Friday, August 30, 2013

Customer Service....

Oh Omnipod, you and good customer service are not words that belong together in a sentence, unless the word NOT is included.  I am a little bummed about this.  Why you ask?  I will share...

Prior to Omnipod Brianna was on Minimed pump and still uses their CGM and My Sentry.  Anytime of the day 24/7 and even holidays they would pick up quickly.  Sometimes- I mean usually,  within a few minutes.  Seriously.  Last time I was on the phone for 7 minutes TOTAL!!  Have we had issues with the pump?  Sure.  Have we had issues with the CGM?  Yup, but they always make sure they fix it.  I will say anytime we got an error I would call and demand a new pump.  Minimed would have me run tests on the pump to make sure it was okay.  If it passed the test they were okay with her continuing to use it.  But if I felt better they would send new.  NEXT DAY, BY NOON!  Did you hear that next day, obviously you had to call within a certain time to get next day but still most of the time you received a new pump (okay refurbished, but still.), the next day.  I think in the last 3.5 years I have asked for 4 new pumps.  Some probably didn't need to be replaced but I have to sleep at night and feel safe that the pump is not going to fail on her.  The last time we replaced it, two weeks ago, it was because she dropped it and cracked it.  OUR fault and they asked no questions, just agreed to send a new one.  They also let her change pump colors from purple to pink- you know pumps can be a fashion accessory right?!?  I received that pump with in 18 hours of my seven minute call. 

So welcome to Omnipod and their customer service or lack of.  I will go over the stats with them...  We have had one occlusion, 5 failed pods and SIX left stuck key detected.  Sigh, where do I begin with their hold time?  I think I have been on HOLD more with them then I have actually talked with people from Minimed, no joke.

Okay, of course in the middle of writing this Omnipod calls me from their billing department to try to work with me over insurance.  So I guess billing or claims department you rock, customer service, rant is continuing with you!

So back to the hold time.  I don't mind waiting, it can be expected I guess. But the other day I was on hold no lie, OVER an hour and a half OVER 90 MINUTES!!!   It got to the point I just wanted to keep waiting to see how long it would take for them to finally pick up!  There have been times that I am in a hurry and just want to report a failed pod and gave up.  Hey, I do have a life and am totally annoyed by their music.  The last time I called I talked with the representative about the hold time, she said they are overwhelmed with calls and are trying to keep up but just can't.  My thought is it might be time to add more people!  She did say the best time to call is the weekend and late at night.  That's fine and all but some issues need quick response time!

Not the text I wanted to get!

So back to all the issues.  I have called each time there was a stuck key, I was offered a new PDM the last two times I called, but turned it down as I didn't want to move all the information over and lose how it tracks all her data for averages and that.  Silly reasons, but I didn't want too.  BUT today's stuck key happened at school and she wasn't happy.  She said it wouldn't stop beeping in the classroom so went to the nurse.  The nurse called and I went there fix it and to call insulet.  I was only, on hold 8 minutes today.  Shocking!  I explained the situation and thought it would be a quick no problem we will send a new one, NOPE!  She wanted to know how many, what's happening to cause them and then said well maybe your daughter is holding the buttons too long at school.  HELLO!?!  They are happening to me too at home!  I was a little annoyed that she was thinking Brianna was causing this.  I reminded her she was in school and didn't like the attention the beeping PDM caused, so NO she was not doing anything wrong.  She then puts me on hold and talks with her supervision.  More questions, back on hold and finally says, we can replace it if you need us to.  Yes, that's why I called.  I want you to remember that with Omnipod the PDM is EVERYTHING, it is the meter and the way you bolus.  So if it dies you are basically out of luck!  So she says we can send a new one, is grounds that takes 7-10 days okay??  I said, no way.  This is interfering with her school and we need it to work properly, I can't be going to school to fix it.  She says fine how about Saturday? (today is Thursday)  I say fine.  Now do you remember MM and when they would send their products?  NEXT DAY!  I called about the same time so I know it is possible to get it here tomorrow, but Saturday works.

