Decisions, Decisions?

I currently use an Animas Ping Pump. I am a dancer and very active. I am considering a switch to the Omnipod due to the tubeless feature and continuous insulin delivery. I really would like to have honest opinions and perspectives regarding the Omnipod system. Any thoughts?

I never did consider pumps because of the tubes, so my opinions are one-sided; I'm definitely an Omnipod convert from MDI but since I never did tubes my opinions are probably not worth much.

For those of us who do a whole load of different things Omnipod is almost perfect. It's certainly not immune to direct contact; boxing is probably out, as is diving below 25 ft, but everything else works.

Reasonable care is required. The thing sticks to your body, so it can be dislodged. All the same, simple pressure doesn't cause a problem, so you can swim and even dive to a limited degree (25ft).

The failure mode is, however, extreme; if it comes off there goes $27.50 (in the US) and you have to replace it. If you need to take it off temporarily the same applies - there's no stop/start option.

John Bowler

Thank you John,
27.50 each? Overall, are the new pods reliable? And...would I have to remove the pod for airport security or medical evaluations (mamograms, x-rays)?

I have never had to remove it at airports, I just tell them I am wearing a pump, and they look at it, and let me through - so far anyway. I’ve heard the odd person having troubles with the wireless PDM and leaving it on, but I leave mine on and don’t tell anyone. Also, as long as you are not eating, it doesnt have to be on anyway - it just does its basil thing. I love this thing, best thing I ever did.

I’ve never found a reason to ever take it off, so I can’t comment on that, other than a failure - I’ve had a few of those. Mine is always on, unless of course, I smash my arm against a door jam - it’s happened a coupe of times.

Even if they fail, which for me is rare, Omnipod replaces them for free when you call them and tell them what happened - not a big deal.

Good luck in your decision - it’s a big one, but for me, the best one I’ve ever made.

Thank you Rob, excellent perspectives.

As long as you are not wearing the pod where it will be in the direct x-ray beam (for example wearing it on your stomach when you get an abdomen or pelvis x-ray), then you could leave it on. If it's in the primary beam, you'd need to take it off. Additionally, because MRIs use magnetic waves (instead of ionizing radiation) you'd need to remove a pod before an MRI exam, no matter what you're imaging (you would have to remove it to go inside the room b/c of the metal inside the device).
These exams of course do not happen in the general day-to-day activities of most people, so the likelihood of doing this is slim.

And as others have mentioned, no, you wouldn't have to remove it for aiport security. Most times that I go through the body scanner, I am asked to touch the pod, then they swab my hands and run that through the spectroscopy machine (the sniffer machine to see if it is a hazardous material or not). Of course it's not, so then I'm free to go. It may taken an extra 2 minutes through security. Not a big deal :)

Excellent point on the xRays - other than my teeth, I have yet to have one with a pod on. (fortunately, lol).

So...planning for these events add slightly different scenarios that I would have to get used to. Do you carry an extra pod and insulin bottle or a pen in case of malfunctions?

I am on my 3.5 year with T1D LADA. I notice that you lead a very active lifestyle. I happen to be at the finish line of a local 1/2 marathon yesterday and found myself tearing up because I realized that I have developed quite a fear of doing certain activities that in the past, I would not let fear stop me. Do you happen to be associated with Insulindepenpence?

$27.50 each pod; $275 per box (of ten), assuming you have insurance in the US (otherwise, well, you are on your own...)

Airport security - no. I travel frequently, once they whined that I should have told them I was wearing a pod. They swab you anyway (in the US), in the rest of the world it's no problem for the security staff.

Mamograms; I don't know. Last time I had one I wasn't wearing a pod, and it was ultrasound. I'm pretty sure that it would be an issue for CAT scans, but then they cost $1000 so $27.50 isn't likely to be a big deal.

X-rays; my dentist doesn't have a problem.

Seriously, if it starts beeping then it has to be replaced, but it's like the rest of diabetes, if you don't tell them they won't ask, and we all certainly know better than they do.

