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. David Edelman
    David Edelman February 22, 2007 at 6:52 am | | Reply

    Amy, I’m excited to read about how the Omnipod works for you. I just got an email that it became available in our area. I always wondered what the other pumps are like. And the Omnipod just looks so cool!

  2. Laura
    Laura February 22, 2007 at 7:18 am | | Reply

    Okay, I have done no investigating into this device so my first question is — how is it attached to you?

  3. Becky
    Becky February 22, 2007 at 7:27 am | | Reply

    So so so jealous :( yet VERY happy for you!!

    Struggling here with endos who are resistant to prescribe it once it becomes available in Texas. Sigh… I will definitely point them to you blog. Thanks for sharing!!

    We do intend to keep Mason on both Dexcom and the pod, for what it’s worth. He’s got the sensor and an I-port on now and it doesn’t bother him a bit wearing two things, fortunately!

  4. Kerri.
    Kerri. February 22, 2007 at 7:39 am | | Reply

    Congrats on you decision to jump to pumping! :) I’ve seen this device up close and personal recently and it is an incredible little machine. Good luck with everything!

  5. Kerri.
    Kerri. February 22, 2007 at 7:40 am | | Reply

    “Your” decision to jump to pumping. Oh how I loathe a typo.

  6. Adam Kaye
    Adam Kaye February 22, 2007 at 7:42 am | | Reply

    Amy,
    welcome to the club! I’ve been on the Omnipod since June, and loving it. Soooo convenient. I’ll check back on this post in the next couple of days and answer a few questions if you or any other readers have any about the system.

    Adam Kaye

  7. Anne
    Anne February 22, 2007 at 7:51 am | | Reply

    Congrat’s! After starting on a pump, I sometimes wanted to be a “real” girl (not like pinocchio, with strings!) and go off for a day or two. But those days are long gone. I can’t imagine going back to injections. You are right–there is no way to fine-tune your control. For example, I can turn my pump down before an unplanned afternoon run and prevent a low that I might fight with if I had some long acting insulin floating around.

    It’s not perfect though so cut yourself some slack with respect to your A1c if you don’t see immediate improvements. Especially, when you are messing around with basal rates etc., you might have a few more highs than normal…And, especially, since your A1c is already so good.

    In addition to better control, I found that the pump basically “noramlized” my life. Of course, this was back in 1993 and MDI wasn’t standard practice, yet. But still, I can be having a conversation with someone and bolus without that person even knowing–not as easy with an injection (although we do get pretty good about being sneaky about it!)

    Best wishes to you.
    -Anne

  8. Megan
    Megan February 22, 2007 at 7:58 am | | Reply

    I think on the pump vs. shots thing a lot of people are thinking, “Uhm…told you so.”

    Good luck, Amy.

  9. George
    George February 22, 2007 at 8:15 am | | Reply

    Welcome to the club although you seem to have moved right to the front of the line with that cool device! Congrats!

  10. Mollly
    Mollly February 22, 2007 at 9:14 am | | Reply

    Amy-
    Congrats on your “insulin system” jump!
    I’m eager to hear how insertions go for you. I’ve been eyeing the Omni Pod for a while, but I’m kinda squeemish, and don’t know if I could have the catheter go in without being able to see it.
    Keep us posted, please!

  11. Catherine
    Catherine February 22, 2007 at 10:10 am | | Reply

    Congrats! Before I went on a pump it seemed like such a hinderance, but the blood sugar control is amazing.

    I have to get a new pump when I go out of warranty in May. How big is the “pod” and where are you able to where it?

  12. JasonJayhawk
    JasonJayhawk February 22, 2007 at 10:46 am | | Reply

    I’m curious about the cost. What is it costing you out-of-pocket? Do the Omnipod people consider paying you for the coverage? :)

  13. Larua
    Larua February 22, 2007 at 12:12 pm | | Reply

    I never wanted the pump because of all the wiring. This looks great! (I checked out the Omnipod site.) Now I just have to get past my neurotic need to have the control and trust that little machine to do all the work! Does the cannula stay in your skin at all times?

  14. Jennifer
    Jennifer February 22, 2007 at 12:16 pm | | Reply

    Any idea when omnipod might become available in Canada?

