Thursday, September 7, 2017

My Omnipod Experience - Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about part 1 of switching things up and starting the Omnipod. 
Today I share part two of my experience, where I discuss the stuff I love about podding - and the stuff that takes some getting used to. 
The Stuff I Love
Swimming in the ocean with my Pod - I LOVE IT.
Not having to disconnect, and more importantly - not worrying about the contortion issues re: access to my pump site to reconnect after swimming - which for some reason, was always trickier for me, is freeing in all dimensions. 

The same goes for showering without disconnecting and sleeping naked if I so choose. 
Also: YAY!!

Wearing dresses and not having to wear bikes shorts or pump garters - makes things so much easier. 
I still have to deal with Spanx on occasion, but at least I don't have to worry about dealing with infusion site issues!

Access/Utilizing Arm/Leg Sites Is A Game Changer 
I could never navigate arm sites with my tubed pump and the thought of getting tangled in tubing freaked me out.
Every time I tried a thigh site with my previous pump, they had a limited shelf life and normally only worked for 24 to 40 hours before crapping out. 
Thighs = high access area and the tubing was continually being pulled, yanked, etc. 

With Omnipod, I’m able to wear arm and thigh sites for three days and that makes my life with diabetes easier. 

Scar tissue was a huge issue with me on my previous pump and is the primary reason I chose the Omnipod. I was changing out my site every 30 hours - that’s no longer the case and I’m thrilled. 

Good To The Last Drop
Most of the time I’ve been able to use all the insulin in my pod - that wasn’t always the case with my old pump reservoirs - which normally would be less efficient when the reservoir went below 30 units.

Cool Techno:
When you activate your new pod on your person, the PDM tells you the exact date and time it’s supposed to expire, based on your personal pump settings and insulin amount.
My pods run low on insulin between 3 and 4 hours earlier. 
That’s not on Omnipod issue, that’s a Kelly issue - yours truly needs to do some MAJOR basal rate testing, which I  didn’t want to consider let alone  attempt until I was wearing new diabetes tech. 
Basal Testing is now on the horizon. 

Loud Alarms
 The first time my 15 unit Low Reservoir went off, my PDM was in another room and I thought it was my smoke detector.

The PDM & Pod do their priming dance BEFORE you put it on your body.

Cool Software 
I can download the Omnipod PDM to Glooko, making it easy for my CDE to access all my PDM info: Carbs; blood sugars, basals, carb ratios, etc. 
This should allow for easier tweaks and I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

Blood Sugars
4 out of the first 8 days, my daily 24 hour insulin intake was 10 to 12 units lower than my old “low side” of normal. 
That still seams to be the case 36 days in - sans elevated bg's due to a couple "dead sites," and the summer cold that's been the bain of my existence for the past week.

Facing Fears 
I have officially conquered arm, thigh, calf and love handle infusion sites. 
day 18 (and for the first time, ever,) I attempted a back /love handle site, it required some major twisting on my end, but mission accomplished!
BONUS: Great numbers with that never before used real estate space.
I tried an inner side calf site - it was easy but I had absorbtion issues. 
I’m going to try the back of calf to see if works better. 
Still have not tried back or front belly sites. 

I’ve decided that before I give my abdomen areas a complete break, I want to see how that area works with the omnipod verses my old pump - I haven’t done it yet - but I will. 

Issues /Learning Curves
The only insulin pump delivery system that’s 100% perfect is a fully functioning pancreas. 
I don’t have that - same goes for many reading this post. 
Andit makes sense that changing pumps = dealing with some issues and learning curves 
as I learn to navigate wearing/using the Omnipod insulin delivery system.

Bad Pod/Bad Pod sites 
Dealing with Pod failures and insulin reimbursement issues. 

Unexpected Pod Change Out On Day 2 of Wearing My First Pod  
I wasn’t thrilled, but shit happens - how many times did I rip my old pump's tubing out by walking by a door knob or getting caught on my car's emergency break? .
Answer: ALOT.  
Anyway, everything was working great with my first official pod (left arm,) the first 27 hours. 
Then I started noticing blood sugar spikes that wouldn’t come down, no matter how much I corrected. Something was up and the top of my pod looked uneven. 

