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.
I am happy to report that thanks to a good rep at Insulet that followed through with what he said he would do, that we got the PDM yesterday. Close one, but happy that it all worked out.
Aren't occlusions part of it? It's not just pods, here's complaints from a other types of pumps users.
"Strangely though, I have noticed frequent occlusion errors since getting this new pump. From June 08 to March 09, I had approximately 3 occlusions (generally due to sitting on the cable or similar"
"I would definitely call Accu-Chek about the problem. You may also want to try a different type of set. I use a Minimed pump and started out with Quick-Sets, 9mm cannula, inserted at a 90 degree angle. After about 5-6 months I started having many problems with them including occlusion alarms. Switching to an angled set fixed that and I don't think I've had a single occlusion alarm in the past 3 1/2 years. I now also use a different type of 90 degree set that has a steel cannula, so there's no chance of it getting bent."
I think it's part of using a pump. If it bothers you then maybe it's best to go back to shots. I always say, at least when I was on shots I knew I was getting the insulin!