready for bed, I kept thinking it felt stingy-itchy, but I needed to stick (pun intended) it out.
I woke up in the wee morning hours when I felt the Dexcom site pull off my thigh. Seriously? I had IV3000’d the hell out of it right before my Gilligan’s Island dinner tour and the IV tape somehow dislodged from me in bed, got slightly stuck on the sheets and when I rolled to the side, I ripped that Dexcom site right out. BG was in the 120s, so back to sleep.
Early gym morning. Replaced Dexcom and slathered the new one with SkinTac. Good to go. Pulled on my gym pants and felt something move on my back. Well those gym pants are tough. So incredibly tough that they *flicked* the pump site right off me. Put a new site on my tummy and was off to the gym. My phantom back site still hurt. Ouch.
So what’s the deal? Am I really the only one who can’t get these flank sites to work? The pant flicking was unfortunate BUT that site was still hurting and I don’t think I would have made it the full day with that stabby site. Thank you gym pants. Well done. All sarcasm aside (there is no such thing, so some sarcasm aside), does anyone have a flank site recommendation? I had previously tried the 9mm and thought the 6mm would be the solution. Nope. Does this need to be a two man operation and I just need to get further back on my back? Should I be going to yoga to get better contortionist moves? Do I just have it in the wrong spot? Anyone?
I snapped this pic yesterday while on the fly. I switched sites in the morning while packing-up some boxes and had about 30 seconds to myself. I left the old site in… Just in case. Hours later the old site started to bug me (also note, my skinny jeans were feeling snug, I was moving around a lot and the old site was simply annoyed). I pulled it out and immediately saw the blood. Oops. And after putting a tissue in the waist of my pants, checked the cannula.
Hello there vampire!
I snapped a pic. I thought the pic looked kinda of cool (interesting angle, decent light).
Busy, busy, busy so a quick update (also I have another post after this one):
I never finished the post about my eye doctor appointment. So here’s the short summary. I am fine. I took lots of pics at the office. I was there for HOURS. Is anyone losing sleep at night because I never wrote the down and deep about my eye doctor appoint? No? Okay, let’s move on and I’ll get info together for another time.
I read this earlier today: “To strengthen the muscles of your heart, the best exercise is lifting someone else’s spirit whenever you can.” – Dodinsky. Do Good, Feel Good.
Found on Sunday in Brooklyn Heights
My ongoing issues with my pump sites going bad immediately after inserting and blood bath moments in my bathroom have remained but I have had 2 good sites in a row so that’s encouraging. The discouraging part is my insurance won’t budge on my allotment of sites. I went through 6 in a weekend. I will be completely screwed towards the end of this 3 month prescription and forced to either leave in sites too long or switch back to shots. No way Jose. I’m an Inset kinda girl. I like awesome packaging the doubles as the inserter. I like pink and blue sites (I’m totally anti green though. TOTALLY). Today I was able to try out the Inset 30. Things have changed since I used the equivalent version (Silhouettes) back in my MiniMed pumping days. Although the needle still looks obnoxiously rude (like it’s going to spew curse words I’ve never even heard at me), there is now an inserter. Yeah, I was nervous putting it in but not that pale, sweaty way that used to happen as my hands shook back in my manual insertion days. It’s funny though that just looking at this new (well new to me) site took me right back to my first NYC apartment and pep talking myself as my hands shook trying to get those damn sites in. So, I am currently wearing my old blue Inset (I can’t risk another blood bath at work. Mint green pants and a white lace shirt SO does NOT go with my ruby red blood). I also have my Dexcom on my tummy. I am one hot stuff robot lady today. Woo Wee. (I can’t show the Dexcom because I’m keeping SurfaceFine PG… well for today).
2 sites. 1 tummy.
I have finally finished my JDRF Walk letter. I wrote an earlier version that I tried out on a few people last week. It had one of 2 reactions. It either made people cry, like really cry and hug me or TOTAL radio silence. Like no email, text, IM silence. Oh well. My new letter is a bit long but it touches on what I think is important. Once I clean it up a bit, I’ll post it here.
I need to stop cussing so much. I’m not sure if this is diabetes related or not. F*ck Diabetes? Yeah, totally diabetes related. Oh and PG is over now.
From top left: There was a day this week that the Dexcom graph looked THAT nice. 100 seems like a pretty special number, worthy of Photo of the Week.
This is a pic of what a diabetes headache looks like. At one point towards the end of that graph I was on a very crowded subway at rush hour. I could feel something vibrating in my front pocket and something also vibrating on the back of my waistband. My winter coat is long, zipped up, and there was no room to move (plus I’m paranoid of losing my Dex on the subway). When I got to my stop and had a chance to look, the Dexcom was alarming with a Double Arrow down at 137. My pump on my back waistband was alarming because the low battery had turned to “your battery is DEAD”. Yikes! I drank an entire bottle of cranberry juice in line at the bodega and luckily had an extra lithium battery in my purse. A very wicked headache indeed. A few hours later I was crashing again. Ugh.
That baby carrot came out of the bag that way, last night (doggie snack time). It seemed appropriate as it was Valentine’s Day.
When my Valentine’s Day plans got canceled, I decided it was time to be brave. I did my first site insertion in my (sort of) back area. It’s only taken me almost 13 years of pumping and a few months of considering this spot to finally just do it. Truth be told, I don’t like it. I’m wearing ridiculously low jeans today because the site placement is just in-the-way. It annoyed me multiple times in the gym this morning. The site itself isn’t absorbing any better and in my opinion, the absorption seems better on my upper tummy. Also, I highly dislike this photo. I am as pale as Casper and definitely need to spend more time in the gym before my vacation! Next back site, I think I’ll try lower, more at the top of my butt.
Look what I noticed while working on a new project tonight:
That’s the bruise from the pump site I replaced yesterday at work. It was hurting a little while at work. I replaced it in a dimly lit conference room, wore 2 “sites” the rest of the day and removed the old one when I returned home. Tonight I noticed the bruise. My tummy was sticking out between my shirt and sweatpants. I was sitting Indian style on my floor while working on a rather messy jewelry design project. Rather messy is the nice way of saying “What-the-heck-happened-in-here?” and “This-will-never-truly-be-cleaned-up-will-it?”. I wanted to pull down my sweatshirt but my hands were covered in stickiness (used a paper towel and a knuckle to take the pic). I adjusted my shirt over my stomach and jumped right back into mess making 101.
20 minutes later, I took a break. Then I noticed it…. “NO!!!!!!!!!!”….Seriously, NO!
A pump bruise is nothing, but resin on my favorite, super cozy, softer than soft sweatpants???
I took some photos (I know, weird right?) of the gnarly situation known as Saturday Night Site Change.
Note: This is not the norm for a site change. The clean-up was ridiculous and I just found blood on my wall 3 days later. This is why I advocate for diabetes research. A pump is a great tool, but it is not a cure.
Not KoolAid. Pump site madness. Oh and the pump is not a cure.
My tummy. Site was working great. Removal of site, not so great.