Monday, March 28, 2011

The Longest Time Ever

What's the longest you've ever kept an infusion set attached?

I'd be willing to bet it's not as long as this current set that's been attached to my stomach since that time way long ago. I'd put money on this.

(Crouching down, hiding behind the laptop screen, looking around from right to left and over shoulder. Peers in your direction, suspiciously...)

No, I'm not gonna give it away. Not gonna to divulge a real number, indicating my sight change slacking. I need to be careful. A network of doctors, profit-hungry device makers who want to sell more sets, and secret FDA agents Those That Can't Be Named are everywhere, and they have their eyes on all of us. Really, they do. I'm serious. No, I didn't get paranoid until they started plotting against me. The conspiracy is playing out, with help from insurance companies Third Parties who help grease the profit wheels by restricting coverage amounts on these infusion sets.

Ahem (composing myself and clearing my throat...)

To protect ourselves from Those Who Can't Be Named, let's just say it's been a million gazillion super ma-billiony days. Yep, THAT long.

Ok, I think this might be a good time to point out: I'm NOT a doctor, nor am I anyone who should be remotely listened to or taken seriously when it comes to applying my own wayward crazy D-habits to your own life. No, please... Leave that to medical professionals and the oh-so-wise FDA. Please.

But desite all of that guidance on what I should do, I haven't... And you know what??? My infusion set in this longtime sight STILL WORKS!!!!

No redness. No itching or irritation. No goofy off-the-wall Highs that can only be explained by site outdateness or non-functionality. Nope, it's been all good.

Now, those smarter-than- I talk about infection possibilities. How my skin in that area might be damaged to not absorb adequately or scar tissue forming to the point where it'll transform into an Infusion Site Dead Zone. Believe me, I know the dangers of what could be. I am just lazy. That's the only excuse, and by no means is it a justification for not following the 2 or 3 day change schedule. Some have financial reasons for going longer than recommended, but I've got a stock of them in my room waiting to jump into action should their predecessor go bad. Nothing except pure set change apathy is keeping me from swapping sites.

It may be time to once again start using the fun and creative temporary tattoo system created by Roche Diagnostics (Accu-Check) last year, for what they dubbed National Infusion Site Awareness Week.

Here's what I wrote last year about this "fun little idea to help pumpers not use the same sites too often"...

The idea is to put them at the infusion site, in order to remind yourself to not insert the next set anywhere on the tattoo before it wears off in about 10 days (site healing time)."

With these multi-colored and styled temp tattoos, I found my site changes were more regular and it really worked helped keep me accountable on site changes. I've got more than enough of those tattoos left over, so I'm going to take advantage of those are start using them again to get back on the Site Change Bandwagon.

Still, I am a little concerned about the econs this set's been connected. I've kept sets in for much shorter times than this and had them fail miserably. The only one that has ever actually gotten infected came to be that way in like 2 days, and it was on the leg (hence, my reason for not liking leg sites all too much). But this one appears to be different. Part of me wants to see how long it really could last if I just let alone, but the rest of me (a majority, you ask??) doesn't want to tempt fate.

The fact that I'm blogging about this probably means a jinx is in the works, and it'll probably come lose or fail immediately as soon as I hit the "Publish" button. Or maybe Those That Can't Be Named will hunt me down, forcibly remove the long-attached set, then confiscate all of my extra sets in retaliation. We'll see. But no matter what happens, I swear they won't shut me down. These sites do live longer than the recommended timelines, and I wil continue telling people like it is, as long as it takes, no matter what they....

(static fuzzy loud noises replacing the regular blog text appearing on screen)
Attention, Blog Readers! Please know: The site is now removed. Please pay no attention to the false claims of Long Infusion Set Life. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends changing these infusion sets every two or three days, according to approved guidelines and manufacturer standards. Please consult your medical professional for further questions. Thank you.

9 comments:

Briley said...

*I also am not a medical professional.*

In my experience, I tend to leave my sites in for 4-6 days and just change the reservoir. The fear of having a failed site cripples me and the thought "well this one is working, I don't really feel it, and it doesn't look like it's about to fall off" generally convince me to keep 'em going for a second round.

Reyna said...

We finally got Joe's sites to last for 3 days! For years I was changing them every 36 hours. I think it is the Apidra (we were pumping Humalog)...I dunno...but we noticed the difference after the insulin change.

And...I loved your intro to this post. VERY GRIPPING!

Hallie said...

We can get 4 days out of a butt site. 3 days on the arm is about as good as it gets before we get wonky numbers. Now the Dex.... That 's a different story!

Tattoos for sites?!? Cool. Sweets hates tattoos but maybe that would help her do arm sites... Worth a shot! Or not a shot but a site...

sysy said...

I once went 11 days with mine. I was wondering how long I could go. lol not my proudest moment...

HVS said...

I've also left mine in for an undisclosed period of time(it worked fine,but had turned green, so at that point I turned chicken and pulled it out thinking that said "greenness" might be gangrene.Fortunately, it wasn't.)

In my opinion,an extra day or so doesn't matter so much(again, it depends on the individual) but when I start slacking and reaching 6,7 days and beyond sites just don't seem to have as much "pep" even if they do still work.So I try to aim for the goal(plus or minus a day)just to keep myself accountable. But if I didn't have very good insurance I would absolutely try to use those sets as long as possible,those supplies are really expensive.Plus or minus a day(or so) isn't likely to cause scar damage(again,YDMV,that's just the case for me.)I've never gotten a skin infection(in a decade of pumping)so that part of the diabetes lecture never scared me. It really depends on the individual; it's really not correct that everyone "has" to change every 2-3 days.

Tell it like it is!!

jpnairn said...

Sorry. It would be more convincing if you posted about how long infusion sites can last after posting about how perfect your latest A1c was.

Jules said...

great post!

Natalie said...

I usually leave mine in for 6 days, but not longer than that. In 12 years, I've had 2 minor infections that cleared up on their own, but I'm not in competition for the longest infusion set use. I, like you, am just too lazy to do it more often, but if I were having trouble, I would, and have.

Madison said...

Wow, I feel like the weird one here. I never left my pump sites in longer than 3-4 days. Except mine would always get itchy and the tape would start peeling off and many times I found the cannula bent. I hated all of that happening so much that I went off of the pump about six months ago and haven't looked back.