Thursday, March 5, 2009

How NOT to do an infusion site change.

Like clockwork, every third day it's time to change out my infusion site.  I remember last April, when I first started pumping, this seemed like quite an intimidating task.  I would sit with the instructions laid out in front of me and slowly complete each step.

As with most things in life, with practice come efficiency, confidence and ease.  Well, usually.  Some days, however, everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.  So here is my step-by-step guide of how NOT to change your pump site.

First, gather all of your site change supplies.  Forget that this doesn't include one kitty cat who is in full-blown "play with me" mode.  Also forget that this DOES include your bottle of insulin.

Open IV Prep wipe and place on bed.  Watch cat lick wipe.  Throw away wipe, open new one, and swab insulin bottle and hip.  (Also say a little prayer that cat's system can handle a lick from an IV Prep wipe.)  Insert insulin bottle into reservoir and begin to fill.  Drop on floor and watch it roll under the bed.  Watch cat run under to swat her new "toy".  Crawl under bed to retrieve and admire all the pretty little bubbles.  Spend a significant amount of time getting bubbles out.

Attach reservoir to site tubing.  Try to remove plunger, only to find it must be glued on because it isn't coming loose.  Struggle with it while trying not to add bubbles back into the reservoir.  As you are doing this, try to keep cat from swatting joyfully at the dangling tubing and site.

Finally ready to prime?  No, because you didn't rewind your pump yet.  Wait patiently while pump rewinds.  Then, instead of removing needle guard, pull whole needle out from site.  Damn.  Get new site, attach reservoir again and start over, while cat repeatedly walks across your lap.

Thankfully, it's now time to put site in the inserter and finish things up.  Don't forget to be too gentle when pushing the inserter's buttons, so site only goes partially into you.  That's lots of fun.  Try to peel somewhat stuck tape off body and insert again.

At last, success.  New site is in.  Blood sugars are stable.  Cat has had enough fun for one day and goes to take a nap.  Be glad you only have to do this every three days.


  1. Uh.. That is SOO annoying! Seems like if one thing goes wrong then EVERYTHING goes wrong!

    Once after everything had gone wrong with my site change, I was SO frazzled I forgot to take off the blue needle protector AND the tape. Did not do me much good. haha

    Also, my cats are obsessed with all the stuff I produce during site changes. It can be very annoying!! Thank goodness its only every 3 days!!

  2. Grr, so annoying. But it does seem to pour when it rains doesn't it? I hate that.


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