Twist and shout

Over the past year or so, I’ve been finding it much more difficult to put infusion sets in certain parts of my body — namely, my lower back and upper butt.

The routine used to go like this: I’d twist my waist, torso, and neck so I could get a good view of the spot that’s about to be traumatized by the long insertion needle. Then I’d jab, remove the adhesive covering, and retract the needle. Easy.

Nowadays, I rotate my waist as far as I can, wincing from the pain and resisting the urge to scream, keep my torso straight and solid, and then I crane my neck in an attempt to get the site in my peripheral vision. Next, I jab, probably at a less-than-optimal angle (causing more pain), remove the adhesive covering, retract the needle, and curse what old-age has done to my body.

All the while, I’ve slid my glasses down from the bridge of my nose so I can get a better view. I look, and feel, like a cranky old geezer from an earlier generation.


If this is what diabetes at 39 feels like, I hate to see what happens when I turn 40.

I suppose loss of flexibility just happens when a person gets older. Perhaps my regular amount of exercise (none) just isn’t enough. Maybe some routine stretching or aerobics would help my flexibility (while, at the same time, the increased muscle mass would reduce the already sparse locations on my body suitable for traumatic insertion-needle jabbing).

Seriously. Finding adequate real-estate for a new infusion site on my scrawny frame is like a developer looking for a vacant parcel of land on Long Island for a new shopping mall. It seems there’s nowhere left.  Yet, somehow, we both squeeze it in. Somehow.

But if my ability to twist becomes even more limited than it is today, and the entire back half of my body becomes off-limits, I’m totally screwed.

That thought really freaks me out.

Posted on October 22, 2013, in Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), Diabetes, Insulin pump, Personal. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. I feel your twisty pain.. sort of… not really but… kind of.. HUH?
    Can you try doing it without looking? I used to do that. Or the help of a bathroom mirror.


    • Without looking? Yikes! I don’t know that I’d get the insertion angle right. (If I used an inserter, it might be different…). And doing things in a mirror is just really awkward for me. What’s left is right and such, and the coordination just doesn’t seem to work.


  2. EXERCISE. If the current concern is not scar tissue but rather rotating to get to optimimal sites, it is time (IMO) to exercise. Speaking from my own experience, years of pain in my hip and treatment for bursitis, exercise is the only solution. How about yoga? You will be shocked by what a difference it will make in your flexibility in just a month (gotta commit to it though).
    My flexibility at 40 is so much better than it ever was in my 20s. Yep, exercise.
    Why not give it try? You can get a DVD and even get the kiddos to try it too!


    • I admit that the build-up of muscle and loss of squishy insertion spots is an excuse — partly. I really just don’t like to exercise. Nor can I seem to find the time to do so. Yeah, that’s an excuse, too.

      But if your flexibility at 40 is what you say, as compared to your 20s, then maybe you’re on to something and I should give it more thought.


  3. When I use my back, I don’t even look. I just trust that if the needle comes out straight, I’m okay. Unless it doesn’t work. However, exercise can only be a good thing, regardless of your goals. Good luck!


  4. I don’t have the “scrawny frame” issue at all, so finding real estate for that reason isn’t a problem, but I hear you on the twisting and wincing and having things hurt and charlie-horse at the most inopportune of times. I have always been super flexible, with exercise or not, but muscles and joints seem to just like to “catch” now, and far more often than I like. Yep, this is 40 😦


  5. I’ve been unable to use my back (and backside) since 2005. (Hooray, back surgery!) I miss that real estate. The scar tissue in my stomach has me using my upper abdomen more frequently these days – with some great results and some utter duds. Hope you can exercise or yoga it into flexibility soon!


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