When Good Diabetes Testing Pump Sites Go Bad

Gina Capone Health Guide
  • A couple of weeks ago I woke up to a pretty good day. I went out in the morning to go food shopping and run some errands. I got back home around 4ish and tried to figure out what to make for dinner. All during this time my blood sugars were running pretty normal and in range most of the day. 


    My husband got home around 7pm and we ate dinner after he washed up around 715pm. I made a pretty low calorie dinner, Chicken and stringbeans. I checked my blood and it was in range. I didn't take a bolus in my pump because there weren't really any carbs in what I had eaten and I was going to the gym shortly after eating. At 730pm I checked my blood which is pretty much a routine before a workout and I was 360. I did think it was weird because I had no carbs but I thought maybe I should have taken a bolus for the stringbeans, or that the sauce for the chicken had too much sugar or something. I took half a correction and went to the gym. 

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    I got to the gym and worked out for about 45-50 minutes. That night I had a scheduled chat in my online chat room at 9pm so I had to rush home because it was already 8:50pm. The chat was for an hour so it ended at 10pm. During the chat my stomach started feeling queezy. I took a shower and when I came out I checked my blood sugar. 


    The meter read: HIGH GLUCOSE OVER 600


    Holy !@#$.


    I then proceeded to get my ketone strips. I checked my urine and the strip turned purple the darkest level. At this point I started to get really thirsty, my head started to hurt and my stomach ached to where it felt like a knife was stabbing me. 


    Right away I decided to take out my infusion set and change it to another part of my body, and also to check to see if maybe there was a kink in the wiring. There was no kink. 


    I took a manual subcutaneous shot of 10 units of humalog. Then I called the doctor. She told me I needed to go to the ER, I had a feeling she was going to say that. I hate going to the ER, but I knew if I wanted to start feeling better quicker that was the only option because taking care of it myself would take too long. I needed fluids quickly. 


    I went to the ER and saw the nurse there and told her what was going on. She checked my blood and it said CRITICAL HIGH. Ugh. What! I told her I just took 10 units of humalog through a shot and I didn’t understand why it was still not registering into a blood meter. Two seconds later a nurse from the ER came and said for me to come right in. 


    They started me on saline drip right away. Like three different people came in and asked me what was going on I told them all the same thing. I don't really know. They took some blood and I of course had to wait like 3 hours just to get the results. The ER doctor finally came and told me that all of my blood work came back normal and there were no infections. Ok, so what the heck is the problem then?


    A bad pump site. Sometimes you get scar tissue from all of the infusion sets, and unfortunately it probably hit the tissue and it didn't absorb the insulin. Ugh! My question is then why was the rest of the day fine? 


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    I don't know what really happened that night but, I now know to make sure that when I have an unexplained high blood sugar to check for ketones and also check my blood again an hour later instead of waiting too long in between.


    Another day/late night in the life of a person with type 1 diabetes!


Published On: September 06, 2008