Great CS Experience!

We all know that things are rough at Insulet these days. I've been lurking around here seeing all the posts about how the transition is not going well for some (pod failures for those who use close to 200 units, new IOB calculations screwing up numbers, etc.).

I'm about to enter the third trimester in my second pregnancy and I know that insulin resistance is going to kick in any day now (I'm already using more than my non-pregnant self normally does). I currently have enough pods to last through the end of August (assuming I stay at pod changes every 3 days), but the thought of changing to the new system (with all of the above issues) in my last few weeks (when insulin resistance is at its worst) scares the snot out of me.

Sooooooo...I contacted my rep. She understood but indicated that old pods are not even being manufactured any more. She said when my next shipment comes in August, it's not too likely that there will be any available. As a last resort, she did give me a phone number for Chris at Insulet who might be able to help me out.

So I crossed my fingers and left a message for Chris. Not only did he call me back quickly, he understood my predicament and offered a solution - sending me my next shipment as early as possible (this month) with all old pods. I know that it puts me at the end of the line for the transition (all of you who are itching for the new system can thank me later), but I know that I will have peace of mind. I am so thankful for Chris' help and solution. Insulet came through for me today :)

Thanks for sharing the positive story, Kate. I've always had great experiences with Insulet support. Most recently, I was preparing to leave on a week-long vacation out of state and realized I would only have 3 spare pods (old ones) with my current supply. So I called to request my next order a week early (something I've done a few times before); they were happy to inform me that I was due to receive the new PDM and pods (they told me, like you, that there aren't any old pods to ship). Since I was out of warranty, they just needed my endo to issue a new Rx, so they faxed over a form to his office. Sadly, the doc office didn't respond very quickly, so late in fact that there wasn't enough time to ship me the new system before I left for vacation (they offered to ship it overnight, but still wasn't enough time). Meanwhile, I had called my local rep, who was on vacation but asked another rep to call me. She located some pods and arranged for them to be shipped 2-day to the address where we would be staying for vacation. Meantime, the Insulet customer support got the Rx from my doc and arranged for the new PDM and pods to be shipped to my house so they arrived a couple of days after I returned home.
I interacted with 4 different Insulet employees, and they could not have been more accommodating and helpful - just the experience I've always had.

I too have had only good experiences with Insulet. Fortunately I've not had to ask much out of them yet though. I do plan to do my best to end up with a box of old pods once I receive the new ones. Just to keep around the old PDM and a few pods in case of unforeseen problems, like losing the new PDM or it breaking due to unfortunately circumstances, etc etc. Great to hear others getting good results. I'm sure there are bad experiences, but doubt they are the norm for this company.

Yes, my experiences have always been positive. I suspect they are under a lot of stress in these months. I don't particularly want to move to the new system either; it will be a major learning exercise with IOB changes and I see little to gain for me from a smaller pod.

Oh well.

John Bowler

If we have any left when we transition we would be glad to send them to you.

I have not actually started pumping yet since my training date is not till July 15th, but I agree the times I have talked to them they have been very helpful and understanding and try to work out the issues I have had. I was testing my freestyle insulin meter to the PDA (omnipod) blood meter and the ranges were very different. They had told me to only use the freestyle not the freestyle lite test strips since they were not FDA approved yet and the differences is probably because of the difference in the strips. they followed through with some questions and a bit of chat, they were very pleasant to talk to. The pods they sent to me were the older pods, I am in Canada so don't think they are changing us over for a while but as long as I can start pumping I can wait for the new pods, maybe by the time they are here for Canada, they will of fixed the bugs in it.

I don`t know why they are telling people that there is no old pods left, Of course they are still making the old pods, Canada is still on the old system till end of fall or end of winter depending on what happens with us. so yes we can still get the old pods till then, there will always be a way for them to give you the old pods. that is just pish posh talk for "we don`t want to send you old pods because we are using the new system" now.

but I have never had a problem with Customer service from insulet.

out of curiosity bowler, what are the changes with IOB on the new system?


Thats cause you canadians are slow....j/k :) The new pods are AWESOME..the PDM is going to take some adjusting...the IOB thing doesn't really do what I expected

I think Insulet left its employees (first line peeps on the phone) out to dry on the transition.

