After a few infusion site failures of late, I’m starting to become really self conscious. After every new site change, I become really paranoid of whether it’s a failure or success.
I poke my infusion site, trying blindly to detect a kinked piece of teflon that should be sitting underneath my skin. I prod around the infusion site on my stomach, trying to feel bruising and pain. I stand still while my pump is delivering an insulin bolus, waiting on edge to detect any stinging. I lift up my jumper compulsively, watching the colour of the skin underneath my site like a hawk.
I think about whether the skin tissue underneath my infusion site is strong enough to handle 3 days worth of insulin boluses. I frequently glance at my Total Daily Dose history on my pump, questioning whether it’s too high. I feel guilty for the carbohydrates I am consuming, for the sake of the subsequent insulin boluses that will have to go underneath my skin.
I check my levels like crazy after a site change, impatiently looking for signs that the insulin is heading successfully underneath my skin. I keep an eye on glucose movements like a hawk. In a moment of paranoia on Saturday, I even ripped out a perfectly good infusion site because the correction was taking too long to work it’s magic.
I draw dots on my stomach in permanent marker, in a desperate bid to keep on top of site rotations. I stare persistently at the real estate on my stomach, deliberating over just the right spot to place my new infusion site. I worry about how soon I will be able to re-use an area of real estate again.
In moments of site failures, I question whether this is really worth it. I think about results around my diabetes, and I’m almost certain that I won’t see any improvement yet. I’d be lying if I said I haven’t had fleeting thoughts that maybe this is not working for me. I worry that I won’t be able to make this work for me. I stand in my room for minutes on edge, pacing, deliberating over a site change or a shot of Lantus.
But when I think about going back to Lantus, I think about the level of control I will lose around my basal insulin rate. I think about how unfocussed I was on injections, blindly guessing and correcting all the time. I think about all of the time and investment I’ve put into this insulin pump, and I know that I’m not ready to pull away from it just yet.