I am 19, currently in college. I was diagnosed at age 8, and went on and off the medtronic minimed pump. Ever since Nick Jonas (Whom I was absolutely in love with) got the Omnipod pump, I investigated and decided I wanted to try it out! I needed something different; a change perhaps. My insurance company held to a strong no on covering this pump until this past April.
I finally was trained and all set up on it at the beginning of this past May. At first I LOVED it. I really liked the fact that I could place the pod on my arm where I don't have scar tissue from past sites. It was awesome! Until the first problem arose.
I started noticing that the pod was leaking insulin while it was on my skin and fully activated. We determined that the cannula WAS always still intact and there was never an occlusion to make it leak. This would happen maybe once a week or once every other week. It started this past summer, June or July - ish. Talking with our local rep, we thought maybe my body was rejecting the insulin because of a reaction I was having to the adhesive tape - causing me to itch to the point that I'd break skin. I started using All-Kare adhesive barrier wipes. This helped 99% with the itching - and it helped the adhesive stick the full 3 days. But this did not help the insulin leaking.
The problem resolved for a while, so I was relieved, thinking that I was out of the woods. Soon the insulin leaking started up again. Once again, I would first notice the top part of the pod was wet. I'd smell it and then I'd know that for sure it was insulin. I sent pictures of this to my local rep and she forwarded them to her other reps and nobody had any answer to give me. No one had seen it happen before! I started wearing the pods on my thighs, where I had fresh skin. This helped a bit, and made the leaking occur farther apart, but it didn't stop it. There was a period of time in October or November where I was changing my pod every day, when they are supposed to last 3 days.
Now, the tricky part about this is that once you fill a pod with insulin (200 units) - it is in there for good. I have been told from my rep that technically you can retract this insulin if you have a pod go bad, but you really are not supposed to. I have HAD to take the insulin out of each pod because I cannot afford to lose 100-200 units of insulin multiple times a week. It's insane!
I did speak to product support a few days ago and talked to them about this problem (like I have hundreds of times) and the woman I spoke with suggested that maybe the pod is getting bumped around, and the needle tip that stays at the end of the cannula (to push the tubing back in if it gets pulled out) is poking a tiny, tiny hole in the cannula which is causing the leaking. I am going to order a "Bands 4 life" and see if that helps. Right now I am wearing coban around the pod. WHo knows.
The other problem with omnipod that I have encountered is pod alarms. A pod alarm is a high pitch, obnoxious screeching noise that happens when there is an internal issue with the pod. You are forced to discard the pod and put a new one on. (this also happens if it detects an occlusion in the tubing - which is really helpful actually). Talking to other people who have the omnipod, they say they have only had 2-5 pod alarms total. I have had EIGHT pod alarms since december 26. I know this because after each pod alarm, you are supposed to call product support and they will replace the pod for you. They say I am doing nothing wrong and that I did not get a bad batch of pods.
I am at my wits end right now. I have been breaking down crying because I don't know what else to do. I go to class everyday in fear that my pod will start alarming in the middle of a lecture or an exam. I have to carry multiple pods with me because who knows how many I will need to replace. The amount of insulin that I have lost makes me cringe just thinking about it.
The praise I have for omnipod is the fact that you can wear it pretty much anywhere. The other wonderful thing is the customer service. I have not had one bad experience while talking with anyone on customer service. I call in every time I have a pod leak or an alarm and they always replace it hassle free, and send it over night. Also I have never had to wait to speak to someone, I'm always put right through. I am working with Insulet to see if they will replace the insulin I've lost, which may take a while. Other people love the omnipod, they haven't had the issues that I am having. But at this point I'd give anything for $10,000 to get a different pump.