When I called in my first NEW pod failure...the guy was very prepared and helpful, so maybe things are turning around

I think the packaging must be different - the approvals are different and the language requirements may be different. I suspect all the pods are manufactured in China (the US ones are), however the individual country approvals may mandate certain things on the individual package, for example the US pod packages have an FCC ID number (approval for the wireless) and the wording is in English (only).

When Insulet run out of packaging supplies for a given country they can't produce more pods for that country.

John Bowler

Yeah one of the higher ups used that one as an excuse not to ship my new PDM...traning material needed to be printed..blah blah blah..even though the training module was available online.

IOB now takes into account all insulin on board. Those of us who used other pumps before the Omnipod were used to the IOB calculation taking into account insulin for food and insulin for correction. When I started on the pod, I was soooooo confused as to why they were accounting for only insulin given for corrections, when you still had other insulin on board that they just decided not to count for. As someone who makes most of her own food and never really knows exactly how many carbs are in what I eat, this setup was doomed for failure.

Now, when you check your blood sugar after eating, the PDA will take into account how much insulin you dosed, how many carbs you were eating for that dose and whether or not you had any correction doses. So if you are 180 2 hours after eating, and you still have a lot of active insulin from your meal dose to cover that 180, it will not suggest a correction. I personally think this is the correct way of doing it (hello, math).

You may find, though, that your active insulin time will need to be changed.

What I don't understand about the new system is how the carbs-on-board calculation works. Indeed, so far as I can see there is *no* carbs-on-board record, even though page 29 of the documentation lists as one of the factors "[t]he type and amount of food you eat."

So far as I can see the new scheme works better than the old for the period after all the carbs have been absorbed. Since carbs are normally absorbed much faster (maybe 30 minutes) than rapid acting insulin (120 minutes for Humalog) it may be better for people who eat significant carbs.

However I regularly check and rebolus before the full carbohydrate adsorption, both when I eat a very low glycaemic index meal (I quite often each just vegetables and protein) or when I'm in a restaurant and do three or four boluses during the meal. I normally don't recheck in the latter case, so things will still work as before, but if I go into a restaurant with a BG below 100mg/dl then I do check again after the first bolus.

Of course what I do now works for me - I'm accustomed to the issue of having a post-prandial high and I typically do multiple corrections, suggesting the correction bolus is too low. Assuming the extended-bolus stuff is handled correctly (extending both the carb delivery and the bolus) I can probably work with it but it's clearly going to be a learning exercise.

It is a great pity that the bolus calculations are not completely document in the user manual (either in the old or the new version). The new meal IOB calculation makes this omission more serious. Since IOB and bolus calculations are documented, but not the case of multiple overlapping boluses - i.e. any pair of boluses within the duration of the insulin action.

I suspect that the PDM does not just add the new and old IOB figures; that would artificially extend the old IOB to the limit of the new one. Rather I suspect that the PDM actually records two numbers for each IOB, one the current insulin on board and a second, hidden, number which is the amount IOB decreases in a given time period. I guess I could reverse engineer the calculation by plotting decrease in IOB over time (easier with the new pod since the IOB can be displayed without faking a bolus), however I haven't done this yet.

John Bowler

Just thought I'd add reflections about my recent positive experience with Insulet CS. Week before last we were leaving to go on vacation and I was expecting the remainder (boxes 2 & 3) of our first order of new pods (they shipped the first box on July 17 and had told me the other 2 would be shipped the following week).

When they hadn't shown up 10 days later, I called, explaining that we were leaving for vacation in 4 days and I needed the rest of our order. No problem, they would be shipped 2-day air. The next day, I received a tracking link from a reorder specialist, but the link said the order wasn't expected to arrive until Aug 5 -- 3 days into our vacation. So I emailed him back explaining that the CSR I had spoken to assured me they would be sent 2-day and that I HAD to have them by that Thursday. I asked him to please reply to my email to confirm so I wouldn't have to wait on hold for another hour.

The next morning at 9 am, I received a call from the original CSR, letting me know that the order had been shipped via ground by error and that they would send me another 2 boxes by next day air. Sure enough, our package arrived the next day on Thursday. And I was pleased that they called me instead of just responding to my email as I had requested. I thought that was pretty impressive. I have to return the other box that arrived while we were gone, but they sent me a return label so all I have to do is drop it off. Kudos to Insulet!