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.*

11 thoughts on “Impressions.

  1. I’m kinda with Cara on this. I think if they made the pod even slightly less bulky, we would see a lot more pod users. The one personal concern I have for the pod is that I might forget the PDM, or misplace it somewhere and go crazy looking for it, as I do with almost all of my digital devices!! LOL Buy I would love to try it out for myself & make my own decision. I generally don’t mind the pump in my pocket/tube thing…its just those times when I’m considering wearing a dress that make me crazy! I’d probably be more inclined to wear a dress if the pump placement weren SO tedious! I’m glad it worked well for you & anticipate your decision, Stacey!

  2. I would like to someday have my son do a reverse test using a tubed pump. He doesn’t want to though and loves the Omnipod. Sometimes he changes a pod and forgets to take off the old one…he is so used to them on his body now. He has to “listen” to see which one ticks. He has never forgoten or lost his pdm….(so far) we keep it on the counter in one place at home… and then he keeps it in his book bag at school. I know if he had tubing…he’d be dropping it all the time and needing to redo it.
    I have a niece who “blind” boluses cuz she can do it right from her pump… I like that my son has to use his pdm and it is easier to test then put in a fake bg…so he rarely “guesses” or “blind boluses”. No matter what pump you choose…..there is a group to help… love the DOC.

  3. What a great post for people wondering about the Pod! Lots of good info and personal experience. For my daughter Grace, the tubeless factor of the Pod is what sold us, and the fact that it’s completely waterproof and we spend a lot of time at the beach, which means no removing it.
    You are doing great with the new device, and being so very patient (chuckle, chuckle)
    Looking forward to hearing about your final decision! And glad I was able to help, in any small way. That’s the great part of the DOC!

  4. I definitely think I couldn’t do without the IOB feature. I’m just not smart enough to figure this out on my own, and I use it pretty frequently. If they made it a tad smaller and added the IOB feature, I would be a pod-der for sure. I am so glad you’re sharing your experience with us!

  5. IOB is a dealbreaker for me…when it comes to handing over independence to my 8 year old — especially when she’s away from me — it’s my security blanket, and I can’t give it up.

  6. Interesting about the length of time boluses take – our son always jumped when we gave a large bolus with the Ping, even though we had delivery on the slowest setting (we tried to remember to break the bolus into two but often forgot). Haven’t seen that yet with the Pod (just 4 days in, so not far behind you) – nice bonus. 🙂

  7. We gave the Omnipod a try several months ago and kept having those crazy high, unexplained blood sugars and gave up. I kept the system and might try again one day but for now, we are sticking with the Ping. I really, REALLY wanted the pod to work for my sweet girl, but it was a no-go for us. 😦

  8. My son has been using OmniPod for almost two years, and once you get to know all the tricks works awesome. We use to have high bg’s after pod changes, but not anymore. He loves it because he can wear it in different places, his favorite upper buttock. No one knows he is wearing an insulin pump.

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