Medical Adhesives and Diabetes: My Allergy Hell

Discuss adding insult to injury! It had been bad enough when my Type 1 diabetes ushered in a new age of being allergic to wheat.   However, now I’ve received some equally troubling news: it seems I’m also allergic to medical adhesives.   Would you think…?

You’re the only one in the household who wants medical sheeting, and now you’re allergic to them.   Is not that ironic or something?” My 11-year-old blurted out on the way home from the dermatologist late last week.

We were actually there for her, for goodness’ sake (she had a minor irritation around her mouth which would not cure).   However, in my infinite wisdom, I thought I would ask the fantastic doc what was happening with the swollen, red-speckled place in my belly where my Navigator had recently been.

We needed to depart the test room, to register me as a separate appointment, and call my primary care doctor for a referral until the dermatologist could legally tell me something.   Then they escorted us back into the same test room and we waited yet another requisite 20 minutes, only to have the same doctor open the door and tell me that I was contagious.   There spent.

According to this doctor, it is not just the latex, but some sort of gel used in the sort of glue that comes with the Navigator (exactly the same kind as people DexCom shower stains, which used to irritate me).   She took a peek at my OmniPod site as well, which wasn’t acting up at the moment but surely does irritate me occasionally, especially on the stomach.   The glue used with this one contains more cotton, so she explained, so less like to irritate as fast or as badly.

(Got a much better image idea?)

Me: “So what can I do about it?

Dr. Derm: “I will urge a Triamcinolone cream for this pretty acute allergic reaction you’re having right now.”

Me: “OK, but I mean preemptively — what can I splurge there beforehand to make it less sensitive? Or can not I pop a pill or something?”

Dr. Derm: ‘ “‘Fraid not.   And it is likely going to keep getting worse.   You might not have been so allergic the first couple of times you wore it, but you develop a reaction to something like this.”

Me (in my head) : “WtF?   Is not it immunity that’s assumed to build up?!”

I’m, in a word, just incensed.   I believe this the additional wrath of my rebellious immune system.   I will persevere!

Me: “Well, this matter here is a brand new technology called a Continuous Glucose Monitor.   It has the potential to change my life and the lives of many different diabetics.   Wearing it requires medical glue.   So I’m going forward and trying it in my arm no matter what.”

Dr. Derm: “Well, that’s your pick.”

Me (in my head): “Don’t talk to me about options! I never asked for this.”

So… how many of you out there happen to be blindsided by allergies in addition to your diabetes?   Speak up, will not you?   Misery loves company.

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn’t adhere to Healthline’s editorial instructions. To learn more about Healthline’s venture with Diabetes Mine, please click here.

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