I start the OmniPod pump on tomorrow and leave for Africa on Saturday.......... any advice?

Im a 21 year old college student. I start the omnipod pump on tomorrow around noon. I’m very excited about this therapy, but Im also a bit nervous because I leave the country for Africa on Saturday. Are there any suggestions or advice you’d give?

Supplies, supplies, supplies. If this is your first pump, I hope you can get a copy of John Walsh’s Pumping Insulin, its a pumpers bible. We didn’t read it until after son started pumping about 9 months and found that some of our settings were way off. We love the features Omnipod has and it fits his teenage life well. Don’t be afraid to try new sites. He wasn’t fond of shots in the abdomen so he wears his pod on thighs, back of arms, and lower back side. To avoid pod failures; get air bubbles out of syringe and plunge insulin in pod slowly. Make sure your’e on the right screen for filling pod. Adhesive lasts fine for him for 3 days and we use baby oil on it for 30 minutes before removal. Hope this little bit helps. Good Luck!

Wow! That’s two bold steps for the price of one, happy hour or something? I have a MM pump and, unfortunately don’t know much about the particulars of OmniPods. Africa would be very interesting to visit though. Is this work, school, recreation, espionage?

How long will you be in Africa and where in Africa will you be? I spent a summer in Ghana a few years ago, but I actually went off the pump and back on shots before I left, and I’m glad I did. It was super hot and humid and I know I would have had issues with the pump site and infections. Also, adjusting to the pump and figuring out your basal/bolus/correction ratios and everything can take some time, so if you’re just going for a few weeks or months to Africa, I might suggest postponing your pump start until you get back. If you’re going over there to live for awhile, then just make sure you are able to keep in touch with your diabetes team easily. And also, just bring lots of back up syringes/pens/insulin or whatever you were using before you start the pump. Also, if you do decide to start pumping, make sure you get enough insulin for your pump to bring with you. Depending on where you are going in Africa, you might not be able to purchase the insulin you are using in your pump (when I was in Ghana I could only find really old-school insulins like Ultra Lente and NPH and sometimes R) , so you will need to bring your whole supply with you.

All that being said, I’ve always lived by the rule of not letting diabetes get in the way of anything you want to do, so just be smart about what you’re doing, plan ahead for every situation and have a great time!

Thanks so much! This was very helpful and I’ll keep these tips in mind. I’m new to the site and I was reading some of the reviews of the omnipod and one of the biggest things I’ve noticed so far is the pods not working properly because of air bubbles. I’ll definitely remember this while filling them. Also I’ll look on itunes for the book.Thanks!

Yeah Im pretty excited! Two really big things in one week. Its an organization that does mission work in developing countries. They use students from my school to participate in this mission work.