I called Insulet's Customer Service and the Rep and I spent almost an hour on the phone. 
I told him my issue, answered a series of questions, emailed the Rep pics of the pod on my arm so Insulet could study the issue and send out a replacement pod.  
The Rep also talked me through my Pod change - it was only my second time and I was a little nervous - but it was easy and he was patient. 
CS Rep and I discussed the insulin reimbursement program - 7 cents per unit (OK, it’s something,) with an insulin receipt and 5 cents per unit without.
I emailed a photo of my insulin receipt from my pharmacy and via my phone to
Insulin Reimbursement takes up to 6 weeks to be approved and payment received. 
There’s two different procedures - one for dealing with a bad pod and or bad pod site, another dealing with insulin reimbursement issues - that can get confusing if you're new to  podding
I’ve learned to take notes and jot down the the case numbers for both, along with the date and the name of the CS I spoke with. 

Follow up
I’d like the follow up fort the insulin reimbursement (it takes 6 weeks,) to be better. 
I’d like an email to be sent saying they received my email and receipt photo and are working on my case.
Sidebar: My second pod (on my right arm,) stayed put for 3 days through daily showers and body surfing in the Atlantic, no problem.

ALWAYS follow up
7 days post my first pod site failure, I called Customer Service to check on the status of my insulin reimbursement and found out the wrong report had been filed.
The new CSR rectified the situation, immediately - and yes, I followed up to make sure.

Day 24 - Pod Failure Alarm
PDM called a Pod Failure while said pod was in Prime Mode and not yet attached to my bod. 
FTR, I liked and very much appreciate that the PDM recognized an issue with the Pod BEFORE it was officially up and running on my person. 
I called CS, they asked me some questions and then told me they’d FedEx me a new Pod. Filed both a failed pod report and insulin reimbursement report. 
This time, the phone call took less than 10 minutes and I received my replacement pod 
3 days later. I returned the failed pod to them in the package and shipping label Omnipod included with my replacement pod. 

All in all, I'm learning and going with the curve~

Embracing Something Different 
Change is difficult - even when it's good. 
Diabetes or not, we get used to doing things a certain way and I love that going with the Omnipod is helping me knock down my walls when it comes to embracing change in life... and life with diabetes.
 I wore a different brand's insulin pump for 15 years, I knew the idiosycricies of that pump brand like the back of my hand - I was losing real estate because of scar tissue and I needed to switch things up - so I did. 

So far, I’m glad that I made the change - and I 'll keep sharing my podding experiences with you guys - The good, the bad, and the diabetesalicious of it all. 

And if you have any questions - ASK! 


Rick Phillips said...

I am glad it is working out. being a male I face few issues with the pump and since I can approach 180 U in 3 days I likely will never change. But it is cool it is out there and works. I also believe it is a cool company. I know for instance they support "the Betes organization" so I appreciate that a lot

Rachel said...

I've loved seeing your experiences with Omnipod. I've been using it for 6 years and tend to forget about the new aspects, I also never used a different pump. For what it's worth, a lot of podders (me included) will pull insulin out of a pod that fails in priming (or after wearing for less than 48 hours). You won't get it all out, but it's nice to avoid wasting too much.

Anonymous said...

Is it difficult to remove the insulin from a defective pod?

Grainne Flynn said...

These were brilliant posts, Kelly. Thanks for sharing and I'm so glad the change has been positive for you!!!

k2 said...

Rick - thanks for commenting!
For the most part, I only fill a pod with 180 units - and yes, I think Insulet's a cool company, too!

Rachel - thanks for the kind comments - glad you like the posts! I've heard about pulling the insulin out of the pod, but have not tried it... yet!

Annon: I don't know but from what I hear, lots of people do it!

Grainne -
Thanks, G!
I'm learning more every day!