Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Site after site, after site, after site....

I usually change my pump sites at night right before I go to bed. I know, I know.. how can I check my blood sugar a couple hours later when I’m fast asleep?

It works for me.

A while ago I read (I think on Scott J’s blog) how he turned up his basal rate when he put in a new set. Reading that changed my life. Seriously. I started changing at night and turning up my basal rate to 150% for three hours. I didn’t have to deal with not eating carbs. I put it in, turn it up, and go to sleep, usually waking with a respectable number.

On Sunday my site was really sore in the morning. (probably because it had been in for about 5 or 6 days!) I decided that I would have to change it right then. Definitely not my favorite time to do it. I changed it and turned the rate up. I was in a meeting all day, and didn’t really eat much. I tested often, and hovered around the high hundreds. I had left the old site in, and used it to bolus for carbs. Dixie alerted everyone in the group all day. There were a couple people I didn’t know well, so I thought maybe they had a metabolic problem. (Dixie is sensitive to other metabolic problems as well as diabetes) The meeting wrapped up at 5ish, and we decided to go out for dinner. I was still hovering just under 200.

We went to dinner and I wasn’t feeling great throughout the meal. I ate about 1/3 of my meal and had a beer. By the time I got home, I was really feeling awful. (I had left Dixie at home since it was a crazy day) I tested and was 280! I decided that my site must be kinked. I pulled it out and found it to be majorly kinked.

Here’s what I don’t understand. I bolused and had basal insulin all day. The site wasn’t wet. Where does the insulin go?? It certainly didn’t go in me! Argh.

I put a new site in and monitored the rest of the night. I came down a little, but not much. Before bed I gave a giant bolus. I woke up around 2am. I felt MISERABLE! Cotton mouth, heartburn (which I always get if my b.s. is over 150), and very nauseated. I tested. 352! I pulled the set out. Kinked again. I put another one in (are you counting?? This is the 3rd one now). I tried to prime the cannula and got an “occlusion” alarm. WTF?!?! I tore the site out and it was kinked. I decided that maybe my quick serter was not working. I found another one and put a site in. (#4) Tried to prime the cannula, and “occlusion” alarm again. I ripped this site out and it was fine. CRAP! I finally had a good site and now I pulled it out. I opened a new box of quick sets and inserted again. (#5) I found a syringe and gave a whopping bolus to cover the high and the hours without insulin.

Then I puked my guts out.

I am very sensitive to high blood sugars. I will always throw up if I am over 300.

I decided that I couldn’t work in the morning. It was now 3:45 in the morning. I grabbed my computer and logged on to the substitute website. I got a sub, and then spent the next ½ hour typing up sub plans to email to my teaching partner. (so she could give them to whatever sub showed up)

I finally got back in bed around 4:30. I tried to go back to sleep. I also had a bad cold, and so whenever I laid flat, I started coughing. I finally fell asleep sometime after 6am.

At 8am, Dixie alerted. I was 29. Clearly the site was working. I had 2 gu’s and 2 juice boxes and got up. I made my way to the couch and spent the day there.

I had a little breakfast, but not much else during the day. My blood sugars hovered in the high hundreds, low 200s. I figured I was sick and needing more insulin. I turned my rate up. Around 2 I had some cereal, and bolused for it. Two hours later when I checked I was 250.

Yep, you guessed it. Another hour later and no reaction to the correction, I whipped out yet another kinked site. I gave up on stomach sites and used another inserter to put it in my hip. (#6)

Finally, around 6pm, my blood sugars stabilized. The site was working. Dixie was wiped out. She spent the entire day with her head on my lap.

I remember doing 6 changed, but there were wrappers for 9 sites in the trash last night when I counted them.

All I could think of during this unexplainable ordeal is what if this had happened when I was camping in the wilderness. I wouldn’t have had nine sets with me. I would have been really screwed.

I will be sending the box of sets that are left to minimed. Clearly, there’s a problem with them.

I will remember that inserting devices, like lancet devices, eventually wear out and need to be replaced. My Quick serters are probably all about 4-6 years old.

Dam diabetes. On Sunday and Monday, it really sucked.


Anonymous said...

I know you are way more expierenced with diabetes than I am so I feel kinda silly for asking but...

have you tried other sets? I had several experiences like yours with the Quick-sets and was sooo frustrated. Someone on one of the forums recommended the Sure-T. It has a steel needle instead of a plastic cannula so it can't kink. I honestly cannot feel the needle so it is more of a mental thing to get used to it. It certainly takes out one of the steps in trouble shooting.

So those are my 2 cents. Aren't you glad you didn't ask! ;)

Scott K. Johnson said...

Holy craptastic days and sites there Mol. That frickin' sucks.

Do you feel wiped out from it all, even still? Stuff like that really takes it out of me for days.

I too change my sites at night, contrary to recommended instructions. But I find that I really struggle with those new infusion sites for a while, and giving it the night to "kick in" seems to take the edge off a little.

For me, it is often the very first meal on that new set. If I change it at night, I'll be fine ALL NIGHT - rock steady BG's. So that tells me the site is working. I'll eat breakfast, and WHAMMO! Here's a 350 mg/dl for your dumb ass. And I'm like "WTF did I do wrong?" - NOTHING!!! Arg! DAM DIABETES!!!!

And get this! I even often do the "Fill Cannula" step, maxed out at 1.2 units, four or five times right when I change the site...

Yeah - figure that out if you can. Like you say - where the hell does all that insulin GO?!?

Donna said...

What a nightmare! Hope you're feeling better now. :)

Molly said...

Hello! First of all I think your dog rocks. I didn't know that it was possible for a dog to pick on on the hi's and lo's .. Awesome!

secondly - I stumbled on your site doing that silly "molly Needs" thing on google.. your site comes up as the third one in the list.. and I saw the name "Dam Diabetes" and I HAD to check it out .. because ...

thirdly - My name is Molly, I was diagnosed with Type I diabetes when I was 8 years old, and I've been pumping for 10 years, diabetic for 23.5 years. weird. yes. I honestly thought that that your dog's name was Molly, because I know so many people with dogs named Molly .. glad to hear its just a weird freaky coincidence.. ;)

So, maybe it's somewhere on your blog, but How did you find out you had an allergy to insulin? Is it just something you've always had? or something that developed over the years?

Anyway -- good to "meet" another Molly out there.