Getting ready to move to OmniPod and I have a few more questions for you wise folks!
(1) Are you using the OmniPod meter as your blood glucose meter? If not, why not? Are there any cons to using the Freestyle strips?
I've been using the Accuchek Compact for years and like not having to insert test strips. The strips that come with the OmniPod will cost me more out of pocket (with insurance) than the Accuchek strips but not alot more. On the other hand, not having to carry a separate meter would be a great convenience.
(2) If I use the Freestyle strips which would be sent to me through the 3rd party supplier, are these strips available through a regular pharmacy if I need to buy more than insurance provides?
(3) How do you dispose of your used pods?
1. I'm using the PDM as my primary glucose meter. I like how little blood it used and my insurance covers them through Edgepark so they come with my new supplies of pods.
2. I can't answer this one, I'm sorry.
3. Right now I'm keeping the old pods in a bag, we're going to take the batteries out and recycle them. But you are supposed to be able to just throw them in the trash.
I really like Omnipod. Good luck with everything!
Thanks so much! Won't be long now!
1. I am delighted to be able to use the Omnipod PDM as my primary glucose meter. I do, however, carry a backup Freestyle Freedom meter with me because it uses the same newly approved strips. Some supplier sent it to me as a freebie. (I also carry an insulin pen and needles for backup.) When I was using an external meter because I couldn't get "approved" strips for a while I found it was really easy to forget to enter BGs into the PDM when I didn't require any action by the PDM, thus my records were not accurate. I tested the PDM and the FS Freedom side by side for a couple of days using the same "butterfly" strips and found that the PDM was usually a little lower ranging from 4-20 points but usually under 10 points. Note: I haven't seen any direction yet from Insulet about calibrating with the control solutions each new container of strips when you set the code. The new "butterfly strips" (not Lite strips about which I know nothing) carry 3 ranges of results, a low, a normal, a high. I think I'll clarify with Abbott what the deal on those ranges is. Insulet's official word about the FDA approval only came today (1-13-12) and that's one of the details I haven't seen addressed yet.
2- The Freestyle strips are readily available at many pharmacies.
3- I use the Pod disposal program because I'm a recycling queen and I don't want any of the battery stuff not being properly recycled. Yes, it costs me a little money and time but I believe in the principal of recycling.
Tip 1: Since the beginning of 2011 I have logged in a dedicated notebook the lot and serial number of every pod I've used along with the time I activated it, a number code where I placed it on my body, and a number that indicates a count up to 50 (to keep track of when I should send a "kit" in for recycling). I started on the Omnipod in October of 2008 and found this record very useful last year. (I also record in the same log when I place a new DexCom CGM sensor or restart a sensor and when I replace batteries.) I record when a pod doesn't "2 beep", won't prime, or occludes all of which I report to Insulet and they have replaced the offending pod at no charge. I also record whether there is a "kink" in the cannula when I remove the pod or blood or "fatty" appearing tissue in the cannula especially if I get an unexplained run of much higher BGs than I would expect. Sometimes, depending on the reference codes for the alarms Insulet wants the pod shipped back. They indicate that when you report it. They do not replace pods with kinks, blood, or "fatty" tissue or occlusions. I think I had a total of 8 of 133 pods I activated or tried to activate in 2011 (12 months) that were replaced by Insulet. They also replaced 3 PDMs. From October of 2008 to January of 2011 (30 months) they replaced 2 PDMs that had issues and I bought a third as an upgrade. I keep the original model around as a backup. I am not OCD about record keeping --I'd probably have better A1c's if I was, but I've never found a method of keeping records thorough enough to be truly useful. I did find this pod log (and CGM sensors and batteries easy to do and useful.)
Tip 2: If the pod doesn't "double beep" when you fill it, try to prime it anyway. Sometimes it still works. If it doesn't you haven't lost much because if you report it, Insulet will replace it.
Tip 3: On occasion, a pod will "squeal" when something goes awry between the PDM and the pod.. The suggestion they'll give you to quiet it is to straighten out a paperclip and stick it "into the manual alarm shut-off port on the top side of the pod. Move the paper clip back and forth until the alarm stops. My experience is that this procedure is often not altogether successful unless you manually continue to hold the paper clip in place. The 2d suggestion that tech support gave me was to throw it in a freezer. I have left pods in the freezer for weeks and still have it start to squeal once more when it warms up. If you can determine that Insulet does NOT want the pod back, I've found that a few firm taps on the pod with a hammer will stop the squeal permanently. If they do want it back, keep talking to Tech Support until you find something that works or they give you permission to hit it with the hammer (I have never been given that permission!).
