Diabetes isn't generally a gory disease. There are needles, blood tests and occasional HbA1c check that lower the tone but, unlike some diseases, diabetes doesn't usually result in fountains of spouting blood or leaking body fluids. In fact, in the 3 years since I've been on the insulin pump I have been amazed at the lack of bruises at the cannula site, unlike my former previous dappled blue and purple-covered arms: a reminder of the constant needle-sticks.
After an overnight bonanza of elevated blood sugars I decided this morning that a cannula change was in order. Because it stays in place for 3 days at a time there can be occasions when a cannula gets irritated, bumped, knocked or just doesn't like where it is, and a swift swap-out can be just the ticket to resolve a mystery high blood sugar.
Cannula changes, a once timely affair involving much fumbling and shaking as I nervously tried not to slip and get it wrong somehow, are now a swift 30-second job, having changed around 370 of them over the years. This morning's was no different: I opened a cannula fresh from the pack, loaded into the automatic inserter, placed it on the skin where I wanted it and 'clicked' the inserter buttons. I made my way to the kitchen to collect a fresh bottle of insulin and change my reservoir at the same time, just in case an old bottle of insulin had contributed to the blood sugar mayhem.
As I disconnected my tubing ready to connect it to the new reservoir, I discovered this little crime scene:
That's right folks: my cannula, in what I can only describe as a scene from 'ER', tried to kill me.
So readers, watch out for your own cannulas - some of them may are working to their own agenda!