I am giving up the Omnipod. Omnipod lovers please skip this discussion

I asked that those who love the omnipod not to read this because I know how defensive people get about their pods and I truly need advice and don’t want to be bashed and blamed for the lack of success I have had. I am also not bashing the Omnipod system- just sharing my experience and disappointment. I really need help. Thank you. I think it’s great that some of you have great success with the system, but I haven’t.

I have been on the Omnipod for 3.5 years and it’s been a tough journey. I had it working well on and off and when it did it was amazing. The last 6 months have been horrible. I have a 30% failure rate during priming. Here and there I’ll have only one pod fail out of a box of ten- 10% rate. They also fail while I am wearing them. The PDM also has failed three times in a year. It’s not user error. I have had reps, technicians, and my doctor all confirm that I am doing everything right. I’ve had a few months go by and everything was great. Then with no change in diet, exercise, or application the pods go bad and malfunction left and right. Yesterday customer service told me that the pods may be expiring even though there is more than a year left until the expiration date. They also said they have had quality control issues in the past and maybe I have old pods from that time period. My A1C has gone from 5.9 to 8.1 incrementally. 5.9 was on MDI

So I have to give it up and am very nervous. It was my first pump in 23 years of having diabetes. Now I am going all the way and getting a tubed pump and don’t know what to expect and feel very depressed about it. The thought of being tethered to a tube makes me feel like I am a sick person when I have always maintained a positive attitude about having diabetes and not made it who I am, just something I have. I love the freedom of the Omnipod and the idea of it is brilliant. it just hasn’t been reliable for me. I am so amazed and impressed how many people here get it to work so well. I try so hard and just don’t understand it.

so I am writing to find out what to expect. Those of you who have gone from a tubed pump to the Omnipod- can you help me understand what I am going to experience? What to prepare for? Has anyone else gotten to where I am with the Omnipod? Anyone else close? I am really scared about the insertions of the cannula. I hear they hurt a lot more than the pods. Is that true? How much is my life going to change?
Thank you so much.

I read this anyway in spite of your admonishment. You owe allegience to yourself…not any particular product. This was my first experience with an insulin pump as well. I had narrowed my choices to the Ping or the OmniPod. I chose the OmniPod because of the freedom from tubing–I have a frisky little Bichon who loves her “Mommy”.

No bashing here…just well wishes with your next pumping experience.

I had a bad batch of pods a while back - seems like at least half the box failed during priming. I was pregnant at the time and FURIOUS with the whole shenanigans. If that rate of failure had continued, I’d seriously consider a different pump too.

I’m still waiting for Roche to release their new tube-free pump. Hopefully in the next year or two! Good luck back on MDI.

I too have had issues with the PDM failing and the pods failing as well. I have been on the OmniPod since April 2010 and they have replaced my PDM 10 times because of communication issues. The past month, I have had better luck with the pods, only having one fail, but over the past year I have experienced a 40% to 50% failure rate, and it was not user error. I am waiting for Roche to release their tubeless pump as well.

Hi Brooklyn…so sorry that this has been your experience. Plenty of people have had happy experiences with pumps of all types. Maybe your next one will be perfect for you. If not, there is so much technology out there. It will only get better for all of us. This is a temporary bump in the road. Good luck to you.

It’s all about figuring out what works for you. I went from tubed to tubeless about 3 yrs ago and so far have been pretty happy with Omni. Sorry that you’ve had such a bad experience. Maybe as time goes on the Omni will get better or new players will enter the market. Meanwhile, good luck with your change to hopefully a better insulin delivery system that will not curse you with failures. It’s all about better control no matter how we get there.

I am not sure when it will be coming out. Insulet Corp has been very helpful with all of the issues that I have had. The program manager knows my name. That is how often I call. I am tired of all of the issues, but at the same time, I know that the other options are not for me (tubing or over a dozen shots a day).

One thing that has helped me is that I started using the Dexcom Seven CGM about a month ago. So if my pod is not functioning like it should, I can see the shift in my glucose levels and adjust as necessary.

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I understand your frustration. I have been on the pod since April of this year and things were pretty good up until this month. I got my A1C down from 8.5 to 7.2. But, this month I have had 10 pods fail one way or the other. And an additional 3 to occlusions which I guess is my fault. But it had me thinking about going back to the old “ball and chain” (tubing). And I really don’t want to because my doctor tried so hard to discourage me from getting it. He really doesn’t like it but when I went in for my check up for the first time since wearing it he had nothing to say but good job. So I’m trying to stick with it.

I’m sorry to hear about all your problems with the Omnipod. That’s got to be so frustrating! Especially because the whole point of the Omnipod is to make your life easier, and if that’s not the case, then you should absolutely try something new. The tubed pumps really are not that bad. There are automatic inserters to put your site in (not as automatic as the Omnipod, but it’s definitely easier to the “quick-sert” or whatever it may be called than to put in your site in manually, IMHO) and most people probably won’t even notice your pump-- they’ll think it’s an mp3 player or a phone or even a beeper (although why someone would think beepers still exist in 2011 is beyond me! :slight_smile: ) so don’t think that you are a sick person or anything! You are doing what’s best for you to control your diabetes, and that’s what being healthy is all about! One quick warning about the pumps though-- just like you have to be careful not to run into any doorjams with the omnipod, watch out for door handles or anything else that you can get the tubing caught on! I will say though that knocking the omnipod off hurts a lot more than ripping out a traditional pump site (yes I’ve had LOTS of experience with both) but neither are pleasant experiences. There’s a learning curve, but it’s not daunting!

I really doubt your life will change that much, except that you’ll probably feel a lot better about your self and your health when you don’t have to worry about a system that is constantly failing you like the Omnipod did.

I wish you the best of luck with your new pump and I hope & pray that it gives you the results that you need!!!


