Considering getting the Omnipod for my 11 yr old... hints to make the transition easier?

My daughter was diagnosed a year ago and is currently having difficulty getting consistent bloodsugar control using shots so we want to switch to the Omnipod. Any suggestions on making this transition easier? She is 11 and is very active- plays soccer & swims almost year round.

I see that many people have various issues ranging from where to place the pod, pod failures (something I hadn’t even considered being an issue), and having it fall or rip off. I am assuming the positives outweigh the negatives and if there are any tips we can learn before starting the pump that would prevent some of these issues I would love to hear them.

I see that lots of people place the pod on their lower back & butt. How do you sleep like that without ripping it off? I am assuming that is not a good spot when playing sports???

Also curious about any self conscious issues with the pump showing through form fitting clothes & swim suits. Her good friends know she is diabetic, but she is very self- conscious about others knowing and wearing a swim suit it will be pretty obvious. In time I’m sure it will not be an issue, but if anyone has dealt with similar feelings from their kids I’d love to hear how they felt about wearing the pump & dealt with the questions from others that are sure to arise.

I appreciate any insight /tips you can give me about the pod:-)

It just so happens I have been T1 since June 08, and today I started on the Omni. Granted its only been a day (more like 15 hours) but I have to say…FREEDOM! I am very active, I have two little kids, work full time in a stressful job, etc… For me this was the best choice 1-no tubing, small kids and things that hang, I can invision my son hanging from it now…2- you can dose at such a small amount 3- the calcualtions and suggested bolus, a dream for me 4- extend bolus, if its high fat I can streach it out.

I also worried about some one seeing it, although after I ordered the sample pod a wore it for a few days, I realized it really isn’t that bad. I am tall and thin, wear form fitting clothes and found I was so excited about ]I was pointing it out and showing it to people. Its not hard to get used to.

I was also pleased when it inserted. Not bad at all, I was expecting it to be bad, I think only because it wasn’t “me” doing it. I have actually forgotten I have it on most of the day…

I am very sensitive to insulin, so often I needed less than 2 or three units, but more than 1 or two, I would go high, correct and crash, such a rotten cycle to be in. Also, as I said, I really don’t have time to write everything down, to calculate exactly, but now, even if the world is crashing, I can test and see the suggestion.

Again, I may have “new toy” excitment right now, but the potential for this to change my life is worth it.


I like swim a lot too. When it’s on my arm it creates a lot of drag and the adhesive comes off easier. To prevent losing the pod early, I use skin tac wipes first, and then during the swim I use coban to wrap it. The lower back is actually (in my opinion) a great spot to wear it during sports. I don’t play soccer, but I would imagine you would be more likely to hit ppl or bump them from the front side, so the back spot would ‘protect’ it, so to speak.
Sleeping w/ it on my back is not an issue either (I rarely sleep on my back, but when I’m rolling over it’s not a big deal). There will be a learning curve with any pump you choose, but the waterproof aspect makes it a great option for you…particularly b/c you can be covered w/basal rates all the time.
I’m sure there are plenty of old discussion posts to give you pointers too once you start using the pump :slight_smile: good luck and great choice!!

My son is 9, and was diagnosed a year ago as well. He doesn’t have the self-conscious issues right now (9 and a boy) but I can relate with the soccer/swimming issues.

He has been wearing the omnipod for three weeks now and I LOVE it. But I think you will only get out of the pump what you put into it. I was willing to stay up and check a lot to make sure we have his basals right and ratios right for this first month, and we are now seeing the results. His numbers were crazy for the first couple of weeks, but I knew that it would be like that and I warned him about it so he wouldn’t be discouraged.

We have had absolutely no issues with swimming, or soccer, but he always wears the pod on his arm, and we wrap it with a coban wrap (I got a whole box of different colors - it’s tape that sticks to itself, but not to your skin or the pod) when he’s really active. He has, on the other hand, had one kicked off by his sister and ran into a chair that knocked one off. It’s not the adhesive that’s the issue for us - the pod is only glued down to it’s adhesive footprint in two spots - and they tear easily. That’s been our only issue so far. We had a pod that didn’t prime - but Omnipod is replacing it, and it didn’t cause us any issues because he just never put that one on.

