« What the ...? | Main | Beyond Insulin. »

Infusion Sets.

I've made it pretty clear that I'm an advocate for using my thigh to host my insulin pump infusion sets.  I like having it placed lower on my body, keeping it a bit incognito, even from me.  It doesn't rub against the waistband of my pants, it doesn't press against Chris when I hug him, and it doesn't get in the way when I'm at the gym.  Overall, the thigh placement keeps my blood sugars stable and my pump tucked away most easily. 

I'm a fan. 

But there are times when it's a little tricky, too.  Take this weekend:  I spent the majority of the day lolling around the house and traipsing around town in jeans, vs. the dress pants or skirts I wear at work.  The jeans aren't baggy or loose, so the denim fabric is pressed pretty snugly against my legs.  Over the course of the last few months, I've noticed that wearing jeans while wearing a thigh site leaves my infusion sets a little battered.  The white edging gets frayed and stained with blue fibers.  Eventually, if I wear jeans for a few days in a row, the site gauze starts to peel back a little, threatening to dislocate the site entirely.  

Insulin pump infusion set, post-jeans.
The infusion set, hanging out on my right thigh. 

Aside from the times I've almost ripped the site out while getting dressed, this jeans thing is the biggest problem.  To help keep the site from bailing before its time, I will stick a few pieces of medical tape around the edge of the gauze.  The tape ends up frayed and blue, but the site remains intact.

I've been thinking about doing some site rotations again - maybe trying out the arm site again or perhaps making an attempt at the (gasp) rear end location.  I'm such a creature of habit, though, a little shy to try something away from my regular routine.  Are you guys using some creative locations for your infusion sets?  (Aside from the breasts - I cannot bring myself to try that one.) 

(Also, THANK YOU for all of the great music selections yesterday.  I have been at Amazon all morning long, picking out CDs and previewing stuff on Seeqpod.  I feel like I've been completely revitalized.)


Okay...totally not recommending this...but my CDE told me she has a patient who uses her (gulp) labia. Yes, that's right. I have absolutely no idea why.

I've actually been tempted to try a breast. I could use, um, a little help in that area, and I'm on the OmniPod, which would add a little bulk. Oddly shaped bulk, but still...

For the first 2 months I was only using stomach sites. Then I branched out to hips, but had a lot of sets rip out. I love arm sites, but I find only certain spots feel comfortable so the territory is limited. Lower back (not quite rear end) sites have been really good to me the few times I've tried them. Actually I'm off to put one in right now.

In the words of Mrs. Frizzle (from Magic School Bus), "Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!" You can always take the site out if it doesn't work.

I like using my arm but I sometimes find that the tubing is a little short and if I raise my arm or something it pulls.

I used to use my bum, but for some reason, mainly with the tight jeans, the site tends to get ripped off while dressing myself.

I'm getting a bit sick of the belly act.

The hips are worthless because everything rubs on them.

The thighs, like you say, work well, but I find for me they get irritated more often than anywhere else.

I'm not nearly brave enough to try the breasts.

And I'm far to narcissistic about my calves to try my site down there.

If there's some place I've missed, I'd like to hear about it, because I'd like more options.

I like the thigh sites, but have given up on them since getting my CGMS. I have noticed that the thigh sites make my blood sugars run higher and I have the same jeans problem that you do! Plus, the CGMS ends up going on my thighs and I like it there. I would love to be brave enough for the arms, but haven't gotten there yet.

You actually made me a believer of the thighs. I love it and I do like the lower back.

Um, I have no comment for Elizabeth Joy's comment except to say, WTF?

The labia has got to hurt while you're sitting.

I don't think I'll suggest that place for Brendon.

*snort* @ Shannon's comment.

Olivia does belly sites all the time because she never wears anything BUT jeans. I try, but she's not having any of it. When summer comes and she's in shorts, she'll do thigh sites. We've done top of the butt sites on her, but she doesn't like them because it's hard to disconnect and she disconnects during gym if she's on the low side and also when she showers. Her endo-who-used-to-be-your-endo has told her under no uncertain terms to stop using her arms.

