Setting sights on new sites

Sunday night, on a long ride home from a family event (one of the few times I my wife was driving), a thought came into my mind as I scratched my CGM site and lamented its inaccuracies:

I had recently experimented with new infusion sites (the Sure-T works in places the Silhouette never did), so why not?

With the Sure-T, I don’t mind being stabbed in the back

But it was just a passing thought, and I had no real expectation of following through with it. Doesn’t it hurt? Wouldn’t it look ridiculous? What if I can’t get that stupid inserter-gun off of my arm one-handed? But, at the same time, the side-butt didn’t seem to trend my blood sugars well, especially when it was outside of the 80-160 range. My actual blood sugar was down the 40’s by the time I got a “Low Predicted” alert with the CGM read 88 mg/dl. I’d been getting frustrated.

The arms seem to be a popular site among DOC’ers. I’m not a fan of snaking pump tubing up my shirt and down my sleeve, but I figured a little Medtronic Transmitter should be bearable. And since I move my arms with more regularity than I shake my ass, the interstitial fluid should be flowing faster there, and I should get more timely results. That’s some unresearched medical hypothesizing of mine, proving nothing but getting that annoying George Michael video stuck in my mind.

Still, after Tweeting that random thought, a bunch of DOC’ers came out to support and encourage me. What started out as a passing whim turned out to be a goal.  In true NPH fashion (think Barney Stinson, not insulin), a suggestion turned into something more:

Image credit: Flickr

I couldn’t stop now. With advice and answers from Maria, Brian, and Jess, as well as a Colleen and Lawren cheering me on, I gave it a shot.  And the sensor went in without much trouble.  But upon taking out the inserter, so came the sensor.  I grabbed another sensor (knowing full well they’d expire before I’d use them anyway), but decided to try again with the same one.  And after some nimble finger movements, tugs, and contemplations of calling my wife for help, I removed the inserter.  Then the insertion needle.

Success!

Thankful that my friends have all outgrown the shoulder-bruising”Punch Buggy” games.


It worked, and it was (relatively) painless.  The readings throughout the day were fairly accurate, too!  Which means, of course, that I’ve got a new favorite CGM site.  THAT means, of course, that I’m going to use the same site over and over and over until my arm gets all scarred and lumpy.  By that time, it’ll be back to the side-butt, which means I’ll need to dance more.

Thank you DOC. If not for you, I’d still be sticking needles in hard spots in my abdomen, wondering which vital (or nonvital) organ I might have hit.

Ed. note: The Food and Drug Adminstration of the United States does not condone or endorse anything discussed in this post.  Don’t try this at home.

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Posted on June 12, 2012, in Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), Diabetes, DOC, Insulin pump, Personal and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I still don’t understand how to remove the SenSerter off of the sensor. Just like your first attempt, mine always comes out. I get SO very frustrated. Tips? Would you mind sharing in a post on Medtronic CGM Users FB group? https://www.facebook.com/groups/238081946304067/

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    • I find that when I post to FB groups, my friends get annoyed ’cause it appears in their feeds too! But I’ll see what I can do.

      Anyway, I find that to remove the serter, you need to hold the sensor in place, and slide the feet of the ‘serter along the skin. Don’t pull it out, per se, just drag it across, with the feet always touching the skin. Seems to work better that way. As for removing the needle (one-handed), I used two fingers on the little “grabber tab” to pull, while I put a third finger on the little nub with the electrical contacts to keep it from moving as well. I’ve only done it once (one-handed) so far, but after I “perfect” it, I’ll let you know more details.

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  2. yay! you did it! 🙂

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  3. Love the post and as silly as it sounds, the courage to try a new site location. I’ve only ever done my tummy but I need to find the courage to try a different site, either butt or arm. Glad it worked out!

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