Having second thoughts about the Omnipod... any suggestions

I was convinced that I would get my daughter the Omnipod… until we went to the pump class at Children’s Hospital today. We learned all about how to use the various pumps, what the major differences were, and the log reports generated by them. While they didn’t endorse a specific pump (according to the nurses) it was more than clear that they prefered the Minimed by Medtronic and couldn’t stop talking about how great it is and how much the doctors love the reports it generates. The Omnipod was barely discussed and seemed like a why would you want that option.

One of the nurses commented that the pods rip off easily and are not a good option if you are very active. Another suggested that because my daughter is very thin and petite that finding good spots to place the pod would be challenging and that she might increase her risk of developing scar tissue.

I thought for sure we were making the right decision to go with the pod, even had the paperwork filled out, but now I am having doubts. There have to be active, thin people using the pod. How is it working for you? I am also discouraged by all of the talk of pod failure and having them rip off so easily. Has any one used Minimed and switched to the pod? What are your thoughts?

Can’t wait until feedback comes in. I am shooting for an OmniPod. For me it is OmniPod or shots. No way I will go for tethered.

I switched from the Minimed Paradigm in 2008 (after 8 years with them) to the Cozmo (for 9 months) and then to the Omnipod (5 months ago).

Minimed was a decent pump. I don’t have a lot of complaints about it, but I have some. It kept me going and I was sorry (in a sentimental way) to let go of it, but in my honest opinion, the reason the hospital is pushing it is because doctors have the most experience with it. My endo told me recently that, when endos from around the country gather together, in certain parts of the country, some endos aren’t even aware that there’s more than Minimed available to us. I am now very glad I left their company to see what else is out there because I feel every other pump has advantages over MM. Their pumps have (in my opinion) antiquated features and are getting left behind in the dust of these other companies.

The log reports for Minimed are all online and they’re good - called Carelink - but Omnipod has equally fabulous reports via Co-Pilot that you can either download as pdfs and print off, send via their system online, etc. My endo, CDE, and I had no complaints switching from one reporting style to the other and actually prefer Co-Pilot now.

The Omnipod certainly gives some people some grief, but most users are genuinely very happy with it. I’ve had priming failures (they replaced the pods I lost), learned places to wear them that didn’t work for my body (and don’t use those places as often), had two fall off (one was in 105 degree heat, the other I knocked off my pregnant belly). These things certainly happen. But I would caution you not to let fear of the unknown dissuade you from podding and push you toward Minimed.

Lorraine, one of our active members here, has had great success with her very young son on the Pod. (I’ll mention to her that she should come check this thread out.) He is thin, active, and loves podding. Nick Jonas pods, the Team Type 1 cycling team pods, Jay Hewitt (ironman triathlete - swimmer, biker, runner) pods. Lots of young, thin, athletic types do just fine on it. And some don’t. Ultimately, I would tell anyone that it’s worth trying.

I agree with Melissa that many MD’s and other healthcare professionals don’t really know about the Minimed alternatives; it’s just the old-school “nobody ever got fired for recommending” choice, but is definitely not the most advanced, modern choice.
I am quite active, play sports like racquetball, softball, soccer, and hiking/camping, and I have had no troubles with pods failing or being knocked off during those activities. I also agree with Melissa that each person is different and you will have to use trial-and-error to learn the placement locations that work well for your daughter. For example, many people seem to like the top or outside thigh, but I can’t wear it there (I do use the inner thigh, however); and many people like me prefer the upper-arm location while some find it awkward. It’s really a personal preference kind of thing. But the important point is that, being tubeless, OmniPod gives you more flexibility in the placement, so you have a good chance of finding locations that work for your daughter.

Please keep in mind that, as with any product, the minority of people who have some trouble are going to be more vocal than the majority who just chug along using it without problems. So while you should definitely pay attention to problem reports, don’t assume that you will have the same issues or that those doing the reporting are always without some of the fault themselves.

