As you may know, we switched from a tubed pump to the Omnipod about seven months ago.
I haven't posted too much about the pod or our transition or how it's going... until now! I really wanted to wait and make sure we had some time under our belt before giving you my thoughts.
So.... How's it going? Do we like it? What's the scoop?!?
To keep it short and sweet, we LOVE the Omnipod! LOVE!
But you probably want to know a little more than that - right?
So let's break it down...
My Concerns Before Switching and How They've Played Out...
One of my concerns with switching to the Omnipod was the basal rates. With Sweetpea's previous pump, the smallest basal rate you could program was 0.025. With the Omnipod, the smallest basal you can program is 0.050. That might not seem like much, but when you're a little girl who is rather sensitive to insulin - it IS a lot. We ended up having to pretty much change everything. All her basal rates changed. That meant all her carb ratios changed. It was like starting over from scratch.
Was it horrendous? Sounds like it would be, right???
But it wasn't. It was smooth sailing! Honestly, I think it was the best thing that could have happened to us. Her numbers were crap. Let's be honest. A large part of that was us running her higher - per our endo's orders - after the severe low/seizures. Part of it was us being too scared to see a double digit number during the night. And part of it was that after that experience her blood sugars were just nuts. Plain and simple. There was no pattern, no rhyme or reason... for a long while. So starting over from scratch ended up being a great thing.
The difference in the basal rates has been a non-issue. I expected it to be a problem that we would have to work to solve. But it wasn't.
Our transition to the Omnipod was really smooth. And her numbers have NEVER been better. Part of that was just tightening control again. But now that we're about 7 months in... her average blood sugars have never been better. Her 90 day average right now is 165. Her target bg is 150. I'll take it!
Another concern I had when we switched was the way that the Omnipod calculates IOB. It is very different from the way that her old pump calculates IOB. And I really thought I'd have some issues with this - as I did use the IOB feature a lot. I thought I would have to really work with it and it would take some getting used to. But again - it was a non-issue. I thought that we would just enter everything as a correction bolus and that would replicate the IOB feature on the other pump. But I never found the need to do this. She never went low. We had no problems with corrections. Personally, I've never missed it once. I hear from the grapevine that the new pods will how all IOB instead of just correction IOB. That will be nice - but I'm guess I won't notice the difference.
I was a little worried about the size. She's a LITTLE girl With no fat (how unfair...). But again - non issue. She wears her pods on her tush. That's the only place she has room and fat. And it's been fine. She doesn't have pod rip off - even during gymnastics and cheerleading and tumbling all over the couch at home. They stay on her quite well. In fact - they stay on her almost TOO well! And we are able to hide them under her clothing and they are pretty much invisible.
What Have We Found We Like About the Omnipod?
I really can't put into words how happy we are with the Omnipod!
I LOVE the PDM. I love how it keeps your records and averages.
I love the light on the end of the PDM so you can see when you're doing a fingerstick at night. It's a small thing - yes. But small things can make me very happy, too!
I love that we don't have boxes and boxes of supplies! I really like that it's all in one compact little pod. Site changes are much easier (and really, I thought they were pretty easy before). Sweets will be able to do this on her own anytime now. I love the automatic insertion!
We used to get bent cannulas ALL THE TIME. I blame her very little body fat and the fact that she was scared and would tighten up all her muscles. We landed in the ER many a time due to the bent cannula. We have not had ONE bent cannula with the pod. This could be due to a different cannula, different insertion or just that she's not as scared. I don't really care. I'll take it!
The short time we had the pod when it was still warm enough to swim was fantastic! Sweets would ALWAYS go high because she wouldn't wear her pump in the water. But with the pod - bg stayed nice and steady. A little basal reduction and we were good to go! And I can not WAIT to hit the beach! WOO HOO!
But the best part - hands down - is that Sweets is happy as can be!
SWEETPEA loves the Omnipod! And that means more to me than I can say!
For some reason, she is not as scared of the pod. I think it is because she can't see the needle. We can put the pod on her and she can take a minute to relax. In fact, she can push the button herself so she has a little more control over the situation. Site changes are no big deal. And that is a BIG DEAL! Because for all the years we used the previous pump, they were awful. That is why we did them at night. Because she would freak out and cry and scream and we'd end up with bent cannulas and bad sites. It is SO NICE to do a pod change and have it be drama free!
The other thing that Sweets loves about the pod is that she can hide it. This began right after she started podding. It came up during a tennis lesson over the summer. The kids were asking her what Dexie was. Why did she wear that thing around her waist. She didn't like that. She didnt' want to talk about it. And the great thing was that we were able to take Dex off during her lesson and the pod was hidden under her clothes... and no one could see a thing. The same thing happens at gymnastics. And it's pretty well hidden under her leotard. And she gets to feel normal. And that is worth is weight in gold! We really love that the pod can be easily hidden under ANYTHING!
I love that she is happy with the pod. I love that she feels like she has some control over that part of her diabetes. After a few months, we DID ask her what she thought and if she preferred the old pump. Her answer was that she likes the Omnipod - for the reasons I've already mentioned. Her happiness is important to us. And even though J and I are really happy - if she had disliked the pod we would have switched back.
I'm really glad that we decided to try the Omnipod and see how we like it! Because we LOVE it! I can honestly tell you that I can not think of a reason we would go back to a tubed pump.
Seven months in and we couldn't be happier! I feel very blessed to have found a pump that is working so well for Sweets!
This post is my OPINION. No one asked me to write about our experience and I am not being compensated in any way. This is simply MY opinion and MY experience with the Omnipod. This is in no way intended as medical advice. If you are considering the Omnipod, please consult with your doctor and endocrinology team. This post is no way meant to say that any one pump or type of diabetes management is better than another. This is simply MY OPINION. I can not guarantee that the Omnipod will meet all of your needs or that you will be as happy with it as we are. After all, "Your Diabetes May Vary". Your choice of diabetes management is a very personal thing. Therefore, I will not tolerate comments that are disrespectful. Thank you!
For more information on the Omnipod Insulin pump click HERE.