15 yr. old really wants the Omnipod

My 15 yr.old son will be able to get a pump soon. He has his heart set on the Omnipod. We have already done the benefits thing and are 100% approved for it. The problem is I am worried that if it doesn’t work out after the 45 day period he will be stuck with it for life? The Benefits person said some insurances don’t let you get more than one type of pump/life time!!! Is that true!? I hate to make such a long time committment! What do we do if this isnt the one for him after lets say, one year? He has on a demo pod right now. The first one we tried pulled off!!! Turns out we really…really did a lousy job placing it. The second one is on its third day and only a little of the edge is pulling up but not enough…I assume… to dislodge a canula if he had one in.
He absolutely wants the freedom of no tubes. Are the “problems” with the pod that annoying or does the benefits way out weigh the problems? I feel if I made him use the Ping or something else he would always resent me and say he wished he could have at least tried the Omnipod.

I have never heard anything of insurance companies requiring you to stay with the same pump for your entire lifetime. You should definitely talk to your insurance company about that. Most companies will not cover a different pump while the warranty on your current pump is still valid (about 4 years). So, if you have a pump that’s working fine, and still covered under warranty, they won’t buy you another one. However, in my experience, once the warranty is up, you’re fine to switch to a different insulin pump. I was on a medtronic paradigm pump previously and now I use the OmniPod. You should just double-check with your insurance company.

Can’t help with the insurance question we have never had any other type of pump. My 12 year old daughter has used the pod since August. She wanted no part of any pump with tubes. It takes some work to get it fine tuned. Even then there will be bad pods, kinks in the canula and those that come partly off. That being said we think it is amazing how much easier it makes managing things. For us it is definitely worth any problems that come with it. This weekend the pdm got dropped and run over by a car so we had to go back to shots until the new pdm was overnighted. It was a huge reminder how much we already take the omnipod for granted and how much easier it is.

I second Carolyn’s comments 100%, they can’t lock you in for life because the technology changes to quickly. Also, every time you switch insurance the records don’t really carry over right so when your son get’s his first job with his own insurance he’ll certainly be eligible for a new pump. Four year, especially at the age of 15 (but even at my current age of 27), is a long time so make sure this really is what he wants but don’t be scared about a lifetime commitment. I know that I personally love my Omnipod and never want to be “pump free” again BUT if the only choice was tubeless pumps I’d seriously consider going back to MDI instead of the tubes. There are many pumps out there because everyone is looking for something different. Another pump coming to market this year is the Medingo Solo Insulin Pump (www.solo4you.com) so there will soon be options in the tubeless world if you’re seriously concerned about the Omnipod. Final point: insurance companies who will pay for a pump will pay for supplies from any approved company, not just your pump company. So if you really hate the Omnipod after a year and need to switch you would only have to pay for the pump itself, the supplies should still be covered by the insurance. I hope this helps!

How are you liking the Omnipod?? I will double check w/ my insurance company before making any decisions. Thank you for your support.

About the Omnipod specifically I really like it. I love the freedom of being able to bolus whenever needed and the individual basal rates have helped me get my sugars much more under control. I love the fact that the glucose meter is built into the pump so it’s one less thing I have to carry around. I really like the download program and all the information I can pull off the pump itself. And I love that I often forget where I’ve put my pod until I happen to bump into it because it really is almost unnoticeable. I could wish for a slightly smaller pod (smaller is always better right?). I could wish that I never had pod errors (My last box had trouble when I was filling the pods, 5 out of 10 of them errored on me during fill and another 2 during priming. Omnipod replaced the all but it was a pain at the time.). I could wish the customer service was a little more consistent (they have some great reps and some not so great ones). And I wish I could keep the pod on when I’m at a water park (I’ve only lost two during the three day wear time, both at water parks). These are all, in my book, minor inconveniences and the Omnipod has mad such a major improvement in my life that I’d never go back. But there’s one person’s review of Omnipod for you.

My daughter has been using the OmiPod since this summer. My only regret was that we didn’t do it sooner! Her numbers significantly dropped. We thought maybe because of the extreme lows that she was having when we first were trying to set up all the bolus rates but at her last 3 month check up it was only slightly higher. It was a struggle the first two or three weeks getting the right bolus rates set but since then she’s managed it really well. She left for college about four weeks after starting it so she’s really been doing it all herself. And - good news! They are developing the a smaller, thinner pod. My doctor’s office has already seen a protype and hopefully they will start mailing those out soon!

I can’t thank you all enough for all your input. It really has been helpful to me. I see that it seems the Pod system might have some kinks to work out but over all it out weighs the bad points. He wants this so badly that I hate to start him off on something else and have him resenting me for that. You relpies about insurrance companies and how to get things worked out has been very reashuring. Thank you all. I am so glad I found this forum.

Jut thought I would offer some insight.
On Insurance:
Even if your insurance company does lock your son in to a specific pump, companies offer upgrades to their existing product (eg: the newer generation PDM) When a smaller, newer generation pod is available, that too will be an "upgrade"
I doubt that he would need to use a specific pump for more than four years.

