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About 10 weeks ago, I started to seriously freak out. I was about 24-25 weeks into my pregnancy and my belly was growing. I could no longer use my stomach for my infusion set or my CGM sensor. I’ve had a pump since 1997 and I’ve only ever used my stomach for a site location so I was freaking out about where else I could put it. I experimented with my CGM on my love handle and it went miserably. I got sensor errors for days in a row, leading to several “change sensor” alerts.

After asking Twitter, Facebook groups, my endo, and my CDE, I finally decided to try my sensor on my upper butt. And I’ve had amazing success! My upper butt works great for my CGM sensor. Before, when my CGM was on my stomach, I would get faulty readings a lot. The first 24-36 hours read LOW constantly even if I wasn’t. It would take a while to finally calibrate correctly and by the time it did, it was almost time to replace the sensor again. When I use my butt, for some reason I haven’t noticed the first 24 hours being that far off. In fact, the readings are pretty spot on most of the time. When I gave my initial review of the CGM, I hated it. Now, I actually like it OK. I’m even able to get extra days out of the sensor. I think my record so far has been 12 days. I figured out that if I don’t tape it too much when I first put it in, I am able to disconnect it after the battery dies (usually around day 7) and then I disconnect it, charge it, reconnect it and I get another 3-5 days out of the sensor. I am so much happier now that I don’t have 1 out of every 6 days inaccurate. I have 10 pretty accurate days and I’m so much happier.

In terms of my infusion set, I still haven’t built up the courage to try anywhere too exciting. I’ve moved to my love handles and that seems to be working ok. My skin is getting very stretched out there though and I actually had one day where the cannula came out of my skin and I didn’t notice right away, resulting in high blood sugars for a few hours. My belly is huge now but it’s still growing so I’m not sure if in the next four weeks, I’ll have to finally try somewhere new, or if I can keep getting away with the love handles. I’m crossing my fingers the love handles will do because I am so scared to try somewhere new.   It was easier for me to build the courage to try my upper butt with the CGM because it has an applicator so I just push the button. For the infusion set, I still just do a manual insert and I think it will be harder to put that in somewhere besides my stomach/love handles.

The cannula outside of the infusion set and outside of my stomach-eek

The cannula outside of the infusion set and outside of my stomach-eek

One thing to note though is that Medtronic didn’t get the FDA to approve the CGM sensor for anywhere but the stomach, so if you call them crying and upset like I did that you got 5 days of errors, they can’t help you. I think this is a bad customer service response because if they could just tell customers to try somewhere else, I think they would be amazed at how much happier their customers would be; I know I am about 1,000 times happier now that I’m using my butt than I ever was using my stomach. Maybe in the upcoming months/years they can get approval for areas on the body other than the stomach.

11 thoughts on “New Sites

  1. I have never tried anywhere but my stomach, and have found the same errors as you did. Thanks for the heads up- I’m going to try my butt too! 🙂

  2. Wow! I don’t know if I could try my upper butt… I feel like it’d be really uncomfortable and rub up against jeans, and undies? Does it not? Do you not sit on it?

    I have a Dexcom and I’m 99.9% sure it’s not approved for being worn any place other than the stomach. I wear mine on the front upper thigh and I’ve had great success with accuracy and getting more wear out of it. I think that my record for wearing it there was about 21 days or somthing like that. If I remember correctly I think that I only changed it because my skin was starting to get irritated from the site and tape.

    • I’ll admit that sometimes I don’t get it in quite the right spot and it is really annoying! Rubs on my undies and irritates me, but if I can get it in just the right spot (happens maybe 75% of the time) it’s great! Wow, 21 days is amazing! I was seriously thinking about switching to Dexcom back when I was having problems but I think for the time being I’m going to stick with Medtronic.

  3. I wear the Silhouettes, as you do, and always insert manually, as I was trained to do. I know that a SilSerter exists, though, and I will bet Medtronic would send you one. I insert Silhouettes manually in my upper buttocks.
    I am interested in learning that, for you, Enlites work in the upper buttocks. I wore my SofSensors there, but I was of the understanding that any pressure on an Enlite site gives false lows. Does that not happen to you? Do your upper buttocks touch the mattress? I have been having luck with outer thigh Enlite insertion. Also – if an Enlite sensor fails before its time, just call and lie. Always say it was inserted in the abdomen!

    • Surprisingly, I haven’t really gotten any false lows with my butt! It was a huge problem when I was using my stomach and love handles but I haven’t noticed any false lows AT ALL with my upper buttocks…even the first 24 hours are a lot more accurate. I agree, I think it does have something to do with the pressure, which is why the love handles didn’t work for me at all (since I sleep on my side). For some reason, my upper butt doesn’t seem to be an issue.

      • This may seem like a crazy question, but … Do you wear the sensor on the upper butt side that is OPPOSITE the side you sleep on?!!!

        • Actually, I sleep on both sides but it hasn’t been a problem. I don’t know maybe because my butt is a little bigger, where I put the sensors seems to do OK? Haha, I don’t know but it hasn’t been a problem sleeping. When I had it on my love handles, I had a HUGE problem with sleeping on the side that the sensor was on (i.e. it would error out the next day if I slept on it).

  4. I would love for them to seek (and get) approval to promote other sites for CGM use. I have had lots of success on my upper butt (first day can still be a bit weird) and now that I’m free of my trial “restrictions”, I’m exploring other spots – but the upper-butt area is still my favorite (though I can’t twist around to insert and tape it like I used to!). As for infusion sites, I’ve never had success with the legs and never had the courage to try the arms, but I find the Sure-T worked well on my lower-back. It’s essentially a pen-needle, which is a lot thinner than a cannula-plus-insertion needle. If you call MedT and ask for a few samples, you may find it works for you.

    Good luck… and I’m glad to read that things are working better for you! And in no time at all, your body will be back to normal, and you’ll just need to worry abut those little legs kicking your sites out… 🙂

  5. this is crazy but with my last pregnancy I sued my breast….stung like crazy when I first put in but worked great and was always protected with my bra, it also helped since I had csections not being in the way during procedure or recovery

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