I don't regret switching her to Omnipod I just am disappointed in their customer service.  Pumping and supplies are not cheap, and kinda expect great customer service.  And yes, I probably should have taken a new PDM the first time it was offered, but thought and hoped it wouldn't be an issues.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First few days of school....

After I finished the last post Brianna and I went to school for her open house.  We dropped off all her school supplies and all her diabetes supplies so everything would be ready for her on first day.  While we were there I wanted to make sure the school's network would allow her to text me as that is our plan this year.  Brianna is using an Ipod.  Well.... it didn't work. At all.  She would send a text and it would go 90% but never finish.  Okay, I really wasn't stressed about school starting but that was stressing me out!  It was Tuesday and school was starting on Thursday.  I talked with the assistant principal and he said he would look into it and fix it, or come up with a solution.  So Wednesday we went back to school to see what we could do.  Due to the school's super tight security or whatever, Imessaging would not work.  He was able to find an app that Brianna could download and could text me from.  Everything worked fine that day and I was back to being my optimistic self.

So Thursday morning, the first day of school, before breakfast she was a beautiful 108.  I was a little nervous about her possibly going low, so I didn't pre-bolus her at all. (We typically ALWAYS do.)  I waited until 8:50 made her a waffle with syrup and bolused as she ate.  I dropped her off around 9:15, school starts at 9:25 and hoped for the best.
At 10:15 I received this text...
She texts no words only pictures.  This picture shows me everything I need.  I can see what the sensor is doing, I can see her fingerstick number, and how much IOB. 
Uggg, 246 double arrows up!  But if you look her fingerstick was 224 and she still had 0.65 IOB (insulin on board.)  USUALLY I would have totally corrected that number.  But I let it ride out.  I wanted to see what would happen.  So I waited, if she was going to beep again it would have been in an hour, as that is how we have her CGM set up.  But no text.  Success!!  Now what would the lunch number be??

The nurse called at 12:25 right as she was going outside to recess she was 128.  That's is an iffy number in my mind.  The weather here is beautiful and I wanted to make sure that she could play and not have to worry about going low.  Recess is 30 minutes and remember she hasn't eaten anything since 8:50.  So I decided to play it safe and do one tablet, 4 carbs.  Well, 30 minutes later she came in and was 125.  So, she bolused as she was going to lunch.  Again no pre-bolusing means she will spike a little higher!  I'm trying to figure out setting and redo basal rates but for the first few weeks I just let things play out as I don't want to change too much.  I think she beeped again around 2:15 and was 226 on her CGM and 202 on a fingerstick, but she had like 2.65 iob so I let it ride again.  At 3:50 the nurse calls with her dismissal number and she was 148, slightly high but a GREAT first day!!

Don't really like the mountains at school, but we can work with it.

After three days of school now, texting is really working!  She loves that she is not leaving class.  Since we started this she only has left once, and that's because she left her bag in the nurse's office after lunch.  I really think it is helping her feel a little more independent.  For those that have asked Brianna is 9 years old and in the 4th grade.  This September she will have had Type 1 for 4 years.  I know this way of doing things isn't for everyone.  I have told Brianna several times that if she doesn't want to do it this way, or if it doesn't work out we can always go back to going to the nurse.  She DOES NOT want to do that!  I love that we are able to give her choices that make her feel like she's in control of her care. 

Brianna is going into the 4th grade and Courtney is 4 years old!! 

Kids and I first day of school. 

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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ready for School....

This Thursday Austin and Brianna go back to school.  Austin will be in 8th grade and Brianna in 4th.  Courtney starts in a few weeks, she will be in pre-K.  They are growing up and changing so much.  Somethings though will never change,like buying school supplies.  You know notebooks, folders, tissues, the usual stuff.  Notice I didn't say pencils, markers or crayons?  I guess the school got a great deal on some items and this year we didn't have to purchase those. (They included the price in our school fees.)  So Brianna's school supplies really just consisted of this...
All the school supplies she needs!