On the Pod:
I’m a college student, diagnosed just 8 months ago, and after 7 months of MDI I have made the switch to the OmniPod. Just like your son, both of my trial pods ripped right off. The first (the demo) AND the second (saline) were ripped off in the rough and tumble of my daily life. Since I started using insulin in my pods, not one has fallen off, been ripped off, or failed to stay fully stuck by the end of three days. Another TuDiabetes member gave me a great tip: 4 dots of superglue around the edge of the pod, attaching it in a few more spots to the adhesive, before you put it on. The pod feels more stable on my body, and I have had no trouble getting it off.
I have been using the OmniPod for about a month, and the only problem I have had was with what my CDE calls a semi-occlusion. While the cannula wasn’t clogged, there was some blood in it, and it became increasingly uncomfortable, with swelling and a little bit of blood around the insertion site. My CDE says I probably knocked it pretty hard, enough to pull the cannula a little ways out and then push it back in again. That is just one of those things that happens. Pump therapy is not without its problems, but problems accompany ALL pump therapy. Tubed or not. If your son is ripping off his pods, He’ll be ripping off his tubed insertion site too. Occlusions happen to everyone, not just podders.

If you find the adhesive peeling up there are a few things you could try:

  1. a skin prep wipe. They REALLY help.
  2. a little piece of waterproof medical tape. I have some handy in my kit so if I see it peeling up at all I slap a little on just in case

The OmniPod really is making diabetes a smaller part of my life. Tight control is so much less of a struggle.Even if pods fail, fall off, or as I continue to wear the pods, I’d still have no regrets. For a young person to have freedom from not just injections, but tubing, is fantastic.
To be able to go to the movies and eat popcorn without an injection, to be able to go to a friends house and order pizza, to skip a meal, to fine-tune your control in a way you just cant with MDI, it is all so incredibly freeing.

Remember that Insulet (the company that makes the pod) it working on the critiques, that the FDA is a pain in the butt, and that there will be improvements on the current system in time.

Good luck!

I think I’m agreeing with everyone on here - my 9 year old has been wearing the Omnipod since his birthday last August, and he LOVES it. He told me that diabetes isn’t so bad because of it. I don’t agree but I’m so glad he feels that way!! He lost a couple in the first month, but hasn’t lost one since. We have had a couple of occlusions (2) and a couple of pods that failed to prime (no big deal since Insulet just sent us replacements) We used a Coban 3M wrap on him for soccer games, but he usually doesn’t do anything special and it stays on pretty well.
My son was completely opposed to tubes, and we asked him to try the Animas demo, but he hated it. So we figured since he had to wear it we would let him pick the pump.

First of all , I would let him feel like he’s a part of this decision making process and give him what he wants – with the teen rebellion issue and all those hormones raging thru his body - you’re right - he’d probably rebell and not like whatever you gave him next. also, as a grown-up, i would not want tubes sticking out of me , so I can imagine that a teen would feel that way too. also, in the summer time, he can swim with the pod, that was a big draw for me as a 3x week swimmer.

I bought the Smith & Nephew I.V. prep pads on the internet – you can google and find the cheapest ones (around $16 a box) and I use them before each application. also make sure the area is clean and dry. the other suggestions like super glue and medical adhesive tape are good ones. I’ve also heard of putting prescription antiperspirant on the site, but i havent needed to do more than the IV prep pads. you change the pods every three days, so if it’s falling off on day 3 just change it a little earlier. Also you can cut the tops off of sweat socks and put them on over the pump (on the arm site location) and it looks kinda cool. i’ve started a new trend at my school wiht this!! haha.

dont be hard on yourself if there is some falling off issues – call the hotline and have them replaced. they will send some extras in the spirit of working out the kinks at the beginning. there WILL be some trial and error. i think your teen will appreciate you letting him have his way and the independence it gives him. theres no way i’d want a teen with tubing sticking out of him like a geriatric with a catheter!!! think about this from his perspective!!! this is not like “i wanna iphone mom” but an important medical issue you want him to be on board for, 100%!!!

Thank you for your input. His last trial pod went the full three days w/out peeling exept one of the edges a little and I heard that new skin stuff will hook that back down. He even banged it really hard on the way getting into the car and it didn’t come off. He showered and went about his regular life. I am pleased.

Started the pod mid December. First time pump user and the pod is my choice. No tubes or being attached to a box. Your son will love it but he will have to remember to be a little easy on it as you can knock one loose. Im 55 and walked threw a doorway the other nite and smacked it good, it came off from the adhesive so it was changed. I did baby it too much in the beginning but now toss and turn at night like it was never there, I do like to wear it on the rear of my arm so my wife helps me with it. Also make sure to clean the spot you are going to place it with an alcohol prep and dry it well. I forgot to do it once and the pod started peeling up. No other problems for me. Good luck with it and just read all the information here,

Thank you. He banged it (Demo pod) hard once getting into the car and it really hurt but didn’t come off. He had it on his right hip in the back. We have one more demo pod. If he had hit it that hard but it stayed hooked could the canula still have gotten dislodged? How easy is it to dislodge the canulas. The demos don’t have that.

