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.
MaryMary - I went to CWD site and read the comments of mostly mothers with T1 children. Like motivated T1D adults themselves, parents of children with diabetics exercise an incredible knowledge of living with T1D.
Parents reporting pod change highs and occlusions supports my hypothesis that something yet to be sufficiently understood and identified hampers Omnipod therapy for a significant slice of T1s.
This is a complicated issue. I know that site absorption problems also occur with other pumps. Perhaps the biggest drawback of the Onnipod is the inability for the user to switch to another style infusion set.
I also plan to use the Vibe when it comes out. In the meantime I have placed an order for a new Ping. By the way, the use of the meter remote is not required for Ping use. I stopped using my meter remote a few months after I went on the Ping in 2008.
Good luck with finding a routine that works for your daughter. Your devotion to your daughter's welfare is amazing!
I looked it up and she has been using the Omnipod for 3 1/2 years. We have never had so many problems and with all of the posts that I am seeing I really think it may be the pods themselves. I tried an ab site today and within two hours she started to climb. She did a correction at 3pm, but by 5:30 she was almost to 300. I simply cannot and won't accept that. I think that I may have to start being a lot more aggressive with increased basals for 5 or 6 hours along with a bolus of 1 unit. Since she has the Dex, she can always turn it off if she starts to go low.
The reason we did the cut the cord program was that I was afraid that no choice of infusion would be a problem. She is ready to go back to a tubed pump and I'm not worried about the remote. I have real reason for concern though if she has to copy the bolus. She tends to reverse numbers at times and even will leave off a number when I ask her what her bg is. She has scared me many times saying that she is 32, instead of 132, etc.
Hi Terry - My problems with the Omnipod are continuing so I am going back to my old Paradigm until June. I'm researching the Ping and the Vibe and would really appreciate your input as to the overall benefits you have experienced with the Ping. Thanks!!
I can't cite any specific strengths of the Ping system, just that's it's overall a dependable performer. The things I like about the Ping are features common with many pumps, like it's calculation of customized carb and meal boluses.
One thing that I do like about the Ping compared to the Medtronic pumps is that the Ping uses any standard luer lock infusion sets. I'm not limited to the ones chosen by the pump company. This has been nice recently as I've been experimenting with different sets.
The Ping, as well as the Medtronic pumps, has proven durable for everyday use. I have used both brands over many years.
I do have a few complaints about the Ping. It's belt clip is poorly done and requires extra attention every time I have to attach it to my belt. When I'm out in bright sunlight wearing sunglasses, the screen is not visible at all.
Hopefully, by the time you make your next pump decision in June, the Vibe will be out in the U.S. and you can get some feedback from more users here.
It's now been two weeks since I returned to the Ping system from the Omnipod. My average BG has fallen and glucose variability reduced. I'm happy with the results and feel that I made a good decision for me, given my personal experience.
Thank you , Terry, and I'm glad you made the best move for yourself and that you are getting good results. It's an extremely individualized decision. There are so many variables. Educated trial and error is the only way to find what works for us. I'm glad I gave the Omnipod a try but it didn't work out for me for all of the reasons we've discussed.
I'm also glad I tried the Omnipod. With so many other satisfied users, it was worth the effort.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am considering the OmniPod and, if I do move forward, I will at least check into my insurance company's policy on getting a different pump if it doesn't work out.
You're welcome, Mike. At least you'll be aware of the issues before you make the typical four year warranty commitment that most of us with insurance have to make.
I wanted to update that since the initial high after putting this pod on her stomach, it has been great. I am hopeful that we can just keep being more aggressive to keep these post pod change highs in line, we will stay with it. I don't give up easy on something that I really like. I had no idea before that people were doing such large basal increases, and now that I have done it, I won't be afraid to do it again.
I'm glad to read that you're making adjustments to counteract pod change highs. It's hard to confidently make aggressive insulin changes as that tactic can backfire and cause a hypo. But you have to respond to pod change hyperglycemia or spend many hours high with each and every pod change. That is definitely not good in the long run.
With all respect but I don't recognise any of the high BG values. I am very happy with the pod.
No need to "with all due respect," everyone has their own experiences. I am happy with the performance of pod as well, just not sure if I'm sold on any medical device bigger than a dex sensor on me all the time.