Makes No Sense

Sometimes diabetes just makes no sense, so the best one can do is to rely on experience or on help from others (like this wonderful Tudiabetes community), and to roll with the punches. Last Friday, I changed my Pod. (I use the original OmniPod.) As the evening wore on, I noticed higher-than-normal readings even though my dinner was not super carb-heavy and my activity remained the same. I took the suggested bolus to bring my glucose reading down. Two hours later, my G6 CGM alerted me to a high reading. Again, I took the suggested bolus. This pattern repeated all night and all though Saturday. My diet and activity did not change from my normal routine, and I usually am within range most of the day.

My dad always told me to not waste my time being angry about a problem or looking for someone or something to blame. Instead, I followed his advice and thought, “What can I DO to change this situation?” The insulin in the bottle worked in the last Pod that I had used and was fairly fresh, so I rejected throwing out a perfectly good half-vial of insulin. I could continue to bolus, but that was both annoying and unhealthy since my glucose continued to range in the high 200 - mid 300 range. For some reason – location over scar tissue, a semi-plugged cannula, or a malfunctioning Pod? – the Pod just was not functioning the way it should have worked. So off with the old Pod early and on with a new one. I hated to waste the 40 units of insulin in the Pod, but I could not continue with having a non-functioning pump. Within two hours of changing the new Pod to a new location, I was back in the 104 range.

The other Pod just did not work for whatever reason. It made no sense, but that is a part of life with diabetes. Sometimes it just does not make sense. Those of you who have lived with this condition for years know what I am talking about. Those of you who are new to diabetes, don’t be surprised when something seems wonky. Sometimes it just is. So don’t worry when senseless things happen. Don’t waste your energy by blaming yourself or anyone else. Just move forward with asking for help if you need it or with using your experience to try something different. In the end, you’ll find a solution and life (even with senseless diabetes) will go on.

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Also, what works one day doesn’t necessarily work the next.

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@SherryAnn thank you for the anecdote! This is always a good reminder. Glad you were able to figure it out.

And when there seems to be a puzzling problem while using a pump, it is wise to take a correction with a syringe. Could save a night of sleep.

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So true! My husband even suggested this, but by that time I was in bed and half asleep. It was the right thing to do, but I suffered getting up four times in the night to correct with the pump-- which I removed the next day!

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Have had two pods in two years act exactly as you describe. I am “certain” (… I can hear you all laughing…) that they were defective pods. Out come the old reliable syringes to get a correction underway and then a call to Insulet for a replacement.

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I cringe when I read (and have read(past tense) over the years) so many complaints about Omnipod failures, yet users generally will defend the product, which puzzles me. In 23 years of pumping, I’ve had one instance of a Medtronic pump failure that required immediate replacement, as it totally stopped working. ALL other infusion failures were due to my long-ago usage of cannula sets, which after a few years of using them, began occluding as much as 2x a week. That got fixed by switching to steel sets. I could not tolerate a pump system that experienced periodic failures. I don’t need to have back up supplies, nor worry that my pump is going to cause me harm by allowing my bg’s to go too high from nothing other than a pump-system failure. All my highs are caused by me. That is enough of a problem not to want to introduce yet another cause. :slight_smile:

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Dave44, please don’t misunderstand me. I have used the OmniPod for over a decade, and in that time I have had very few Pod failures. Some were due to my own errors, but I would say that out of the last year – that is 120 Pods – I have had (maybe) one occlusion. I love the OmniPod and will stay with it for as long as I can. I suspect that this last “failure” was not due to the Pod as much as it was due to the location (which again was MY error). After 43 years of MDI, I have a LOT of scar tissue built up in my abdomen, and at 120 pounds, I do not have an excessively large area of abdomen tissue. I suspect that I put the Pod in a “dead spot” as far as absorption is concerned. Other than an occasional occlusion, I have never really had a Pod itself fail. My point was that no matter what the cause, the solution was to try a new Pod in a new place, and my solution worked.

As far as the “stash” goes, I am happy to have one. First, I live half the year or more in Florida, and people down there always are warned to have a stash of everything medical in case a major storm comes through. Hurricanes and even tropical storms can shut down pharmacies and delay shipments, so I feel more comfortable knowing I have plenty of supplies on hand in case my normal supply line gets disrupted. Secondly, I now am on Medicare, and I know that sometimes supplies from Medicare also get delayed due to shipments getting caught in the “in process” paperwork purgatory. Again, I have peace of mind knowing I am covered until necessary supplies come through.

