« The Diabetes Police. | Main | Grand Rounds 4.48. »

Diabetes Real Estate.

Control is tough to come by these days - and it seems like the more I fret about it, the more tangled my numbers become.  I'm trying a more relaxed approach (yes, I am as high-strung as I seem, why do you ask?!) to diabetes management.  Like this past weekend:  instead of shlepping myself home to RI and spending more time in the car than with friends and family, I decided to stay home in CT and relax.  I watched movies.  I worked on some writing I was trying to finish.  I made iced tea and cleaned my house.  (And I also tried on my wedding dress for no reason, but that's neither here nor there.)

Overall, I tried to freaking relax.  And it helped - my numbers didn't act out.  Apparently the absence of cortisol helps blood sugar stability - who knew? 

In addition to decompressing a bit, I also tried out a few new site locations last week.  I'm wondering if my thighs are a bit overused and if absorption is suffering as a result of the scartissue.  To give my legs a rest, I made good use of an arm site and a back site.

Infusion set on the back of my arm.

The arm site I've done before.  I can insert it myself (on my left arm, since I'm right-handed), it is pretty pain-free, and is away from my abdomen, which I prefer.  The mechanics of an arm site are a bit tricky, though.  If I aim the tubing towards my shoulder (see the photo), the tube goes up my shoulder, through the sleeve of my shirt, down the side of my body and then comes to a rest at my waist, where the pump is clipped.  It's a little complicated, because the tubing sometimes pinches where it's snaked underneath the side of my bra and it tickles a smidge, too.  Also, I almost ripped the site off a few times when putting on/taking off a sports bra, but overall, I just need to remember where the hell the site is and I don't screw it up.

Using my lower back as a site for an infusion set scared the crap out of me, but I knew it was possible because I saw Sara stick her CGM trial sensor there at the CWD conference.  It just made me feel squeamish thinking about the needle being inserted into my back ... actually, just writing that is making me feel all eeeew.  But, after psyching myself up and reminding myself that if it hurt, I could just rip it right out, I used the ol' Quick-Serter to stick a set into my lower back, towards the side.

Infusion set on back.  Thought it would hurt.  Was wrong, thankfully!

This site didn't sting much going in (totally unused real estate here), but the first bolus was a bitch and a half.  It stung like crazy!  Thankfully, it only took a few boluses to really get the site settled in and by the end of the first day, I didn't feel it at all.  I've worn it to the gym, to the movies, and in clothing with varying waist bands with no problem.  The only difference between this and wearing it on my thigh is that it's higher and the tubing doesn't naturally tuck down my leg, so snagged tubing is a risk.  Overall, I'm digging it, and grateful for the option.

New real estate options for my pump?  Check. Chillin' out, maxing, relaxing all cool?  (Name that sitcom!)  Check.  Have any of you guys tried these sites?  Any options for new places? 

And how was your weekend?  :)


Fresh Prince?

I have used the back site which I like but have stayed on my thighs for a long time. It helps to rock the sock spot.

The arm site freaks me out. I will let you know if I try it. I will just have to tie my sock on my belt loop. LOL

I've done the lower back site too, and I like it a lot. I've also done a little lower & farther back - kinda like upper butt, and that works really well for me too. I find my abdomen easiest for tucking tubing and juggling in the bathroom and stuff. But I love lower back and upper butt because the site is out of the way! Nice to have the tummy real estate free. :) Still have tried my thighs or arms yet . . . I should give that a go and see how it works for me.

Shooting some insulin outside of school? When a couple of boluses who were up to no good started makin' trouble in my neighborhood? I got into one big low and my doc got scared....well, enough of slaughtering an amazing theme song, but yes, as a kid in the 90s I worshipped that show :-)

I have started using silhouttes on my thighs and i don't want to use any other site now. I have used stomach and back, I even tried the breast which I didn't get good absorption there. Seems like my thighs work the best for me.

I haven't been able to make any site work consistently except my abdomen. It's very frustrating as my belly needs a break. But when literally one in two sites on my thighs is bad, and every rear end and lower back site is bad, I'm sort of stuck. I haven't tried my arms, though--thanks for the reminder. The only other thing I can think to do now is investigate what other infusion sets I can try. (I've only gone with the Comfort 45-degree cannula sets and the Cleo push-button 90-degree cannula sets so far.)

Chillin' out, maxing, relaxing all cool and shooting some b-ball outside of the school when a couple of guy who were up to no good started making trouble in my neighborhood - I got in one little fight and my mom got scared and said "you're moving to your auntie and uncle's in Bel Air.