You can read some more of my thoughts/experiences here: http://bewarethepenguin.blogspot.com/2009/08/my-experience-with-omn…

You have some difficult decisions to make, but in the end you will do what you feel is best for your daughter. I do have some comments for whatever they are worth. I am a relatively new user of Omnipod having moved from multiple injections for over thirty years. So far, it is one of the best decisions I have made in my lifetime. I have had no pod failures and my glucose control improves every week. I am very active including riding a motorcycle several times a week, exercising, and do a lot of gardening in sub tropical South East Florida.
Interesting, what is best for doctors isn’t always best for patients. They very quickly recommend tube systems such as Miniped because 1) it’s all they know, 2) the company gives them lots of support and collaboration with onsite trainers and sales reps. I have no hesitation in stating that the future is with tubeless system. A tubeless competitor for Omnipod (Solo) has just entered the market and it is only a matter of time before Metitronics begins to rave about their new tubeless system. The move toward an artificial pancreas (combining glucose monitor and insulin dispenser will be based on a tubeless system.
Again, you need to consider everything, work closely with your doctor and make your own decision. I for one would never go with a tubed system, psychological and lifestyle wise, it doesn’t work for me. I have been very happy with the Omnipod system and it’s high tech approach to managing diabetes. Lastly, their copilot software will give you and your doctor all the reports you need for good management. Their support services have been pretty good to date although I haven’t had any major concerns requiring their help. Good luck.

Thanks! I have had discussions with Lorraine before and watched Caleb’s videos too. Switching to a pump and all the work (and expense) that goes into tweaking it is such a big decision that I want it to be successful for my daughter. As others have pointed out, I need to remember that people experiancing problems are often more vocal than those who use the pod with success and I need to keep that in mind. I love the tube free idea:-)

Great input! This forum needs more happy podders posting; all of the negative posts make it sound like it’s not worth it. And you are right about the doctors & nurses not really knowing much about the pod as they barely spoke about it. I felt like I was at a Minimed convention and a bad mom for even considering the pod… not a single other family in the room even looked at it.

So glad that you are happy with the pod and seeing good results. I need to remember why we looked at the pod in the first place (no tubes, easy insertion) and balance that against the negatives (pod failures and falling off). Thanks for your input!

I love your sports car analogy! It must be worth it… you have put up with a lot of problems:-)

My daughter has been on the omni pod for over a year now and we love it. I think metronic is just the largest and has the most money to spend on advertising and wooing doctors and such. The reports omni pod generate seem great to me. My daughter is tall and thin and very active which was my inital reason for going with the omni pod. We were considering metronic because it had been around the longest then I watched her doing cartwheels and I realized she wouldn’t be able to do stuff like that attached to hose and a brick. Her pod has never gotten in her way. She is a dancer, runner, skier, active happy kid. You’ll have problems with pods ripping off the first week mostly walking through doorways if you put it on your arm but you adjust very quickly. I can’t remember the last time she lost one.

The thought of that tube is a bit troubling:-( More than that; I don’t like the idea of having to unplug to shower, play sports, swim, etc… and not be receiving insulin during that time.

The classes that I was sent to through the hospital when first diagnosed in NC and the carb counting classes I was offered when I first went on the Opod here in FL were taught by Medtronic employed CDE’s. Maybe that was the scenario for you at Children’s. The educators that I was exposed to were first and foremost concerned and knowledgeable, but their purpose was to garner future medtronic customers.

Well I’ve replied to your question before, so I don’t know if I have anything to add - but my son is thin and very active, and we love the pod. Just watching the priming process for a tubed pump made my head hurt. We can accomplish a pump change in 3 minutes (my son likes to time them) after starting at around 20-30 minutes a month and a half ago. We haven’t had any occlusions - two pods failed to prime, but one was with saline which is much harder to get right. We have had a couple knocked off, but they are so easy to replace that it doesn’t bother me. I can’t imagine my son with a tube attached playing football with his buddies at a moment’s notice, jumping in the pool whenever - without having to plan around disconnecting. I’ll take a knocked off pod or two so that my kid gets to be the kid he wants to be. Of course, he’s never actually had a tubed pump so I can’t compare very accurately!

My 8 year old son has been on the Omnipod for almost a year. He is very active in a variety of sports. We like it because it doesn’t have a tube to deal with. He is also very thin and has no trouble getting a site. We use his arms, stomach and bottom. We have put it on his leg a couple of times but he doesn’t like to wear it there. We have only had an occulsion twice since starting it. His A1C’s have been very good. I think your doctor or nurses encourage a certain product because of the perks they receive for endorsing that product. As far as ripping them off, we have only encountered that twice and that was when he was wrestling with his older brother.

