Continuous Problems with Omnipod

I was diagnosed with Type 1 a little over a year ago and was put on the pod a month after. At the time I was completely against tubing and wanted the pod, but now I regret that decision. I absolutely love the pod. So much. But lately it has become a hassle. While on vacation, I had three pod failures in a row (two within a twelve hour time frame from each other) and my pods would not give me the amounts of insulin that they should. They are still being iffy on working right. One night my sugar was 300+ because they never gave me dinner insulin and it took me hours to bring down because my pod was not giving me my correction. I am also starting not to like how bulky the pod is. It really huts when it's on my back and I'm driving. I really want to switch to a tslim, but I'm still new to Diabetes and don't know how/if my insurance will cover it. People have told me that the insurance only covers a new pump every 4 years, is this true? Or is that only for certain pumps/insurance plan? Thank you!

The Insulet pod system is not considered by some insurance as a "durable medical device" so definitely call your insurance to make sure on the costs. Basically a tubed pump and the Omnipod are two different types of systems to many insurance companies. For example, my insurance allows replacement pod controllers once a year, so they might consider a new system entirely after one year...

If things don't work out with Insurance (which they often don't for me either...) just keep at it with Omnipod. Most folks find these problems get better with more time. You'll find more solutions and answers in time.

When you are already high, it takes longer and more insulin to bring you down. Don't be quick to blame that on the pod. Insulin resistance kicks in when your blood sugars are higher. May seem like the pod isn't functioning, but in reality your body is reminding you that you are carb intolerant. Most insurance plans will not allow you a second pump while under warranty. It can work the opposite way with getting on to the Omnipod when already on a tubed pump via the cut the cord program.

I'm so sorry you don't like your pod --- but I believe the 4-year time frame for insurance paying is correct. You may want to check with your insurance carrier to be sure. I've been on for just over a year and the Omnipod was absolutely the only one I wanted because of the tubeless/remote feature. I have found the front of my upper thighs to be my absolutely most comfortable, convenient placement.

I've had a few pod errors, but I would say less that one per shipment and they have always sent a replacement (even overnighted one when I was close to the end of an order and concerned that another error could leave me podless)

Sorry I can't address the dosing issue...I can't say that I've had that experience (thank goodness!)

My insurance (Blue Shield California) considers it Durable Medical Equipment.

I started the pod one month ago and I am so happy with the decision. I have never seen such consistent normal BG's in my entire last 20 years. The freedom of the pod is incredible. Slap it on and I don't even know it's there and I wear a CGM as well.

I'm so sorry this happened to you and on vacation, which is even more maddening!

Make 2 calls, one to your insurance and one to your diabetes educator and schedule an appt. I bet you'll have your answer soon. And a 3rd call, one of the other pump manufacturers and tell them your story and see if they have some kind of deal where you can switch. Unfortunately it may all be determined by your first call to insurance. As I always say, it never hurts to ask. Good luck

I have been using the Omnipod for three years now. When I first started, I too had pod errors far too often. About after 6 months I was about to give up. I was running low on pods due to all off my errors so I called Omnipod and they over night mailed me some replacement pods. None of the pods in this set failed. I started to think it was the shipping across country via ground freight that might be the cause. I now have them over night shipped for an additional $20 and I rarely if ever have any errors.

I had a run of pod failures when the new ones came out a year or so back; I'd been fine on the old but when the change happened the new ones started failing. There were theories about bad pod lots that were never proved or disproved. There are different pod failures though; a pod error is not the same as an occlusion error for example. If you are getting pain with some locations then it is probably well worth talking to an expert (diabetes educator, doctor) about what is going on. I can sleep on my pod regardless of location; no pain.

I agree with Katkat about high BG, though my analysis is slightly different; when my BG hits 300 I expect it to take at least 4 hours to get back to a reasonable value simply because that is how long the insulin takes to get adsorped. I always thought that it was weird how long it took and that something was wrong, but everyone reports the same experience so I've come to believe it is normal ;-)

It's also a fact of T1 life; if you don't see 300 once in a while you are not living your life to the full :-) We don't make any insulin, so if there is an adsorbtion problem with the pod, perhaps because of a bad site, we can guarantee our BGs will go through the roof.

There are two things that can make things seem to go wrong after developing T1D. The first is that some people have a "honeymoon" period where their bodies are still producing some insulin; when that stops BG will become much more difficult to control (apparently it doesn't stop for everyone; some people have the antibodies that indicate T1D but can still produce some insulin?)

