Pumped, on the OmniPod!

The day unimagined has arrived:  I am a pumper.  I am woman, I wear Pod.  I can’t believe I haven’t injected myself in 3 entire days! 

So far it’s so existence-altering, I hardly know where to begin…  In fact, I’m trying to temper myPod_tubeless enthusiasm, so I don’t peter out too fast. Meaning I’m reserving my big Happy Dance for when I really start to see results.

But here’s how it went so far: On Monday, I met with my endo and the Insulet rep for training (they’re just starting roll-out here on the West Coast).  We spent about 2 hours going through the setup and functions of the OmniPod “insulin management system” (please don’t call it a pump, ’cause there ain’t no tubes on me!)  It was incredibly easy to learn, for one because the menus “walk you through” everything in plain English, and in part probably because I’ve been writing about and following the progress of this exciting new device for over a year.  So I had a very good idea of what to expect.

Nevertheless, what I wasn’t prepared for was the huge shadow it would cast on my diabetes management up until now.  There we were setting basal programs for .4 and .5 units/hour, plus temporary basal programs reduced to -25%, and calculations for “reverse corrections” (the system lops off a little of your bolus if you start out too low).  And all I could think was how LAME my MDI regime was by comparison!  There is NO WAY IN THE WORLD that even the most diligent diabetic could achieve the same BG control with the pathetic imprecision of injections compared to this high-tech wonder of medical science! I thought…

And my next A1c will absolutely HAVE TO reflect the difference. Which is critical, of course.  The nurse ran a quick in-office Metrika kit A1c test on me and came up with a whopping 8.3 (!)  Luckily, my doctor thought it was as odd as I did, considering my good results of late, so we had it re-tested at the lab. Got the results yesterday: 6.2 (!!). So much for on-site A1c testing.  Geez…    

As far as the system goes, I don’t mind the Pod a bit so far.  Very comfortable. No need for irritating shower patches since it’s waterproof.  What bugs me a little is that my endo insisted I start wearing my DexCom again for the first week of pumping, in order to track results, particularly overnight.  So now I am double-sensored.  Aaack! And I need to conduct fingerstick test on both the OmniPod’s built-in FreeStyle meter and the OneTouch necessary for DexCom calibration (I hate the OneTouch).  Aaack x2! What we won’t do to thwart this stealthy disease…

Meanwhile, I adore the little PDM (personal diabetes manager) controller device, which has a nice smooth yet solid feel in the hand.  It really does look and feel like your average well-designed personal organizer, so I’ve got a lot less ‘splainin’ to do out in public.

And did I mention NO INJECTIONS?  And NO TUBES hanging off my body either?  What an unequivocally Happy Camper I would be…

… if it weren’t for the still-unresolved issue of insurance coverage.  We continue to grapple with Blue Shield, which has approved me for a “standard” insulin pump, but is still pushing back on the OP (as of press time).  We went ahead and moved forward on good faith that they’d turn around soon (Insulet has just hired a Regional Manager for this area, who will focus heavily on reimbursement issues).  It’s only been a few days, but so far in my eyes the OmniPod is living up to its reputation for excellency — worth every penny we’ll be spending on it.

Editor’s Note: Got questions about the OmniPod?  I’m obviously quite the Newbie, but would be happy to attempt to answer any queries to the best of my ability/knowledge.

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68 Responses

  1. Curt
    Curt November 22, 2007 at 3:56 pm | | Reply

    Can’t seem to keep pods stuck on – used skin prep before putting it on, anything wrong with this batch of pods???

  2. Mark
    Mark December 5, 2007 at 12:40 pm | | Reply

    Just test drove the omnipod. Best feature—painless insertion, and fewer parts to worry about. Worst feature—only holds 200 units, and the POD is pretty large. All in all, I may do a 45 day test trial. If it holds on good, it may be preferrable to my present minimed which is less user friendly, and is a genuine pain to insert.

  3. Felicia
    Felicia December 6, 2007 at 9:52 am | | Reply

    I googled this management system. I currently have an Animas pump and although it had tubes, I was able to wear just about anything. My question… has any female found that the large pod gave extra lumps where we don’t want them. Did your tighter fitting tops/shirts/dresses look funny? If you were able to insert in a place where it could be concealed, please let me know. Once my insurance approves a new pump, I am stuck with that x5 years so I would like to make sure all of my questions are answered

  4. Kim
    Kim December 6, 2007 at 10:20 am | | Reply

    How does it stay on? When you run out of insulin do you throw away the entire pod?

