Thursday, July 11, 2013

FIVE Weeks Already??

Well, I actually found time to write this!

Brianna has been using the new Omnipod System for five weeks now.  So the big question is what do we think???

Well, we love it!  She really does.  There are few negatives but lots of positive.  Now to try to figure out where to start....

For those of you who don't know about the pod, it is a tubeless insulin pump.  It theoretically will work for 3 days- 72 hours- and MUST be changed.  You are given eight hours as a grace period so technically it will fully shut off at the 80 hour mark.  Which for us is not a huge deal.  I typically was changing her sites every 2-3 days anyway just to keep scar tissue from forming and the sites in general seemed to heal quicker the less time they were in.  But this is something some need to consider.  I have heard some like sites to last longer or only change twice a week, so this might not be the best option for you!  Plus it only holds 200 units, which is more then enough for Brianna but people with T1 that use a lot of insulin will have to change more often.  I know Minimed's larger pump will hold 300 units.

So as of today, she has had 14 sites changes now with 3 failures.  Yes THREE!!  Doesn't seem like a ton, but we only had like 3 bad sites when she was using Minimed for 3 YEARS!!  What happened?  Why did they go bad?  Honestly, who knows?  The first change we did, we changed it right around the 72 hour mark.  That day we had been swimming a lot.  She got out to eat dinner.  We bolused as normal, then decided to do a pod change before she got back in the pool.  Everything I thought went fine, no issues.  Then about an hour after it was inserted in was screeching!!   We call it the sound of death, because when you hear that sound, nothing can be done besides pulling the pod.  Basically it sensed there was something wrong with the delivery of insulin and shut down.  That one said there was an occlusion- meaning something was blocking the delivery of insulin.  When I pulled it off the cannula looked fine.  So I really don't know what happened with it.  Either way,  I was not happy and even more Brianna was NOT happy at all. I called Insulet and they noted what happened and sent us a replacement pod.  We sent back the old pod for them to test.  The next 2-3 pod changes were fine.

The next failure happened Saturday morning when we were getting ready to go to Austin's baseball game.  Of course we were in a hurry.  I had Brianna bolus her breakfast and about 3/4 into the bolus we got a no delivery and the pod shut down.  Again called them and they replaced it.  The next failure was two days later.   Same thing happened we had just given Brianna a bolus and 3/4 of it went in and then we got a no delivery and it shut off.  With the third pod failure I was really starting to doubt we made a good decision for Brianna. We need a reliable pump.

I really wanted to know why the pods were failing and what I could do to stop it!  I called after each failure.  They noted all the information and sent replacement pods.  They said they really didn't know what was causing the issues, but they run the pods we send back through tests to see what went wrong.  Because they sent us replacement ones, we weren't really out anything other then insulin.  Which is starting to add up with all the pods that are failing.

For the pod to be activated there has to be a minimum of 85 units added.  Again this might be an issue for some if the person with diabetes uses a low amount of insulin you might end up wasting a lot.  I have been filling her's with anywhere better 100-125 units.  I get a little paranoid about running out and having to do a change early.  Hey, you never know when she might go crazy and eat tons of carbs  LOL!

Brianna uses Apidra insulin and that was another concern of mine.  I had heard from several people that Apidra tended to clog or crystallize in the cannula after 48 hours, or with some right away.  Apidra works really well for Brianna so I didn't want to have to switch insulin. She was on Novolog prior, but has been using Apidra for almost 3 years now.  So far we have had no issues with leaving Apidra in the pump for 3 days.  We never did with Minimed either.  So that was a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  Another thing to consider with the insulin and the pod is the pod will not start up with insulin under 50 degrees.  We leave her insulin in the fridge even after we open it- works best for us.  So I just take the insulin out 30 minutes before a change so it can warm up and we have had no issues.  So as far as insulin goes no worries there!

Podding falling off all the time!  This was a HUGE concern for me.  We have a pool and swim all the time- if it would EVER stop raining here!  Part of the reason we switched to the pod was to make swimming easier for her, so if they are falling off all the time that wouldn't be worth it.  She has swam countless times in the last month and ALL the pods have held on.  In fact they are near next to impossible to come off!  The first time she got into the pool, I told hubby maybe we should cover the pod, I would really hate for it to fall off.  He said wait and see.  So we did- again it would have been SO his fault if it fell off.  But it didn't.  She jumped in like a crazy, swam, and played rough. That pod held on tight!  I was impressed.  I will say the edge of the tape does occasionally come up from where her pants rub on it, but NO issues with it coming off.  So another worry put to rest.

If you look close you can see the pod on her right side.

Hardly noticeable. 

Removing the pod.  Here I was SO worried that it would be falling off all the time, I never imagined it won't come off!   They are obviously significant big then a little site so there is a large taped down area.  When we removed her old sites we just pulled quickly and ripped it off.  Well the first time we have to remove the pod I did the same thing and just pulled it off.  I think I took a layer of her skin off.  She SCREAMED!  OUCH!! So since then we have been using Unisolve to remove her sites.  It seems to be working well.  There is a significant amount of glue that is left on her skin.  It is quite an ordeal to get that stuff off!  For us, wiping the glue with the Unisolve pad, then alcohol and then using a dry cloth seems to work.

I think I'm going to end the post there for today...
I have so much more I want to write about.  Hopefully will post again in the next week!!


  1. As a tip, you can also use baby oil to soak the pod off too. I use it now because it's so much cheaper then the Unisolve. Just squeeze it on the upper part and let the oil soak through under the pod to the tape to the bottom and it should be easy to peel off. :)

  2. I have been waiting for your review :)Justin will be able to get a new pump soon and I've been "pump shopping". I was able to get all kinds of info at FFL this week, but they all have their perks, so I still need to narrow a few things down.

  3. I'm glad the pod is working well for her! I've been curious about the new smaller pods, but the thought of 20% of the sites failing makes me less inclined to try it.