I don't know that there are that many more places to put a pump. I mean practical places, not borderline fetishist places.

Sorry I have no other suggestions either, I have only used my abdomen the whole 5 years I have been pumping and I am using my thigh for the CGM.

I am no help. :(

With QuickSets, I like to use my rear, as well as sides and lower back. When I use Silhouettes, I like my sides and my stomach. Why the two types of infusion sets? Well, I feel like I can trust the Silhouettes; I insert them manually, and I can tell they're not bent going in. But they tend to leave a mark when I remove them. I like that the QuickSets don't leave a mark, but I've had a lot of issues with bent cannulas lately. So I go back and forth between the two.

Do you ever have an issue with bent cannulas?

Oh, I've also had issues with the infusion sets coming unstuck...until I started using SkinTac. It's an ultra-sticky adhesive, and it totally keeps my sites stuck to my sides. I'm very into sports, and I sweat a lot, and even through all that, the SkinTac keeps my sites stuck. My insurance doesn't pay for it; but knowing that my sites are secure is worth the cost to me.

I have - let's just say - generous love handles so I pretty much always use those. I really like the Sure-Ts better than the Quicksets though (its been about two weeks since I switched over).

re: Elizabeth's comment. HUH? and OWWWW!

WHAAAAAT? In their (oh my God am I actually writing this down?!) labia? There is now way on the freaking planet I am trying that. No. Way.

And Chelle, I don't have many issues at all with bent cannulas because I use a Quick-Serter, which all but eliminated the problems I was experiencing at first.

I'm thinking about ordering some infusion sets with the 42 inch tubing so I could maybe use an arm site but still make good with my sock trick. Hmmmm ...

I've always used my rear and I usually don't have any issues with jeans or tight fitting pants. Occasionally my site will hurt really bad when I first change it (I felt your pain while reading the recent post about this issue), but I just throw on my sweat pants and hope the pain goes away so I can put on a pair of jeans! I can see how some people may find it hard to to insert the infusion set on the rear and it is sometimes challenging. I wouldn't be able to do it if I didn't have the Quick-Serter insertion device!

We use a piece of that IV 3000 tape right over the top of Casey's set. Cut a hole in the center for the "hub" and everthing else gets taped over. Doesn't peel of for swimming or hockey...

I've been on the pump for 11 years and usually stick to my abdomen. However, when I was pregnant with my daughter during the third trimester pretty much the only site I used was my butt. (Something to keep in mind for the future!)

Seems I'm a little late to the music question.

I like the new Liam Finn a lot and the Nada Surf. Chris Walla's (from Death Cab) solo CD is pretty good (*** out of 5 stars). Susanne has been really into The Con by Tegan & Sara.

In the coming year, look for new CDs by Margot and the Nuclear So & So's, Trashcan Sinatras, Doves and David Bazan

Wow, I NEVER thought I'd hear a more cringeworthy suggestion than a breast site. Just the thought of that makes me want to cry.
Sorry, I don't really have any suggestions, I'm a thigh site convert thanks to your blog... now I rarely put them anywhere else.. I haven't had many issues wearing jeans with thigh sites unless the set is placed right under the seam, and I typically wear pretty snug jeans while riding my bike to class, etc... Does your set always peel when you wear jeans? it might just be the placement of this one.

Never heard of the labia thing...that's just wrong, people! i primarily use my stomach...ive tried my legs but the site starts to hurt after a day from all the walking/sitting/standing/bending and my sugars usually run higher and the cannula gets bent more...wish i could use them more often tho...if my mom is handy, ive had her put my site into my lower back, which works great! love handles are great too except my fiance tends to put his arm around me in that exact spot and i have to be careful when im laying on that particular side...no fun! anyway, thanks for your post, think i need to try my legs more and give my poor tummy a much needed break! do you put the site on top of your thighs or always on the sides or both?

I've done belly, small of my back, lovehandles, top of rear, arms. Not sure where else to try.

I don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but ... you're getting married in a few weeks. Save experimenting with new sites until after the big day. You have enough 'stuff' going on and probably don't need any extra stress if a new site isn't working out.


Post a comment

(All comments are moderated. Thanks for your patience!)