Category Archives: OmniPod

End of the year. Already?

So I’ve had a bit of a blogging hiatus, with a few things going on for me personally.  Luckily not all of it bad as we welcomed my nephew into the world last Sunday 🙂  Frank Micheal was a bit early and came very fast but he is doing well so far which I am extremely thankful for.  My sister, brother in law, big brother and sister are settling into their new “normal”.

My new angel =)

Things on the diabetes front are going pretty well.  I had another appointment with my endo last week, with a consecutive A1c under 7%.  I posted after my last appointment, I was spending some time figuring out if my good A1c was a fluke or the result of hard work on my part.  But it appears that it was not in fact a fluke and something that I can hopefully hold onto.     As I will ring in my 31st year with T1D next week, this is music to my ears.

You may have seen some recent pictures I’ve posted on Twitter or Instagram of BG readings with a Bayer Contour Next Link meter.  Even though I don’t currently use a Medtronic insulin pump for the meter to link to, I purchased the meter and like it.  I have an older Contour Link meter but wasn’t too happy with its accuracy.  Having tried this new one out that uses Bayer’s new Next text strips, I find its accuracy running along the lines with the Verio IQ and Accu-chek Nano.  It supposedly is compatible with the Diasend software but I am currently having issues getting it to work on my MacBook.

Big news in the diabetes community came last week when Insulet announced that their new generation of the OmniPod insulin pump system was approved by the FDA!  Being an OmniPodd-er I was ecstatic hearing this.  I’ve been using the pods for 10 months now and have become extremely accustomed to using a pump that is tubeless.  However, since the pod itself is bigger and more bulkier than a typical infusion set, my concern about real estate reared its ugly head.  Having a one third smaller, one quarter lighter pod to wear will be a fantastic upgrade for pod users.  And it still holds the same 200 units of insulin!  Here are a few snapshots of the new system.

Current pod vs. New pod

Current pod vs New pod2

New pod compared to fruit size

New pod and PDM

(images were provided by a communications consultancy firm, on behalf of  Insulet)

The new PDM also has some enhancements, although it looks pretty similar.  To check out some more detailed recaps of the new product from Insulet, read what Scott, Diabetes Mine and Rachel had to say.  I guess we will have to wait a couple of months to get our hands on this new insulin pump!

As the holidays and end of 2012 approach, I hope that each and every one of you have happiness and health to share with your loved ones.  I for one am hoping that 2013 brings more happy times than its predecessor, especially in the tri-state area.

Diabetes Art Day.

So today is Diabetes Art Day.  I am SO happy I wasn’t as late in posting this as I thought I was going to be.

I loved catching up on the art day submissions little by little during the day.  I admire everyone’s creativity!  And a special thank you to Lee Ann, for starting such a fun event 🙂  I’m not all that creative but still love to add what I can come up with.  Usually Joe helps me out but this year I had the help of another friend.

I hate when I have bad diabetes days but hate it even more when my friends do.  Truth.

New OmniPod Cases – Update.

Not too long ago, I posted about new meter bags coming out specifically for the OmniPod PDM’s from Sugar Medical Supply.  Well I received mine in the mail on Friday so wanted to share with you.

Overall the size is very comparable to the original bags from Sugar.  They are a tad bit wider and a tad bit shorter.  Here is a picture to compare (the new OmniPod bag is on the left)

The inside is very similar as well, this time with a bit more room to fit both the PDM and a pod.  The clear strap that holds a meter is sized specifically for the larger PDM.  It is still adjusted by velcro which allows for more flexibility.  I use a skin for my PDM and had to try a little harder to get the strap to fit with the skin on.  But it does fit.

The material of the outside is the same as the original bags, which to me was a great attribute to keep.  It is a very pleasant fabric – not too stiff, not too slippery, easily wiped off for cleaning if necessary,

In addition to holding the PDM, it also is a great fit to hold just my extra supplies!  No need for a giant bag to hold it all.

Right now there are two patterns to choose from – the one shown here and pink hearts.  But hopefully down the road we will see more 🙂  I would recommend this case for OmniPod users for sure and they are available for purchase now on Sugar Medical Supply’s website!

Thank you Carolyn!

New Cases OmniPodders Will Love.

I not only have a thing for diabetes electronic devices.  I love the accessories that go with them.  When I switched to the OmniPod a few months ago and used the PDM as my primary BG meter as well, I was very happy that it fit into the case I had from Sugar Medical Supply.  The universal strap system allows different size meters to fit, including the larger PDM.

Then a few weeks ago I saw a post by Sugar Medical Supply on Facebook about new bags in the works just for OmniPod users.  So I reached out to Carolyn, the founder of Sugar, and tried to pry more details out of her 😉

Me: Are you an OmniPod-er yourself?