  15. alison
    alison February 22, 2007 at 12:58 pm | | Reply

    That’s awesome! The Omnipod was the first system that first peaked my interest in pumping. One question I have is, I’ve heard that the little pod is bigger than what some people expect it to be, do you find it noticable or bulking through your clothes any or does it still lay relatively flat

  16. Penny
    Penny February 22, 2007 at 1:58 pm | | Reply

    Congrats, Amy!!!

    I’m glad you’re liking it. I can’t imagine our lives without the pump.

    But, no tubes, how nice.

  17. Scott Johnson
    Scott Johnson February 22, 2007 at 7:02 pm | | Reply

    Congrats Amy! Awesome news!

    I second what Anne said – it is quite an adjustment switching from MDI to any kind of pumping (or whatever type of sub q infusion).

    I’ve been very curious about this device. I imagine that I would feel that the “pod” is too big – especially when playing basketball and such.

    I’m so pleased that you are trying it. I am very confident in your straight up opinions on how you like it.

  18. Jen
    Jen February 22, 2007 at 7:18 pm | | Reply

    I’m a pumper myself (for 10+ years)and just started with a CGM. If only the “pod” came with a CGM life would be perfect. What I wouldn’t do to get rid of finger sticks AND tubes!

  19. Laura Gulley
    Laura Gulley February 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm | | Reply

    And while we’re dreaming…
    besides a little sensor, how about pods with 2 cartridges inside, one for symlin and one for insulin!

    (Congratulations and good luck Amy!)

    Laura G., pumper and symlin shooter

  20. Chrissie in Belgium
    Chrissie in Belgium February 22, 2007 at 11:18 pm | | Reply

    CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Pumping is super! But always double check how it thinks a little. My only problem with the omnipod is that I think I will loose the “machine part” or the PDM as you call it. How do you keep tract of where that is?

  21. Becky
    Becky February 23, 2007 at 5:50 am | | Reply

    Someone mentioned the pod with a cgm. I just read in Insulet’s SEC filing that they have an agreement with Abbott to develop an integrated Navigator/Omnipod receiver!! Cool beans!! I can’t wait!! Here’s the link: http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1145197/000095013507000827/b63591s1sv1.htm#116

  22. David
    David February 23, 2007 at 9:30 am | | Reply

    My doctor wants me to go on the OmniPod. However, it only holds 200 units of insulin and I require that in a day. I would like to know if you have seen a reduction in the amount of insulin that you are using since you have been on the OmniPod or any other type of pump (since I don’t currently use a pump). thx.

  23. Connie Parrott
    Connie Parrott February 23, 2007 at 9:59 am | | Reply

    This sounds way better than the Paradigm, if you ask me. I wonder why I’m only being told about a few types of pumps or management systems when there are so many out there. Congratulations on yours, and I’ll certainly put more energy into looking at alternatives. Let us know what happens with your insurance company!

  24. Allison
    Allison February 23, 2007 at 5:37 pm | | Reply

    A one, a two, a three…

    We told you!!

  25. Michael Park
    Michael Park February 23, 2007 at 9:12 pm | | Reply

    I agree with David completely… that’s the only thing that would prevent me from Omnipodding, it would get quite pricey changing the pod every day and a bit if it only holds 200 units.

  26. BP Mantak
    BP Mantak February 24, 2007 at 8:05 am | | Reply

    That’s great! I started my paperwork for the Omnipod just this week to compare costs. I am just looking into pumps and there is one thing I’m a little confused about. I have read on many forums about the use of numbing creams for the insertion of the canula. This scares me to death! Do these pump insertion hurt that much that you have to numb yourself???? That freaks me out as much as the thought of having a machine on my body 24/7!

  27. Dina
    Dina February 24, 2007 at 8:23 am | | Reply

    I’m on the opposite end of the spectrum – I’m hoping they come out with a smaller OmniPod at some point, since I only use about 25 units of insulin a day…and sometimes even that seems like a lot!

  28. Jonah
    Jonah February 25, 2007 at 9:57 am | | Reply

    Omnipods aren’t available around here.
    The real effort in diabetes management, it seems to me, is in knowing exactly what you’ve put into your body, and how your insulin sensitivity changes.

