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After this weekend and this morning, I am really not sure how I feel about the Omnipod. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the features including the ability to bolus without anyone knowing, wearing dresses and not hiding the pump (just the pod bulge) and the fine-tuned control. This weekend was kind of a disaster and this morning nailed the nail a little deeper.
On Saturday, I’d changed the pod like usual and gone about a normal routine. Sunday as I was working on school work and enjoying my day off, I hear one long “beeeeeeeeeeeeeep” come from the Omnipod (the actual pod attached to me). Just having talked over alarms with the trainer last week, I knew this wasn’t good but I didn’t really know what it meant. With Minimed, it wasn’t that the pump stopped working if there was an error. It gave me some options. The Omnipod just shut down and said “pod error” and deactivated everything.
So there I was, suddenly without insulin and incredibly grateful to be at home. I changed the pod moving to the other side of my stomach. Other than my side/love handle area, I haven’t ventured away from my abdomen with any sites yet. There aren’t a lot of places available on my body because of the muscle and clothing issues. The pod went in with no complaints and seemed okay. Until hours later, I was still ridiculously high and couldn’t pinpoint anything. I hadn’t eaten since a late breakfast so why was I in the 200s? I bolused and kept spiking. I was so frustrated by the pod error earlier that I took an injection and went to bed.
The next morning, I’d come down to a normal range so I thought everything was working okay. I went to bolus for breakfast and as it clicked away, the “beeeeeeeeeeeeeeep” returned. On a Monday morning when I have to be at work and drive an hour for my commute. I wasn’t happy. I changed out the pod thinking about all the insulin this pump has made me waste between the errors I’ve had lately (once it’s in, you “shouldn’t” get it out unlike reusing reservoirs with Minimed). That pod worked fine and I went for the regularly scheduled change this morning.
This morning, I checked my blood sugar only to find a 358 staring back at me. I’d bolused for a slight high before bed (I attributed that high to snacking and stress) and figured I’d wake up back in range. Certainly not 358. Despite 14 units left in the pod (enough to cover a high and breakfast bolus), I knew I had to change it. It obviously wasn’t working. I went through the routine of filling the new pod and set the bolus.
I walked into the bathroom to finish getting ready and once again, the dreaded “beeeeeeeeeeeeeep” occurs making me curse the day I paid for this thing. Occlusion alarm. Before I could even get my fingers around the pod to remove it, the cannula was on fire in my stomach. I wasted over 100 units of insulin in just a few moments and set my day behind by about 10 minutes dealing with the entire issue. I was late to work, I was still high before lunch, and I’m beyond irritated at these issues.
When I called Omnipod yesterday to tell them about the first two pod errors I received, they were very nice. Two new pods are on their way to replace them, but the point is that it’s not just the pods. It’s the incredible amounts of wasted (and pricey) insulin. It’s the wasted time. And the worst is the highs that I’m experiencing. Lows are definitely not an issue on this pump right now. I’m not sure what I plan to do as I’ve only been on for two and a half weeks and I don’t think there’s any other pump that I want to switch to. I like the T-slim and Ping but I’m really enjoying the fact that I can wear dresses and skirts and not worry about clipping a "pager" to my belt or bra or what-have-you. The perks of Omnipod are why I picked them. I just didn’t realize I would have as many issues as I have this week.
I guess I will stick it out for a little while longer and see if this week is just the week from diabetes hell. It was doing well enough before Sunday that I hate to throw in the towel, but I also don’t want this kind of irritation and lack of reliability in my diabetes management. After Sunday, I did put an extra pod in my purse just in case this happens again, which I hadn’t gotten around to doing yet. I have 2 at work as well. At least I’m covered.
Michelle Kowalski, a writer, editor and photography hobbiest living in Phoenix, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in February 2005. In January 2008, as part of her quest to start on an insulin pump, Michelle learned that she actually has type 1 diabetes. (Read More)
Nicole Purcell lists having type 1 diabetes last when she's asked to provide information about herself - because that's where it belongs. (Read More)