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Re: [IPk] Infections


In the spring of 1997, about 9 months after I got my first pump, I got a doozy
of an infection.  It abcessed and  I was sick at home for a week after finally
getting a strong enough antibiotic from the third doctor I saw.  Terrible
experience, but that's the only time I've had an infection requiring
antibiotics in over 5.5 years.  Your mileage will undoubtedly vary, but be
sure you learn the difference between an irritation and an infection.

At least once every few weeks I find itching, redness, and a bit of swelling
at a site, but the irritation goes away within 16-24 hours of taking out the
old set.  My rule of thumb is that if, about 24 hours after removing the set
that's caused you trouble, you find a site getting more sensitive, oozing
fluid, or preventing you from buttoning your trousers because it just hurts,
do not apply a topical antibiotic (as I did those many years ago)--it'll just
seal the bad stuff inside!  Get to a doctor and explain that you are quite
sure you have the beginnings of an infection and you will not go home without
a prescription for an antibiotic.  I was not far away from toxic shock when my
abcess was finally caught.  I was not forceful enough with the 2 doctors who
had never seen a pump user before, and they had no idea how bad things were.
After I applied hot compresses several times a day in that week I was home
sick, the sucker finally went while I was in the shower (<-thank goodness!)
and I could hardly believe my eyes.  Yucky stuff!

My first thought was that my skin had not been clean enough when I inserted
the set, but in reality I don't think that was the case.  I realized later
that something had gotten in under the set, perhaps because back then the
Sof-Set adhesive was not great.  I found it didn't want to stick to me well at
all, though some people I knew said it worked fine for them.  Whatever the
cause, I know I did not see the infection coming because I could not see the
spot where the cannula went in.  I switched to Tenders immediately after that
infection, and I love them (in spite of the longer needle) because I can see
if I'm getting irritated or if things look good.  If a set is uncomfortable
but looks fine, I change it; if a set feels okay but looks bad, out it comes.
You'll get the hang of all of this in time.

Take care,

IDDM almost 8 years; MiniMed pumper 5.5 yearsGet more from the Web.  FREE MSN
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