Gusher with backing

A Pain in the Abdomen

Some days diabetes is, for all intensive purposes, easy. Blood sugars stay in range, we feel good, no infusion sets go bad, and we can eat whatever we want, dose accurately, and live happily ever after.

And then there are days like last Friday. Blood sugars spiking into the 200’s for no real reason. Then just a touch of insulin sends things plummeting to below 70. Back and forth, to and fro, round and round the mulberry bush, and all that jazz.

I spent all day with my BG’s bouncing around like that, riding the proverbial “glucoaster” until the wheels nearly fell off. I got home after work completely exhausted and agitated from correcting the highs and feeding the lows all day. I had a total of two cups of oatmeal during the day (breakfast and lunch), and I’m pretty certain that it’s the new pizza for me. I dumped the entire container, and added it to the list of “Things my diabetes has a shit fit about.”

To try and relax, I decided to take a hot shower and just clear my head. It was almost time to change my infusion set anyway, and I like to be so fresh and so clean when I put a new one in. Once done, and feeling a little better, I removed the old inset and got ready to insert a new one. I’ve been trying to get more comfortable with using the auto inserter, or as I like to call it, “the harpoon thingy”, instead of manually inserting a new infusion set. Supposedly it’s less trauma on the sites to use the harpoon thingy, but I’m not convinced yet.

So inset loaded in harpoon thingy…cocked…3…2…1…CLICK.

Blood went EVERYWHERE.

For the first time, for me, I actually struck gold…er, red…with a brand new inset. I hadn’t even gotten the backing removed yet so that I could make it stick. I’ve had gushers in the past, but usually at the end of an inset’s life when I remove it and the site is irritated. This was new, and all over me, the counter, my pajama pants, all under and around my CGM sensor, and I think even the cat got sprayed a little (sorry kitteh!). Apparently I was pressurized.

Gusher with backing

So I tried again, with a brand new inset. Ask any pumper, it’s frustrating to waste those things. It’s money going down the drain, and even with insurance, they aren’t cheap. But, hard to use a pump without something to connect it to.

Second inset loaded into harpoon thingy…cocked…3…2…1…CLICK.

At this point, I felt like I should bust through somebody’s wall like the Kool-Aid guy and yell “Oh yeah!” because fruit punch was all over the place. Another gusher, this one fortunately restricted to just all over me.

Oh Yeah! - by stallio on Flickr

I was so frustrated. I cleaned up the mess, then took to Twitter and let the venting commence. That’s the great thing about the DOC, we’re always around. I just couldn’t bear to stick myself again after having failed twice. I’ve been doing this for years. What was I doing wrong? One gusher is an event, but two in a row?! That’s an anomaly.

I took a break. I needed a minute to chill out, and breathe, and not throw anything. It took probably 20 minutes, but I finally worked up the resolve to try again. Third time is the charm, right? I chose not to use the harpoon thingy on the third try. That was the one variable that hasn’t been traditional to my new infusion set process over the years. Call me old school, but if I’ve got to stab myself, I’d rather it be by my own hand and not by some plastic spring-loaded contraption. I also moved to a completely different area, wondering if maybe there was bruising or something going on underneath the surface of the former sites that was causing the gushers.

Third time worked just fine, and I breathed a sigh of relief with the realization that I could finally hook my pancreas on a string back up to my pincushion body after nearly an hour of it being unplugged. Oh goody, another high BG to correct. But at least I COULD correct it now.

It took me a couple of days to find the courage to put a new CGMS in, after the issue with the harpoon thingy for the infusion set, and my stomach still being sore from the repeated stabbings of Friday evening. With all we do to avoid painful complications of diabetes, sometimes living with it can be painful as well.

But I’m still thankful that I can LIVE with diabetes, despite having to live with diabetes. Even if it is a pain in the abdomen sometimes.


  1. Too funny! And I’m laughing with you, not at you! 😉 I had a couple glucoaster days last week–it sucks. And last time I changed my set, I dropped it on the floor (needle side down, of course). Ahhh, good times. Hope your tummy’s feeling better!

  2. Thanks for an entertaining look at the &*@#% frustration of the Glucoaster (what a great term!) and also the “pain” of having to use extra sets when the insurance company is counting the hours on each one.

    Mostly we grit our teeth and weather these moments alone and are temporarily discouraged. It helps to hear from others who share this experience. THANKS.

  3. Yeah, I kinda laughed too. I loved the Kool-Aid guy. We aren’t on pumps, but my kids are the same way with taking shots or having anything else done to them. They want to do it and see it. No use of “alternative” contraptions.

    Glad it worked out and also glad the DOC was of help to you. Gotta love the DOC!

  4. Sorry that it played out that way, but thank you for sharing. Those repeated gushers and site issues were actually what pushed me early last year to go on a Pump Hiatus for a bit. Gave my body a time to heal and relax, and I actually did really good on MDI before venturing back to my pump after about five months. It was a needed breather, not only for the body and site healing but also to get away from those mental and emotional hurdles that add up over time. I love pumping and am much better for it, but it was so nice to step away briefly. Anyhow, hope the upcoming site changes turn out better and aren’t gushers!

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