Pump site ... in the arm?!?

Hey guys -

I tried something new this morning - I placed my new infusion set in my upper arm. I use the Sure-T Paradigm infusion set, so it has a steel needle at 90 degrees and a separate disconnect site. I had no problem getting it situated and haven't noticed any bleeding or weird blood sugar levels from it. So, I'm thinking everything is fine.

There's just one thing - my arms feels ... weird. It's not painful or anything, it's a weird tingling sensation, almost line my arm is slightly alseep or something. Reminds me of when I got my flu shot this year.

Does anyone else use their arm as an infusion site and have "issues" like this??

I also use the Sure-T sets, they are great! My arms are skinny and there is not much fatty tissue, so I stick to my abdomen and upper legs. I rotate every few weeks to avoid scar tissue. Fatty tissue is always best for sites for pumping.

I do know people with fleshy arms who have success with placing their infusion sets there.

I rock arm sites all the time!  Lol.  I actually get great absorption with them too.  I've got a lot of scar tissue on my upper/side stomach area because I didn't rotate very much when I was younger.  I've adapted to that by getting really creative with my sites now.  I'll pretty much put them anywhere where there's room to pinch an inch, which gives me tons of options haha!  The tingling...I'm thinking maybe you hit a nerve.  Or perhaps the site is in a muscle and is making it feel weird.  I'm pretty sure I've experienced the same thing with an arm site before.  Where exactly on the arm did you put the site?  I think I remember the site feeling weird when I put it directly over my bicep area, as opposed to like..on the outside of the arm.


Heh.. I'm the total opposite.  I really overused my arms as injection sites when younger, so that's where a lot of my scar tissue is.  Arm sites scare me a bit.

I use the backs of my arms in the winter when I wear long sleeves. I would in the summer too, but I find my tubing gets caught on things like door jams and stuff when I have T shirts on, lol. I also think my arms feel slightly "different", I can't really identify the feeling though. It usually only lasts a day or so though and then I don't feel it any more. I think it probably varies due to what kind of arm you have... lots of muscle vs little girly arms like mine... I haven't noticed a difference in absorbency between the arms and my other sites either. If it works well for you, go for it! 

I've never used my arms before, but I have some questions for those of you who have:

-  Where do you keep your pump?  I've tried tucking it into the side of my  bra, under m arm, but I don't find that to be comfortable.  Also, I've tried clipping onto my bra in the front, cleavage area, but I find that the tubing tickles me!  (I wonder if people know why I walk around, laughing hysterically all the time!  LOL)

-  What length of tubing do you use?

-  Does anyone use the Comfort or Comfort Short sets?  Or any other manual insertiion ones?  I can't quite imagine how to go about inserting a Comfort Short set, using only one hand...

This is all intriguing to me, but I am willing to gie it a try! 

Ooooh, Nads!  I use Comfort sets too!  I was beginning to think I was the only one who still uses them!  :D  I can't see how it would work either, without a helper.

I have long tubing, 3 ft maybe?? I'm not entirely sure. I run the tubing down through my shirt and leave my pump clipped to my pocket, which is where I always wear it. I can rarely wear my pump under my clothes in any way, it always looks like I have a creepy square tumor.

LOL - a square tumor!  I've heard of some people answering question by saying:  "It's my pancreas".  Now, I'm thinking if I ever get questioned, I'll say:  "Doesn't your pancreas stick out like this too?", then watch the person as they check themselves out! 

Kim, I also wondered about the Comfort (Short, in my case)...  I use them because, firstly, that's what my trainer started me on two years ago, so I just stuck with them and secondly, they're cheaper than the automatic ones!

Nads - I do the same thing as Megan. Longer tubing helps (32"), though right now I'm using shorter tubing (23"). It's a bit of a stretch, but I can make it work. I wear the pump on my belt and wire the tubing under my shirt. The SureT infusion set is just a 6mm steel needle that I can put right in, no real need to pinch an inch for it. I cringed when I first thought about this type of set because of the whole metal needle aspect. But, it's actually really easy to inset and does not hurt at all (that was a big surprise for me). Also, the disconnect site is separate from the needle, so when I have to disconnect I'm not jarring the set around.

I have used the Comfort Set before (with my old Deltec Cozmo) and a similar product with my Minimed Paradigm. Those are a tad tricky to get in your arm, though I've done it before. Usually after taking a deep, deep breath! Regardless of what set you use, make sure it's secured with tape. The last thing you need is to roll over in bed or put a backpack/purse on and find a dislodged set. I think for my next arm site, I'll try something a little further down the back of my arm. Especially since the weather is cooler and long sleeves are a must. Though, to be honest, I don't mind if the site is slightly visible to others. Makes for a good conversation starter :P


Thanks for everyone's feedback!


Mucho congrats for using the arm. Just curious if you tried again and got a different feel this time out. I never got the numbness you hinted at. I tend to every once in a while hit muscle/nerve. It does cause interesting feelings, but easily overcome. Good luck with the arms. They are great, although just be alert for escaped tubing, as it does get caught on things from time to time.

Hmmm... I've never tried my arm before but after reading all these posts I think I might try.  I never thought about using my arm because I thought it would be difficult with clothes and the tubing.  I might have to try it out though.

[quote user="Amy Martins"]

Hmmm... I've never tried my arm before but after reading all these posts I think I might try. 



I agree, I'm a little anxious/excited to try it also. 

Yay more replies!!

Brian Q - The numbness did go away eventually. I think I did get too close to a nerve. I've been switching back and forth on my arms all week. So nice to free up my stomach.

Amy - You should give the arms a try. I haven't had an issue with my clothing - easy to hide under a short sleeve shirt and whatnot. I'm a little cautious when putting on/taking off clothes and wearing a backpack, but as long as you have the site taped down, everything should be fine. I put a piece (or two) of medical tape over the infusion site to keep it in place. The only thing I'm getting used to is sleeping with the site on my arm - it can be a tad uncomfortable from time to time. Just a minor thing to get used to. Other than that, no major problems. And I know my stomach is thanking me :)