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Our New Pump: The Omnipod

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

We've been podding for 10 whole days!

It's really not enough time to give a review but I'll share my first impressions and why we chose to go with Omnipod.

Why Omnipod?

It's conversations like this...

"Mom, the kids at gymnastics keep asking me what it (the pump) is and if it's a phone. I keep saying no but they keep asking. I don't want to talk about it. I don't want them to see it."

I told her we could take it off. She doesn't want to take it off. She feels safer with it on.

Or this exchange...

"Hold on just a sec... I need to bolus you."

"Ugh! Hurry up! I wish I didn't have diabetes. It's so stupid."

Her friend had already run off to play and all she wanted was to join him. In this situation, even the remote wasn't helping because he'd gone downstairs. But usually I can bolus without her even knowing.

Although I was frustrated and upset by the way we were treated by Animas, I would not have changed pumps if I did not feel it was in her best interests. And the above conversations really got me thinking...

It all started at a Diabetes Center picnic. The vendors were there. I like seeing what everyone has and what they have to say.

The rep from Omnipod gave us a sample pod and told us about their "cut the cord" program where you can switch from your current pump to Omnipod for only $125.

And the wheels started turning.

When we got home, I showed Sweets the pod. She was intrigued. And she wanted to try it on. At first she said she wanted us to put in on at night like a regular site change. But then she changed her mind and wanted in on NOW. This really surprised me because of her history of totally freaking out over site changes. Granted, there was no needle in the trial one!

She loved it. I had been worried about the size - she is so tiny. But it was fine. It was practically invisible under her clothes. She didn't want to take it off!!

And then she kept asking for it. "I want that i-pod pump!" she said. "Can't I just use the pod? When can I use it again?"

Hmmmmm.... She was really into it. She was excited about it.

So I did my research. I got online and read up on the pod. I looked at the Omnipod website and went through their tutorials. I talked to friends who were using the pod about their experiences. And J and I talked about it a lot.

I wanted to make sure we were switching for the right reasons. As I said before, I like the Ping and think it's a great pump and has many great features. It was not an easy choice.

We did think about Medtronic. But what it came down to there was the remote. After having a remote and seeing how it helped her just be a kid and not have to interrupt what she's doing to get the pump out to bolus.... And how aggravated she was with just waiting to bolus with the remote... Deal Breaker.  Neither J nor I was willing to give up the remote!

So, after much consideration and research, we decided to give Omnipod a try!

Yes, I was concerned about a few things.

The Omnipod calculates IOB differently than an Animas or Medtronic pump.  The Omnipod only considers any insulin you give as a correction as IOB.  It does not take into account anything you have given for food.  The reasoning, I suppose, is that you need that insulin to cover the food you ate.  But we all know that it doesn't always work like that...

However, there is a way around it if you find it to be an issue.  If you enter all boluses as a correction bolus then it will keep track.

I think that as long as you know what you're doing, you understand how the pumps work and calculate, and you are on top of things, this does not have to be deal breaker.  Most people who start with Omnipod have no issue with this calculation because it's all they have ever known.  However, if you feel strongly about knowing the complete total amount of IOB and do not want to enter everything as a correction, then Omnipod is probably not the pump for you.

For us, this has not been an issue yet.  I may try entering everything as a correction and see how I like that...  But so far so good!

The main feature of the Omnipod that was holding me back was the basal increments.  Instead of allowing basal rates of 0.025, the smallest increment is 0.05.  This is something I was concerned about.

Again, so far so good!  Things are going very well and her numbers have been better the last 10 days than I've seen in MONTHS.

How's it going?

We are REALLY happy with Omnipod!