I try to be very objective to pump choice. I can tell people why we like the OmniPod and why it is right for us and I can completely respect why people choose other pumps and that those are right decisions for them.

I am however sensitive to medical professionals, who do not personally use these devices, giving such advice as I have personally found that advice to be unfortunately misleading and misinformed.

We were told flat out that OmniPod would not work for Caleb. I was literally laughed at when I mentioned that was our choice. This came from a well respected pediatric endocrinologist’s office. Had we based our decision on their advice, we would not have chosen OmniPod.

I made my decision on the research that I had done. I had talked to the users (which were few at the time). I went with my gut. I have never regretted my choice.

I am personally cautious when medical professionals make recommendations like this. Having just gone through the CGM decision, I approached it the same way. I gave more weight to user opinions that the doctor’s opinions. There too, I found was more knowledge about Paradigm which wasn’t even in the running for us. Because these products are used by more patients simply because of market share, it’s what the doctors are more familiar with, but does not necessarily make them the better products, or more importantly, the better choice for you.

I believe that all the devices are quality devices. They all work and serve the same function. But pump choice is a very personal decision and no one can make it for you. Only you know what is important to you and in this case, also your daughter.

That said, I have to dismiss the “rip off easily” point. That has never been an issue for us. Have there been occasions when a Pod ripped off? Yes. Can I remember the last time it happened? No. Is Caleb active? You bet he is. He’s a six year old boy who loves to play baseball and swim and generally run around like a lunatic. Caleb started when he was 4. We have never has any issue finding sites and we rotate very effectively. I have heard from users of MM and OmniPod that OmniPod results in less scar tissue. Caleb’s doctors have specifically commented on how well his sites heal. Do we have Pod errors? Yes. But they are occasional. We had more at the beginning when we first started and there was a static issue one winter, but our issues are so few now, that I don’t even call to get the Pods replaced.

The points that you note above, in our experience, are not issues with OmniPod and therefore should not affect your decision. If you find features of other pumps more appealing and suitable to your daughter’s lifestyle - then by all means go that route and I am sure you will be pleased. But if you were confident in the OmniPod decision, and the only concerns you have are those listed here, I think you will find that they are not big issues and you will be happy with your OmniPod decision.

If your son plays football without it ripping off then soccer and swimming should not be a problem for my daughter. I had researched the pod for a month before attending this class and really thought all of the input I had received on this forum had given me sufficient information. I can’t begin to tell you how disappointed I was after going to the class today as I actually felt like a bad mom for considering the pod. They said active kids needed the other pump because you could just disconnect it and that the pods would not hold up. I knew you and Lorraine had active little boys, but began doubting all of the advice I had already received here before. Thanks for reassuring me again as to why I wanted the pod in the first place!

I’m a Happy Podder! Been using it for a year. There are occasional tears and bad pods. Maybe 10 pod failures in the past year. I sometimes wonder if I am just lucky or those that have 10 bad ones in a month might be living under a lot of power lines.

For me it was tubeless or nothing. Remember that you can get your money back if not satisfied. I;m sure you have checked into their guaranty.

Also remember that smaller pods are coming probably in 2010.

My daughter tried a sample pod and loved it. What I hadn’t considered is that the pod was empty and didn’t have a canula, which the nurses had me convinced would bend when the pod was bumped during activity. Obviously there are lots of active boys here whose parents don’t have any problems. Thanks for your input:-)

You and your son’s videos had me convinced that the pod was the way to go. There were so many reasons I thought it would be a good fit for Maddie. I think hearing another side about a different pump had me question my decision.

The class today was a real eye-opener as to how little people know about the pod; I can’t believe that nobody had any interest in it. One of the nurses was diabetic, on the Medtronic, and a couple other people had relatives who worked in hospitals and all wanted Minimed. I should have trusted my gut instinct, but I really felt like getting the pod would be a huge mistake by the time I walked out of the room.

Thanks for reassuring me that my first instinct was good and that my daughter will have success on the pod as well:-)

I can’t wait to see the smaller pods. We have an infusion set dangling from her (coiled into her waistband) and a pod on her back. Looking at all that tubing I don’t know how anyone convinced me that was a better option. I’m so glad to find another happy podder here and hope that we will join those ranks in a few weeks!