Going for Omnipod training - what questions should I ask

My 14 year old son is going for his first training on Wednesday. His numbers are pretty lousy. Just today he waited until well after lunch to inject and I saw his bs was over 300. He hates to inject and does it as infrequently as he thinks he can get away with. I’m hoping this will be a game changer. Are there things his diabetes educator may not tell us about but would address if asked? I feel like they err on the side of avoiding hypos at all costs.


They will probably start his basal with “safe” numbers, erring on the side of being high. Probably the same with duration, correction factor, and insulin:carb ratio.

After you are comfortable with it, you can change the numbers.

Just make sure you or your son do all the stuff yourselves at training. Don’t let them take your pump and push the buttons for you. You should learn where everything is.


This is on a related topic. Be sure you know exactly what to do in case of a malfunction, where you have to be off the pump for a day or two. Some people get a prescription for Lantus for these times, but I feel it is a waste for me because I’ve only had these malfunctions 3 or 4 times in 16 years of pumping. I take a shot of Humolog every four hours. (I may take an extra shot if I’m running too high in between.)This includes covering my basal, carbs and corrections for high BG for that time period. Your doctor or CDE should go over this with you. Maybe most do, but I’ve known people who have no idea what to do in this situation. I don’t think the pump company can help you with this. It’s less scary if you have a backup plan. I take the shots at 12:00 am, 4:00 am, 8:00 am, Noon, 4:00 pm, and 8:00 pm.

Make sure they do explain and write down the settings. Been pumping 18 yrs but the Omnipod rep forgot to write them down and I discovered something I wasn’t aware of, later when I went home wearing the pod. Love it, he will too!!!

Is he also starting on a CGM? I would 100% suggest he does, as it makes the diabetes management structure that much more sustainable. Start a CGM early, and don’t wait like I did and regret it. Omnipod is a GREAT pump and offers a new lease on life, if done properly in conjunction with a CGM. AT 14 - he will need a LOT of adjustments as puberty is a b^%ch. Having that CGM will give him, as well as you the ability to monitor and control the pump settings in near real time. He goes low in the middle of the night - YOU get an alert ( and it WILL wake you up). He goes high during a Pizza Fest and you can get him back on track with the correct extended bolus. I feel for this young man - but the better control he gets NOW the better quality of life he will enjoy, and the better control he will have in the future. This is no joke, and data and a good understanding of the tech will add years to his life. I REALLY do wish you the best of luck - I have been on the Omnipod for years, so feel free to PM me with any questions.


+10 @Devildog 's suggestion for the CGM! If I’m remembering correctly, I started the Dexcom first and then the OmniPod, but they were relatively close together.

I’d ask them about the “screamers”! This is when the pod fails, for many reasons, and “screams” very loudly. This is the one you cannot stop from the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) … this one you have to turn (edited to add: the pod) over, (after you remove it of course) find a hole, and stick an open paperclip, or something similar, into it to get it to stop. Knowing where and how to do this, before you have to, would be a huge help. I’ve used an open paperclip, one of the turkey pins, and I’ve found a lancet works well too, to get the pod to stop “screaming”.

I love the OmniPod, but I have nothing to compare it to. I’ve worn it for about four years or so now. I sometimes think about switching, but I love the tubeless make up and the fact I can shower and swim with it.

I did find, initially, the pods didn’t stay on well for the three days I wear them. Early on I started using Skin Tac on my skin, then on the pod, let them set for a minute or so, then join them together. They stay on now with no problem and sometimes I find it difficult to remove them. Then, I use some adhesive remover to help ease it up.

If I think of anything else, I’ll repost.

Continuing the discussion from Going for Omnipod training - what questions should I ask:

He uses a Freestyle Libre. I used to make him text me his numbers a lot when he first got it. Right now he runs high all night long and I’m hoping the educator will give us guidance on using the pump to help with that. It seems like “pizza fests” as you put it - keep him high for a couple of days … that is definitely the other thing I’m hoping she will teach us.

Eek :open_mouth: I’ll definitely ask about that.

You can’t deactivate a screamer with the PDM? I had one one night when out in my hot tub and I just went and got the PDM to turn it off. It was an hour away from needing to be changed anyhow…Rep did not show me where to put the paper clip or whatever you use???..

