[IP] Need Advice About Site Absorption Problems
As always, I am turning to the live group for advice after having done
research in the archives and elsewhere, talking to my endo and health team,
but not getting any real answers.
Some background is necessary. When I started pumping 13 years ago, I was
of course told to change my sites every 2-3 days, because they would "go
bad" (deliver the wrong amount of insulin, get infected, etc.) if left in
any longer. Well, I often pushed it, because I could get away with 4 or 5 -
or even 7 days or more w/o seeing any noticeable difference in my control
and w/o getting infections. I did it mostly to save time.
However, in the last year or two I have been having increasing trouble with
cannula-kinking and poor site absorption. Inquiries to my endo and other
medical support people about this has given me a new rationale for changing
sets frequently that was never discussed until I brought it up - that is,
the need to change sets to different locations frequently to minimize the
buildup of scar tissue at the sites. Had I known this was a big issue, I
would have been more motivated to take the time to swap my sites frequently.
That is how I got in my present fix. What I need to do now is figure out
how to handle the present situation.
I used Quick-Sets for a long time, until I kept getting bent cannulas and
switched to Sils. They worked better for a time, but now they are doing the
same thing. I will have a high or two - and I've learned that means I need
to pull the set even if it was inserted that same day. Usually I will find
that the cannula is bent at a 90 degree angle in one or more places, most
often at the tip or base. Sometimes the cannula appears to be perfect, but
I am assuming that on those occasions I have unknowingly placed the end of
the cannula against a particularly dense area of scar tissue.
Clearly, I need to change the type of infusion sets I use. Metal needle
sets have been the usual suggestion (Sure-T, for instance), but my endo
doesn't like them and I am afraid to try them for fear they will irritate my
skin (everything seems to irritate my skin) and then I'll feel I am w/o
What I would really appreciate is suggestions from others with this problem
(or familiar with it) as to other types of infusion sets that might work
better. Now that there are so many companies producing adaptors that allow
the use of most any set with MM's proprietary Paradigm pumps, I am hoping
that some other manufacturer can do a better job of addressing this issue
with Teflon cannulas than MM. I've never been very impressed with the sets
MM offers, anyway, but I stick with the company because they are the main
game in town for CGMS. Or if you have used metal-needle cannulas (MM's or
others) with success, I would like to hear about that, too.
One other question. Since I have now started to rotate frequently, will
that allow any of the built-up scar tissue to dissipate? Or am I stuck with
what I've got?
Thank you very much. I will be donating again soon, Michael.
Oh-please CC me any responses, as I am an online member only.
Laurel (DXed Dec. 1974; pumping since May 1998; CGMS off and on for several
years; now on continuously because my insurance finally agreed to pay; about
to upgrade to a MM Revel)
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