So, on Monday, July 18th, we met with one of the nurses from Nick's endocrinology office and with an Omni Pod representative to teach us how to use the pump and to help us get familiar with the mechanics and functions of it. We had to bring two pods with us to practice. Thankfully, we only had to put one on Nick. It took everything I had not to cry when we put the pod on Nick and inserted the cannula. He did not like it one bit!! I put it on his butt towards the top and unfortunately, it only lasted one day. The information we received from the representative was wonderful and we were pretty comfortable with our decision and the freedom that this pump offers.
Now, fast forward two weeks to present day. Nick has been wearing the pump for two weeks and here is what I have noticed.
The Good: The pump allows us the freedom to let Nick eat anything he wants and we don't have to give him a shot all the time. We just bolus him and he is good to go. After checking his blood, of course. It allows him to go swimming or take baths without having to disconnect anything so his insulin flow is constant. The pdm is very easy to operate and it is all quite self explanatory. There are still things we have to learn, but to give him insulin is pretty easy. The pod is pretty small and conceals well under his shirt. The people that we have dealt with at Insulet Corp. are wonderful and are very helpful and courteous. His blood sugar has been pretty constant and even. No extreme highs and lows as much as there used to be.
The Bad: The pod itself is only secured in two spots on the back, so we have had every one of the pods rip where the material that sticks to his skin and the actual pod connects. I bought a sticky ace bandage and that seems to work, but he complains that it itches. We are currently trying to remedy this ripping situation. The second concern I have is that the pdm (personal device manager) goes through batteries like crazy!!!! I have already had to replace them and have only had it two weeks.
The Ugly: When we have to replace the pod, Nick cries.... alot! I know it hurts him when we insert the cannula and I feel horrible (pretty much like getting kicked in the stomach). We have had to rearrange our schedules so that we can put the pod on him at night when he falls asleep. For example: The pod expires at 9:30pm, this is how my night goes.
8:00 Put the lidocaine numbing cream on his skin
8:45 Wipe off cream, clean area with alcohol
8:50 Deactivate his old pod
8:55 Activate his new pod, fill with insulin and attach it to his skin
9:00 Put Nick to bed and pray to god he falls asleep within ten minutes
Once Nick is asleep, push start to inject the cannula and wrap with ace bandage.
So there you have it. The good, the bad and the ugly of our insulin pump. The good do outweigh the bad and we are trying to resolve the bad issues. We are definitely learning, but once you get comfortable with something, it changes. I hope that it will make his life easier in the long run and I hope it causes him less pain. If it does..... then my sacrifices will have been worth it.