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Yeah that is the same thing my doctor said. He wanted me to get on the pump that you are going to. He had some guy that worked in his office call me and explain to me how everyone there is on the Paradigm and the ones that were on the Omnipod switched to it.

Tubing is a big deal. Someone I used to work with, moved over to pods from her pump that has tubing in it. She complained that if she went swimming or showered, she had to remember to disconnect it. I would ask the local rep if you could have a trial to see how it would feel to wear the tubing.

Me too, but they haven’t given me any grief about it. Last A1C was 7 which was down a full point from before. Most of my problems with control are not the pod, but my own inability to figure bolus based on carb intake. Always a struggle for me. I suspect it would be the same challenge on the tubed pump.

Hi there.

I know, as an OmniPod user, that I was supposed to skip this, but I was using a tubed pump before (Disetronic products). The cannula insertion with those was definitely tougher than the OmniPod insertion, but it was not torturous for me by any means. One nice thing about the tubed pump is that if you do disconnect it, you have (generally), a small “plug” covering the lock with the infusion set, instead of a half-egg-sized thing on your body. I generally used the shortest tubing I could get, to cut down on the chances that I would get the tubing caught on something. It didn’t always work. Doorknobs were a particularly annoying enemy of mine. Also, if an occlusion occurs, you’re tossing out a (relatively) cheap thing, rather than a whole Pod, with, potentially, hundreds of units of insulin.

On the negative side, though, you can still have occlusions, bad sites for insulin uptake, and inflammation at the infusion site.

I’ve had some bad experiences with the OmniPod, as well. I’ve had some priming failures, mostly from one box in particular. I’ve had sites that did not deliver insulin well. I’ve even had Pods suddenly stope working and make the constant beeeeeeeep noise that is impossible to get rid of. But, I like it better than the current alternatives for me.

I think that medical technology for diabetics could use a serious overhaul. I thought that the OmniPod was a good start.

Good luck!

Interesting. I also had communication problems when I started, and found that when the bluetooth on my phone was turned off, the problem disappeared. I advise to perform your pod changes in a low RF environment.

After high rates of pod failures when I started, I now have about one every 4 months or so from occlusion, and I can’t remember when I last had a priming failure. I know you’ve probably read this before, but I can’t emphasize enough how scrupulous you must be about bubbles.

  1. Insulin at room temp. Gasses have higher solubility at colder temperatures, so if you prime with cold insulin, gasses will come out of solution as it warms during the process.
  2. When drawing up the insulin with the needle still in the vial, flick and inject as much of the air bubbles as you can back into the vial. Let the bubbles rise to the bottom of the vial and the solution clear. Repeat until you have the dose you want. Withdraw the syringe from the vial and point the needle to the floor and flick and tap the bubbles free for a minute or more so they all collect up at the plunger. At this point the volume of bubbles should be so small that when you inject into the pod, any residual bubbles should reside in the dead volume of the needle and have no chance to be injected into the pod.

I also mentioned earlier about finding that my bluetooth phone was causing communication issues when I 1st started with the pods.

The devil is in the details, and these devices sometimes seem they are manufactured in Hell…

Going from 5.9 to 8.1 is definitely unacceptable. Obviously this is not working for you. Hope you have a better experience with the next pump.

Same here- I just want to offer you encouragement and pray for success in any choice you make. My daughter (10 yrs old) is on the Omni Pod and so far, it’s a fit. I hate that you weren’t able to have success with a tubeless pump and that there are no other tubeless options. So, you are doing the right thing for YOU. Moving on to another product. I will pray for much success in the next step of your journey. You are a hero to a mom like me who does not know the full effect of T1 and the reality of living with it.

Brooklyn- I mainly use tubed pumps. I train people on pumps so I have had the oppurtunity to use the Omni quite a bit.
The best thing about the Omni is the auto insertion. I only say this because it means for me more sites are accessible to use. Otherwise Omni vs tubes is either neutral or tubed wins (in my book anyway). The insertion for tubed pumps does not hurt anymore than Omni- I sometimes get very painful ones from either Omni or tubed. Heck I used to get quite painful injections too!

The tethered buisness is not all that bad either. Like you had mentioned elsewhere you have pulled the Pod off by hitting doors etc. I actually find I am far less likely to pull out a tubed pump than the Omni. I just make sure that ALL my tubing is tucked in to whatever clothing I am wearing and I rarely have a problem.

Yes you will still have sites go bad but you can completely take away the possibility that it is the pumps fault.

I am sure you will find your own negatives and positives of tubed pumps but overall it seems for you it may be a good switch.

I just started on Omnipod on June 10, 2011. I was on the Deltec Cosmo for 4 years until march 2010. I was having a lot of trouble with infusion site failures. i would put in new infusion set and 3 hours later my BS would be 300. Change infusion site/set and go back down, then 1 day or maybe only a few hours later, BS going high. i was going through infusion sets 5 times a day when I stopped and went back on shots. I was mad and very frustrated by my experience with pumps. Then in January of this year I started rethinking my failures and realized I was using the same part of my body for the insion sites, my stomach. It was the only spot I could easily reach for the tubing. More thinking and I figured out out I had injected insulin into the same area for 20 years ( a lot of scar tissue? sensitivity to the adhesive?) I do not know for sure, but this time with Omni, I am using all of the areas available to me and have not had much trouble (I just don’t use that part of my stomach). I too have had the pod scream at me on filling (the first one at startup), but I was using cold insulin. I also had some that alarmed and would not shut off. I took them apart and they stopped. I do help the pod stay on by putting 3M Durapore tape over the pump. Everyone is different, so I agree with the comment about doing what is best for you, so I am certainly not going to argue with you. IT IS YOUR DECISION. Make the best desion for you. Good luck Hank