TECH. SUPPORT IS WONDERFUL They are there 24 hours a day, always kind, understanding, patient and helpful even when you've been a bonehead and not read your manual thoroughly enough. I have been using insulin since September of 1966 and the Omnipod is the best tool I've ever had to administer deliver it. Now that I have it coupled with a CGM it's an even better combination. I was on a Disetronic Pump for 2 years with tubing and I hated it and gave it up to use Lantus and humalog.
I'm working on documenting the frequency with which I need to change pods and am going to try using Novolog which claims to have a longer reservoir life than the Apidra I've been using since 2008. Both Apidra and Humalog indicate that they should not be in a reservoir for longer than 48 hours but the Omnipod is programmed for 72 hours. Changing pods more often, as I might need to do because the BGs seem to go up quite frequently after the first 48 hours, is going to up the cost of using the Omnipod by as much as a 1/3. In 2011 I used 133 pods. Theoretically I should have used 120. Hopefully using Novolog might help with this problem.
So with all that said, I'll bid you all a good night.
Wow, thank you so much for the tips! I am printing this out for future reference. I keep a notebook currently to log my bg, carbs, insulin and sensor changes but will start a second for the "hardware". I share your dislike of tubing and that's the main reason I'm going with OmniPod. I've been MDI for most of 25 years so this is a big change for me although at least I'm used to the diabetes part. The Dexcom has helped me tremendously (user since September) so I'm looking forward to the benefits of using both together. Thanks again jla!
Yes, I use the Omnipod as my meter- for the sheer convenience of not carrying anything else around. I am that person that never carried a purse until my diabetes, I like to travel light.
I used to use the accuchek - and LOVED the convenience of it! I had to switch when my insurance quit covering it, but would cover a different brand at 100%. (Oh the politics!) So when I switched to the pod, I didn't have to transition back to putting a strip in every test, I had already done that. My memory wants to tell me that the accu-chek was a quicker test in the long run, but my memory could have rose colored glasses....
If you do decide to get Freestyle strips, sign up for the freestyle promise program (free). They send you a card that takes an amount off the cost of the strips, even after insurance. I get mine at my local HyVee.
I recycle my used pods.
Good luck! And keep asking the questions!
Thanks so much for the info on the promise program! I will definitely look into that.
By the way, the Freestyle Promise program even works for mail order...they will send you a coupon that you can mail in with a receipt and they will send you a check. If you fill the strips at a pharmacy, they will take it off right there.
That's awesome. Those between insurance buys are killer. You guys are so helpful!
I forgot about the freestyle promise discount. Will it work when I'm purchasing before my deductible is met and paying in full, going through a DME company? Think I'll call them and ask!
I also started on the Omnipod after 36 years of injecting and love it. It would take CONSTANT failures for me to even consider going on a tubed pump. I would go back to pens first. I haven't had many problems but they do come in groups. I'll go months with nothing and then all of a sudden-2-3 in a row. Very weird...but again, not enough for me to even consider switching.
1.I use the Omnipod meter. It is more convenient than carrying around a separate meter and a PDM.
Yes the Accucheck Mobile was a lot better. No strips and no waste every time. I have got two of them and not using them anymore.
2.My health insurances pays for all test strips. So no problem.
3.For disposal of Pod there is a recycling program. I save up 30 pod and send them in a toll free box to Ypsomed (distributer for Europe). They send them to Switserland so they can recycle the pods. This helps to protect the environment.
Glad to hear that you will be pumping and not just ordinary pumping but OmniPod pumping, it makes a difference, I will comment at the end of this reply.
I use the built-in OmniPod meter with the FreeStyle strips, why would I use anything else and why would you want to carry a seperate meter. My insurance will not cover anything but the One Touch Strips which I HATE so I pay out of pocket and order from a really good mail order store "American Diabetes Wholesaler", they are an honest shop and I pay as low or even lower than stores on Amazon or ebay. As for meter/strip accuracy you could drive yourself nuts comparing and re-comparing. Some people say this one is more accurate, some say that one is. My experience using test meters since 1986 is that there are so many variables that you can't really gage the accuracy of the test unless you are in a lab environment. I must have a least a dozen meters and each one of them will give me different results checked with blood from the same drop so what does it all mean. What you are looking for is consistency in the results from the same meter itself and more important is to look for is "How do you feel". Most endos go more by your A1C then your actually meter results. They use the meter results to spot trends on highs and lows to provide corrections in your managements.
I have a iMac so I upload my pod data using Bootcamp with Windows 7. Had a separate windows 7 PC but the PC was so unstable now I run Windows 7 on my Mac and it runs faster and better then on the brand new Gateway I bought from Best Buy which I thru in the trash.
