Almost 2 years ago, when I first thought I was pregnant, I made a very important change to the infusion site I’d been using for over a decade.
You see, when I first started on a Medtronic pump, my diabetes educator taught me to use a Quick-set. Basically, it inserted at a 90 degree angle with a plastic catheter.
I had no idea there was an actual assortment of infusion sets to choose from – for people of different shapes and sizes and with different conveniences.
My wake up call to start looking into these options followed our return from Rome!
My husband and I had just returned from a trip of a lifetime and I was suspicious that my nausea was more than jet lag. I had an inkling that I could be pregnant.
The night we returned home I woke around 12 am with a blood sugar of 18 mmol/l (324 mg/dl). I felt very sick and knew I should change my site, but I was way too tired and ill to make my way downstairs.
“I’m sure it’s not my site… it’s probably just exhaustion from the trip and… fill in the blank”
By 2 am, my sugar was 24 mmol/l (432 mg/dl) and I knew sleeping was not a reasonable option!
As I changed my site, the pump started spewing out insulin during the priming mode. This issue has basically been the death of my Medtronic pump three times in over 10 years.
I frantically called the Medtronic hotline… BUT I was out of warranty!
I was terrified. I started yelling at the attendant: “I think I’m pregnant, I’ve been a loyal customer… I need you to send me a pump ASAP!”
After making my way up to the manager, a loaner pump was on it’s way! For 8 hours I frantically took humalog via an insulin pen and even managed not to throw up.
I vowed to do everything I could to prevent another incident like this, especially since I thought I was pregnant… and pregnant I was! :)
A few weeks later a very fine line on a pregnancy test confirmed that I was, in fact, pregnant.
Thankfully though, I think baby had not implanted at the time of my pump breakdown, so I reassured myself that baby would be okay!
I purchased a new pump and started researching infusion sets. I had kinked Quick-set infusion sites many-a-times that led to very unpleasant evenings… leaving parties early and vomiting on the way home and so on and so forth. :( Booo!!
I did not want to risk losing my baby because of DKA from a faulty pump site!
And that’s when I discovered the Medtronic Sure-T Infusion Set! A very unsuspecting superhero!
The Sure-T is apparently nowhere close to a top seller and is typically used for short periods of time, such as during pregnancy when greater peace of mind is desired.
What makes this infusion site different is the metal needle that you insert rather than a plastic catheter. This means less worry about kinking. It’s virtually impossible for this bad boy to kink!
Another big benefit is that you don’t have to carry an inserter around with you, my bag is big enough thank you very much (stay tuned to a future post on my bag renovation).
You just insert the needle and can see it go directly in the skin. This provides more assurance that you are, in fact, getting insulin delivery to your subcutaneous tissue. (Assuming of course there are no other pump issues.)
Another thing I like is that there are two attachments to your body: One for the needle and then another adhesive pad, which prevents the needle from dislodging.
One downside in that you need to change the site every 2 days rather than 3. But between you and me, when I’m not pregnant I get away with 3 days. Many people find that to maintain good sugars they need to change every 2 days.
One last word of advice: I like to use a sticker called the Smith and Nephew IV 3000 1-Hand – typically used to keep IVs in place – to prevent the needle from being dislodged. The design of the Sure-T needle cover is awful. There are two pieces of plastic that are raised and can easily be snagged.
Anyways, I love this infusion set so much that I’ve decided to keep it around for at the long haul!
Do you agree? What’s your favourite infusion set and why? I’d love to hear your insight!