I’ve NEVER heard the lifetime thing. Pumps are generally held to a four year warranty and after that, as it’s a durable medical device, most insurers will pay their portion for you have a new in-warranty pump. I’ve pumped for ten years with three different pump companies (4 pumps with Minimed, 1 pump with Cozmo, 2 PDMs with Omnipod). Never had a problem upgrading ever. When new versions of the pumps would come out, the companies would offer you upgrade options without having to deal with your insurance.

Any pump is better than no pump at all, in my opinion. The freedom from tubing is certainly an advantage with the Pod, and I do like it, but I can tell you from having used tubed pumps for 9 years before I went with the pod that it’s not as big a deal as it sounds to have a tube. I can switch back and forth (and have during my pregnancy) with ease.

I say let him give it a shot. To be honest, you’re only going to be out your co-pay for the small price of the start-up - which is a fraction of the co-pay or full price of the other pumps. If he decides to go off of the pod and back to shots, you can reorder pods when he changes his mind again. If he went with the pod and you bought everything and he didn’t like it, you could see if the other pump companies offered any trades. When I switched from Minimed to Cozmo, I was offered a generous trade-in value for my Minimed pump, and when I switched from Cozmo to Omnipod, I was offered a deal where I got to keep my Cozmo and switch to Omnipod for only $50. Then, a month later, I upgraded to their newer PDM - again for only $50.

Thank you. I have decided to go with the pod. Right now he is going through a tough time. They had him on Metformin cuz they though he might be a 2 but when the numbers came back he def. a 1. The metformin was helping him be more sensitive to the inslulin cuz of the honeymoon period and now they took him off and his need for insulin is going way up and he is still running high. They said FDA won’t approve him to be on Metformin now that he is a 1 for sure and that he is better off with uping the insulin instead of using both meds. cuz Metformin isn’t good for his liver. He is getting frustrated. He just went to bed a 202. On Metformin he was averaging 124.

It’s good to hear a parent supporting their teenage child’s decision. I predict that, given his strong desire and your obvious support, he will have success as long as you all keep in mind that there is an adjustment period and some learning and diligence on his part (and yours, too). It probably takes a couple/few months to adjust and learn, but once you do I think most 'Podders have a lot of success. You should keep in mind that the minority of people who have big problems are naturally going to be more vocal than the majority who are just going happily along. In other words, good news isn’t “newsworthy” and complainers are generally loud, so don’t let the negative stories scare you. :slight_smile:
I would encourage your son to join TuDiabetes so he can ask questions and participate in discussions himself. It’s a really great support group here.
I wrote some more on my blog here: http://bewarethepenguin.blogspot.com/search/label/OmniPod

I think you may be confused with “stuck with it for life” . It’s probably the life of the product. Most all pumps have a four year warranty and insurance companies will not pay for another pump until the warranty is out on your present one. If they did not do that some pumpers would continually switch pumps and insurance would be burdened with the heavy start up costs with each move.

So in that first 45 days be diligent with getting basal rates established and keep good records so you can tweak the settings with CDE. In 45 days you should be able to see if your son is going to be a person that the pod will not stick to or if the pod’s adhesive will irritate his skin. Those are the major issues you probably have been reading about.

Some of the other complaints you may have read about on this site are old one and in my opinion have been resolved by Insulet. Take notice of the dates on some of the posts.

The pod stays on me perfectly and I have no skin irritation from it. My biggest problem has been training myself to walk through the middle of doorways. I have lost the most pods to doorways because I go through and skim the sides. My wife says I need “curb finders” or should grow whiskers like a cat.

His second demo pod was a success. We placed it right this time and it stayed on the whole three days. Pulling it off on the last day hurt a little for him. I didn’t have any of that adhesive remover stuff so I used a paper towel w/ soap on it to loosen it off. He said that stung. I checked the spot later that night and there was no sign at all that he had a pod on and it wasn’t sore at all.
If you hit it hard in a door way but it doesn’t come off or peel…can the canula come out even if the pod is hooked on??? Can you “feel” the canula after it has been inserted? Does the lancet come with the kit? Well, thanks these are just the Qs I can think of for now. Hope you are doing well.

If you knock it hard against something the canula can slip out. I’ve had a couple of these and usually noticed that the taping was getting damp and smelled like insulin before I noticed anything else. Obviously a sharp rise in sugars that you can’t get to come down would be an indicator too. I often forget where the whole pod is so no, you can’t really feel the canula after it’s been inserted. On insertion it makes this awful click sound that I hate and the Omnipod rep told me that they’d put that in because some of their trial people weren’t sure if it had actually inserted the canula or not. The “pod kits” come with the pod and the fill syringe. The way your insurance handles everything else is something you’ll have to talk with them about. Mine includes all stuff used with my Omnipod as durable medical equipment (including lancets, test strips, and skin-prep wipes). The only “prescription” I pay for separately is my insulin. Again, this will vary based on insurance. And as for pod removal hurting, I sometimes find this to be a problem as well. The best suggestion I’ve heard is just wait until after your next shower and pull it off while it’s wet. It’s not much worse than a bandaid and so much more valuable to our health. If you think of any more questions just let us know!