Wow! It’s hard to believe…after 15 years of using the Medtronic insulin pump, I have been walking around the last two days with an Omnipod stuck to my back! As women with diabetes, I know you understand how monumental this is for me. It’s like test driving a new car after driving the same one for 15 years. But, unfortunately, the only people who can see my new car (understand how “big” this is for me) are those who drive the same kind of car (i.e. have diabetes). So, while I can’t share my excitement or gripes and complaints with the rest of the world, I CAN share them with you!
On Wednesday afternoon, I met with the Omnipod (local) Clinical Manager and she walked me through the entire setup of the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) which wirelessly programs insulin delivery, calculates suggested doses, and also contains a blood sugar meter. Then, we filled the first “pod” with insulin and applied it to my lower back.
My observations, so far:
PROS- 1- it is nice to not have tubing and it does feel “freeing” to not feel the pump in my bra- which is where I have worn it for the majority of the last 15 years. 2- I haven’t really been bothered by the location of the pump and for the most part, I have forgotten it was there—except when I sit in the car. Then, it is noticeable, but it isn’t uncomfortable. 3- I like the PDM system and how it intuitive it is—such as the graphing of blood sugars for the day, the past 7 days, or the past 14 days; how it asks me if I am getting ready to eat after checking my blood sugar, then calculates my bolus based on the insulin-on-board and the carbs I am eating; how it asks me if I want to set an alarm to check my sugar after eating. I feel like this provides a great deal of assistance in keeping my blood sugar within my target range; and how it provides a food library to help determine the number of carbs I am eating.
CONS- 1- The PDM being separate means I have something to keep up with. I misplace my meter at least once a day. I lose it in my car, under the bed, under the couch, you name it. So, I am concerned that I will have similar issues with the PDM. If I do misplace it, the big inconvenience is that I won’t be able to eat or drink until I find it (because I won’t be able to bolus). Now…it’s one thing to not check your blood sugar before a meal, but it’s an entirely different thing to not take insulin before a meal. So far, I have been vigilant about keeping my PDM in a certain pocket in my purse. We’ll see if that continues. 2- The pod can only be used with an “auto inserter.” Since I was put on an insulin pump since 1996 when auto inserters were not available, I have always inserted the needle myself. With an auto inserter, I no longer have the control that I am accustomed to. 3- The insertion of the pod is a bit jolting—the sound and the feeling—at least, it is the first time you do it. Don’t get me wrong it was only a slight sting, but the sound combined with the “slight sting” is what creates the jolting effect. I’ve been told that this gets better over time. I am set to change my pod on Saturday night, so I’ll let you know how it goes.
I hope this review is helpful for anyone considering trying or switching to omnipod. Feel free to email me any questions you have about the Omnipod and I’ll be glad to answer them based on my personal experience.