Despite those minor issues - I wouldn’t go back to shots for anything. My son can do so much more himself - has more freedom to eat more or less. We went to a picnic the day he went “live” with insulin (which also happened to be his birthday) and he looked at the dessert table and very happily looked at me and said - “I’m going to decide if I want dessert AFTER I finish my dinner.” Such a simple thing - but it was so big for him. Instead of picking all his food first and counting it up, or resigning himself to two shots - he could just eat what he wanted and bolus as he went. He used to always HAVE to have a snack right after school since his basal need was lower then and the lantus was working away. Now he can have one or not. While swimming he used to have to drink so much gatorade or eat so much to just stay high enough - now we can set a temporary basal and let him play. I could go on and on. Some of the benefits are obviously true with any pump, but for us - my son only wanted the omnipod because of the insertion. It’s easy and fast and he is part of it.

So that’s my 2 cents!

So happy to hear this! I think it will be a huge freedom for my daughter too. She has lots of high/lows so I look forward to stabalization:-)

My son’s exact words were, “I’m finally FREE!”

Hi Olivia,
My son Caleb has been using the OmniPod for over two years. We have been very happy with it. That said, we found switching from injections to pumping three months after diagnosis to be an…adventure.

I think it is common to go through growing pains when starting a new therapy - particularly a therapy that really allows very little margin for error. She needs the insulin, so if something goes awry, you need to fix it fast - that can be very stressful. But I think you are doing a great job to prepare yourself which will help tremendously. If something doesn’t go as planned, you already know it’s not you, it’s just the way it goes sometimes.

As far as failures, we definitely had more in the beginning and rarely have them now, so I attribute our trouble to the learning curve and user error. When you learn what works for placement and your daughter gets used to it, I think you will find the same.

I can’t speak much to being self-conscious - Caleb is more embarrassed about eating a treat in school when other kids don’t than his Pod on his body. But I will say that other than when he is swimming, no one ever notices it even when he wears something snug. Caleb wears it on his belly or back. We started with the tush, but he was young and pulling pants up and down took a little too much maneuvering around the Pod. If he wore it on his tush, no one would see it even when he swims, but boy bathing suits are different than girl bathing suits.

I have a few videos that Caleb made that you may find useful - they are on the right of:

Good luck to you both!

So glad to hear that you are having good control and infrequent failures. I was starting to get scared reading all the various complaints on the message boards. Thanks so much for your input!

Great advice… I hadn’t thought about drag when wearing it on the arm.

I am up all night now so that shouldn’t be a problem; I look forward to actually sleeping and not worrying about overnight lows:-) 3 weeks and already having good control is great!
I was leaning toward the pod not only because it’s wireless, but also because of the insertion. They have enough pain with pokes and shots so if I can make the pump insertion less painful that’s great. Have you had any problems with bent cannulas? I have seen lots of issues with those on the message boards. Do you pinch the skin up and press the cannula end down at the same time while it is inserting? I am wondering if the people who are having problems are having them because of scar tissue or how the pod is placed prior to insertion.

We haven’t had any issues with bent cannulas. We also aren’t doing that pinch the skin up thing either. I had watched Lorraine’s videos about Caleb and I just did what she did! Our Omnipod rep also didn’t have us do that. Sometimes the omnipods hurt other than others, but last night my husband started a “screaming game” where everyone yells when it inserts, which makes my son laugh hysterically, and that seemed to help. I figure since it’s automatic and you can’t see it, it’s still better to do that once every 2-3 days instead of shots 4 or more times every day.

All of our numbers aren’t “in control” yet, and I don’t expect them to be great for a while - we are still playing around in the end of the honeymoon, and I’d like to do a lot more figuring out of sports, crazy food, and all of that, but I can say that I feel comfortable that we are close enough to not be checking all the time.

Good luck figuring out what works for you. My son enjoyed watching Caleb’s videos on YouTube too (are they on here too? I haven’t looked) so it might help your daughter. Of course, my son is a boy and closer in age to Caleb, but still.