Sweets LOVES it!  She loves that you can't see it.  She loves that she does not have to wear a pouch all the time (she still does wear one for Dexie at times - like in the above pic -but it's not the constant it once was).  For some reason, she has much less anxiety about the pod.  She got really nervous at our pump start about taking off the numbing cream.  But once the pod was on, we pushed the button to insert it when she wasn't paying attention.  It makes a clicking noise before it goes it.  When it inserted, she said, "HEY!  Who hit me in the butt?!?"  But there were no tears.  She said it didn't hurt a bit.  And since then we have not used the cream.  We are still doing changes at night because that is her preference but she is not totally opposed to doing them in the day anymore.  She has been happy to wear some outfits that she could not wear with a pump pouch (one piece things and a certain dress that just didn't fit well over it).  This is total vanity.  But it's important to her.  She despises limitations of any kind.  She is happy.  She pats it and smiles. 

That makes me happy!

I like that there is no issue leaving it on for swimming. (Yes, I know Animas is waterproof but our Endo advised us to take it off anyway... so we did.  Plus she did NOT want to wear a pouch in the water.)  Even when we gave her missed basal before swimming, she was ALWAYS HIGH.  I'm talking HIGH.  It made me not want to go swimming.  But she has swam practically every day.  And her numbers have been perfect!

There has been NO issue with it sticking or staying on.  She's gone swimming.  She takes baths.  She goes down the slide.  She's done gymnastics and tennis.  It stays put.  We have not put anything else over it to hold it.  I will say, that she has never had a problem with ANYTHING sticking to her.  Not pump sites or Dex.  She must have very adhesive skin!!

I love the PDM and all it's features.  I love it's colored screen and all it's graphs and trends and information.  I LOVE that the test strip port has a light.  SUPER AWESOME!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Freestyle strips!  We actually had to dial BACK her lancet because the amount of blood needed is so incredibly small.  And we have not had ONE error.  No more "error 5"!  Woot!

I love how easy site changes are.  I didn't think they were hard before... but now it's SO EASY!  Sweets will be able to do (most of) it herself before long (if she chooses - I won't put that on her unless she wants to).  I like that aspect as well.  I also like that the amount of supplies in my closet are less... Less moving parts.  I like that!

I'll post more once we've really had the opportunity to use it and live with it for an extended period.  But these are my "first thoughts"!

After leaving her pump upgrade at the hospital, we were in the elevator and it hit me that she had nothing around her waist.  Sure, she had the pod and Dex on her tush.  But you couldn't see them.  She was free, in a sense.  And it brought tears to my eyes.  How long had it been?  Almost 2 years... every day.... wearing a pouch.  It was a wonderful moment.

Don't get me wrong - we LOVE our pump pouches and will continue wearing them, especially at school, to carry Dex.  But, she doesn't HAVE to wear it.  If we are together, I can carry it and it will pick her up.  So nice to have that option!

I asked Sweets the other day what SHE thought.  She said, "I really like it!  I'm not scared to do site changes anymore. I wish I could I just eat though and not have to test my blood first and wait and stuff."

Yes, my sweet, sweet child.  THAT would really be the best choice of all, wouldn't it?  A CURE.



  1. Congrats for the move and I look forward to reading all the firsts with the pod :) Very exciting!!

  2. So happy you like the Pod. We've had some Pod failures from time to time, but wouldn't want a different kind of pump. Our Roxy is three and sometimes doesn't like wearing the CGM, which obviously wouldn't be an option with the Ping or Medtronic. I hope you continue to get good results with the Pod. BTW, we also switched to Apidra and like it.

  3. That is so awesome!! Even tho the pod didn't work out well for me, I'm so glad it's working so wonderfully for you guys! It truly is a great system, especially for kids.

  4. Can I tell you a secret? If medicaid covered the Pod..well yea we would be there with you. The tubing and pouches get to J at times too. I am so so so happy for you guys! And it seems this is just the change Sweets needed!

    You work those dresses little mama! Xoxo

  5. That is so incredibly exciting. I'm so, so glad to hear the impact on Sweets. Hooray!

    Caleb just passed the warranty period for ours. I didn't even realize it. We are not anxious to try anything new so I guess if something goes with his current PDM, we'll just get another!

  6. Great post Hallie! I think every one needs to make the right decisions for their family and their kiddo. I applaud you at looking at all your choices. Grace absolutely LOVES her OmniPod. Glad you are off to such a good start with Avery's. She is so darn cute!

