Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Omni Pod..... The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

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. 


  1. Hi Ida! I'm so glad you have started a blog. I've found that it really helps me to let my feelings out and also share with others what we are going through.

    I know podding can seem challenging at 1st but you will get it down so fast. It will be just like 2nd nature.

    To keep the pods on Nate's arms we use bands 4 life. --- they work great! We have 2 now but I am about to order some more.

    We also use a product called Opsite Flexifix to keep Nate's pods on securely in other area. Let's face it with boys you just need a little extra security! :)

    On the PDM --- you may need to change some settings. You can reduce the amount of time the back light stays on and how long the PDM stays on itself to help conserve batteries. We usually change them every 6 weeks or so. Also, we always use Energizer. It's something that our rep recommended when we were having trouble with our PDM just re-booting on it's own and it has worked like a charm.

    You have my email ---- email me anytime with questions or give me a call. Would love to chat!!

  2. Hi Ida, We are a podding family too. I have found that routine is key with my 3yo. I hand him the box of Cars bandages,(for the old site) and stack of sticker sheets to pick out for the new pod while I put the adhesive remover on, then get the new pod and site ready, when we put the new pod on we "sing" LA LA LA really loudly until the insertion (trying to be louder than the ticking sound) then put on the sticker. We have the whole process down to about 4-5 minutes. Every once in a while he informs me he doesn't want a new pod, but for the most part he is matter of fact about the routine. Hope that helps.

  3. Good to meet you! My Bean also uses Onmipod...about 10months now...and we love it. Yes, it has it's not so great moments, but never so bad that I would even consider ditching it!
    We use the 8x lithium batteries and get a good 6 weeks out of them. Yes, they are more expensive, but honestly it works about to be about the same since we were having to change the other ones out almost every week! I keep my eyes out for when they are on sale and grab a pack or two so I always have them on hand.
    Remember that the pod will run for 8 hours past it's 'expiration' so if he takes a bit longer to fall asleep, you're covered! :) I've always wanted to run to the full 80 hours to see what happens, but haven' to 79 hours and then I did the pod change instead of waiting! duh!
    It does get to be second nature, as Laura said. :)

  4. Nice to meet you Ida :) We also use omnipod.. The bands for life that Laura mentioned are great. Looking foward to reading your blog.

  5. Hi Ida. Sounds like you are getting some good suggestions. I'm trying to think about this Pod tearing away issue and why we do not have it. Maybe it's about where we place it, or perhaps Caleb has become more aware of it over time and compensates to keep it safe without even realizing it. I'm not sure.

    We definitely don't have to change batteries that much, but I'm guessing you may be using the PDM to review details a lot more than we do. I know I did at the beginning. I agree with Laura, though on the settings. Changing some may help.

    All the best!


  6. Hi Ida!
    I found you through Laura's blog. I am a fellow Podder and blogger. My gal is 9, diagnosed at age 6, and we have been Podding for close to 2 years now. As for batteries, Energizer only and we get 5-6 weeks out of them on average. Good suggestions from Laura, Denise and Lorraine about reducing the backlight time and other settings. It will conserve battery life.
    As for the Pod insertion hurting and doing it at night, so be it. Hey, every kid needs what they need. It won't always be like this you know. It too will pass. Look at some of our kids, doing whole site changes by themselves! For now, you do what you have to do. I applaud that you 'get on with it' and just do it at night.
    We don't have a lot of issues with Pod coming away from the backing. We use SkinTac to adhere, Unisolve to remove and Flexifix to secure a loose Pod that still have lots of life in it. Is it coming away from the backing because it wobbles or because of too much activity? Grace wears her Pod all over - thighs, tummy, arms and bottom. Maybe new places and less wobble, thus less peeling away?
    Anyway, good to see your blog, welcome to the DOC!
    And yes, this is my 2nd comment, for some reason my first one didn't go through, but just in case it did, well, happy 2nd comment!