Monday, July 2, 2012

Infusion changes

I'll keep this post relatively short, but I had to do an infusion change today and despite the fact I've been using this particular infusion set for several months now I cannot get over the nerves of inserting it.

There is a "smiley face" on my right thigh
just under my black pump clip in my
pocket - that is a SureT infusion site.
Initially when I went on the pump, Medtronic (my diabetes supply company) suggested that I use the infusion set called a "SureT" that has secondary attachment site on surface of your skin.  The purpose of the second attachment and the benefit of this specific set is that if your pump gets caught or is pulled by something (i.e. a toddler...) the second site will detach and the infusion site remains intact in your subcutaneous fat.  While this worked beautifully for me for a while, when I really ramped up my training for running and started to notably decrease my body fat percentages the 5 mm needle that remains in your skin with this infusion set design would begin to jab my muscles and make movement - walking, let alone running - very painful.

Of course the people at Medtronic thought it was particularly funny when I called to say "I don't have enough fat to wear this infusion set any more," but all irony and joking aside they ultimately agreed that I needed to change designs for comfort.

No longer using my son as the driving factor for which infusion set I use,  I had several many new options to pick from.  Ultimately picking the most "athlete friendly" option, I've been on a set called the "Silhouette" for the past eight or nine months.  The big difference between this one and the SureT is that this set uses a cannula for insulin injection.  The benefit of using a cannula is that it is a plastic tube rather than sharp metal and instead of being inserted vertically into the skin is "injected" at a 45 degree angle into the subcutaneous layer.

Much better, right?

Well... yes, but no.  The problem with this particular cannula is that it requires a 1.5 inch needle on a spring loaded "serter" to be placed accurately...  No matter how many times I've done this (every three days) or how many times I remind myself that it really doesn't hurt all that much, it still scares the boohockey out of me to press that action button, hear the twang of release and send this needle surging into my abdomen.

I must admit that I am half looking forward to the point in this pregnancy where I've put on enough excess weight and fat to be able to swap back to the SureT and avoid this particular self-mutilation for a few months... but then again I want to get back to running, so that respite wont last too long I hope.  Of course I have an amneocentesis or two to look forward to toward the end of the pregnancy to check on Baby's lung development, so it looks like I'm doomed to large gauge needles regardless!

Well, that is enough thinking about needles and stabbing oneself for one night.  Charming topic, I know, but it's a reality I deal with on a regular basis.

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