Help us decide if the omnipod is worth it!

Ok…we have had the day from you know where. My son has been on the omnipod for two weeks. During those 2 weeks, in total, we have had 2 occusions, 1 pod failure during priming, 2 cannulas that have come out, and 1 cannula that was bent when it came out.
This morning he was scheduled to go to an all day volleyball camp. When he looked at his pod, the window had a fair amount of blood in it and his numbers were high. We thought it best to switch it out since he was going to be gone all day and didn’t want to deal with it at camp. At this point, we only had 2 pods left becasue from what I have now found out, the ones that were shipped to us are missing (lost, who knows). So we changed pods and right in the middle of breakfast and getting his bolus, he had an occlusion. Now I am getting nervous. As we were priming the next one (and our last one) it had a pod failure. Luckily our omnipod rep was going to be in the area that his camp was being held and he met us there and gave us another box.
Has anyone had the same experience? Does it get better? My son is almost ready to go back to shots but he wants to try it for a few more weeks to see if it gets better. Thanks for listening!!!

Pump therapy is a lot more work than multiple injections. The transition can be rough, but it is well worth the effort and becomes second nature over time. Congrats to you for supporting your son during the transition.

I think the OmniPod is a great system, especially when compared to tubed pumps. Give it a bit more time as you work through the learning curve. But more importantly, meet with your son’s pump trainer because it sounds like there might be some user error (not that you are in the wrong – there is a lot to learn!) that might be complicating things.

Where has your son been placing the pods?

We most definitely had more issues at the beginning. There are so many things to get used to. Within the first couple of days Caleb’s Pod errored bc he was slamming his tushie against a door. Aside from the fact that it was behaviorally inappropriate, it was just completely silly bc that’s where his Pod was. So that was one thing he had to get used to - just being aware of it. Then there are different spots that work better than others - better absorption and less prone to bending (we use belly and back). We ended up moving it from his tushie bc it was causing problems with the pulling up and down of pants when going to the bathroom. I remember it occluding and just having no idea why. I still am not sure. But I cannot remember the last time it did and over the last 2 years (beyond the initial transition) we have maybe had 4 - and really, I don’t think it’s even that many.
I remember the frustration clearly, but I think as you get used to it and gain confidence, you will find that it gets better and once it does, then it improves incrementally.
Good luck! I hope this last Pod lasts the three days!!

I agree w/ Jaybear. I don’t want to point fingers, but it may be a user error issue (or a random bad batch of pods). Both of which can be fixed easily enough though (some additional training and some new pods, and you’re right as rain). I would also not give up on the Opod system yet, as it is a great alternative to MDI and gives (at least for me) so much more flexibility in basal rates, etc…it’s a great way to manage diabetes with sports too. The learning curve can be rocky, but the results are soooo worth it in my opinion.

He has used his upper arm (most problems have been there), his stomach, and his back. We have had the most luck with the stomach but that is where he was wearing it this morning when he noticed the blood.

Arms and legs tend to be trickier than belly and back. Someone posted hear that was a finding reported by Insulet themselves if I remember correctly. Not that they are off limits, but you might want to stick with belly and back until you get in a rhythm.

It is hard but totally worth it. I can imagine it being harder for a child to be aware as it does take time to remember having a pod on you. I started 2 months ago and had a hard time. I am not an advance user but know from following this community that there have been comments around bad batch of shipments which resulted in occlusin and blood. I have been fortuante enough to not have problems. Occlusion could be due to different problems. I think re-training would help as it could be a small thing like bubbles which could be causing problems. Recently I tried putting the pod on my back and it really works well. It is there but I don’t have to worry about knocking it off. It is not so bad as I do sleep on my sides or stomach. All I can say is- stick it out. It does really work. I will never go back to injections as this has allowed me to be within range for longest period of time. I love features which allow me to be proactive- extended bolus, temp bolus…all these things are totally impossible with injections. I am very sure I will get a great A1C this time around which will make all this worth it. First month is hardest. Your shipment made it worse. Stick it out for another 2 months and see if this gets better. Otherwise try another pump.

My daughter just started about a month ago and we haven’t had as many problems but she’s probably not as active as your son sounds like he is. Plus, it does sound like a bad batch of pods.

Is it worth it? I would say what makes it worth it for me - she fell asleep on the couch, I came home and thought about waking her up but then just checked her meter readings and since her last number was a good number, I didn’t have to wake her up. We just switched from Humalog/Lantus 2 daily and it sucked having to wake her up just for her to do a Lantus shot.

I have been on the pod for over 6 months or so. Other than blood in the cannula at insertion one time, the only bad pod situations I had were all in the first month. Stick it out. I have only used my belly…no arms, legs, or back yet, for what it’s worth.

Totally agree with Lorraine. In the “beginner” stage, I would stick to the abdomen as it is the least likely place to get knocked around or bang into something (especially at volleyball camp). After a few months and he’s in the rhythm of pump therapy and used to wearing a pod, feel free to branch out with other sites.

Don’t get freaked out by the blood. It happens to all of us from time to time!

“hear”? Good grief. I meant “here”. Wish I had more than 15 minutes to edit. :slight_smile:

I know where you’re coming from. My first month on the pods I had a bad box and 6 or 7 of the 10 pods had occlusions. I felt like I was on the phone with Insulet as much I was with my mother! But since that box I have only had problems with one or two select pods and Insulet has always been quick to replace them. Next time you have to call them just double check to make sure they have the right address for you. As for is it worth it, my answer is yes. I can now go to sleep without giving myself a shot, change the amount I want to eat in the middle of a meal, and correct for things I wouldn’t even have considered high before (132?!). Sometimes it’s a hassle but for me the answer is yes, it’s definitely worth the extra work for the ease of living and extra control it provides.

Hilary: I just read the other thread you started on this. It sounds like your son has been playing volleyball constantly throughout all of his pod therapy to date. Given that volleyball is a pretty rough sport and involves a lot of reaching and arm work, crashing into people, diving onto the floor, etc., I think that pod placement on the arm might not be the best idea for him. The abdomen or back would probably be a much better choice – I think that’s probably a source of some of this trouble.

I agree and yes, he has played volleyball at either a camp or open gym almost everyday since he has been on the pump. He is wearing it on his stomach now so we will see how he does at camp tomorrow!

I have been on the omnipod for a little over a year and a half and I would say its def worth it!

I will admit I am a clumsy person. For a while I would run into the side of doors and there would go the pod. Just a couple days ago I was opening my car door to put stuff in my car and the door hit at just the right angle on my pod (which was on my arm) to make it come off.

Though I do think we have all experienced our batch of bad pods. I had 4 occulsion errors in one day (I think it was due to the fact that I was letting air into the pod when I put insulin in…but who really knows…). I had a lot more trouble with my stomach I think due to the fact that I have scar tissue on certain areas due to the old rapid D infusion sets (I don’t know very many ppl who actually used those sets…) that I used for 4 years. I don’t want to put the pump to high or to low either. I want it to set to my skin as close as possible. One of the reasons I liked the omnipod was so I could use it on my arm. I probably have more fat and muscle then your child. But I say give it a little more time. You will find out if the pump will work for you guys. GOOD LUCK!

Thank you to everyone who responded. I am happy to report that Christian has kept the same pod on now for 2 days (on stomach). He survived a 5 hour volleyball camp and 2 hour volleyball open gym yesterday and beach volleyball and boogey boarding today. He is currently in the pool. Things are looking better!!

Hurray! I’m so glad to hear that you’ve had a stretch of at least 48 hours of good experience with the pod.