Back and muffin top (sorry, but that's what it is ) are my two favorite locations.

Love handles and the good old bum. I use arm sites a lot in the winter too.

Has anyone tried their calf? I've always been curious about that one...

When I was on the Omnipod my arms were my favorite site. I got really good absorption, till my skin started peeling off under the adhesive. I did arms, back, sides, thighs, stomach and sides of my butt (too painful though).

Since I've switched to the Animas 2020 I've only done thighs, sides and stomach. I use the Inset30s that have the inserter built in. I haven't been tempted yet to use any of the other areas again. I would like to figure out how to do arms. I use 23" sets and I think I might need the longer ones if I use my arms, I wasn't even thinking about running the tubing down the inside of my shirt to my belt. Duh! I was trying to figure out how to hold the pump in an iPod like arm band. Long sleeves would make reaching the controls tough though. But Animas just came out with the Ping which is pretty cool and would fix that problem.

As for insulin sting, I didn't experience this till I switched to the Animas, the Omnipod was slow enough to not cause it. The 2020 has a setting for slow delivery. When I switched this setting on, it was fine. I don't feel the sting anymore.

Do other pumps have a delivery speed setting?

My daughter uses upper butt/hip and lower back a lot, as well as thigh and tummy. She's not used arm yet. I think upper butt is her favorite spot.

I certainly feel like a rookie right now. I only use my hip/sides area and can't imagine venturing anywhere else! I wish I could but when I try to expand and rotate, I end up moving 1/2 an inch. I think it's because I don't use any sort of insertion device and use an angled silhouette (minimed) infusion set. Anyone else using this type of set have a suggestion? I'd love to get it more places, though arm seems scary!

That lower back site is my favorite (when I'm pumping - I've been on an unwanted break since Feb due to absorption issues). A little less scar tissue than my belly, out of the way, and to me it doesn't hurt.

Just gain weight-then you gain real estate! :D

RIght now im using my tummy which is a challenge to me because I broke my arm at work ! Do u know how hard it is to test ur blood sugar with a cast on and change ur site ?!
I have found a new apperciation for clothes that have elastic in them since breaking my arm ! I got my cast purple to match my purple MM 722 ! Im jealous that you can wear ur site in different places as soon as this cast comes off I'm there ! lol

Lower back is my favourite for infusion sets and my CGMS sensor. I love the fact that when I look in the mirror I can't see them at all which makes a nice change.

I've got hubby trained up to insert the sensors and infusion sets so I can wear them further round my back than I can reach on my own.

After I got my CGM this past spring, I got frustrated wearing two devices on my stomach (always wore my pump site on my stomach). I started experimenting with putting the infusion set elsewhere, I tried my leg and my lower back. I did best on the lower back, my leg site seemed to get infected more often than not.

To make things more complicated - my toddler likes to be carried and is squirmy, so after losing a lot of sensors on my side/stomach, I started experimenting w/ putting the sensor on my lower back, and the infusion set back on the stomach. I really love wearing the sensor on my lower back, I've been doing it for a few months now, and it really stays in place better there than on my stomach.

Good luck, I know it is really hard to find good real estate!

I tried the thigh site for a while; but at the time, I was running (I'm out now, due to a stress fracture), and I got a ton of lows because the insulin got absorbed too fast. So mostly, I use my upper abdomen, sides, lower back, and other sites in the hip/butt area. I generally like the sides and rear, because the tubing is out of the way. I'm on the MiniMed CGMS; I don't have anyone to insert them for me, so I'm tummy-bound for those. I keep them on my tummy, below my waist.

My son, who is 4 uses the MM silhouette & one of his favorite spots it the arm. He is skinny, but will put it almost anywhere. Since starting the CGM, we keep those in the arm almost always.

I've used my stomach and my butt so far. I put the sensors on my left upper hip area (easiest place to hide the transmitter and stays out of the way of most clothing).

My butt is my favorite, but when cold weather hits I'm making myself branch out and try my arms. I'm too scared to try my thighs (pretty muscular after years of cheerleading).

I like karpoozi123's suggestion LOL! As I've started to lose weight, I've realized that I'm losing sites. Maybe I'll try my lower back on the next site change.

Hi Kerri - my 12 year old rotates to the rear every other site - it's great unless you are wearing low slung jeans - no matter where we stick the site it seems to rub on the waistband!

Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)