I had read the manual and programmed the PDM before she got here. The pod wasn’t on me yet so I wasn’t in any danger of wrong calculations. But when she was here I understood everything she was talking about, which was very helpful and after she left I did change some of the settings to fit me better. For one I knew it was too high for me for the middle of the night and to low for my morning spike per the Doctors settings.

But reading the manual and understanding what she was talking about worked very well for me. And my trainer was very nice and informative.

No, you can’t deactivate some of the pod errors/malfunctions/what-ever-they-are-called by using the PDM. Truthfully, I don’t know why the pods do this (scream), but they do. If yours turned off, by using the PDM, it isn’t what I’m referring too. This “sound” is much louder than the alarms we are sent for pod expiration or reminders and it can’t be turned off by using the PDM.

I just went to Google and lo and behold … someone did a video on how to silence a pod … it isn’t screaming though. The DOC is awesome! Edited to add: If you view it on youtube, you’ll be able to read the comments; there aren’t a lot, but many people were very grateful! LOL

Edited again to add: When you do this, the pod is NO longer functional. The first comment in the youtube video reads as if they did this and continued to use the pod.

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It did do the loud piercing noise, not the usual noise but loud enough I worried about neighbors hearing because I was outside. But the PDM shut it off until I gathered things up for a pod change. I dont know what happened, but I was afraid it wasnt going to shut up! Needed to know how to do this though so thanks.

Jaymie my best wished are with you. Be cautious with the new procedure initially but things will change for better with time.

Thank you…
this is a slightly different topic but he is scheduled to start using his omnipod next Tuesday (I think that is the 17th) and then he is going on a 10 day trip overseas with his granddad on the 25th. My gut is that is too short of an amount of time in between. Thoughts?

According to the Omnipod User Guide, all the continuous-tone alarms – known as hazard alarms – can be turned off via the PDM. (These signal things like occlusions, expired pod, empty pod, or some kind of PDM or pod system error.) In the very rare event that the pod and the PDM cannot communicate with each other, obviously the PDM can’t turn off the pod alarm, which is when the paper clip is needed. The technique is described in the User Guide, under “Manual Shut-off of a Hazard Alarm” (p. 132 in my copy).


It’s a bit of a tight squeeze to get it all dialed in correctly, and then go on a long trip so soon.

Like any pump, it can take a lot of testing and a lot of adjustments over several days. It can sometimes take several weeks to get everything set really well.

But on your first post, you said his numbers were lousy and he hates to inject. So it is possible the omnipod will make everything easier for him, and it might be okay to do the trip so soon after starting.

I think it depends on how quickly he learns about adjusting - if he knows all the pod setup processes and how to do everything on the PDM - and if his current injection routine is more manageable or worse. And also if his granddad can be involved in the process.

For an adult who is actively engaged in managing their diabetes, I would say - go for it. But for a child just starting on a pump, I would be hesitant to send them off with something so very different to what they are used to. A week is not much time to learn stuff. It only gives him a couple of pod changes!

Just your judgement call, you know how mature your son is and what he is capable of. I would be very leery of it, and would feel safer sticking with what he knows.

But either way, please let us know what you decide.

Trainers seem to work differently depending where you are, but for my first month podding, I uploaded my PDM to Diasend once a day, my trainer logged in to review results, and then we discussed any changes by email. If your trainer is equally involved, and your son has access to email while he’s travelling, maybe some version of that can be worked out.

But a trip throws all kinds of curve balls – hard-to-carb-count meals, variable meal times, out-of-the-ordinary activity, variable sleep times, etc. – which are going to mess up his numbers and make fine-tuning the pump settings tricky. So if I were in your shoes, I’d postpone the pod training till after the trip, when life is back to normal.


Good to know, thanks for clearing this up. This is exactly what I thought when my pod screamedto the neighborhood!

Training went well! I had a practice pdm and he programmed his. He was following right along while I was struggling through it so he got extra practice helping me figure it out. It is a lot to take in for sure. I did ask her to show us how to disengage it and she went through it with him so thanks for suggesting that! I’m leaning heavily toward letting him use the pod on the trip unless next week doesn’t go well. But thanks for the great advice everyone!

I am curious. You had training today, but said he starts next week? Why not let him start today so he gets an extra week of experience with it before his trip?