Pumping It: I'm still learning.

Melissa Dawn
By Melissa Dawn Latest Reply 2008-06-16 06:08:25 -0500
Started 2008-04-02 05:32:15 -0500

After managing my diabetes with insulin shots for years, last year I finally had an insurance plan that would cover 80% of an insulin pump.

A year later, I still feel like I'm learning how to manage with it. My biggest problem seems to come from the pump site going bad. I know I'm supposed to be able to wear my pump for 3 days, but sometimes the site goes bad within 2 days. I can't for the life of me figure out why it happens, predict when it will happen, or figure out what to do to solve it. I'd be willing to change my pump sites more often (they almost always make it at least 2 days) but I don't believe I can get coverage on the supplies and I'm on a limited budget.

Has anyone else had any problem with the pump sites going bad early? Did you figure out how to make them last longer?

Finally, I guess I'd appreciate any other tricks of the trade. I rotate my pump sites a lot better than I used to (I have 6-8 rotations I use). What else can I do to make managing with my pump better? It did improve things, but I'm still not meeting my goals and I feel like I'm starting to slide back in the wrong directin.

Tags: devices

6 replies

John 2008-04-17 06:24:56 -0500 Report

I've had similar issues.

If you use Humalog, try using Novolog/Novarapid. Anecdotl evidence suggests Humalog crystalizes and occludes easier.

If you use a vertical set like a quickset, try a diagonal one like a Silhouette. Also try a longer or shorter canula.

I've been trying an IV3000 pad under my set. Supposedly movement can cause something called tunneling. The IV3000 provides a smooth surface that won't move. It also enforces the surrounding tissues to prevent swelling. It seems to help me. http://www.diabetesnet.com/diabetes_technolog...

If you are like me, there are areas where scar tissue has built up over the years. But typically these sites don't work well from the get-go.

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2008-04-17 08:56:30 -0500 Report

Thanks for the response! I do use Humalog insulin. I'll have to ask them to swap it for Novalog and see if that goes better. I also had my doctor rewrite my perscription to change my set every 2 days instead of every 3. That seems to be working better… its just more costly.

diabeticmidfielder 2008-04-02 14:14:05 -0500 Report

Well, the biggest advice that I have (as a pump user) is to make sure you are rotating your site of injection. I'm curious how your site is "going bad." Is there blockage? Are your numbers just going high after 2 days? Is there insulin leaking around your site? Depending on which (if any) of these is the problem, I can offer different/more advice. If you are getting blockage, it may be that you are giving too much insulin at once. With my Cozmo, if I have a large bolus (usually bigger that 10-12 units) I break it into 2 boluses (that word looks really weird) to avoid blockage.

P.S. Dad, what were you talking about in the last part of your comment? It was completely unrelated to the question. Sorry, just had to mention that.

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2008-04-03 03:18:51 -0500 Report

Well, I have blocks — it'll give me a "no delivery" message as well as times where the absorbtion stops. I'm not sure how I can break the bolus up with a paradigm, but I'll look into that. Thanks!

optimalirish 2008-06-16 06:08:25 -0500 Report

On the no delivery part, i recently had to replace my pump because the sensor went bad. When it says no delivery scroll down to read everything, there might be a number associated with the alarm. If so, call the company and see if they have a solution.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-04-02 10:05:46 -0500 Report

I will try to get my son to give you his advice. He's the one that lives with the pump every day. He definitely has experienced sites going bad.

He's on the Cosmo pump which has an option for 2-day sites/4-day tubing (if that makes sense). It's not as affordable as the 3-day sites but certainly cheaper than just using a new site every 2 days.

From my perspective, the fine tuning of the basal and carb ratio are the best ways to improve control. Our endo encourages after meal tests to check the carb ratio and before meal tests to check basal rates. The great thing about the pump is being able to make the small adjustments and see if you can get your numbers better.

Hope that's at least a little helpful.