I Hate Belly Sites.
I'm not sure what all the "rules" are when it comes to diabetes devices, but when it's about me making decisions for where to put my stuff, I do whatever works for me. As far as I'm concerned, if I can pinch up the area and it's not covered in scar tissue, it's fair game.
For a long time, I used my abdomen for infusion sets. During pump training at the Joslin Clinic, that's where they said to put it, so that's what I did. Only I hated it. I don't hate much about the diabetes day-to-day, but I hate abdomen sites. I don't like when the waistband of my pants shifts against it. I hate that I can sometimes feel the insulin going into my skin (grosses me out). And since having my little Bird, I don't like when her feet kick against the site as I'm holding her, because it hurts and makes me squirmy as hell. (There is the whole "second belly button" issue, as well, because when I wear my site on my abdomen, it looks like a second navel [academy?] underneath my shirt. Not my favorite look.)
But the absorption is always good. Predictable. Even though it's my least favorite spot, it's a fail-safe for infusion set productivity.
When I gave up on abdomen sites, I switched to my thighs. This worked great for me, but once I started on the Dexcom back in 2006, I preferred saving my legs for the larger, more intrusive, changed-less-often sensors. (It's just awkward, because even if I don't have the sensor on my leg, I take my pants off with this exaggerated motion, arcing my clothes out from where the sensor would be. It looks like I'm pantomiming a lady from the 1930's, putting on bloomers.)
Which left me with the back of my hips and my arms. The back of my hips works great, so long as it's well-above the waistline of my pants, and absorption is great, and I make sure to rotate regularly and comfortably. My arms also work well for me (even though I get more reddish sites and little bumps after removing the infusion set), and gives me two areas of good absorption. The only real problem with arm sites is that I snuggle Birdy all the time, and she always manages to grab me right at the site. She's picked off more than a few.
But, as with any site, it needs a rest. Which is why, after a string of gross high blood sugar days, and then some aggressive lows, not to mention a vampire cannula, I needed to switch up my sites for a few days. I needed to give the back of my hips a rest. I went back to the old standby: frigging belly sites.
Six days of belly sites, two full rotations. I wish I could say I loved it, but I didn't. I hated it. I still felt awkward. Birdy still stepped on them when I picked her up. I still felt like my belly button had gone rogue. But the insulin absorbed nicely. My blood sugars were stable. And when I went to put a new infusion set in the back of my hip, the absorption there was great, too. I needed just a few days to heal those bits of my over-poked skin.
I'm hoping that this is what I needed to bring things back under control this week, because I was the Mayor of Crazytown for a while there. If it takes going back to abdomen sites on occasion to keep things in range, I'm all in.
... I actually think I'd stick one to my forehead to get 105 mg/dL's all day long.