  5. Jana
    Jana December 17, 2007 at 1:16 pm | | Reply

    Curt,

    I had the same problem, I called insulet and they recommended a product called MASTISOL, it’s a liquid adhesive I spray on before I put the pod on, it works and the pod stays on. The only problem is getting the pod off after 3 days ;o) It is over the counter product and costs about $36.oo.

  6. Jana
    Jana December 17, 2007 at 1:37 pm | | Reply

    I am wearing the Omni Pod 4 weeks now, and this was my best decision about diabetes so far. I LOVE IT. To answer some of the questions above:
    1. I had the same problem about the Pod not staying on my skin, pulling the cannula out and having high blood glucose due to no basal insulin delivery. I called Insulet and they recommended a product called MASTISOL. It’s an over the counter liquid adhesive, the spray bottle cost me $36 nad you spray it on your skin before putting the Pod on. It works great!!! You might need a product called Detachol to remove it after 3 days, or just carefully take the Pod off your skin, because it holds really hard.
    2. I was afraid about the Pod holding only 200 units for 3 days, the truth is I use less insulin than with the novolog, so 200 is more than enough.
    3. I wear the Pod anywhere on my body and don’t worry about a bump on my clothes ( I am 28 years old) It’s something I need and I don’t care if it sticks out. It’s alwyas better than the daily injections.
    4. As far as I know you have to contact insulin corporation to arder the omnipod. The paperwork has to be filled out and either insurance company pays for it or you can pay yourself.
    5. After 3 days you throw the entire Pod away as you get enough Pods for 3 months ;o)
    That’s what I could think of, anyway, it is great to be on Omnipod.

  7. Keila
    Keila December 28, 2007 at 2:07 pm | | Reply

    mi bebe de 2 años comenzo con omnipod y dexcom en diciembre 2007 y ha sido fascinante ver los resultados que hemos tenido.
    Nuestra endo no estaba deacuerdo pq viajamos a EU para hacerlo, pero vale la pena.

  8. Lauren
    Lauren January 10, 2008 at 9:06 am | | Reply

    My husband just took off his minimed pump. He is very active and hated the pump. He says he will never go back. Our son also has type one. I was hoping my husband would love the pump (which he has been on for 9 months) and we could switch our six year old to the pump. Last night after my husband saw his endo, who told him if he didn’t like the pump he wouldn’t like the omnipod, my husband looked at me went and got a syringe injected a boulus of lantus and took the pump off late last night. Pretty much the look I got was this pump can go @#$*! itself. His complaints were numbered. Just a few are that the pump is bulky, he can’t enjoy getting in the pool and the tubing kept getting caught and pulled out of his infusion site. I have noticed my husband hasn’t been himself since he went on the pump. I got desperate and looked online. I found the omnipod. Can it help us? Please help a wife and mom who is stressing about my husband and son forever being on MDI’s. Ouch!

  9. Sara
    Sara January 16, 2008 at 2:02 pm | | Reply

    Hi- My doctor just recommended the omnipod to me since my warranty is up. I am unsure of it though because of the bulkiness. I have been insulin dependent for 21 years and am only 26. I tell you that bit of info because my husband just recently learned how to insert my set (I’m on a pump) on my rear end. We are doing this because I have so much built up scar tissue that the insulin was not working on my tummy. I am wondering how I would be able to use the omnipod on my body in places other than my tummy? Would that work and if so wouldn’t there be a big bump from the heftiness of the omnipod?

  10. Sarah Hodson
    Sarah Hodson January 27, 2008 at 10:15 pm | | Reply

    Did your doc talk to you about taking a Lantus dose in addition to pumping? If you covered your minimum basal with Lantus, you could cut way down on your quick acting use per day. I did this for awhile because I was ripping the tubing out in my sleep and wanted some protection.

  11. Sarah Hodson
    Sarah Hodson January 27, 2008 at 10:32 pm | | Reply

    As a person who tucks any old thing into my sports bra (glucose tabs, lifesavers, ipod, banana) I find these “bump” comments hilarious. I cannot wear the pods on my abdomen because I am too active. (Abdomen skin moves 4 directions unlike the legs and arms where the skin only moves two) I wear it on the arm and leg, and yes people ask about it at the gym. seriously, it does not stick out as far as the holder I have for my ipod, hence why I stick the ipod in the bra all the time. Yes, I spend hours in the pool with my omnipod. It is great you only have to be near the PDM when you are making a change. I love the calculators and having your insulin and sugar levels together makes adjustments to your regimens sooooooooooooooooooooooo easy

    Also, I was on the pump years ago, HATED it. And love the omnipod, so that doctor is another big-headed guy who did not hear WHY someone hated that tubing.

