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Cold Sting of Insulin.

Icy pinprick of an infusion set.I have had plenty of infusion sets that don't hurt.  I wipe the site with an IV prep wipe, load up my trusty Quick-Serter, and shunk in a new infusion set into my skin.  Pull back the needle, leave the cannula inserted, and hook up the tubing.  Prime, stash the pump somewhere on my body, and move on with the day.

But lately, I've had a few infusion sets that stung like snakebites.  I'll be sitting on the side of the bed, pull back the white plunger on the Quick-Serter, and then send that infusion needle hurtling into what must be a happy little nest of the most sensitive nerve endings in my body.  At this point, I usually hop up on one leg, tears stinging in my eyes, and I bring forth my best Yosemite Sam impression (reserved for moments like this and for when my car makes me fume). 

Sunday night, I put in a new set and the string was unbelievable.  Determined to soldier through until the pain passed, I gritted my teeth and laced in my dinner bolus.  I could feel the cold of the insulin spreading underneath my skin like snowflakes.  I ate my dinner (spinach salad with chicken, as previously discussed) and tested two hours later at 228 mg/dl. 

Sometimes it feels like it takes a few extra hours for a new infusion set to "stick," so I decided to correct the blood sugar, go to sleep, and see what the morning brought.  

7:30 am - 156 mg/dl.  Though higher than I normally run in the morning, I didn't worry about the site.

All day yesterday, my numbers were crunched - 189 mg/dl, 221 mg/dl, 192 mg/dl, 201 mg/dl, and then finally 102 mg/dl.  It's like it took all freaking day to come down.   And oh how that site smarted like holy hell all day long.  Just the brush of my pants against the edge of the thigh sent spirals of pain down to my knees.  This was so not normal.

When I came home from work, I ripped the site out as fast as I could.  While the cannula was perfectly unkinked and appeared to be normal, the site gushed pus (ew, sorry) and blood immediately.  Over the course of the night, I'd managed to riot up an infection in that site - no wonder it was on a 2 hour delay accepting all my boluses and no wonder it was swollen up like someone had shoved a Mento under my skin.  

(Note to self:  If it hurts and you're high, just suck it up and change out the set.  Stop being so darn stubborn!)  

Today's numbers:  78 mg/dl, 138 mg/dl, 158 mg/dl, 108 mg/dl ... and holding steady.   


i hate how infection under a site can flair up so quickly and cause so much pain (physically and in general a pain in the butt when our numbers aren't falling into place)

That sucks about the infection! I understand though, I will put up with a painful infusion site for as long as I can .... and have no idea why I don't just pull it out sooner ...maybe it has something to do with being stubborn and not wanting to let a random, crappy, burny infusion site decide who's the boss .... not always the smartest idea, because I know who always wins (infusion set)!

Oh - I hate that burn!!

I used Quick-sets for 4+ years. Heard a few recommendations for the Sure-T which scared me at first because it is a steel needle set, but I was won over.
Suddenly my absorption was better too - is the the set - who knows but I like it.
Have you ever tried it?
I wrote a little forum post about it here.

It's tough not to be stubborn, especially when we all pay so much for the gosh darn sets! I think I would have done the same thing.

And BTW, your singular use of "Mento" made me laugh.

aw. i hate when that happens...I've had sites that hurt so bad before that i couldn't stand the pain..i was crying and clenching my teeth so hard..i just gave up and ripped it out. Sometimes stuff like that happens and you just gotta move it to another spot...=(
good to hear ur numbers are stabalizing!

Courtney - I know - one little misstep (is that spelled right?) has me pinging all over creation. Hopefully the problem is solved now.

Randee - LOL! I know who's boss - me. I just employ a bunch of lazy infusion sets sometimes. ;)

Sara - I may need to look into that. Luckily, I have very few busted infusion sets, so I'm hoping this is more of a fluke than a trend.

Jana - Mento: The Stress-Maker. ;)

Jenna - I know that feeling. I hate ripping them out after I've just put them in! It's just as frustrating as the actual sting. Blech.

Oh how I understand the pain. But I've never had the infection...
I am glad all is better now.

I hate when they get infected like that. Most of the time, the infection goes away on it's own. But I had one that my doctor prescribed antibiotics for me. I did all the right things like you did. But it was infected anyway. What's going on with these infusion sets? Hope the infection goes away quickly.

If it hurts and you're high...doooooood, just put on some Floyd, man, and chill.

Honestly, if anyone without diabetes read this and didn't know what in the world you were talking about, they'd think you were the biggest pot head in the world. With a devoted pot head following.

Funny- I had a similar, but opposite experience tonight that I was calling 'the space ship'. It happened when taking one out that had been in a very reasonable 2 days, but was starting to tell me it was time to come out. When I took it out, there not only was a raised lump (seen this often before) but a more raised red ring with an even redder dot where the cannula had been (yuck right?!). And it hurt like $^%^*@#. It was the first quick set I've used in years, I usually use silhouttes... I put another one in and we'll see in 2 days, but I'm nervous. I' want to keep using the quick set b/c they're much better for the sock!

I always let Emma watch when I do a site change, and she always asks "Did dat huwt?"

And I always say no, even when, like tonight,the change hurt so bad I had to turn my head and wince in private. Sometimes you just have to do that so that she won't be so afraid when it's her turn in just a few days.

I think they had a batch of bad needles at Medtronic!!! I had one the other day that made me jump up and down it burned so bad going in. Usually I don't have a problem with the set. I was even more amazed that I didn't have to change it. Usually when it burns it is because I have hit a blood vessel or something along those lines.
On a separate note, Medtronic called me and told me that my insurance company Mamsi part of United Health Care would pay for CGMS!! I thought that was pretty cool and a huge step in coverage.

I use the INSET Infusion Set and change every 4 to 5 days. Once in a while I feel a sting when a bolus is delivered but I've never had an infection or a bleeding site.

One time I did a set change and didn't remove the old site. I left it in place without using it for 8 days just to see what might happen. When I did remove it there was just a tiny red pin hole that could barely be seen.

I have had the experience where blood sugars run high in the 140 to 180 range on the first day or two of using a new set. On days 3,4 the blood sugars are much better in the 80 to 140 range.

If we only knew where the end of the little catheter was positioned under the skin. Is it near a capillary so the insulin can be absorbed into the blood more quickly, is it in a big fat cell and the insulin can't diffuse out and be absorbed?

So many variables that we have no control over. It's remarkable that we are able to control our blood sugars as well as we do.

I ran into a similar situation with my 2nd infusion set of my new life of pumping. The injection was a little uncomfortable but not bad. My numbers were ok but not great. I blamed it to still tuning the numbers (only pumping a little over a week.) finally a few days after, I could not get below 200. I finally changed the site and, luckily no puss, but a kink in the cannula.

Guess its best to listen to what your body is telling you

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