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October 22, 2016
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The OmniPod: Waterproof, Not Water Sport Proof

So, the OmniPods I use are listed to have an IPX8 water tight rating which means the pods will work flawlessly in eight feet of water for up to thirty minutes. This is a great feature to have during shower times, sunny-day pool ventures, and splashing around carefree in the ocean. It is one of the reasons I chose to use it, because it limits the time I need to be disconnected from an insulin source. But, since I started surfing last year, three pods have met their fate in the waters of the Pacific Ocean. I was able to keep one from polluting the ocean floor, but the other two are on their way to a rusty end. Sad.


The first loss came during a warm, late afternoon surf session on the northern San Diego County shoreline. A fast setting wave crashed down on my leg where the pod was, stripping it completely off my thigh. It happened so fast, I barely realized it was gone. It didn't stand much of a chance since I had been in the water nearly an hour, with only board shorts on, and the adhesive was well water logged, I'm sure.


The next pod got all bent out of shape, finding itself awkwardly wedged under my wetsuit. Pressure on my thighs and pod while paddling out into the lineup left an unusual pressure point of twisted neoprene resting against the pod. The cannula apparently got crimped shut and soon sent out an occlusion alarm. Wanting to continue surfing, I pulled it off and stuffed it under the suit around my ankle to be disposed of later. I wonder if little sea creatures were perplexed by the continued squeal of the pod, under water with them, while I sat on my board waiting for the next wave.


The last pod, months later, was plunked off my thigh after being scraped off by the wood loading deck at the back of a boat. A day of inner tubing at high speed in San Diego Bay left me tired and lazy. Not careful of my positioning, I dragged my leg onto the boat while climbing in and the pod popped off and bounced into the water from under my board shorts.


I think I will hunt down some SkinTac and see if it helps my water logged issues. Because it seems like the thirty minute soak limit on the IPX8 rated adhesive falls short of my water sport needs.

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