It’s been 6 days using the OmniPod insulin pump system for a trial period. After the first few hours, I had a very positive first impression. I am going to share what the following days have entailed as I know a few people have shown interest in my experience.
The first pod that I had placed on my back was scheduled to expire Friday evening. That morning as I was riding the railroad to work, I noticed the batteries in the PDM were running low so thought I’d change them while I thought of it. (I never let the batteries on any of my devices, diabetes or not, run all the way out) After putting the new batteries in, the PDM asked me to reset the date and time. I didn’t think this was odd at first but then it told me that a pod deactivation was required. No bueno. Especially on the train. I didn’t exactly know what was going on so in a panic, I texted Cherise who told me that it wasn’t normal for the PDM to do that during a battery change. That made me feel better. A little. Since the PDM wasn’t allowing me to do anything else but deactivate the pod, that’s what I did when I got to work. Luckily I had another with me and began the process to activate and insert a new one a bit earlier than planned. This one I put on my right hip. I went through the insertion process with no issues and the rest of the day went fine. I also confirmed with the OmniPod CDE that this indeed was a fluke and should not happen.
Saturday afternoon, my BG started to rise for no obvious reason. I checked the pod and saw a tad bit of blood around the cannula location. After a few hours of rising BG, unsuccessful corrections and increased basal I decided to change the pod thinking that the absorption wasn’t fully working. I wanted to try my arm this time so that’s where I put this pod. I kept my basal increased for 2 hours or so but my BG wasn’t budging. Patience? Yeah I don’t have much of that, especially when it comes to high BG. I figured the arm site wasn’t working either (it was always hit or miss for me with infusion sets) and changed the pod yet again. Since it was around 10pm and I was planning on going to bed soon, I chose my abdomen since I know I have no absorption issues there. My BG came down nicely overnight. Even a bit too much since I woke up low. I was happy that the pod was apparently working. Until around noon when my BG shot up to around 300 mg/dL for no obvious reason. Since this doesn’t happen to me too often my first thought was that it was a pod issue. But I didn’t want to jump the gun and change it yet again. We went to a friend’s to watch the NFL playoffs and I went toting all my usual extra diabetes supplies plus my Ping pump and accessories. Just in case. Well things worked well and they still are going well. So I’m inclined to now think it wasn’t a pod issue causing yesterday’s BG spike. Saturday’s maybe since there was a bit of blood involved. But I’ll probably never know for sure.
I have one pod left, with my current one scheduled to expire tomorrow night. I’m really hoping to see this one through to its timely ending. Overall I really like the system. Being tubeless is actually better than I even imagined. I keep feeling for my pump in my pockets and it’s not there! It honestly feels like I have lost a part of me. But in a good way. I have to say the only drawbacks that I see are the size of the pods and the speed of bolus delivery like I mentioned originally. More on those …..
The Ping pump delivers boluses very quickly. The normal setting is 1 unit every second or the slow setting, which I use, is 1 unit every 4 seconds. The Medtronic pump delivers at a slower rate of 0.15 units per second from what I’ve found online. I believe the OmniPod CDE told me the pod delivers 1 unit every 40 seconds. That’s a big difference. Now is one rate better than the other? I’m not sure. How I notice the difference is when I’m thinking of eating, I would have to pre-bolus more so with the pod. Not really a deal breaker but something to consider.
Since infusion sets are so small, there are more options in terms of placement. With the pod, since it’s bigger and more bulky, placement needs a bit more consideration. I haven’t hated having them on my body though which is a good thing. I think it’s something to get used to. I feel that not being tethered may truly outweigh this slight incommodity.
Also, I know the fact the OmniPod does not factor in bolus for food when calculating insulin on board (IOB) poses an issue for some. I’m not quite sure how I feel on this one. Many times when the Ping would calculate me to take no insulin for either additional food after eating something prior or a correction within my set active insulin time frame, I would override the calculation to give some insulin. Without taking too much and causing a low BG. For me, OmniPod’s feature seems to be okay.
I’m going to make my decision in the next few days. I’m very glad to have had this opportunity to trial the OmniPod. I would highly recommend the same to anyone who may be considering it. A special thanks to Leighann, Cherise, Penny and Scott for helping me out when I had questions. Or issues. Or was panicking. :)
*Once again, OmniPod had no part in this trial of their product or of my impressions using it.*