The second issue is that the pod itself isn't harmless; the catheter does damage your skin. Repeated use of an identical site might result in adsorbtion problems just as MDI ruined our skin, left us looking, and feeling, like cabbages and, ultimately, harmed our ability to adsorp insulin. Thankfully insulin pumps (tubed or not) are much less harmful, but they are still not perfect; take care over your sites!

John Bowler

My 12-year-old daughter uses the OmniPod system and we both absolutely love it! I’m sorry to hear you are having problems with it, however.

I agree with everyone’s advice above, and would like to add my own 2 cents. We are currently still on holiday in Florida from Oregon. My daughter’s BGs have been running high almost the entire time, moderately higher than her “normal” highs back home. While flying, I almost changed her Pod because her high was so incredibly stubborn. But I stuck with it and after about 5 hours of rage bolusing, it finally began heading down. Two days ago, we went on one of those extended snorkeling tours in Key Largo. I fully expected her to go low, as she always does during and after swimming, but I couldn’t get her to go below 200 (and didn’t feel comfortable rage-bolusing out on a boat), so I let her run in the low 200s (even after several corrections). It took a couple of hours of rage-bolusing after snorkeling to bring her BG back to acceptable levels (90s to 120s). I’m thinking these highs are due to one or a combination of the following: stress caused by travel and excitement, the higher ambient temperatures and/or humidity levels, the time change (3 hours), and more “fun” food (because we are vacationing; e.g., I let her have ice cream sandwiches for breakfast).

I hope your OmniPod woes end soon. Please keep in mind that users of tubed pumps also experience problems like the ones you’ve described; your highs may not be OmniPod specific…

I find travelling results in tricky problems with blood sugar; we don't get much opportunity to move around! US airplane food is also invariably ultra-high carb, particularly the "diabetic" meals, which are designed that way. These days we invariably pack our own supplies, often obtained by buying salads in SFO ;-)

I live in OR too and in the summer I need a different carb/insulin ratio. I believe this is simply because the elevated temperatures change the rate of adsorption of insulin through my skin. I don't do the same thing when I travel to hotter places, though maybe I should, I'm just more careful over correction boluses. (And I should probably be changing the insulin action time, not the ratio.)

Continuous immersion in water substantially lowers your skin temperature and that is likely to reproduce the winter conditions even in FL; I'm guessing the water temperature of Key Largo is somewhere around the mid-70's at present. Our reaction to cooling like this is to reduce capilliary blood supply, this means sucking blood out of our skin and I believe this temporarily *increases* pod insulin adsorption then, later, *lowers* it.

This is consistent with what I see happening to my blood sugars while diving. The first dive will lower my blood sugar, even though my pod is disabled. I need to be high before my first dive. Subsequently, however, my blood sugars tend to go up and I'm very carb sensitive. The first part is not consistent with what your daughter experienced snorkelling but it is consistent with the swimming experience; I think you can see that it is potentially pretty complicated.

As a result what I do is test, test, test; before going in the water, after going in the water, before eating, an hour or so after eating, frequently while flying. I've got a prescription for 12 tests a day, but I exceed that on vacation; I build up a stock at home.

Last I remember when my daughter went on one, I think you have either a 60 day or 90 day period with Insulet where they will take it back. I have been a pumper for 11 years, 6 on Omnipod. For some, the angle of the pod insertion just doesn't work and a tubed pump works better. Good luck.


I am relatively new to pumping although I have been T1 for 50 years. Prior to the pod, I was on MDI with good A1C's. Omnipod is my first insulin pump and I have been on it since 10/2014 (about 6 months). I too have mixed feelings about the OMNIPOD, especially since I got my for A1C since the pod and it was 7.4 compared to my usual 6.4-6.7.

First, check with your insurance company. I worked for Anthem for many years and know that insurance coverage varies from company to company and plan to plan.

Contact Insulet about your pod failures. They are very good about replacement pods.

Have you met with your POD trainer about placement? Maybe there are other places that would be more comfortable for you. I rotate mine between my arms and my lower back/upper butt. I do find the back/upper butt is a bit more uncomfortable but am learning adjust positioning of my body to compensate.

Now as for the blood sugars...I have also noticed that it is very difficult to get a high BS down and takes a long time. I cheat and take a manual injection to get it down faster. The insulin seems to be absorbed better with MDI. I don't know if that is an option for you.

