Let me just throw this out there and move on …. We are “supposed” to change our pump sites every 2-3 days. I do not. I usually make it 5-7 days. Sometimes even longer. I have a lot of scar tissue in my belly, because I’ve been sticking needles in there for almost 24 years. It is also not uncommon for me to refill the reservoir in my pump so I can make it last a couple more days. And yes, I do know that by wearing my sites longer than I’m supposed to is creating even more scar tissue…
The reason I do it? Not because I’m lazy, or because I don’t want to poke another hole (which I obviously don’t, but that’s not the reason.) It’s mainly to conserve my supplies and make them last just a little bit longer. Sounds ridiculous, right? But I am only “allowed” a certain amount of supplies each month. A number that is determined by someone behind a desk (a numbers cruncher) employed by an insurance company. I only get x amounts of units of insulin per month. And x amount of test strips. And x amount of infusion sets/reservoirs. So I tend to try and make them last a little longer, so I have the extra for days when things don’t go as planned. If everything ran smoothly every day and I never got sick, or I never traveled, or I never had an infusion set pulled out by one of my 3 year olds, or a doorknob, then yes, those quantities might very well last me the amount of time they’d determined I need to make them last. But this is real life, and I do get sick. And I do travel occasionally and need to have extra supplies on hand. And I have 3 year old twins. And doorknobs.
There is a lot of upheaval right now in the DOC because of the UHC/Medtronic stuff.. which I will quickly add my two cents. I happen to be a UHC member (through my employer), and a long time Medtronic customer/user for almost 20 years. So this does not personally affect me, except for the fact that as a patient, I want to be able to choose how I manage my diabetes. I had a doctor once tell me that I’m the CEO of my diabetes, and she’s just there on the sidelines to help me. So if that’s the case, shouldn’t I be able to choose how I manage it?? I’M the one that has to live with this 24/7/365. I have tried another pump, and did not like it for many reasons. So I went back to Medtronic. But had that gone the other way and it was Medtronic that didn’t work well for me, I would absolutely not want an insurance company telling me that I had to use that one.
And having said all that, I am currently wearing a site that has been painful since I inserted it on Sunday. I have told my husband every day that “I can’t wait until the reservoir runs out so I can change my site.” He asked why I didn’t go ahead and pull it? So I explained what I just said above. And it hurts – worse than most sites I’ve had. I am still getting good numbers, so I’m guessing I’m just in a sore area, but it hurts to walk, it hurts to sleep on it, it hurts when I bolus. Or when my lanyard I have to wear for work hits it. But today is the day and I finally get to change it. I was so happy when I heard that “beep” and the “Low Reservoir” alarm came on. Fingers crossed that I hit the next one in a much better spot. 🙂 Had I changed it that first or second day – that’s a “wasted” infusion set, reservoir, and insulin.