The Devil is in the Bubbles?

I really must not have been paying attention when I filled this one. I’ve been fighting some really weird blood sugar highs recently – occurring at times when I normally see a level line on the CGM or am otherwise crashing (like 3am, all the freaking time) – and before my last pump site change, it was just getting ridiculous, so I took out the set early. And found this monstrous bubble (as seen above) in the reservoir.

Sitting here now with my new set for the past couple of days….the highs are still hanging around. (And that 1 bubble doesn’t explain the “bubble” I’ve seen in my blood sugar numbers being steadily higher for several months now.) The time I notice it most is the overnight sugars as seen on my Dexcom CGM. I’ll go to bed at a comfortable and steady 110 or so. Fall asleep. Rudely awakened by a blaring high in the 200s for several hours overnight. Wake up. Drink water. Take correction bolus. Sometimes eat a cheese stick if I think it’s dawn phenomenon-related. And most times, it goes down and I’m good by breakfast-time.

I keep wracking my brain….what am I doing differently from the past year+ that is making this happen??  It’s not *always* the last week of my cycle, I haven’t changed any medications or vitamins recently, I don’t think I’m sick (or getting sick), my exercise regimen is better than it’s been in years, I haven’t changed my basal rates (this will be the next thing I do to try to counteract it)….my checklist of “what it could be” goes on and on. MAYBE I’m not drinking enough water lately and I’m slightly dehydrated? I have been downing a lot of coffee over the past few weeks of cold-weather spells we’ve had. (But I’ve moved to half-caf and decaf, shouldn’t that be OK?) And sure, some nights the highs will happen after I’ve had a couple glasses of wine and some snacks with my girl friends, but even taking those out of the equation, it’s still a LOT of unexplained overnight highs for me. And it shows in my A1c – up 0.4 from my last A1c of 3 months ago (which was up 0.2 from the A1c before that.) It seems like a small enough gain, but feels really big. I’ve got to shut that sucker down, and stop the upwards “bubble” trend I keep seeing. Now, if I can just figure out how to do that…..

6 thoughts on “The Devil is in the Bubbles?

  1. Here are a couple of things I try to do: First, when filling the reservoir, I’m extremely diligent in getting rid of any and all bubbles. That takes more time than the insertion for me (and it’s hard to do), but it’s worth it.

    Second, something I read somewhere else, but it works for me: I’ll keep using my old site for a time after I insert my new set. That gives the new site a chance to calm down a bit, and seems to help mitigate any new site spikes.

    Other than that, maybe look at tweaking nighttime basals slightly? I dunno. Hope it gets better soon.

    • Always good to hear from you, Stephen 🙂 I’m fairly certain is has minimal, if nothing, to do with site change-outs. That one bubble was an anomaly (I hope!) I already do the “site calming down” thing, in that I will insert a new site several hours before I’m planning a site change-out, and do the same thing you do – keep the old one active until I know the new one is good. Yeah, the basal rates are my next “thing to try” – grrr, it’s just frustrating, you know? Once you think you have it all figured out, then BAM. Change happens.

  2. Wanted to let you know my “like” is in support of you figuring it out.

  3. I’m glad that you’ve figured out the cause of your highs, and wish you the best of luck in solving your bubble problem 🙂

  4. I love these kinds of posts–people puzzling out what’s going on in there. That bubble’s a monster!

    I have fewer bubble problems now that we fill the pump cartridges from pen cartridges instead of from a vial. There’s so much suction/pressure going on, there’s no room for air. This is probably wrong advice for some reason, or everyone would do it this way.

    • Yeah, I am such a high volume insulin user, the pens don’t make sense for me to buy. But someday, someday!! I will be using less insulin, and then I’m gonna try the pens thing. Cause you’re right – the air-pressure-suction-physics crap always screws something up.

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