Insulet's goal to "make diabetes a smaller part of your life" is an admirable value. Yesterday I decided, after giving the Omnipod a five month trial, that Omnipod was making diabetes a larger part of my life!

I have been having trouble with pod-change highs and this community has given me lots of advice on how to deal with them. Thank you for that. I think I found an effective workaround using a 7 unit syringe bolus at the time of the pod change. That seemed like a drastic amount compared to many others here but it worked for me.

I also experienced problems with unilateral pod deactivations and occlusions. It was an occlusion early yesterday morning that made me decide to finally give up on the Omnipod.

The night before I went to bed with normal blood glucose but was awakened in the middle of the night with a 180 alarm. I took a correction dose via the pod and went back to sleep. When I rolled out of bed in the morning the pod sounded a continuous screech. I quickly checked the PDM and discovered an occlusion report.

My CGM showed that I was over 200 for the last eight hours. In years past I survived these situations with few symptoms other than the usual grogginess and the more general "blah" feelings.

Now, however, my gastroparesis rears its ugly head. I'll save you the impolite details but I doesn't take much imagination to understand the nature of my distress. It was no way to celebrate Thanksgiving Day!

I pulled the final occluded pod off of me and hooked up my old Animas Ping, out of service since last July. It took me until noon to get my BGs back into the normal range; I spent over 12 hours above 200. Yesterday's occlusion was the final straw for me. I gave the Omnipod plenty of time to prove its merits. For me, at least, it failed. While my experience with tubed pumps also included occasional absorption problems, the Omnipod was giving me these problems a couple times every week. I was adding hours and hours of unnecessary hyperglycemia.

I understand that the Omnipod system works well for many here. I think that's great! When I started on the Omnipod last July, however, I was well aware that a significant slice of attempted Omnipod therapy adoptions failed. I read about them here and elsewhere.

The system, however, intrigued me. It's use of wireless technology and elimination of tubing attracted me to try the system. Access to new sites also motivated me. Insulet offered to sell me the PDM for $200 and bypass my insurance. That allowed me to try the system without having to make a four year commitment. I am now especially grateful for that. I am still eligible to buy a replacement for my four year old Animas Ping and my insurance will cover it.

I read many idiosyncratic reports about not wearing the pods cannula down, problems on certain body locations. It seems everyone had their own personal list of do's and don'ts that sometimes seemed capricious and superstitious.

I made many calls to customer service, sometimes for my personal education, to learn how to effectively use this device. The customer service was very good about replacing pods when one of them failed. The thing that I could not understand was Insulet's deliberate decision to keep me in the dark as to the actual meaning of the alarm codes that they wanted me to read to them. I'm very much a hands-on technical "under the hood" kind of guy. I want to know how something works and why!

I filled out an Insulet online survey recently and I wrote a few sentences in the box supplied for general comments. I gave some details about my pod change hyperglycemia. The form asked if I wanted to be contacted by Insulet and I responded "yes" and filled in my email address. I never did get a response to that.

I know, I know, I know. We all go to great lengths acknowledging that each of our diabetes varies. But my experience with the Omnipod is congruent with many before me. Omnipod suffers from some significant (and yet to identified/recognized) design flaws that Insulet doesn't seem to want to talk about. (What's up with those large size air bubbles that I found in several of my discarded pods??!) I just wanted to go on the record here so that future Omnipod prospects will see the challenges that one person experienced. And maybe my experience will influence, in a positive way, the future development of this patch pump.

Tags: Insulet, Ominpod, alarm codes, occlusion, pod change hyperglycemia, pod deactivate

Views: 2212

Replies to This Discussion

I am sorry you have had so much trouble. I've been wearing this system(Omni pod) for 3 1/2 years. I can count on one hand the issues I've had. This is also the only pump I've ever had. Good luck ....

