That's what it feels like, anyway. A millennium of skin malfunctions over here that are making my diabetes and gluten intolerance genuinely intolerable of late! (A TMI post? Read at your own risk)
The latest bout of troubles kicked off this summer when I took the new Abbott Navigator CGM sensor for a test drive. The very latex-y adhesive used to adhere that product to the skin did not get along with my skin at all, I'm afraid. I developed a nasty irritation, that took a good two weeks to disappear completely.
Next up, I got my first full-fledged infection at a pump infusion site. This had never happened to me before, so it seemed kind of surreal that the tiny spot where my pumping cannula went in could cause such an enormous infecto-ruption. Ick!
So after the antibiotics pretty much took care of that one, I had a series of pods (from my OmniPod wireless insulin pump) that began to either irritate the heck out of the skin underneath them, or simply wouldn't stay stuck. They'd start peeling up and often pop off my skin at inconvenient moments (is there a convenient moment for that sort of thing?)
Luckily, the Insulet territory manager in my area was kind enough to provide me with a "goody bag" of skin prep products I could try, which would "act as a solvent to the adhesive on the pods." Who knew there were so many choices? Here's a quick run-through of how that went:
- 3M Cavilon no-sting barrier film wipes — worked OK, a little too sticky. Skin still got irritated.
- Bard Protective barrier film prep - very tacky skin sensation. Ditto on above.
- Coloplast Prep Medicated Skin barrier - supposedly creates a "second skin" as a protective layer, but I don't remember it feeling that way.
- Hollister Skin gel protective dressing wipes - Honestly, I barely remember these at all.
- Smith & Nephew No-Sting Skin Prep - made my pod fall right off. In about half an hour or less. I had to search through the bed covers to find it a couple of times. Definitely a thumbs down.
- Stoma care aloe-based skin care wipes - I like the fact that they're aloe-based, but I think I only tried one of these, so difficult to judge effectiveness.
- ConvaTec AllKare skin protective barrier wipes - pleasantly sticky where they needed to be, without gunking me up all over. Skin did not get irritated underneath. Hooray! Thumbs up.
Meanwhile, on Nov. 14 — yes, ironically on World Diabetes Day — my husband and I went to dinner after the lighting of SF City Hall and I did something very stupid. I took a chance on some bread that looked potentially "wheat-safe" (OK, it also smelled heavenly and looked mouth-wateringly good, too, and I hadn't tasted real bread in YEARS). Anyway, I ate the stuff and was paid back with a Hiney full of HIVES! And the HIVES! have been around ever since — appearing in rotating turns on and around my neck / thighs / eyes / breasts/ underarms / palms of hands (!) Yes, I have had HIVES! in places no human being should know from them.
Funny to think that I lived an entire life — over 37 years of it — without ever experiencing one single solitary itty bitty bout of HIVES!, and now since the diabetes and accompanying gluten intolerance I am plagued by them. How they love to congregate on the hips and derriere, which is tough for spin class. On any given morning I may wake up with big red Quasimodo eyes.
OK, rant over. But in case you're wondering why I'm not using my Navigator (or any CGM) at the moment, I've got one word for you. Five letters. GUESS!