I break open my pods, take out the batteries and throw the rest out in the trash. I know that may seem environmentally unfriendly but then have you ever seen the waste that comes with any of the other pump systems? Gees I think I could fill up my whole garbage can with the packaging (two packages, one for the syringe + needle and one for the tubing and infusion set, the tubing and actual infusion set itself of my Animas system now I just have one empty package the syringe + needle and the pod.
Now why Omnipod makes a difference:
First of all NO TUBING, now don't let people tell you how not having tubing would not make a difference in their lives. Either they are fooling themselves or they don't have much of a life.
Some of these people are the same people who will not embrace anything new - period.
If you are a normal active person the Omnipod is the only way to go. Tubes just complicate your life on so many levels. When I first was told I had to go on a pump back 5 years ago I did all my home work. I met with the vendors - MiniMed, Animas, Cozmos and Omnipod. They are all good machines - they all have their pros and cons but only Omnipod was tubeless. I narrowed it down to either the MiniMed or Omnipod. The MiniMed people were very helpful, almost too helpful, they really wanted that sale, lunch, visits at home, invites to demos. But I had two problems with the MiniMed pump. One of course was the tubing and the second, which i believe is an unforgivable problem in the whole pump/meter business - the display was a cheap LCD non color display which was very hard to see even with the crappy back light. The only pump display that is easy to see besides the Omnipod is the Animas Ping but the One Touch Ping Control which is also your blood meter is hard to see because it is a cheap back lighted LCD display too. Why did Animas, known for it's great display opt for a horrible control for the Ping system? For heavens sake - we are diabetics - some of us have vision problems either natural with age or from the disease itself - give us a decent readable color display.
Anyway I went with the Omnipod. Within 3 months my A1C dropped from 12.4 on multiple injections to 7.2 and 3 months later down to 6.8.
After two years my insurance changed and they would not pay for the pods but gave me a choice for either Animas or MiniMed.
The MiniMed still had a crappy display and the new Animas Ping had a controller for it. Went with the Animas Ping. Was on the Animas PING for over a year, did not hate the machine but hated the tubing. My insurance switched again. I decided that if I could not get on the Omnipod with the new insurance that I would get off pumping because I was sick and tired of the whole tube thing. Well my new insurance approved the Omnipod and I am back on the Omnipod - THANK THE UNIVERSE - to me being on the Animas with the tubing and infusions sets was a nightmare, trying to hide the tubing, as a man trying to make sure the tube was not in the way when using the rest room, getting the tubing caught in zipper, trying to figure out where to put the pump which you where getting dressed, connecting - disconnecting - connecting - disconnecting, the knots in the tube, the tangles, the occlusions, you can keep them all.
They say some Omnipods fail - this is true but I have had numerous infusion sets fail on me and Omnipod has always replaced my failed pod overnight free of charges.
They say when a pod fails you waste insulin - true but look how much insulin is wasted every time you prime your tubing - 10 units - 15 units??? and you could suck out most of the insulin in a failed pod.
The Omnipod is the most simple system to use. It has the best self inserter in the business - I never feel any pain - the Animas self insert had a springing effect that you some time felt bad. You could place the pod in more places than with a tubed set.
The Omnipod inserts the cannula on an angle. The Omnipod infusion rate is very slow - I know a lot of people do not like this but my endo and I believe this is a good thing for a number of reasons which you don't hear much about in the pumping world but is very very important and here's why - when insulting is being infused through the cannula at a slower rate it helps avoid the back flow of insulin right out of your skin along the sides of the cannula. Almost every time I remove my Animas cannula from my skin it was moist with insulin, sometimes I would actually see if pour out during a bolus, but not with the Omnipod. Granted this probably affects people who require larger boluses then smaller ones. Another thing is the slow drip also probably assorts better and the longer angled cannula itself help keep in higher with less tunneling.
Now for some quick tips for you to help you with your Omnipod experience:
Make sure the area that you are going to put the pod on is cleaned with alcohol extremely well, not so much for germs but to get the oils off your skin - be a little rough with the cleaning. All this is so your pod will stick well. Clean well and you should not have a problem. If there is hair in the area it really should be shaved off first. Stick the pod on good, smooth out all the sides, get under the actual pod a little.
Make sure before removing a pod that you spray some De-Solv-It around the bandage first. Believe me this stuff is the best, the pod will fall off by itself if you use enough and wait long enough. Found out about De-Solv-It in this Omnipod Group. All of us who use it swear by it. By the way De-Solv-It is a environmentally Friendly, Biodegradable solvent that pod people use on babies to get their pods off. It completely harmless orange based natural solvent. Smells nice too. Get it a Ace Hardware.
I know I was long winded here, sorry, I am alway available for any questions that you or anyone may have.
I hope that I have helped you in some small way.