Tuesday, November 19, 2013

"Alternate" Pump Sites

I have to start out by saying this: I am not an adventurous person. At all. It takes me forever to try something new. I don't jump into swimming pools; I wade in. It's the same with my diabetes care. I started thinking about pumping in 2000, but I didn't get one until 2002. For the first three years of pumping, I only put my pump sites on my belly. Then I expanded to my butt in 2005. Intellectually, I knew there were other places on my body, more real estate. I knew it would be better for me if I rotated my sites into new areas. Anything other than my belly and butt, everything else was uncharted, alternate locations.

Here's another thing about me: I have the most disproportionate body you'll ever see. I have scrawny little arms and scrawny little legs, no butt, a big belly, and huge boobs. Really. Here's a picture of me being grumpy on the 4th of July:


Anyway... I was afraid to put my sites anywhere except my huge belly or tiny butt. Most of the sites on my butt hurt, and it had more flab than my arms and legs. In an effort to expand my real estate, I ordered a sample of Silhouettes from Medtronic (these are the angled sets). The spring-loaded inserter always made me anxious, so I was also looking forward to manual insertion (I could never get it right with the QuickSets). This year, in 2013, I did my first ever thigh site:

This week, I tried my first ever ARM site:


Neither one of them hurt like I expected it to. Now I love having my site on my thigh. It's especially great if I'm wearing a shirt that either is tight or leaves lint all over my site. The only downside to the thigh site is forgetting it's there and snagging it on my underwear. Also, my thigh sites tend to come out really kinked. It usually doesn't affect the absorption much or at all; in fact, I get good absorption from my thighs. I don't know if it's the proximity to muscle or what, but my blood sugar drops a lot more when I exercise with a thigh site.

My new arm site... I'm not sold yet. Again, the absorption is great. I think part of my problem with my arm site is exactly where I put it. I keep catching it on my sleeve when I wear a T shirt. It was my first time putting it on my arm, and I didn't get the adhesive part down all the way. It's fluttering away, so I had to put some tape on it. If I want to do anything that involves a lot of stretching, I either have to take it off or clip it to my shirt/bra. For normal, everyday life it doesn't pull when I walk or anything (I'm 5'7", for reference). My biggest hurdle has been using the bathroom. The tubing doesn't stretch that much. I've also had some trouble changing my clothes because I'm not quite sure how to juggle everything yet. I might give the arm site another try because I haven't decided how much I like it yet.

The point I'm trying to get at here is that if you're thinking about new geography, try it. The worst that can happen is you'll need to take it out and put it back in your comfort zone. Take it from someone who is very resistant to change: you can do it. You can try something new, and you might even end up liking it! 

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