I’m chiming in here - sorry to intrude -

Bent cannulas - we have them occasionally. They happen because Caleb fell or banged it in some way - like a few weeks ago - he slid into third base - that kind of thing. They are infrequent.

Some people swear by the “pinch”. We do not pinch. The two times I tried that, Caleb had bleeders. We have always had success with the “push” method that our trainer instructed us to do. I just push it in a little while it is inserting.

Aw! That is so awesome to hear! Thanks for mentioning it. Glad the “push” method works for you too!

I will watch the video for sure. Funny, my daughter is a freak about it being dead silent before I give her the Lantus injection at bedtime; can’t imagine making any noise :slight_smile: Good to know about the pinch as I have read some people do it and others have better luck not doing it. We have a training class at Children’s Hospital that we are going to in a couple of weeks so I am trying to gather all the pros/cons with the pod that I can ahead of time as well as any tips for better success. They throw a lot of information at you in 3 hours so if I learn a bit more ahead of time I will be able to process all of the other things they tell us:-)

I will avoid the pinch for sure then!

Caleb needs the place silent too for the “click, click, click”.

The pinch works for some, it may work for your daughter too. If it doesn’t, just know there is the “push”. Or if you try the “push” first and that doesn’t work, well then there’s the “pinch”. :wink:

It’s dead silent for the “click click click,” but then we all yelled when the actual insertion occurred. I don’t know how long it will be funny, but we’ll try it for a while!

I have been on the Pod since August 3 of this year, and I must say that you are smart to consider the Pod for your daughter. Her control will be MUCH better, and since the Pod only has to be moved every three days, you will save her from a tremendous amount of scar tissue in later life. (I speak from experience since I have been diabetic for 43 years. I was 12 when I was diagnosed, so I have seen treatment go from the dark ages to modern medicine, and the Pod is one of the greatest inventions!)

My personal experience is to not pinch, but I have enough “fatty tissue” on my 55-year-old frame that the cannula always finds a place to rest! I suspect that folks with little body fat may have to try to pinch some tissue up, but my endo said that pinching was not necessary unless I had trouble. Although I have only been using the Pod for a month and a half, I have never had a problem with a bent cannula. I have had one ONE Pod that failed during priming, so Insulet is sending me a new one with my next order. Since it failed during priming, I did not have to go through putting it on and immediately taking it off. That was good…

The insertion “pain” is far less than an injection. It feels like someone snaps me with a finger-flick or with a little rubber band. Less than a second, and it is over. Your daughter will be delighted with the LACK of pain and with the freedom.

As far as swim suits are concerned, has she ever worn a tankini? It is a two-piece suit, and if she wore the Pod just above the bottom’s top band, the top of the suit would cover the Pod. No one would know. I believe that Lands’ End sells tankinis for people of all sizes… even almost teenagers. I do not know how big your daughter is, but I am sure that they would have something to fit her.

I always wonder about people who have Pods that “fall off.” I can see where active people might occasionally have one that gets ripped off (ouch!) because of a collision with objects or others, but I have to use Uni-solve to get the adhesive to STOP being so good. I have never had a Pod that was even close to falling off.

Give yourself a good six weeks to get things set up and worked out. Just as you did when your daughter first went on insulin, you will have an adjustment period with the Pod. I think it is well worth it, and I believe your daughter will love the freedom that it gives her.

Good luck, and know that you have a lot of friends here to support you and your daughter.

We received one of the sample pods yesterday and she has been wearing it since to get a feel for how it will work. She went to a birthday party and even played pretty hard without any problems so far:-) I wondered about the pods that fall off too because it is on there pretty good. I did read a tip from one person that removing it after a bath makes it a bit easier, but I will get some of the Uni-Solve that you suggested just in case we can’t get it off.
Thanks for your input :slight_smile:

Our issue isn’t with the adhesive - that sticks like crazy. It’s the pod ripping off the adhesive paper. My son is currently at school with his fifth pod that is ripping off. I wrapped it well this morning hoping we could wait until tonight to actually change it.