John Bowler

I wore a Disetronic for two years and hated the tubing aspect of it and didn't find it particularly helpful. Went to Lantus for basal and Humalog for bolus until I was able to get an Omnipod in 2008. (I've been on insulin since Sept. 1966 and used MDI for 42 years) The Omnipod and a CGM (I have had the new DexCom G4 Platinum for a month and love it.) are the best tools I've had in 47 years. I windsurf in a wet suit with it on, bike, played hockey, downhill and nordic ski, kayak, garden and do most anything I want with it on except get into hot tubs >104 degree and go into saunas over 104 degrees.

I just started with the pods a few weeks ago. I do love it. I carry an extra pod with me along with the needed insulin. I also still have my pens from MDI handy.

I work out quite a bit and the pods work great. Sometimes I do a temp basal to decrease it 50-100% depending on how strenuous it is. Yoga actually used to drop me 100 BG points or more, but with the pod and temp basal settings, I only drop 20 points now. I'm still trying to figure out the best placement for yoga. I like the back of the arms, but it rests on the floor for some poses, which bugs me out.

All in all, I love the pod, but again, I have nothing by MDI to compare it to.

As a new pod user, this is great to hear. I'm still getting use to it being on me and not freaking out when I wake up laying on it, or even just showering. I'm sure in a month it'll be old hat, but for now hearing stories about how active others are while wearing it is really great.

Like jbowler, I never considered a pump until I learned about OmniPod. I just wear so many things without waistbands that I couldn't imagine where I'd stick the thing.

I am a huge fan of the OmniPod system. I haven't noticed it preventing me from doing anything I want to do, yet. For placement on my arms, I use a very handy tool that I think I saw advertised on here called Bands for Life - it keeps it securely in place and prevents me from catching sleeves on it.

I will say that once, I placed a barnacle (pod) on my abdomen and then got into a pool for a few hours, most of it half-on and half-off a floatie. The thing came right off. ha! Lesson learned.

I often get creative with theatrical costumes, etc. as far as where to hide the pump...or placement of the site during the actual performances. Either way, I am so happy that I have ANY type of pump. My fear from doing things is not so much from the pump itself as the highs or lows that come with my sometimes adrenaline filled activities during performance.

"Barnacles"...that's funny...I like that. I actually have seen those sleeves, what a great idea! Do you feel you have good insulin absorption on the arm site as I have never placed a Ping site there and it's been a year and 1/2?

Personally the arms are working great. I rarely did MDIs there so I wasn’t sure how it would be. So far so good.

Funnily enough, it wasn't until this most recent change that I had a "well, duh" moment, realizing my absorption must be better on my arm (at least for now). Normally, I love my lower abdomen and it's kind of my go-to location. Recently, I noticed I wasn't having an average of 20 units left at 80 hours of wearing my barnacle but it didn't really occur to me that it might be an issue with absorption. I'm due to change out tomorrow and I've got 32 units left, so ...

I will caution that I "feel" the cannula more on my arm, presumably because of my massive muscles flexing (laugh now, please). But seriously, it's not anything more than occasionally slightly bothersome and absolutely not a reason to avoid my arm. Placement is almost to my armpit but on the outside underside of my arm, if that makes sense.

My daughter kennedy is 12 and a pod user for over one year, she is a dancer, depending on where she wears it usually things go well, easy to hide under costumes (or not). I can’t imagine tubing with dance, and it rarely comes off, And with her 4 hour dance days, she wears her pump continuously

I teach Zumba Fitness classes. The Omnipod is perfect! I wear mine in my bra, (discrete, secure, good absorption-usually) so it doesn’t get bumped or anything. Makes one of m’girls a little lumpy if my bra isn’t padded, and if it “bites” it does hurt. However the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks. Good luck!

I am intrigued about this placement. Do you just put it on top of your breast? On the side? Sorry to be so nosy, but the back of my arm gets in the way of some of my workouts, so this might be a good option for me...