Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Two for One

I try very very hard to synchronize the changing of my infusion site with the refilling of my insulin pump. It’s not critical and I can certainly refill my pump without changing my site or vice versa but, when I do synchronize things it means that I use one of each of the three pump supplies (infusion site to get the insulin into my body, cartridge to hold the insulin and tubing to get the insulin from the pump to my site). That means that my supply of each of these things goes down at the same rate. Again, not essential but it makes it easier to order new ones when I need the same number of each thing.

Sometimes though, things don’t work out as nicely as I’d like.

Life happens.

Every once in a while I walk too close to doors or cupboards and yank out my infusion site when the tubing catches on the handle.

Some weeks I go for too many runs in between site changes, things tug a bit too much and the insulin starts leaking all over my skin rather than under it.

It’s days like these when I have to put in a new site before I need to refill my insulin pump.

Last weekend I noticed that a tiny bit of insulin leaked out of the site when I bolused for my lunch. Not a lot, just enough to notice. I waited it out and my blood sugar behaved after lunch. Perfect. The same thing happened at dinner but my blood sugar still behaved after dinner so most of the insulin was obviously still going in.

I had 57 units left in my insulin pump which means a day and a half left of insulin. I decided to see how long I go stretch out my failing site and wondered if I could make it to insulin refill time so I could do everything at once.

All evening long my blood sugars were in range which meant that the steady trickle of insulin was getting into my body without a hitch. It was just the bigger boluses I was going to have to worry about. Overnight worked well and I woke up in the morning with perfect numbers.

I showered, slathered cream on my winter-dry skin and got dressed. I had a plan. I was going to bolus the 5 units I needed to take for breakfast in 2-unit waves, several minutes apart. I hoped that smaller doses would go in without leaking and that waiting a few minutes would allow it to disperse under my skin and make room for the next dose.

The first dose worked well. The second, not so much. The third, not at all.

Oh well. I had dragged the site out about 16 hours which was better than nothing.

I popped a new site in and carried on with getting ready.

Less than a minute later I felt something strange under my shirt. I checked only to discover that the brand new site I had just put in had come completely unglued and was hanging by a thread.

Bloody hell.

Turns out that putting a brand new site onto skin that has recently had a good dose of skin cream applied is not a good idea. It makes for a completely non-stick surface and, once a site stops sticking, there is no saving it.

I scrubbed a new spot clean and even alcohol-swabbed it for good measure. I inserted the second infusion site in less than ten minutes.

So much for that plan.

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