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(400) Days of Summer.

Yesterday morning, a new infusion set shunked its way into my life.  It was on the right hand side of my hip, and when it went in, it burned.  When I pulled the needle out to leave the plastic cannula inside, the site burned again.

"Yowza.  That was a frigging stinger," I muttered to myself, trying to get out of the house in time to meet my dad for lunch.  But I didn't pay the pain much mind because a site change isn't always cozy.  Sometimes the sites just sting.  Sometimes they don't.  (Now that "Almond Joys have nuts.  Mounds don't." song is stuck in my head.)

I bolus for a protein bar (still has 17 grams of carbs) and we drive down to meet my dad.  En route to his house, I test and a cocky 423 mg/dl shows up on the meter screen.

"What in tarnation is that all about?"  I asked, substituting something less Yosemite Sam in for "tarnation."  "That protein bar kicked my rear end."

Chalking it up to diabetes being diabetes, I used my pump to correct the blood sugar and we continued to drive.  About an hour later, I tested again and saw the same 400 mg/dl range grin back at me.  Patience tossed, I grabbed my insulin pen and injected a correction dose of insulin.

Forty-five minutes later, I was coming down.

Ninety minutes later, I was back on the upswing.

Hours later, after spending a summer day hanging out in the 400's, with insulin injections and some desperate pump corrections, I was back at home and I ripped out the site.  To see this:

Wicked bent cannula

Wicked bent cannula.

I had no idea the site was crapped out because it didn't hurt after the initial insertion, the pump wasn't sirening with a no delivery alarm, and I kept taking manual injections, so it was hard to tell what was actually bringing my blood sugar down.  Making matters more confusing was that the injections actually made me low at one point, causing me to have renewed faith in the stupid infusion set.  (So no, I wasn't being stubborn, for once.  I actually thought the site was working. Until I treated a low with dinner, and bolused for dinner using the pump, and ended up at 400 again.  And then I threw paper, which was an ineffective way to show anger because paper just sort of floats along happily and doesn't give a satisfying 'thud.')

New site had me from 400 to 90 mg/dl in about two hours. 

I do not like when technical difficulties pop in and make a mess of things.


That has been happening to me more often lately with Insets. I have had some REALLY high blood sugars on account of them, some overnight, which really makes me feel I've had a brush with death (!). Also has an Inset separate between the canula and the Luer lock that connects to the syringe.... am thinking of trying another infusion set. Once in a while is understandable for kinks, but I've had maybe 2 a month for the last three months!

Been there; done that. My occlusion alarm doesn't always sound off when I bend the cannula and I've tried all the different settings. I guess that's why we test although Dex gives me a heads-up when i go over 200. It's always nice to know there really is some muscle under that layer of belly fat I have.

First, okay, awesome photo of the infusion set circle on the pretty pink dots. I mean, it could be an art deco print hanging in the MoMA. (Okay, that's taking it a bit too far. But I did gaze at it awhile in appreciation.)

Second, I do that same stubborn refuse-to-change-the-site dance all the time. Partly because sometimes it just does take a site a few hours to begin working right, and partly because my pods are so damn expensive (and I can't reuse the insulin) and I'm ridiculously frugal that way. I mean, if I asked myself, would I pay that $10 pod cost to bring down this high? The answer would be a no-brainer. And yet I persevere to save the money and suffer.

Sometimes you feel like a nut.

OMG been there done that! many times actually. My pump NEVER alarms me though. I always wonder what causes the little bugger to kink like that? I use the silhouette so for me, its a manual insertion and figured that was the reason for my kinked tubes. Human Error! But you use the quickset right? I figured that would be less likely to cause problems. wasting infusion sets sucks, another one bites the dust eh?

Man... that's rough. A whole day in the 400s is the worst! And trying to throw paper is hilarious, but not when you're angry, hahah.

I'm on my third week of pumping after 19 years of injections. I haven't had a kinked cannula yet... My question is, where does that insulin GO? Like, so many units getting pushed through have to end up getting expelled somewhere. Any ideas, anyone?

I am fighting a 400 now. I woke up this morning feeling like I was hit by a mack truck but I thought it was because my baby boo only let me get about three hours sleep. Wrong.

Now I am obsessing about ketones and kidneys while I guzzle a ton of water that I hope stays put in my tummy.

As KSparl would say "It's the suck!"

Thank you for your post. At least I know I'm not alone.

So frustrating, I had the same problem with my pod this weekend. I changed it on Friday night. I was high for a couple of hours (but who knows if it's because of new site or if the pump is just not working). I go to bed when it's finally coming down and then I am woken up by the Dexcom at 3am with a low of 43! The next morning I was in the upper 200s and after bolusing about 5 times, I remove the pod, only to have blood come pouring out...lovely. The canulla was clear but I was bleeding like a stuck pig. So frustrating, I feel your pain! It's so hard to know when to give in and change it or just stick it out a little longer and see if things get better (Especially when planning for pregnancy!!).

The same thing has happened to my son once so far. My guess is that the cannula hits somthing in the body that makes it bend, but I really have no proof. For the person that is looking for another infusion set, the truth is that there is one company that makes all of the infusion sets for all of the pump companies (http://www.unomedical.com/)

That stinks. I HATE when the pump wont give the "No delivery" Message. If it doesn't I always assume it is working.

That happened to me so often with the Quick sets that I switched to the Silhouettes. With those ones you can actually see if the cannula is in AND you don't need a device to insert it. A device which I lost, without fail, at least once a week. The Silhouette tends to leave more red dots at old sites though...

