Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Arms are the new abdomen

First, my apologies go to Valerie who hasn't had any luck with the arm site.  It was also her blog post that made me finally decide to get someone to do it for me.

I LOVE arm sites.

I am a springy stretchy person.  I like to bend and shift and curl up into a ball.  I often just say "I'm rolling around on the floor."  One of my friends' living rooms has this giant most comfortable rug on the planet.  Whenever I'm there I inevitably end up on the floor rolling myself around and twisting myself into strange pretzels.  I've never really sat on any of the couches or chairs in that room (except the "pod" chair but I often end up sideways/upsidedown/backwards in another form of Scully pretzel).  Something about sitting still with my feet on the ground makes me anxious.  Why am I telling you this?  Well since I am most comfortable rolled up in a ball, abdomen sites really irritate me and get in the way, especially sensor sites.  Thighs are okay but not when I'm highly active or sweating a lot, which is... um... a lot.  Plus thigh sites leave marks for months for some reason.  My new favourite place is the arms.  Mind you the real estate on arms is pretty small in comparison to other major parts of the body so I can't use them exclusively.  Also the tubing gets in the way a lot.  Especially when you insert the set upside-down (like I did in the picture).

I asked a couple of my friends to put my sensor site in since there is no way I could manage that one handed.  I walked them through it and they took it like superstars.  It pays to have friends that aren't afraid of needles.  Especially that Medtronic sensor needle.  Wow, she's a doozy.  Not to mention the jet propulsion inserter!

So I couldn't resist not taking a picture.  Pump site and sensor site.

I am having great results with the sensor and I don't even notice its there except for the tegaderm itch from time to time.  Replacing the plastic cover with one hand is a feat, I won't deny that.  The risk of pulling the whole thing out while trying to rip off the plastic is high.  The only other stupid thing about sensor on the BACK of the arm?  Constant weak signals.  Sigh.  Especially when I'm sleeping.  I have been waking up to that seriously annoying ambulance-like alarm countless times throughout the night.  Wee-Ooo-Wee-Ooo-Wee-Ooo.  Obnoxious.

I wish I had more arms.  Can you put them on the front near the biceps?  I guess that would probably hurt, not to mention my HUGE guns would probably kink up the cannula real good.  Jokes.


  1. Arms?? Seriously? I did read Valerie's post and thought it was kinda crazy. But you're on the arm bandwagon too? I've only ever used my abdomen and the thought of having my pump connected to my arm just conjurs up all sorts of tangled nightmares for me. Good for you if it works and good for your friends who are willing to help - but I'm sticking to my tummy.

  2. I've done arms a couple times - pre-kids. Now I only do arms when I'm going to be wearing long sleeves for a few days. They tend to yank on them. And the thing is, my husband has to insert them because I can't reach right. I'm trying to find new site locations that kids won't yank out, stomp on, or otherwise destroy. It's been getting expensive. I might just start wearing elbow sleeves lol.

  3. I LOVE using my arms for my pump sites! It's perfect. It's out of the way and the tubing and pump can be hidden in my bra & t-shirt. Out of site out of mind. I do however put my infusion set the opposite direction of yours, but I need someone to help with that most times. I do not use a CGMS, but the infusion set on the arm ROCKS!
    Way to go Scully.

  4. Thanks for this! I've been wanting to try an arm site for ages but have never had the guts, but I will give it a try next set change day. I'm curious more than anything about accessibility (and I'm sure you can appreciate having typed that sentence, I have just spent a good minute flexing my arms trying to work out how easy it would be to disconnect etc!). Hmm. Food for thought, thanks!

  5. We exclusively use arms for Dexter. I have asked Joe about using them for his pump...but it is a "no go" according to Joe. His butt cheeks are bigger anyways, so I won't push it.

    Where do you wear your pump when your site is in your arm?

  6. Wow I never tried my arm back when I was on the pump. I get two allergy shots a week for the past decade so I don't even give shots in my arms at all since they are just so tough from scar tissue. But I think it's awesome you got your friends to help you with that! The friends I've had are the type to pass out from needles so...bravo to your buddies! And I'm jealous of your flexibility. I can barely meet my hands behind my back.

  7. So glad you got someone to help you with the sites! Not sure I want to try the pump on the arm due to the wire, but maybe it wouldn't be so bad. I'm definitely trying my next sensor on my arm again--hopefully it'll go better next time. Glad you are having success! Have your readings been on target then?


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