Do you currently have a low treatment close enough to your bed? If you use an insulin pump, how many days do you usually wear one infusion set or pod? How often do you clean your skin with an alcohol wipe before giving yourself an injector or inserting a new pump site or sensor?  

These are this month’s Top Questions of the Day! Your answers inspire research, so we’re grateful for your time answering these questions!   

Here’s a breakdown of the most popular Questions of the Day in October.  

(*Comments have been edited slightly for clarity as needed.) 

Do you currently keep fast-acting carbs close enough to your bed that you don’t have to get out bed to treat a low blood sugar? 

Low snacks are important to have on you at all times – even when you’re sleeping! To make it easier on yourself, sometimes people keep their low snacks on their nightstand or someplace nearby in their bedroom so that it is easier to treat a nighttime low. However, some people in our community shared that they think they recover faster from a low when they get all the way out of bed!  

Here are a few insightful comments from community members: 

  • “I like getting out of bed, so I wake up all the way, and it speeds up my recovery from a low. Waking up cuts my recovery time by 1/2-1/3.” 
  • “Using insulin always comes with a risk of hypoglycemia. Before pumping, I had plenty of lows, but with a CGM, I can control them. I use lemonade to recover quickly; thus, a bottle is on my nightstand.” 
  • “While I have fast-acting carbs at my bedside, I frequently need to add protein to keep my blood glucose up. I go to the kitchen and make a PB&J in those cases.” 
  • “Yes, I keep four glucose tabs under my pillow so I don’t disturb my husband opening a container.” 
  • “Yes! I keep a sleeve of glucose tabs within reach, so I don’t have to do anything but roll over and munch. Then, I swish a mouthful of water and go back to sleep. Sometimes there is a repeat. If I have an all-veggie dinner, low in fat, lows just happen.” 
  • “Absolutely! I have a small jar of jellybeans on my bedside table. My CGM will alert me in time to walk into the bathroom (where I have a bigger jar of jellybeans!), but when I’m sleepy, it’s much more convenient not to have to get out of bed.” 

If you use an insulin pump, how many days do you usually wear one infusion set or pod? 

Most insulin pump users wear an insulin pump pod, or an infusion set for 72 hours (about three days), however, it really depends on how much insulin you’re going through. Some people might change their pod or infusion set every two, three, four, or even five days. It is different for each person living with T1D.  

Here are a few insightful comments from community members: 

  • “I put 2-3 days, but sometimes I can get closer to four days. However, since I now use Lyumjev in my pump, it is now more like 2-3 days.” 
  • “Usually, 3 days, sometimes 4 days, until I notice the insulin reservoir reaches less than 10 units, and then I change it when it has 4 or 5 units left. I took a 3-month pump break this summer to give the poor, tired layers of skin cell tissues at insertion sites on my lower abdomen a chance to rest, rejuvenate, and heal.” 
  • “I like saying 2-4 days. Some sets just don’t last, though. On the Omnipod 5, if I have leftover insulin, I go through the 8-hour grace period that puts me over three days. And some do not work, so need to switch out on day two.” 
  • “In the summer, if I sweat a lot, the adhesive wears out, and I change it as needed. With more moderate temperatures in fall, I can wear an infusion set for about four days (started on Thursday evening & changed it on Monday morning).” 

“Except for accidental pullouts, I change my infusion site whenever I refill my reservoir. I recently started filling my reservoir with more insulin and have been getting 5+ days using my Vari-soft infusion sets. This is not manufacture recommended!”

 How often do you clean your skin with an alcohol wipe before giving yourself an injection or inserting a new pump site or sensor? 

Our community loved to break down this Question of the Day! Most of our community shared that they use an alcohol wipe (or alternative solution) when they do a CGM sensor insertion but not when putting on a pod or infusion set.  

Here are a few insightful comments from community members: 

  • “I always use alcohol for sensor insertion so they will stick, and never for injections or infusion sets.” 
  • “I never use alcohol for injections (I am MDI), but I always use IV Prep before inserting a new CGM sensor. I do with the CGM sensors because I leave them inserted for 20+ days, and I suspect that creates a greater chance of infection.” 
  • “I prefer soap and water to alcohol wipes, not as drying to my skin.” 
  • “One of the first things my doctor told me when I first became a diabetic 46 years ago was that sanitation is one of the most important things. Always clean your injection site. So, I use either alcohol or a skin prep pad before I inject anything.” 
  • “I used to skip the alcohol with injections, but since having a CGM and a pump, I always use an alcohol wipe now.” 

Thank you to every member of the T1D Exchange Online Community for sharing your experiences. Your words inspire others who come to this community looking for advice and the reminder that they’re not alone. 

If you are not already a member of the T1D Exchange Online Community, join today