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[IPk] Re: sites

I've been following the discussion about alternative sites for infusion
sets, which suddenly seems to be highly pertinent to me.
Having been happily (or relatively happily - I still sometimes have a
hard time inserting sets) for 2 and half years as a pump user, putting
all sets on my abdomen, below the waist (somewhat restricted area due
to rather extensive scars from abdominal surgery), alternating left and
right.  Just recently, inserting new sets has become much more painful,
sites have been lasting much shorter times, getting itchy after 2-3
days whereas they used to last 6-7 days without significant discomfort,
and when I remove the sets there are often nasty red bumps - look like
irritation not infection.  Some of this may not be unconnected with a
stressful phase of my life - some of it connected with where I live,
but also deadlines at work, stroppy teenagers at home etc.
Whatever the reasons, I think the time has come to try some other sites
and give those areas a rest.
Does anyone have experience of putting sets above the waist, making use
of the fatty tissue I wish I didnt have covering the rib-cage?  can I
expect comparable absorption and similar duration for sets in that
area?  incidentally I am using Tenders.

On a happier note - and maybe this will be of encouragement to those
doing battle with the NHS for pumps and supplies - hearing what a hard
time people are having would make me hesitate to move back to England. 
My first pump (Disetronic) 2 years ago I had to pay for myself,
although 90% of the cost of supplies was paid without question right
from the beginning.  However recently, after much lobbying by
physicians and the local diabetes society, pumps have officially been
added to the list of equipment which the local equivalent of the NHS is
required to pay for (again that means about 90%) provided you get a
recommendation from a specialist.  Quite off topic, I had double cause
to be happy at the time the new list of equipment etc was published,
since PET scans, which I work with, were added to the list at the same

Anyway when the time came to renew my pump (I had signed a contract
with Disetronic to pay for one pump in the first instance, a second one
after 2 years, and a third one free two years after that - I know their
scheme is different now, and they renovate pumps at the factory after 2
years), I went to see the official specialist, who gave me an
unpleasant talking to because he thought my HbA1c's had not been good
enough to merit a pump (great logic???!), but (mostly because my
endocrinologist, who he respects, had told him about me) he said that
he would give me the recommendation for the pump, provided I promise to
work faithfully, either with my endocrinologist or with him, to improve
my HbA1c's - so of course I listened politely to his little lecture,
while feeling pretty angry inside that he was treating me like this,
and said yes, yes, yes, I promise; at the end he became friendly and
did sort of apologize for having been aggressive. Anyway the good news
is that a couple of weeks later, I heard officially that they would
repay me 90% the cost of the pump.  On the same day I also got the
result of the latest HbA1c, which at 8.2 was far from satisfactory, but
since it was a little better than the previous 3 values, gave me reason
to hope that the small adjustments I had made recently might be paying

And I am seeing the endocrinologist more frequently now - since I work
in the same hospital, one floor below his lab, this is done in a nice
informal way.  He thinks that part of the problem is due to basically
unpredictable stuff, but also that I am too hesitant to make changes -
it's true - firstly I am always in denial that my insulin requirements
might be going up - for no intelligent reason that I can fathom out, I
hate the thought of my requirements increasing, and secondly, I never
can decide if low or high blood glucose readings are the result of
something very temporary, like having a minor virus or a day of unusual
exercise or stress, or if the change is something which is here to stay
for long enough to justify a change in basal rate.


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