Hello. I am posting this in both the pod forums and the Animas forums.
This is a lengthy post. What I am looking for our people, or parents of kids, who have switched from one system to another and what their views are. I have done plenty of reading, so I really want to get opinions from people who have had both and the arguments for each.
My son was diagnosed 1 week after his 10th birthday. He’s an intelligent child who has taken the whole diabetes thing in stride. Probably better than I have. We are far ahead of schedule in his understanding of how all the gears click with this thing. The moment he realized in the hospital that he was going to be giving himself shots forever, he wouldn’t let anyone else touch him. We never got the chance to give a pillow or an orange a shot. I was the first person to give him a shot other than the medical staff. He “got it” right then and there and that was it. The hospital staff had to convince him that he wasn’t leaving until Mom gave him a shot. He finally conceded on the last day.
So here we are, 2 months later. We’ve met our deductible for the year. Our Endo, who once said we wouldn’t be pumping until summer has green lighted us and told Nick he would be pumping by Christmas. We need to make a decision now to get everything in before end of year to get the pump covered 100%.
We went online and did our research. Mom, Nick and I had pretty much settled on the Pod. Then came the pump class. The other guys put enough doubt in our heads to start questioning the decision to go with the Pod. Then, after the class, we went in and met with the Rep. She wasn’t sales. She was filling in. She knew she had the “coolest gadget” at the class and didn’t really sell it. The first pod she tried to demo for us error-ed out. Oops! She gave us a few demos to take home.
Day one. On the play ground, he knocks the pod off of his stomach. Something to do with monkey bars… etc. The school nurse tried to tape it back on but to no avail. Anyway, we put the second pod on him . Next day was swim practice. 20 minutes into his class, the pod starts beeping! After we take off the water filled demo and a few phone calls later, we are told that there must have been a mix up at the factory. Mix up? If this is a real pod, then why is it filled with water? Rejected Pod that got mixed in with the demo pods is the answer we get.
2 days, 2 pods, no luck.
The Animas rep comes a few days later and gets him all set up with the pump and tubes. That’s a lot of stuff. Grandma has come over today to see how things go. When it’s all said and done, she’s shaking her head. The phrase, “that’s a lot of stuff” is heard a few times during the setup. I cringe at what seems to be an archaic way to insert the cannula. ■■■■ and load, FIRE! So he’s now hooked. Connected. Tubed. I have promised to keep an open mind.
When breakfast rolls around, the expected complaints of rolling over on it come up. Ok, it’s what I expected, but both units probably have some of the same problems at bedtime. He went to swim class that day and I convinced my wife to disconnect the system and leave the pump in the locker. Yes, I know, it is water proof, but really? He’s 10, swimming with a group of peers. Does he need to be hooked up for this? After class he reconnects the system. There were a few instances through out the day where he walked away with the pump on the counter and other silly mishaps. And so the experiments continue.
Our Omnipod rep lives in CO. We do not have a local rep in UT. So when we initially called about the 2 failures, we had to set up an appointment to meet with her when she was here in town. It just so happened to be one day after the Animas pump was “installed” on Nick. He was happy to get rid of the pump but had some lingering feelings for the camouflage cover and the bright lights of the Animas Unit.
After some brief introductions, we got going. Now THIS is a sales Rep. We get an earful and I am suddenly confident that despite the problems of the past, this is the way to go. We decide that Nick needed to feel what it’s like to “activate” the pod while it’s attached. Full working pod sans the insulin. We pick the back of the arm. After much anticipation and the assurance that he wont feel a thing, the pod injects him. After about 3 seconds, you could see tears in his eyes. Something had gone wrong. We ask him if he wants to take it out and he shakes his head no. This is the one he wants. He is being brave. After 15 seconds, it was obvious, something was wrong. He was trying so hard not to cry and was not very successful. He was in pain. Even with her pinching his arm, I can only assume that she got muscle. When we removed the pod, there was some bleeding from the spot.
Wow. We are suddenly going backwards in the decision making.
So we try a second pod. Nick was still visually distraught over the the pain from the last pod. He reluctantly lets us do a second pod. This time, we chose the stomach. Our walking skeleton has a bit of chub there and we are crossing our fingers that this will work. The second pod goes in with much less discomfort. We are on our way. As we are messing around with the hand-held device, she informs us that she will not be leaving it with us. What? We bolused and calculated carbs with our 1 day Animas test. Nope, not happening. Sorry. Another step backwards.
So, there’s been lot’s of discussion about the systems. We are “on the clock” and need to figure out what we are doing. Nick has done a complete 180 on the pod and would rather have the tube system. Grandma pointed out the fact that the pod was so much easier. He stated pretty bluntly, “I don’t need easy. I need something that doesn’t hurt.” He says that whenever he bumps the pod, it hurts. He can’t sleep. Etc. How much of this is from the one bad experience?
Up until now, he has made all of the major decisions about his diabetes himself. We have a lancet from a different company than the tester is. His choice. He conducted his own tests in the hospital about which meter was the most accurate with the blood draws the nurses were doing. He has been incredibly independent about the decision making when it come to diabetes. He is 80% set on the tube pump and I am 100% set on the pod system. I don’t want to force him to do something he doesn’t want to.
I need advice. Pro’s and Con’s. If you’ve made it this far, thanks. I needed to blow off some steam. Haven’t really had the chance since we’ve gotten home from the hospital.