Hi there! I am total need of help...
I've been diabetic since 1998, and on an insulin pump (Minimed) since 2000 - but over the last month have been experiencing serious problems with failed infusion sets. I now expect a really bad level over 15mmol (270) every other day, which then takes ages to get down again. Sometimes a set is fine for a couple of days, then others fail after 1 day, and others fail pretty much straight away.
I have tried moving the set (a QuickSet 6mm) around, from lower to upper abdomen, upper buttocks and thighs too, none of which seem to want to work very well.
I'm going to see the nurse on Friday, where she says she'll explain to me some new types of sets, and perhaps I can try those out, but I don't know if actually I just need a pump holiday to allow my body to recuperate? I've been eating well and exercising regularly, and I've done lots of basal testing. I literally think I've tried every option...but I'm now getting so dozy that I can't think straight. Has 10 years on the pump left me with too much scar tissue to function well? After a month of bad levels - which has never happened to such an extent before - I've had enough. I can't trust my insulin pump any more, and I am seriously questioning whether I should ask to switch back to injections.
Any advice would be wonderful!
I have been using the Silhouette since I started using a pump 11 years ago. I usually manually insert. I did try the inserter with it, but found that it was so forceful that it bent the introducer needle and caused bruising at the site. I was having difficulty reaching around to my back to insert the silhouette so I asked for samples of the MIO from my local rep. They come in their own "pod", which is an inserter. I was able to reach spots that I wouldn't have been able to reach by manually inserting the silhouette. I think the MIO will allow me to use more sites, giving my abdomen more of a break. Good luck!
I manually insert my QuickSet too. I just started with my pump a few weeks ago but had a rough couple of days with the sites not infusing. The MM rep suggested pinching my skin up when I insert and this has worked wonderfully no more bad infusion sites.
I have used quick sets since I began pumping, getting close to 4 years now. Problems have cropped up over time, however, here is what I found works for me. I no longer use sking tac prior to inserting the quick set (I use the inserter), I found I tended to get immediate failures if I applied skin tac before insertion about 50% of the time. Now, I insert and then use skin tac on the top of the quickset tape, seems to help hold for a full 3 days of use. I rotate sites - butt/thigh - 1,2,3,4. Stomach if exclusively for CGMS.
Have you lost/gained weight? When I lost weight, I had bad times keeping life controlled, was using 9mm. Worked w/MM, they suggested 6mm cannula - sent samples (of everything, just ask!), used the 6mm (they sent two), both no problem. Have switched now to 6mm and no trouble. You may try a longer cannula to see if it makes a difference.
I always time a site change when I can do a large bolus and then watch sugars. I have found if the site is going to fail secondary to bent cannula with insertion, you will usually get insulin leakage around the site then. I just use a tissue (kleenex) to check (unhook like when you shower, press around the site about 30 seconds to a minute after the bolus completes). If you see/smell insulin on the tissue, plan on it being bad.
Otherwise all I can suggest is a trial of different sets. Maybe there is something that will be more suitable for you at this time! Good luck!
I'd recommend the following three options:
Lots of Minimed folks have had trouble with plastic infusion sets over the years, and our old member _Dave used to always suggest the steel Sure-T. Pretty much everyone who tried them wound up with excellent results.
I'm sure you could get a few freebee Sure-T's from Medtronics, for a trial run.
Good luck and cheers, Mike
All useful advice here. Try a few different sets at no charge from Medtronic. Also try a a different can length. Hang in there!
Thanks for the support!
I stopped using the QS now and use the Sils and Sure-T. Try those.
UPDATE: So I went to visit my nurse, and she gave me loads of new types of sets to try and sites to test out. I tried them all! Had to change every single day, due to their not working... so I got through a few.
So, I have gone on a pump holiday/vacation for now. I am on MDI with Lantus and Humalog, and so far it's been ok - I know it will have it's ups and downs, just like the pump. And actually if it reminds me of why it's good to use the pump, and restores my faith in it, then that'd be a benefit.
For full details of my reverting to injections, see: Goodbye Pump, Hello Pen.
I'm sorry to hear of all the troubles with the pump. I've now been on insulin for a year, the MDI seems to work fine. Perhaps I could get better control with a pump, but I have some real worries that scaring can be a serious long-term problem. I'll be interested in how you feel about the MDI. It sounds like you had to carry a pen around anyway recently and with all your site troubles your control may actually improve. But after those quick improvements, in perhaps six months you may feel differently. Do keep us updated.
My daughter uses the 6mm Quickset also. Starting in August we started having a problem with site fails. When we took the site out we saw that the cannula was kinked. The failed sets were all from the same batch number and I thought that maybe it was a manufacturing defect. But I also found out, when talking to my supplier, that they been bought out by another company and our supplies were now being shipped across country from Arizona by truck to Michigan. Ultimately I think that exposure to summer time heat during shipping may have compromised the plastic cannulas. Since we have gotten into the winter months and switched to 2 day shipping, air not ground, we have not had the problem again.