  7. Hi Hallie! I'm so happy for you. We LOVE the pod!

    I do want to tell you about one IOB situation that we had, only because as Sweetpea gets more independent, I could see her doing what Matthew did.

    Okay...last year at school, he bolused and had lunch at 11:30. Around an hour later, there were surprise cupcakes in his class.

    Matthew immediately whipped out his kit to CHECK anc bolus.

    Fortunately his teacher caught him before he checked....because the pod would have corrected him and he would have gone terribly low so quick after lunch.

    Our doctors have had serious issues with this happening to other just know that going in.

    And I think you do. : )

    But I'm happy for you!!!!

  8. Congrats and good luck!

    IOB will remain a deal breaker for us...and I make no apologies or excuses for it.

    When the pod was first introduced, I voiced my concerns to Insulet over and over and was made to feel as if wanting IOB made me an over reactive parent. My concerns were blown off as they tried with all their might to convince me that IOB simply wasn't necessary instead of listening to me, validating my concern, and offering to submit my feedback to management. At one point, the rep became downright confrontational with me and even suggested that it would be "mean" of me to keep my child "tied" to a pump. THAT was the ultimate dealbreaker for us. In the end, he did tell me that the IOB feature would be "enhanced" with future generations of the pod. I told him to keep my number and asked him to call me when the changes were implemented and on the market. That was in 2007...still waiting for that call.

    Suffice to say that I was very unhappy with Insulet's customer service and the way I was treated. I don't think it's a surprise to anyone that their first impression has made a lasting impact on my opinion.

    IOB has saved her from potential lows enough times that giving it up simply isn't an option.

    Sugar boluses herself -- and she often does it without my a friend's house...during church functions...with babysitters...

    Expecting her to learn how to take on various aspects of diabetes care is asking a lot from a kid.

    Asking her to do it using the pump in a way it is not designed to be used by adding steps that could increase the risk of error simply isn't an option.

    We each walk a journey...along the way you will experience stuff that I won't and vice versa.

    Really all we can hope is that our concerns/desires are heard by technology companies, our children are happy, and the good outweighs the bad.

  9. I'm glad to hear that the transition is going so well! Yay!

    We enjoy having the option to use both the pods and the minimed pump here, (we have never used the pod at school). We see fewer lows with MM, so the IOB probably has something to do with that, but I pay very close attention to boluses when we pod now. We use them mostly for swimming and activity and have finally found ways to help them stick for long days in the water. (like allll day!! lol)

    The feeling of freedom is nice for Emma too, especially in the water. Hopefully someday soon there will be a pump that has all the features we crave in one. Until then we will be a multi pump family here! :)

    I hope you both continue to LOVE it!! It matters a lot! :)

  10. what a positive post about a great decision for your daughter. i am looking forward to hearing more and then seeing how my hubby likes the pod when he starts. it'll be interesting to get an adult's opinion after being on MDI for over 20yrs!

  11. WooHoo! So glad that Sweets is loving the pod...and that you and J are, too!
    Is it perfect? No, but no pump is. I think you have to do what's best for your situation and that sounds like exactly what you've done.
    The IOB hasn't ever been an issue for us, but we never knew anything different.
    Here's to more dresses!! ;)

  12. This is so amazing!! I am so happy to hear she is happy! This has almost made me want to look into switching...

  13. So glad to hear that your first impressions (ans especially Sweet's 1st impressions) have been positive! I hope you all continue to feel the same way...and I look forward to hearing more about your experiences's something that Charlotte and I are interested in for possible change in her future

  14. I am so happy for you all!! We absolutely love the OmniPod and have NEVER had an issue with IOB. Nate started podding when he was 20-months old and he's rockin' it!

    Here is what we do in situations mentioned above.

    I always pre-bolus Nate. So say I bolus him for 45g of carbs at lunch and he decides he wants more yogurt. I would just bolus for 15g of yogurt without the bg number that way it doesn't give a correction too. I would do the same if he decided to eat a cupcake for dessert 30 minutes or even an hour later. I would know he would he a little high already from eating his meal so even if I did check his bg when the PDM asks if I want to use the bg to calculate the bolus I answer NO and then it won't correct the high. Does that make sense?

