“Rotating sites? Hell yeah, I rotate.”
… sort of.
I’m good about rotating my pump and CGM (continuous glucose monitor) sites, but I’m decent, at best, about exploring new real estate. Most of the time, I use my outer thigh or lower back/hips for my CGM, going back and forth between those four areas. This sounds like proper rotating, in theory, but in practice, I am re-using and abusing the same patches of skin.
Because my skin has a persistent and scaly reaction to the sensor adhesives, it takes several weeks for parts of me to heal after they do their seven days of data due diligence. Which means that I need to stay the eff away from my last two most recent sensor sites, or else a skin reaction blooms in a matter of hours, regardless of preventative measures.
tl;dr – My skin hates everything and I need new real estate for my diabetes devices.
I’ve seen a few of my PWD friends sporting their sensors on their arms, but until recently, I’ve never been able to keep an arm sensor stuck. On me, the tape always comes loose and even extra adhesive goes rogue on me. Arm sensors, up where I used to pinch up and do injections on the back of my arm, are a disaster for me.
But a few days ago, I took a crack at a lower arm sensor, placing it six inches or so above my elbow. It’s more on the front of my arm (giving my bicep a strangely LEGO’ish look), but so far, so good. The adhesive is staying put, the Toughpad seems fine, and no skin irritation here on day three.
I’ve been having trouble keeping sensors comfortably stuck in the last few weeks, so I’m hoping a true and proper site rotation helps heal what ails me. Otherwise, I may scratch my skin into oblivion and will be forced to slather it with Brad Pitt lotion.
[Dexcom disclosures. And all my other disclosures, if you'd like some light reading.]