Ulgh, that kinda crap just throws off your day entirely! I wrote about this very issue on my blog. I hate that just a protein bar sends your sugars over the edge as if you injected sugar syrup! Annoying! I wish my pump would have alarmed me too, but it didn't. Hmm.

Glad your sugars are on target again!

This is why I switched from Insets back to Comforts.....bad sites and $$$.

i know the feeling! and being pregnant, i am even more frustrated when sites go bad - which was happening pretty often for a few days, i got lazy about reordering my favorite sets (comforts) and decided i could use up whatever i had laying around my house (insets, inset 30's and cleos) - ended up needing EIGHT FRICKIN' site changes in 2 days due to my laziness..apparently the comforts really work best for me, it was so frustrating though to keep changing my site and not see my numbers come down..i've since reordered comforts and all is good for now, thank G-d!

I've had this happen several times lately. I pretty much know now if it hurts going in it probably won't work. Fun, fun!!

It must be the week for this to happen! I had the most infuriating Friday b/c of this. I was low in the morning, changed a site, then was 200 after exercise. I attributed it to too many glucose tabs during the workout, and then I stupidly didn't check my sugar for another 3.5 hours at which point the dreaded "HIGH" flashed on the screen. It makes me crazy, especially since I have been making such a concerted effort to be in range all the time and had brought my average down and then 1 day shot that to hell. ARGH!!!

Hi, been there done that too! I know I'm just repeating what a bunch of people already said but oh well. My own need to throw my 2 cents in :-) My bent cannulas mainly happened with the quick sets so switched back to sillouettes and no issues with the bending since then(8 months ago). I also found it interesting about what someone wrote about one company making them all. Thanks for the website! I'm going to check it out!

The really tough ones are when my son had a less dramatic kink, so he would scoot along in the high 200s, and we would find several other things to blame before pulling the set to see a slight bend, or a clog - still SOME insulin, but not enough.
We switched to Sure-T for this reason - huge difference - so much more reliable!
Hope you feel better soon.

We have the same problem at our house alot! My 15 year old daughter is type one. I almost always make her change the site because that is almost always what is wrong. I am glad to hear that we aren't the only ones!

This is the thing the pump salespeople neglect to mention when they are advertising their wares: site problems. On a really bad site (or cannula) day, I wonder if I wouldn't be better off on multiple daily injections!

One word, sister: AMEN!

Sometimes I think the grass is greener on the other side and toy with going back on shots.

Ugh! I HATE that!! I've done the same "I think it's working, wait is it working, ok now it's working...nope!" followed by a long string of curse words...dance many times! I switched to the animas pump in January, and haven't had any problems with these sites. The thing I hate the most is when my bloodsugar is high like that AND I'm hungry! It's torture!

That SO happened to me on Saturday! I could never get below 150 (which, yes, is better than 400!). I popped off the Omnipod, and the cannula was a total right angle. Sigh. Stupid diabetes.

So, I have had this happen a lot, I use the same infusion sets. But it doesn't happen anymore, now that I have used them since 2002. What infusion sets do you normally use?

Oh, yes, been there, too. Excellent description! Except I no longer tolerate the highs - I give the pump one chance, and an hour or so, to give some inkling that it's lowering my BG; if the high sticks, or goes up further, I change the infusion set. And the answer to "where does it all go?" (from a previous commenter) is, I believe, that it takes a more roundabout route to your bloodstream - which usually means a nastly low several hours later. (Actually, mine usually happen from hitting a capillary - might cause a different BG pattern than a kink.)

Oh my gosh, the SAME EXACT THING happened to me yesterday. (I'm hoping my picture, which I haven't uploaded yet, came out as clear as yours - but doubtful). I had just changed my site before our 4(+) hour drive home from Cape May. Thought my horrid high was from the fudge we bought before we left, or maybe my insulin had gone bad during my travels. Since my site never hurt at all, I was shocked to see my cannula resembling a lower-case r when I removed it!!

I believe I have had only one bent cannula in the 4 years I have had my pump...but as for the stingers, I get those about every 4 or 5 site changes! Wow they hurt like something else!

Oh man...I have so been there. Actually, I was there not that long ago: http://howsweetthesting.wordpress.com/2010/06/07/i-hate-mondays-or-maybe-just-diabetes/

...and I am there again today. :-(

I love your blog, btw. Not to go into too much detail in the comments, but we have a lot in common both geographically and diabetes-wise!

I use these same cute pod infusion sets (6mm)/ping pump, and this happens WAY too often. Would look precisely like your photo. And then there are those hours in limbo- when I am wondering what's really going on here? Grr! Those sets are not cheap to just change willy nilly!

What has helped me is being really conscious of setting the infusion set very lightly on my skin before Ka-Shunk-ing! it. And then after kashunk, I immediately pull it directly up. I was kind of pressing on it, like i was helping the tape to adhere better, or really get the cannula in there. It was just a natural reaction- get it in there good! Anyway, since I've been more conscious of this, it hasn't happened. Hope this helps!

I just had this yesterday! My omnipod placement stung like a.... bissel (yes, like the vaccuum lol) and all day I was just below the 400 mark. Made me furious. Changed the pod and chucked it across the room, which provided the satisfying plastic thud sound, scrubbed the floors by hand (Oh I was.... mad.) 2 hours later I was at 94 and the floors looked brand new and the cat slid across the room as he ran over the newly polished floor. Nothing like a satisfying thud, some angry cleaning, and laughing histerically at the cat!

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