  29. Kendra
    Kendra February 25, 2007 at 6:22 pm | | Reply

    Welcome to the wonderful world of pumping, Amy!

    I understand your thoughts on expecting your A1C to reflect the fine-tuning possible with the pump, but don’t set expectations TOO high right away. You know there’s tons of changes that come with pumping – basal adjustments more miniscule than you ever dreamed, carb ratios that suddenly change because of your changed basal, and the temptation to eat with abandon! This all impacts your A1C, but I guess what I wanna say is don’t get down if you don’t see a huge A1C drop at first. You will tackle this thing as well as you do everything else! I hope you have an overwhelmingly positive experience, as I did. Even if I’m stuck in the dark ages, getting caught on doorknobs with my tubing ;)

  30. jennifer
    jennifer February 26, 2007 at 7:52 pm | | Reply

    It’s the best. My 5 year old has been on the omnipod for six weeks and diagnosed only six months ago. It changed everything for us. You can almost not think about it for a little while. I don’t know who is happier, my daughter or myself!!!! Good Luck and stick with it even when you hit some glitches. It is worth every effort.

  31. art-sweet
    art-sweet February 27, 2007 at 11:07 pm | | Reply

    I’m with Allison ;-)

  32. Jules
    Jules February 28, 2007 at 8:42 am | | Reply

    I’ve been on the pod since valentines day. I absolutley love it. I’ve been wearing it on the inner part of my upper arm. I hardley know it’s there. I predict that most people new to pumping will first try the pods. I tried all the pumps and for me, I couldn’t find a reason not to use the pod. My insurance, Aetna, covers 100% of the cost which will save me from all the co-pays associated with MDI’s.

  33. David Erani, M.D.
    David Erani, M.D. March 2, 2007 at 1:36 pm | | Reply

    Your blog is great. As an endocrinologist, I wish all of my PWDs were so well-informed.

    I have several patients who are very happily using Minimed (Medtronic) pumps.

    I recently tried to get a patient started on the OP. His insurance wouldn’t cover it because they do not consider it an insulin pump.

    Have you made any headway with you insurance company?

  34. Michael Margulis
    Michael Margulis March 22, 2007 at 10:51 am | | Reply

    Hi everyone! Lots of interesting info. Could you please suggest where OmniPod can be purchased these days? Also, once the 200 units run out, how expensive is it to change? I have Blue Shielf of CA – not sure yet if it’s covered or what the cost is. Thanks.

  35. June
    June March 26, 2007 at 4:03 am | | Reply

    Hi! I began using the OmniPod system in late January 2007. I’m very pleased. I was on Lantus and Humalog multiple injections before this. My A1C’s have always been in the low 6′s, so I’m curious to see how much better they’ll be now. (My doc. says that if your BG’s are already good on injections, and if you are already very diligent about testing (I already tested at least 12 times per day on MDI) then your A1C won’t drop as much and your TDD (total daily dose) may be the same. The BEST thing for me is being able to sit down at a table with friends at a restaurant and to not have to visit the ladies’ room to inject before eating! The Pod’s insertion is painless. I wear it on either arm or either side of the abdomen, and plan to try it on my thigh during the summer (when I wear shorts a lot.)

    You can shower and bathe with one on, so you can swim with one on, too!

    It’s also great to be able to suspend insulin delivery during intensive exercise (or lower it during less intensive exercise) to prevent hypoglycemia.

    Give it a try, if your insurance company covers it. MINE DOES!!

    June

  36. AmyT
    AmyT March 26, 2007 at 8:45 am | | Reply

    Really, June? Which insurance company are you with?

  37. Mary Ann
    Mary Ann March 26, 2007 at 1:04 pm | | Reply

    hi everyone
    My name is Mary Ann and I jsut am starting on The Omnipod today! It seems cool. I am a diabetic for 16 years and been on the minimed pump for 7 years. I am a Registered Nurse in Oncology. I am also trialing the Dexcom. Has anyone noticed a difficulty with the dexcom while wearing the Omnipod?

  38. Diana Castillo
    Diana Castillo April 19, 2007 at 11:01 am | | Reply

    Could somebody tell me where can we purchase omni pod in Miami please?