    Anywho --- you have my email, phone number, ping, FB ---- call me day or Nate. :)

    PS - The kids and I sent Sweets a package yesterday. I may be more excited than they are about it getting there. :) :) :)

  15. do you think the pod would do under hockey pads? I really think Joe would LOVE to cut the cord, but I am concerned about all the pads he wears frequently. I am seriously considering having him trial it. Our Endo team does not support Omnipod (I think b/c of the IOB issue...but, I can definitely figure that out). I am looking forward to your future posts and your thoughts on how it could work out for Joe. Thanks...and so glad that you are happy with your choice...

    p.s...Joe too on the highs with the pump off while swimming...even with me covering for missed basal hourly.

  16. Congratulations! I'm glad you found a choice that you are happy with, and that also makes Sweets happy. Having a kid happy with what is stuck to her body becomes even more important when she is a teenager . :)

  17. So glad to hear that Sweets is happy with the pod! I hope you keep posting about your experiences with it. I really wanted one for Addison when he started pumping but he was SO not comfortable wearing it. We also had a less than stellar experience with their local rep which did not help to encourage us in that direction! I am very curious about the swimming as well. We were told by the Omnipod rep that it was NOT ok to be in the water with it for more than 20 minutes or so. She told us long baths and swimming were not ok. The Animas rep on the other hand said we could spend as long as we wanted in the water with the pump up. I always feel like the information given out is a varied as diabetes itself! I remember thinking that if he couldn't be in the bath with it for half an hour it definately wasn't going to work out.

    I have also grown very fond of IOB. I know I could figure it out just fine with the the Omnipod but it really has saved my overwhelmed brain from having to calculate even more "stuff"! I use it almost daily and think I would really miss it.

    That said, I can totally imagine us changing to a pod in Addison's future when the smaller version comes out and we are ready for a change!

    I am so glad we have great pumps like Animas and Omnipod to choose from. Our kids are very lucky!! Again, so glad for you guys. I look forward to hearing more!

  18. Yay for Free!! I would love the free from tubing feeling, but I don't like change so we stick with what we have. I'm so happy sweets loves the pod! Priceless!

  19. I think its awesome that you love it. Laura's "not adding bg" advice makes total sense. I didn't know it gave you an option of not calculating the BG. Guess that makes I.O.B a non issue?!?! Glad I read that.

  20. Wow, that's a great overview of some really good things for us to think about. I always thought it would be too bulky for my 4yo, but maybe not. We use Freestyle too and I love the idea of it being on the PDM already. My daughter's been telling me about how all the kids touch her infusion site and that she doesn't like having to tell them to leave her alone all the time. It makes me a little sad.

  21. I look forward to hearing more about her pod experiences. Glad she's so excited about the new change.

  22. thanks for the review. Keep us posted. My daughter(20 age) got a pump for the first time this spring. It was between the ping and onmi pod. she choose the ping. Seemed like it's meter had more functions to make it easier. I look forward to more reviews.

  23. I really like hearing your opinion about the pod. And Sweets is little, so if it doesn't bother her, then I'm sure it wouldn't be too bulky for Ally.

    There are features of each pump that make each one of them desirable to me. And so, until the day they can put all the features together in one pump, I'm glad that we each have a choice.

    Keep us posted.

  24. hi,my 9 year old just started her omnipod about a week ago. We love it!!!!!

  25. Where did you get the cute little belt?

  26. Hi, just wondering how you feel about the Omni Pod as this was posted a year or so ago. Are you still happy with it? I've been doing research and have read so many reviews of poor customer service, multiple pod failure, PDM failures, and poor adhesion. Have you had any problems? Do you still love this pump? Thanks!

    1. We LOVE the Omnipod! I honestly can not imagine us ever going back to a tubed pump. I wrote a post not too long ago about it...
      We are still very, very happy with the pod! It fits our lifestyle very well and most importantly, Sweets LOVES it! She no longer gets upset about site changes and really likes that she can hide it if she wants.


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