Site Change Musings, Part 2.

Time for part 2 of our discussion about infusion sites. Lots of super comments after yesterday’s post. Let’s see if we can answer a few more questions today.

If I have trouble with a site, how long do I wait to change it? That depends. Didn’t expect this to be a simple answer, did you? Mostly, how long I wait is in inverse proportion to where my blood glucose readings are. If my BG is hovering in the 200-250 mg/dL range for a while, I’ll try to do my best to get that number down. Drinking lots of water, avoiding almost all carbs, exercising, etc. If I’m still not coming down roughly 18-24 hours later, I’m moving on to a new site. But if I’m stuck in the 300+ range, I’m waiting only about 8 hours tops. I should also mention here that this kind of thing doesn’t happen very often to me, so I don’t have a lot of experience. And I hope I don’t get a lot of experience with this, if you know what I mean.

Do I have a favorite site? Yes… that’s definitely my leg. Never hurts going in. It always feels like it’s out of the way (except I sometimes forget it’s there when I take my pants off… #TMI). In fact, I’ve been known to time my site changes or switch around the order temporarily just so I can have it in my leg for long bike rides. Always seem to get a smooth delivery of insulin, maybe because there’s less fat there. If I had enough space, I think I would have it in my leg all the time. By the way, before finding the Diabetes Online Community, I had never even heard of using any space other than my midsection or my butt. Thanks DOC. My second-favorite site? On either side. It just feels comfy, though it’s much more likely that I’ll rip the thing out from there than from anywhere else.

And a final bonus question… thanks Jen for making me think of it: Will I do a site change anywhere? Only at home? Okay, two questions. I’ve only done site changes at home or in a hotel room (once without an inserter). Never at work. Never on a day trip somewhere. At work I’m just worried about getting a gusher when pulling out the old cannula. Which I suppose I could handle by waiting to pull the cannula until I get home. So maybe I’ll try that in the future. Otherwise, I don’t know. Can’t think of a reason not to do a change somewhere, other than for sanitary reasons. I think my hang-up (and it’s really my hang-up) is the whole my comfort with doing the change versus someone’s discomfort watching me do the change thing. I don’t really have a problem, but I don’t want someone else to feel weird about it. In the greater sense though, I think it would be helpful for people to see things like this that we have to do all the time, so they can be reminded that diabetes is real and it’s not a simple thing to live with.

Once again, feel free to post your answers, or any additional questions, by leaving a comment below. It’s been a great discussion so far.
 
 
 

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Comments

  • Scott E  On January 15, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I know I sound like a broken record here, but changing the site with a Sure-T is as easy as pulling out a thumbtack (carefully) from one spot and re-sticking it somewhere else. Since it’s just a small needle that never leaves the infusion set, it’s super-easy. It also lets me change it without hesitation or negotiation (is this “really” the problem; is it worth the hassle/expense of a new one).

    But before that, when I used the Silhouettes, there were plenty of times I changed the infusion set and kept the old tubing. It’s a shame the tubing is packaged with the set itself, because I usually end up throwing it away.

    I’ve done site changes at work before, always in a restroom stall. Balancing everything on a toilet-paper-roll is tricky, but thankfully it’s there and fully stocked. Once I had a gusher and had to use quite a bit of paper to blot it up. Fortunately, collateral damage was kept to a minimum.

    Then there was this one time I changed my set in the restroom on a moving Long Island Railroad train. Sometimes you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do… and since the woman in the seat next to me reeked of cigarette smoke, I was more than willing to get up and give it a shot.

  • Scott K. Johnson  On January 16, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I’ve done a site change in the YMCA parking lot once. My site got dislodged during basketball and my only spare was in the truck. I ran out there, basketball clothes and all, and popped the new one in. I think that’s the weirdest place I’ve changed mine.

    • Scott E  On January 16, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Yeah, I’ve done site changes in the car too, plenty of times.

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