    Thank you and best regards

  39. Carolyn
    Carolyn June 4, 2007 at 2:50 pm | | Reply

    I too am extremely excited about the omnipod system. I just recently found out about it and feel it will make a dramatic change in my lifestyle as I do a lot of sports. I am always worried about going hypo. However I live in British Columbia and not certain if omnipod is available in Canada yet.I’m keeping my fingers crossed!!Carolyn

  40. brittany
    brittany June 22, 2007 at 9:19 pm | | Reply

    I have been looking into the OP and am really excited about it. I am pretty sure that San Diego now has a representitive as of today, so good luck to anyone in San Diego that is looking for it!

  41. Lauren Ortiz
    Lauren Ortiz July 11, 2007 at 8:13 am | | Reply

    Hello:

    My name is Lauren, I’m 18 years old and diabetes out of control, I saw this website and I am very intersted in this pump. I tried the minimed pump but didn’t like the fact that I had to wear it outside my clothing.

    Can you tell me a littel about it. I was diagnosed at the age of 5 and I was in control until about 4 years ago. My a1c is 12.0 (terrible)

    any suggetions

  42. kayla
    kayla July 19, 2007 at 7:41 pm | | Reply

    does anyone know where in San Diego, you could get an Omnipod?

  43. Stef
    Stef August 11, 2007 at 9:30 am | | Reply

    Anyone have an idea of how long it is safe to swim while wearing the OmniPod?

  44. Norine
    Norine August 23, 2007 at 1:29 pm | | Reply

    I am in the market for a new pump. Been pumping for 10 years always had a Minimed. I’ve been having “issues” with the product and their customer service so I’m doing my research. I am intrigued by the OP ! They are definitely on the right track! I love my pump and would never want to go back to multiple injections…my insurance company has contracted with OP so I am weighing my options. I’m wary, its like people who have never pumped, I’m afraid to make the move from my “comfy” Minimed, but I think its time for me to move on.

  45. Jana
    Jana September 14, 2007 at 8:27 am | | Reply

    Hello everybody!
    I was denied Omnipod by my insurance company. Anyone from NJ who was approved and can tell me what insurance company and plan covered it? I was thinking about Horizon BC/BS of NJ (they have good plans and Durable medical equipment coveres 100%) or AETNA but AETNA is expensive and plan that I could afford not so good. Right now I am with AMERIHEALTH and they did not approve of OMNI POD, explanation as NOT ENOUGH PROOF OF BEING DIABETIC made me to jump out of my skin (diabetic for 7 years, last 3 A1Cs over 7 and the test for insulin production in pancreas result “0″) I don’t know what other prove they need (although I was told by AMERIHEALTH representative they would cover any other pump!!!!!)
    I am desperate as me and my husband want to have a baby but I am scared because of my results. Please help!

  46. Carmen
    Carmen September 15, 2007 at 1:21 pm | | Reply

    Very interesting site! Live in Canada…any news of when it’ll be coming to our neck of the woods?! My daughter is 12 years old and we’re hoping to get her going on a pump this year.
    Thanks for any help you can offer.
    Carmen

  47. Nicole
    Nicole October 20, 2007 at 2:39 pm | | Reply

    OMNIPOD-having problems with the adhesive, tried tegaderm under & over it. Any suggestions???

  48. Haley
    Haley October 29, 2007 at 3:24 pm | | Reply

    Congradulations.
    I was just wondering, how much did this magnificent pump cost?

  49. Katie
    Katie November 18, 2007 at 7:45 am | | Reply

    Wow, this pod looks like just the thing I’ve been looking for. I’m on Lantus/Novorapid injections and have been considering a pump for about a year now but have always been put off by all the tubes. Unfortunately I live in the UK and it’s hard enough getting an appointment with an endo never mind getting a pump which is probably not available in this country anyway. Diabetes care seems so much more advanced in the US : (

  50. Jennifer
    Jennifer November 21, 2007 at 4:29 pm | | Reply

    Hi,

    Do you know if one needs a prescription to buy the OP? If I live in Canada, can I go to the US and buy it then bring it back here? Can my endo here prescribe it (if a prescription is required)?

    Thanks

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