But we all know T1 requires it's own supplies.  For Brianna we keep a box of  diabetes supplies in the nurse's office.  It consists of most everything she could possibly need during the day.  The box sits on a table in the nurse's office right where she checks.  In the box we have batteries with a quarter taped to it (easiest way to get the Minimed Pump opened in a hurry), syringes- honestly I have no idea why I pack those we haven't used a syringe since she started pumping almost 3.5 years ago, sites for both MM and Omnipod (right now she is sticking with Omnipod but who knows when she will change- look for a post on that soon,) test strips for both meters she could use, alcohol wipes, tape, glucagon, tablets, lancets, insulin, and a ketone meter and test strips for it.  I think that's all.

All her supplies

Box, insulin for the fridge and Glucagon for the cabinet.

 Each teacher has a classroom bag they grab in case of an emergency- like when they go outside for a fire drill. This year Brianna has three different teachers.  I made a bag for each of them and for her special teacher's rooms, the art room and media room.  Right now we are bringing 6 different bags to distribute.  My thought is that I never want her to be without food in case of a lock down.  I put things that are higher in carb and could hold her over for a while.
Again this isn't exactly what our first choice for low foods would be, but I think it would work to keep her numbers up for a while if necessary.  They are also foods that I don't have to worry about being crushed, broken or really expiring.  This is why we don't have goldfish or pretzels or things like that in the bags. Each bag contains a total of 89 carbs- if she ate it all.  I included in each bag a list of how many carbs each item has.

Below is a picture of snacks and drinks we keep in the nurse's office just in case.  These are more if something happens to her lunch or if they have a snack she doesn't want or if she just needs something.

Yesterday we met with the nurse and Brianna's three teachers to go over what the plan is for Brianna.  First let me say her school and nurse are AWESOME!  They work with me and accommodate Brianna whenever it is necessary.  Brianna is on an IEP so we just add her diabetes needs into that.  For her we put that she has unlimited access the bathroom, water and the nurse.  Really we don't have a big formal document.  It also includes how tests are to be handled regarding diabetes (like classroom tests and state tests.)

This year we are doing things slightly different, but keeping some the same.  For us this works- the school, nurse, endo and our family.  What we do might not be okay with/ or for everyone.  We are keeping it the same that when Brianna arrives at school she swings by the nurse and tells her what number is on her sensor. Usually the number is going up as she just ate breakfast, but it gives the nurse a feel for how Brianna is starting the day.  The next planned trip will be before recess she will do a fingerstick at that time.  She will come back in after recess and usually check again and carb for lunch.  She then comes at the end of the day for the last fingerstick before dismissal.  Those are her planned trips to the nurse-4 times.  Here is the part we are changing-  last year each time her CGM would alarm it meant a trip to the nurse.  Some days that could be a TON.  As much as I love the low predictor alarms they can be overkill sometimes.  Why do I say that?  Well, it predicts a low, then beeps low when she hits it, then will predict low and this time she is on her way up.  We have her settings on the CGM that she beeps every 20 minutes when low and every hour when high.   So for one low she could beep 3-4 times.  That's a LOT of trips to the nurse and sometimes they were not necessary.  So this year Brianna will be carrying her Ipod with her.   It gets WiFi and she will check IN THE CLASSROOM, and text me a picture of her PDM and CGM, that will give me enough information to help her decide how much to treat or correct.  Thus reducing the trips to the nurse and time away from class.  When we talked with each teacher yesterday we went over where she will check  Each classroom has a sink so she will check back there by it.  Then return to her seat.  I am SO hoping this works.  I hate for her to miss class time.  So for all these checks the nurse is not being notified.  If she feels low or if she is under 60-70 or above 300 she has to go to the nurse so I can talk with the nurse to decide what is going on.  The nurse also will ALWAYS be accessible to Brianna and I can call the nurse with any concerns I have and she will get Brianna.  My goal is that this will help Brianna feel like she has more control over her care.  Is this a lot for a fourth grader?  Maybe but I really think she can handle it and this is what she wants.  So fingers crossed this works and goes smoothly.  Will keep you posted!  I also like this because she will always have all her supplies with her and wait until you see her bag. 

Well, that is about all I have for right now.  I'm off to finish packing those supply bags and getting her stuff ready for open house this afternoon.  I have lots more posts started that I need to finish like, pumping at the beach, cheer leading, her ENDO appt, and her new diabetes bag (which is totally aweseome.) 

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