Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Moments of Truth

I am the world's worst diabetic.On second thought..I am the world's second worst diabetic. My hero, is a Reality Check Aussie bloke who wore an infusion set for 30 days, no problem. I will be in a state of permanent awe over that.
I went to another insulin pump meeting tonight + they were discussing changing infusion sets/reservoirs every three days. And when their infusion set goes bad, before three days, they still do a complete set-reservoir change. Some of them throw away 30-50 units of insulin because of that.

This is how I do infusion set/reservoir changes-when the 300 unit cartridge runs out, I put a new one in. I prime a new tubing line every couple cartridges.(twice a month) Infusion sets, I leave in till they're dead.(varies from 5-7 days, I once left one in for 15 days) I have never had an infection,(in 7 years)and because I rotate, I rarely get scar tissue.(and it goes away, within a month) I have been preached at endlessly through the years to change every three days and I do not feel the need because of the above factors.

Tonight, I had one of those "wow" moments,as I realized I am probably the only pumper on the planet to do it that way. Followed by another "wow" moment when someone on a Medtronic cgs complained about feeling guilty for an 6.2 a1c, she thought she should do better on a CGS. My jaw just about hit the floor, one should not look a gift horse in the mouth.(my own a1c is far from that,though it is improving) I do
not belong in this group, most of them had a1cs under 7..
A guilt rush soon followed, maybe if I did change my sets on a set schedule my a1c would be better. There's a "site change" alarm on my pump, and for the first time ever, I'm going to start using it. I don't like changing every three days, one has to worry every time whether the site is good but there may be something to this theory of better bgs with regular changes. Even if I am the world's weirdest diabetic, as I don't get scar tissue. It's worth a shot,trying it. When I said how I did it I got the usual passioned pleas to stop destroying my skin/life, and maybe, they have a point. Skin can only take so much abuse.

Great meeting, as usual, this pump group has been around for 10 years (pretty impressive, the pumps of 10 years ago were very different and the CDE's have really had to adjust to a lot of changes).


Marina Martin said...

I also go more than three days between set changes (5-7 days is normal for me) and I have an A1C under 7. Unless your numbers are spiking after day three of an infusion set, that's not a problem, and you shouldn't waste money, insulin, or supplies trying to be like "them." Who knows if they really change that often, anyway?

My endocrinologist said that around day five, absorption can be affected, but we'd see that in our numbers via unexplained highs.

Best thing I ever did was buy the book "Pumping Insulin." I totally redid my basals and my correction/meal bolus ratios and my control has been much, much better since. Interestingly I use half as much insulin now (without changing anything else) and my numbers are better.

Anonymous said...

I change my infusion site every 4 days (thank you Site Reminder), and that's just about perfect for me. Any sooner and it seems like a waste, any longer and I start to get absorption issues.

I change my reservoir and tubing together about every 5? days. I'm not sure exactly. I load up with 200 units and go until it runs out. I could probably load up with 300, but I worry about air bubbles.

Minnesota Nice said...

You've been tagged for the Six Word Meme.