Are your settings correct? I/C ratio, basals, correction factors? They may need adjusting too. I have been on the pod 6 months and am still working on mine.

I read a book, "Think Like a Pancreas" and it helped me with my setttings. Also a great learning tool since you are new to diabetes.

Hi nik.

Sorry to hear of your Pod issues. Just a couple quick questions based on above:

-Re: The 3 pod failures in a row. Did you by chance fill the pod over 200u? I know there were early issues with the new generation of Pod where if you filled over 200u the pod would fail. I had it happen to me a few times.
-I'm not sure what you mean by "they never gave me dinner insulin" and then "my pod was not giving me my correction." There are many things that could cause a postprandial spike to 300.
-Are you sure your carb count for your dinner bolus was correct?
-How do you know your pump didn't give you your bolus? Did you check on the PDM to see if it shows your last bolus amount and time? I've been on the Pod for years now and although I have had some hiccups, I have never dialed in a bolus to my PDM and it not administer the bolus. Now there may be a site issue with absorption, but if your PDM is not communicating properly with the Pod then that's a whole other issue. Remember to wait for the beep confirmation of successful communication for the bolus. I haven't bolused with my OmniPod for over a month now, but when I did, I always verified that the bolus was being administered before putting the PDM down. If it is a site issue, just keep in mind that they are not exclusive to the OmniPod. I had many site and absorption issues with my old Medtronic pumps.

Same thoughts for the correction boluses. How do you know the Pod didn't give you your correction? Was it just based on your numbers not coming down as quickly or as much as you thought?

Just some thoughts and I hope you get it all worked out.

Do you think there’s any harm in wearing an OmniPod while undergoing a nuclear stress test?
She was told not to take her meds including insulin.

Any thoughts on this?:flushed:

You can always suspend insulin delivery during and after the test and keep some sugar tablets on hand if her BG begins dropping too far.

Yes, I was able to find posts on other site from pump users stating that it caused no harm. And later last night her endo called and told her not to remove pod.

I have had my pod in place (upper arm) while undergoing MRI’s. One tech stated it was ok left on while another asked me to remove it. I refused and left, only to return at a later date to have test done, not disclosing my secret.

Must admit, though, I breathed a sigh of relief when test was complete without the pods screeching alarm going off.

Talk about pod alarm, mine went off 2 months ago when I was having a manicure. I was truly at the mercy of this screeching pod which was on my thigh. Very embarrassing! Had to apologize to salon workers and patrons.

Needless to say, that curtailed my plans for the day. Returned home and threw the culprit in my freezer. Yes, I know about inserting paper clip into mechanism but having had carpal tunnel release rendered me incapable of achieving such a feat.

So, here’s to smooth functioning of OmniPod system!

I’ve been using the POD for 7 months and in the beginning I had a lot of failures. Omnipod replaced everyone. The best tip I ever had, from a blog, was FILL THE POD SLOWLY to prevent air bubbles. After I started doing that I had few failures (although when they happen they are so frustrating.)

Oh. And keep the pod and controller near each other as a bolus is being given. Most of the time it doesn’t matter if you start the bolus and then walk away. On occasion, it does seem to matter and Omnipod told me to keep the two close to each other until the bolus is completed.

One possibility is that at least with other insulin pumps, they are affected by the changes in air pressure from flying. ( ) It is possible that even without tubing, this may happen with an Omnipod as well. I might guess that the change in pressure with scuba/snorkling, depending on how deep you go when snorkling, might have a similar effect on consistent delivery as well.

That said I tried the Omnipod about a year ago and as much as I wanted to like it, I just couldn’t. I may have just gotten a bad box, but I had 2 bad pods out of the 5 that I tried. One completely didn’t engage the canula, then scared the bejabbers out of me when the thing suddenly let out a loud CLICK from discard pouch about 30 minutes after I’d tossed it.

Thanks for your comment about seeing 300s once in a while. Made me feel a lot better. And your technical info was good, too. I had a over 300 after eating rice at a Thai restaurant today. I have been beating myself up because I had promised myself I would tell the waiter not to give me rice at an Asian restaurant again. I also had a 300 after eating gluten-free brownies I had made for my daughter on Valentine’s day with my granddaughters. Living life to the fullest without getting full of guilt is challenging. I hope I can skip the A1C on my next appointment.