Carolyn: I am not an OmniPod user. I use the CGM and pump from Mini-Med.

Me: What gave you the idea to create a bag just for OmniPod users?

Carolyn: We were approached my OmniPod after meeting them at the AADE show in Vegas last August. We started producing samples for them in the fall.

Me: What is different about these bags?

Carolyn: If you have used our Sugar Bags, you will notice the bags are a bit larger in size. This is to allow the user to carry an extra “Pod” with them. We also made the bag have a larger vinyl/velcro strap that fits over the OmniPod PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) better in the bag. The bag follows our design principals of our Sugar Bags- the bags are fully padded, made of easy to care for polyester fabrics that wipe clean, and use fun, fashionable fabrics. There is not a specific bag on the market designed just for OmniPod users (besides the black bag that comes with it) so we are so excited to offer Omni Pod customers something fun and new.

Me: There are currently two designs available – do you see any more in the future?

Carolyn: We will certainly add new bags if the demand is there 🙂

If you check out their site, you can see the new bags for yourself.  The bags will not be available to order online for another week or two but if you’d like to pre-order one for yourself (or a loved one) you can send an email directly to customerservice@sugarmedicalsupply.com and they will be happy to place an order for you.  It will be shipped to you as soon as they get them in.  They are also currently offering a free sample of Dex4 glucose tablets with every order as well as sale prices on their regular supply bags.  So go on and check them out!  And let me know what you think fellow OmniPod-ers!

Thank you Carolyn, for allowing me an inside scoop to share with my readers! (and image credit goes to Sugar Medical Supply)

I Like When Change is Good.

I have made two rather major changes to my diabetes management recently. And I can’t say for sure if it’s one or the other, or a combination of both, but I have seen improvements in my overall BG readings. Which of course is a good thing. For the first time in my insulin pumping life (5+ years) my CDE reduced ALL of my basal rates. Each and every eight of them. That has never happened since I’m on the pump. I wasn’t sure how I felt when I left her visit. I wasn’t exactly experiencing way too many lows. But there have been hours at a time in the past couple of weeks where I’m stuck around the 70-80 mg/dL range. And the lows I have had, she was able to trace to too much basal insulin. So I thought the worst that can happen is I run high and change them back. Right?

Well my first day on my new basal rates have resulted in readings of 60, 99, 112, 152, 142, 115, 106 and 122 mg/dL so far, with the Dexcom line to go with it. I am pretty surprised actually. I guess the reductions may not be too much like I thought! Props to M 😉

So what are these changes you are probably wondering? Switching from Novolog to Apidra insulin and from a tubed pump to the OmniPod. Now your guess is as good as mine why the OmniPod would better control my BG. My guess would be that there is no tube for the insulin to go through so a more direct delivery into my system? No kinks or bubbles from tubing? An angled infusion set as opposed to a straight one? Has any of this been proven? Not that I know of. But for some reason it seems to be working better for me. The Apidra has improved my postprandial (post meal) numbers. My current endo, as well as my previous one, felt there wasn’t much difference between Novolog, Humalog and Apidra. But according to their website “Apidra® works quickly to help control mealtime blood sugar ‘spikes’. You can take Apidra® rapid-acting insulin within 15 minutes before your meal, or within 20 minutes after starting a meal.”  I had tried Apidra once about a year ago or so and didn’t stick with it for some reason.  But this time I paid more attention and tracked the difference it has made.   

Whatever the scientific reasons behind these changes improving my BG results, I truly hope it continues. I’d really love to see an improvement in my A1c in April.

*please keep in mind that I am in no way stating that taking Apidra or using the OmniPod will improve everyone’s diabetes management – don’t forget – your diabetes may will vary*

What I Love About It.

It has been over a week since making the switch from a tubed, more traditional portable pancreas (insulin pump) to the OmniPod.  It has gone very smoothly thankfully, which is what I was hoping for.  Here are a few things that I love about the Omnipod:

Showering – being connected continuously and not having to feel rushed to get connected again to my pump.

Getting dressed/using the ladies room – not having to worry about keeping a pump connected while moving articles of clothing around.

Working out – not having a pump weighing down my pants!

Using back sites – yeah I’m not so bendy or flexible anymore (thank you getting older and putting on a few pounds) so having to just stick the pod on without having to pull a needle out or reconnect is so much easier.

Automatic priming and insertion – I love that the pod primes itself and mostly that it inserts itself with the push of a button on the PDM!

The PDM – this thing is awesome.  All the information right there on the meter/manager without having to download anything is great.  I think the lists of BG history is my favorite. 