    Also, I have not had near the skin troubles I had with mini-med adhesives.

    Ask me anything

  12. kate
    kate February 21, 2008 at 9:56 am | | Reply

    I am concerned about new products for my 11 yr old niece w/ JD. Is there a chance of accidental overdose injection? If she “sneaks” hi carb foods (as she is known to do) will it be equally effective in regulating her #’s? Any further insight would be helpful.

  13. Rick
    Rick March 8, 2008 at 8:04 pm | | Reply

    How is the pod at night while sleeping ? Does it pull or get in the way while ‘tossing and turning’ ?

  14. tAMMY
    tAMMY March 13, 2008 at 10:08 pm | | Reply

    MY DAUGHTER HAS BEEN USING THE POD FOR A COUPLE OC MONTHS.. WE ARE HAVING SOME PROBLEM WITH THE CATH COMING OUT BEFOR 3 DAYS SHE IS VERY ACTIVE IN SPORTS AND I WAS WONDERING IF ANYONE ELSE IS HAVING THE SAME PROBLEM AND WHAT CAN WE DO ABOUT IT… THANKS TAMMY

  15. Robbie
    Robbie March 16, 2008 at 9:11 am | | Reply

    I’m currently doing a project(for school lol) on the omnipod and I would like to know if there are any must haves for my research report? I know that you can put it on your arm, leg, lower back and abdomen, and I know it have to be changed every three days or less and can hold up to 200 units. But I would like to know if there are any down sides to using the OmniPod. It is supposed to be virtually pain free and easy to use but you can never be to sure! If you go to http://www.myomnipod.com/ and you check out the stories there, there is one about Nick Jonas *a member of my favourite band I’m 14 btw :) * and he says that he loves it and that he would never go back to the shots if he had a choice. If you can afford it from what I can tell this would be a great product to use! However it is only available to members of the USA guess that sucks for the rest of the diabetics in the world now doesn’t it? *I mean that in a friendly funny kind of way if you get what I mean*

  16. Rachel Anderson
    Rachel Anderson April 1, 2008 at 1:05 pm | | Reply

    My youngest child (10 yrs old) was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a year ago in April. It was quite a shock as there is absolutely no history of Diabetes in either mine or her father’s family. Just yesterday she started on the Omnipod (using saline initially to assure her comfort of use). We met with a nurse from the Barbara Davis Center who trained Téa on the use of her PDM within a matter of hours. Téa picked up the functions with no problem. At the end of the pod’s life (72 hrs) we are switching to insulin. Thanks to the pump we will now use only 1 type of insulin – instead of mixing Humalog with N in the morn, Lantus in the eve. Being in medical research myself I looked at all of the pumps on the market before making a decision. The “no tubes” means a lot, especially to a child. Omnipod is also working on a platform for continuous glucose testing, which will eliminate the need for finger sticks as well. The company reps were wonderful – working with our insurance until we were granted approval. They handled the insurance company completely, asking me only for the documentation that the insurance company required. I was amazed at how fast they were able to get things handled. We are extremely excited about this new step and are hoping it makes Téa’s life with Diabetes both easier and happier.

  17. Isaac
    Isaac April 11, 2008 at 6:06 pm | | Reply

    OmniPod is a new company. I’m leary of putting my life in the hands of rookies. I heard that a girl bumped her OmniPod on a wall corner and it stopped delivering insulin. She didn’t know until she checked her sugar 4 hours later. Plus the insertion goes in at the same angle every time. I often have to vary my insertion depending on wear I am placing set. The CGM won’t be out for years! Remember you get what you pay for in technology and diabetes management.

  18. Isaac
    Isaac May 8, 2008 at 10:31 pm | | Reply

    The Omnipod will cost you close to $16,000.00 over 4 years for cash. It only holds 200 units of insulin, you’re tied to one type of infusion set with the same insertion angle, if you forget your handheld you’re screwed, if it stops delivering insulin theres no notification, no CGM (wave of the future). Good luck to all those that want a tubeless device. I say you get what you pay for. Oh yea… this pod is your lifeline! I would wait until device is proven and company is mature. I still say choose Minimed as they are proven, have leading technology, adn their local reps are knowledgeable. I found out that the Omnipod rep in our area comes from over 300 miles away. Whatever, this is my life I’m talking about.

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