Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Movin' on up!

As most of you know, I wear an insulin pump (Master P) and a continuous glucose monitoring system (Shelly).

Back when I was on MDI, multiple daily injections, I took almost all of my shots in my stomach. I never had a problem with this. I would move around all day long and since I have plenty of tummy to go around, it was really not that big of a deal.

At first when I started on the pump I noticed some issues with absorption. I could feel lots of scar tissue in my abdomen so I figured I would give my tummy a break and switch to my thighs. That worked out well. I slowly move up and down each thigh and again I have plenty of real estate so I think I am giving my tissue time to heal.

But what to do with my CGM when I brought it on board?

I started by using my stomach which has giving me some serious pain, and some mixed results. I have found a few good spots that worked but my Keg (as opposed to a six pack) hurts sometimes from that inserion needle. And I have had some bad reactions because of it.

So now I have ventured to a new spot that before was solely used for Flu shots and such. My arms.

Friday night I put a sensor in my arm before I went to bed. I was nervous pressing down on the plunger to put it in but it didn't hurt at all. Yay! Jasmine helped put the Tegaderm on it. (side note - Tegaderm is like a patch of clear adhesive that holds the sensor in place. Like another layer of skin. It is sticky and works well for me.) I let the sensor get "wet" all night and then start it in the morning. I slept fine with it which was another concern and in the morning before I hopped in the shower, I started it up.

Awesome, this is a perfect spot.

When I got out of the shower and was drying off, I made sure I watched how I dried my arms and patted down the sensor so I did not rip it off. Perfect. I began drying my back and while I was puling the towel back and forth across my back I heard and felt a massive RIP!

OUCH!!!!!!!!!! (and some other words were shouted)

I didn't realize that my arm was bent in such a way that the pulling of the towel ran right across it and ripped it out. I mean ripped. I was left with a Tegaderm frame around the place my sensor was. Unbefreakingleavable.

I put in another sensor which turned out to be a bad one (yay) and ended up putting a third sensor in later Saturday night. So far this last sensor has been working well and I have figured out how to dry my back without pulling a sensor out. I don't want to do that ever again.

Hopefully this will continue to work for met. I really enjoy all the information I get from the CGM and would hate to stop using it because of scarring or pain. I figure if I use my arms for a while and let my stomach have a break, it will be ready to go when the arms are done for a while.

Being a human pin cushion sucks.


Val said...

I have real estate issues too. I use my legs for Dexcom sensors, and was using belly for pump sites but absorption there sucks so I have been trying my upper arms. Absorption is great but at least twice a month I bend a cannula in my sleep and wake up headed for the moon, BG-wise, just by sleeping on my side. @%#$&*!

Jaclyn said...

Ack! I also worry about my stomach getting too scarred from those sensors. They sure do leave some long-lasting marks (compared to pump infusion sites anyway).

I've always been too scared to try my arm... Have you not had any issues with weak/lost signal?

Bethany said...

We have so much in common, george! same dia-versary, keg 'round our middles, using tegaderm over cgm sites, and now the arm-ripping out problem! I just put on my first sensor in my arm, too, and when I put on my bra later that day - ripped it right out! ouchie!!

Kerri said...

I have trouble with the arm sites, too, because I just plain forget they're there.

But I think after a few days, hopefully your brain will go, "OMG, that thing is up there. Tread lightly!" and you'll be safe and sound.

If not, you can start making up new curse words. That's honking fun sometimes. ;)

Good luck, SuperG!!!

Stacey D. said...

I'm like Val and use my Dexcom sensors in my legs ... outer thighs. This is wonderful for me since I have no absorption for infusion sets in my thighs so at least I can use those there. I have used sets in my arms but have not tried sensors yet. I'm a bit chicken for that but maybe I'll muster up the courage at some point.

Carol said...

Yes, these sensors definitely intensify the real estate issues. I've been puzzling over where to go next too. I have stuck to abs, hips and lower back so far. Do you use front or side of your thighs?

George said...

Val - I have not tried an infusion set on my arm. I may have to try that too.

Jaclyn - I have not had any lost signals except at night but that is typical for me. I am too restless and I end up sleeping on my pump half the time.

Bethany - You are officially my "Sister from a different Mister!"

Kerri - I am already doing so much better with it. Let's hope I don't forget it's there!

Stacey - I understand not wanting to insert stuff in your arms or anywhere new. It is always scary.

Carol - Typically I use the front of my thighs. I should try moving around to the sides! Thanks for the idea!

Shannon said...

Reading about the site ripping out gave me the chills. i hope you didn't rip too much hair out.

Shannon said...

Screaming Kelly Clarkson's name seems to help with the pain in a situation like the one you had.

Anonymous said...

Hi George,
I am considering using the back of my upper arms. I hate to make my husband help with such a big needle. I can't use my thighs for infusion sites or CGM's because I usually wear jeans to work and I am afraid of the friction. Is that silly?

Cherise said...

Ouch! I hope the arm works out for you. I try not to put my pod there because if the same issue you had with tour sense. Ouch!

Scott K. Johnson said...

It does suck (being a pin cushion). That's one heck of a mark.

Sigh. It's all so damn primitive, isn't it?