I think most of what I love about it comes down to not having a pump to keep somewhere on my body.  It wasn’t really the actual tubing that I minded so much but I feel so “free” with just a pod on my skin.  Now I can wear my pancreas on my sleeve!  Or my back.  Or my tummy 😉     

Also, please go on over and check out my interview with Tony from Blogging DiabetesPodcast 

Thanks so much Tony for the great conversation 🙂

Feel Good Friday.

It’s been a long week (even though I only worked four days of it) but it’s Friday.  And that makes me happy.  I’m all hooked up and running on the OmniPod since Tuesday night.  And readings like the ones in the picture make me feel good.  I’m even due for my first pod change tonight since using my own, new system.  And I’ll have to remember that putting it on my lower right back is not a good spot since that is where my heavy tote bag lies when carrying it.  You live and learn! 

 

I wish you all a great weekend 🙂

Taking the Plunge.

Since I know that many of you have been keeping an interest in my OmniPod trial (which I greatly appreciate by the way), I thought it fair to share with you my decision.

Today I forwarded my request to submit the paperwork for getting my own OmniPod system. Yes I am taking the plunge. I have thought long and hard about this. And with the help of podder friends, both old and new, as well as my hubby and sister, my decision is to go for it. I’m anxiously hoping my experience with a brand new system will go more smoothly than my trial had. However I know in the back of my mind, if it doesn’t work out, I can always go back to my trustworthy Ping pump.

So there it is. I am taking a new step in my insulin pumping life. And of course I will share with you the experience of my transition.

Impressions.

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.*

Appealing.

Today I do not have any device attached to me. There is nothing in my pocket or clipped to the waistband of my pants. For the first time in five years.

When I first went on the pump five years ago, the only options I really considered were Minimed and Animas. I believe OmniPod was very new at that time and I hadn’t even really heard about them. I was new to the diabetes online community and had very little knowledge about pumps. I sought out information from both companies and when Minimed was the first to get back to me, I went with them. Since then, when Animas came out with the Ping pump, I spent a little time with their rep getting to know the Ping and decided to switch. I’ve been using the Ping (mainly) for two and a half years now. And I have been happy with it. I was even happy with my Minimed when I used it. I never really gave much thought to being tubeless. The tubing never seemed to bother me much. I got used to it pretty quickly.

More recently however, I started thinking about how nice it would be to be able to control all my insulin delivery from my Ping remote, instead of just the boluses. And how frustrating the clip on my pump has been, having to replace it three times in the past few months. How much more convenient it would be not to have to disconnect for showers. The idea of the pod became much more appealing. I’ve received demo pods from OmniPod in the past and I found them to be a bit too bulky. However I wanted to use the system to really get to know how it works. And so last night I was trained and set up with a trial of pods and PDM.

It’s only been about 17 hours with it but my first impressions are so far very positive. By far the biggest difference is not being tethered. I cannot even explain how different it feels to not have something in my pocket. Not having to finagle the pump under my chin while dressing. Not having to worry about keeping the pump clipped on while pulling down clothing when using the ladies room. Not having an attachment on my body while sleeping.  The little things that you just get accustomed to.  My pump has been like an extra limb. And with the OmniPod, it feels like that limb is now gone! It is so exhilarating. The pod insertion is incredibly easy compared to inserting an infusion set. All you have to do is stick the pod on your body and the PDM does the actual needle inserting and priming for you. And it really doesn’t hurt more than an infusion set. The PDM. This thing is great. Yeah it’s larger than most meters these days and beeps pretty loudly but I control every aspect of insulin delivery with it. And that’s pretty darn cool. It also has a wide variety of data available on it, unlike other pumps and meters. Such as trends, graphs of BG readings and averages with goals of BG readings. It also lists last BG, last bolus amount with times along with current basal, temp basal amount and duration if applicable on the status screen.

The only downside so far are the pod itself is a bit bulky to be honest. I’m still getting used to that but it’s not horrible. It doesn’t feel so uncomfortable that I want to rip it off. I’m wearing it on my lower back so I do feel that it’s there but again not like I can’t stand it. And it also delivers boluses pretty darn slow. I took a pretty large dose this morning for breakfast and thought there was something wrong with either the pod or the PDM because it took so long! But I was reassured by the OmniPod clinician that it does delivery slowly. Phew.

Generally I was not looking to switch pumps at this time. However I may decide to do just that in the next few days if my experience continues to be a pleasant one.

Sidenote: OmniPod did not ask me to do this trial or compensate me in any way for it.  Nor did they ask me for my review.  I facilitated the trail on my own accord and the opinions expressed here are those of my own experience.