Monday, March 10, 2014

Houston! We Have a Bleeder!

I'd been warned. I've read about "gushers" when pulling a pump site. We've thankfully never had one. 

So, yesterday was Sunday. Sunday is a Dex site change day in our world. Changing a Dex site used to be a miserable experience for all. It went something like this:

Chase Alex around the house with numbing cream while she screams "no!" and "I don't want a Dex!". Finally pin her down and apply cream. Make an annoyed tween sit in her room without a shirt for 15 minutes or so (so that the cream doesn't rub off onto the shirt). Come in with all Dex supplies and listen to her scream some more about it hurting despite the numbing cream. Clean site and try to reassure screaming child. Insert Dex and listen to even louder screams that the numbing cream never works. 

Back over the holidays while visiting family, my type 1 cousin mentioned that she leaves her numbing cream on for an hour. An hour? I asked her how she did that. I mean, Alex hates sitting shirtless for 15 minutes let alone an hour. And then an hour after numbing up, you wait 2 more hours (at least with a shirt) for the transmitter to start up. A 3 hour process including one hour shirtless? Yuck! My cousin chuckled and said she didn't need to be shirtless. She suggested applying the cream and then covering the cream with the IV 3000 dressing/adhesive. Then, she can have a shirt on. I was intrigued. We tried it. And, it worked! AND...she didn't feel any pain!!!!

So my problem was I was not letting the numbing cream do it's job. We've had about 4 site changes since then and all went off without a hitch and ended with a smiling girl who no longer runs away for a Dex change. Yay...until yesterday...

So, we numbed Alex's site up and waited the hour. Alex was laying on my bed watching TV as I prepped her skin. I inserted the site and she smiled and said she didn't feel it. But...as I looked at it...a small drop of red appeared under the plastic. Suddenly, more blood started gushing out like crazy. The entire area under the plastic filled with blood. For a few moments, I was sure the blood was going to start spilling out under the adhesive. I went to grab cotton balls and bandages and Alex started screaming once she realized there were blood. 

I had no idea what to do. I knew about gushers with pump sites. I knew pump sites don't work with blood in the cannula or tubing. What the heck do I do about a newly inserted Dex site (we had not snapped the transmitter on yet)? And to make matters worse, I knew I only had ONE more Dex site left (I wait to reorder because they are SO expensive. I just paid $700 for 3 months worth not so long ago). 

My husband started searching the Internet and I got the number for Dex tech support. The wait for support was long (6 people ahead of us). Most Internet searches suggested starting up the site even with the blood as long as it stopped bleeding (it seemed to).

The yuckiest part was pushing in the transmitter. I pushed it in and blood spurted out into the adhesive area from the pooled area under the plastic. Alex was still sobbing and I was trying hard to reassure her that a gusher happens and she was going to be fine. She was really upset about the idea of having to put in a second site so she was happier with bloody adhesive as opposed to a second site. 

Dex called us back and told us the same thing - start it up and if it works then all is well. If it fails, call them back and they would ship a replacement site at no cost. 

After 2 hours, the site started up beautifully and worked like a charm (so far). The site itself looks rather gruesome and I don't relish pulling it up in a week or so. But what can you do? 

To add insult to injury we had to change her pump site last night too. Thankfully, there was no bleeding involved. 

These are the times I despise diabetes. Everything can be going as normal as can be possible with diabetes involved...and then you're thrown a curve ball to deal with. I guess all you can do is swing for the fences every time whether you want to or not and hope for the best. And, when you get a crap night with diabetes...all that can be left to do is hug your sobbing child and agree that it is indeed a good night for a 38 carb mini milkshake from Sonic. Why not!