Contrasting your experience with mine remains a mystery to me. I thought that I could work through the difficulties that I had and figure out how to get beyond the initial problems. That's why I gave it a good long 5 month trial. I hoped/believed that I could work my way toward a relatively error free situation. But that's not to be. Thank you for your comment!
I'm sorry you had so much trouble :( but since you have posted in to warn people of issues, I hope people will also know that your experience is not EVERY experience. I have been using Omni for a while now with not one hyperglycemia incident. I can count on one hand actual "issues" I've had. Omni made diabetes take a backseat in my life and I love it. If I were on a tubed pump I don't think I could say that :)
Alison - I'm happy to hear that you've experienced no pod caused hyperglycemia. The experience of people like you motivated me to see if I could make this thing work! I can no longer jeopardize my health to figure this out. I'm glad your pump works well for you.

I made an effort in this post to communicate that this is my experience as well as a significant slice of those that try the OmniPod. My observations are merely anecdotal and do not represent everyone's experience. Thanks for your reply.
The highs after a pod change are indeed frustrating. But I also had those when I was on the MM and had to change the infusion set. Now, I just try to bolus a bunch before I put on a new pod, and then an extra few units when the new pod is in place and depending on the time of day/night, I can sometimes make it work. Every system is going to have it's flaws and everyone will be different in how they deal with it. Whatever device you choose, I hope it works well.
Consistent absorption remains a challenge for every long term pumper, no matter which pump is employed. I realize that most difficult problems are often solved, in the end, with an array of solutions, not one "magic bullet." I can't afford to stick with this system and figure out how to make it work for me. I'm glad your pod's are working well for you. Good luck!

Keep in mind Diabetes is more than just your pump. It's your lifestyle, your habits and your full attention to detail. Personnally, I don't see any of the "flaws" you see, so be sure you are on the up and up with your own control before giving it out on the devices you use as one small part of the full control picture.

I agree totally all a pump gives me is more accurate dosing and ease of use. MDI gave me good control as well, it was just less acurate dosing. In the grand scheme of diabetes the delivery method is far less important than the care and attention we give to our disease.
Scott - This year I have gone back to "diabetes boot camp." I hired Gary Scheiner for three months and kept a detailed daily log of all BGs, insulin, food carbs, exercise, and any other pertinent remarks like pod changes. I basically took my diabetes management on as a full-time job.

This attention to detail combined with a switch to a low carb diet has helped me lose a lot of my body weight, improve my A1c, drop my blood pressure, and drastically cut my total daily dose of insulin.

I realize that the game we all play, controlling our blood sugar, is influenced by many factors and is complicated and dynamic. I've been at this a long time.

I also know that sometimes our tools get in the way. In this case, I've concluded, that the OmniPod was causing more problems than it solved. I did not come to this conclusion hastily (it took five months) or without considered study and deliberation.

I've resisted making sweeping generalizations based on my n=1 experience. I trust that your favorable experience does not undermine your understanding that others may, through no fault of their own, endure a less than favorable experience.

I don't begrudge your success, in fact I think it's great. I've simply arrived at a conclusion different from yours. Neither experience invalidates the other.

Good luck to you.

Thanks for clarification of a few points. However, I still hold that for any Type 1, diabetes IS the biggest part of their life. Not large or small, but the biggest period. The tools they use cannot increase nor decrease this. Blaming a device for making your diabetes harder shows a viewpoint that is probably looking for the wrong solution. High BGs are a part of diabetes. They will happen with or without the aid of your control methods. And the persuit of perfection in any method of controlling any desease is a path to madness, in my opinion. My best advice to you and others is to take the punches with the good. Learn, live and move on. Anger will only worsen your plight, and cause more grief for you in the long run.

Hi Terry, sorry that the OmniPod did not work for you. I am however super happy that you do have a pump that works well for you.

I have been using omnipod for about a month and it is still touch and go, I have seen some of the complaints people have first hand, and understand their fustrations. for me the pros still out weigh the cons.

In the end, it only matters that you are healthy! and I do appreciate your post. and how you did point out that it did not work for you, not everybody.

Good luck!

meh - Thank you for your encouragement. The OmniPod appears to enjoy many satisfied users. I hope that your experience will follow the happier path to good control.

I've used insulin pumps for 25 years and am well aware of their capability to deliver precise and customized insulin doses. When they perform poorly, it makes a difficult job impossible.

I wish you the best.

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