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You aren’t describing the types of failures that I’ve read about on numerous diabetes forums over many years. 10 years isn’t a really long time, IMO, in the course of one’s lifelong insulin infusion years, so whatever method one uses, it needs to be the one that causes the least complications. For me, the best thing I did for myself was to stop using cannula sets. they caused too much tissue trauma, not to mention the too-often dreaded “no delivery” issue. All the hardened skin from my cannula-set days is a thing of the past. I had so many infections the first few years of pumping with Sof Sets that I was convinced that they were not properly sterilized. I tried wiping my skin with Hibiclens or Betadine prior to installing those sets but I still had terrible swelling, redness and sores that lasted long after the removal of the sets. It was years before those problems abated for me and I don’t know to this day the source of the problem but I can tell you whatever it was it didn’t do my abdomen’s skin any good. Using my current sets I get almost zero trauma and no longer see/feel any leathery tough skin.

I wish I could recall what specifically were the problems reported by Omnipod users but the thing that stuck out for me the most was the general failure RATE. The complaints mentioned just totally turned me off from ever thinking of trying the system, and I also didn’t want to carry around a PDM in addition to having yet another hardware “lump” on me. there are times I remove my tubed pump altogether and it’s not for lack of waterproofness it’s for convenience or when I’m not needing insulin for a while.

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I love my Omnipod lol!!! I’ve had a couple failures, from site issues, insertion issues or pod failures who knows? I just know sometimes they don’t work as well (probably bad site for me issue) and a few times they haven’t seem to work at all. ( more likely insertion or pod problem.) It’s been at the beginning versus after I’ve been wearing it.
Considering you change the pod every 3 days, it’s not been often enough I care?

But sigh, @Dave44 I’m one of the ones you are talking about.

I delayed getting a pump in the first place because I didn’t want to mess with tubing or the hassle of it not being waterproof. I really like the I don’t even know where it is feeling of an Omnipod. I believe I would have never gotten a pump if I had to have gotten one with tubing. I am literally unsure if I had to choose now either a tubed pump or back to shots what I would decide?

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I’m a long time tubed pump user but also used the Omnipod system for several months. I did enjoy the non-tubed benefit but I’ve found managing the tube as an ingrained habit relatively easy.

I value good consistent absorption as my highest value. We’re all different, of course, but there are many who find the tube aspect as trivial. It would be nice if you could trial a pump for a few months before making a final commitment. Good luck with this!

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@Marie20 and others … The same for me really, that I’m not sure which direction I will go. I love my OmniPod - because of no tubing, even though I’ve never had a pump with tubing to know first hand it would be an issue.

Early on I popped off my share of pods, rounding a corner. Not to jinx myself, but that hasn’t happened in years now! I’ve had multiple pod failures. And, I’ve experienced my fair share (and then some) of what is called tunneling; I didn’t know why my pod was bloody and wet when I removed it - or connect the fact that that was why I was running high. For as smart as I believe I am, in this instance (and a few other D-related instances/minutes/hours/days/weeks/months/years/…) I’ve been pretty ignorant. I’m so glad for this and other DOCs! I have learned so much!

I’ve been running my stash down because I don’t know in which direction I want to go. Keep the pre-Dash OmniPod; go to Dash OmniPod; go to a tubed pump; or to Loop and if so, with which pump; or go to MDI. As it is, the only way I have been able to keep tunneling from happening, is to move off of my belly (way too much scar tissue) and to not bolus, but only use the pod for basal. I only bolus from a needle and syringe now - I think this is about a year or longer I’ve been doing it this way. Now I’m reading in the DOC about how the canula is to blame for scar tissue and tunneling and that I might have better luck with a steel needle instead.

I’m so happy with my basal rates, the thought of doing Lantus/Levimer/Tresiba/… aren’t appealing.

Decisions, decisions!

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Because a pod incorporates both the infusion set and part of the pump mechanism, it’s easier for pod users to call any problem a “pod failure,” including discomfort, leaking, bleeding, infection, and even knocking a pod off by accident. People who use tubed pumps, where we can clearly separate “infusion set” and “pump hardware,” would never call any of these things a “pump failure.” So it may well seem that “pod failure” complaints (which include site and infusion problems) are far more common than “pump failure” complaints (which refer to the pump mechanism only).

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You’re arguing with @Dave44 over semantics here. I completely understand the point you’re making here. A failure is still a failure when the entire unit needs to be replaced, regardless of the cause.

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regardless, it’s still a “pod” failure. A failure of an infusion device to infuse insulin as it is supposed to do.

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I’ve never really had much angst of tubing except in the beginning back in '96 when I would get it caught on doorknobs. that hasn’t happened in so long I couldn’t say how many years. The tubing is a trivial “thing” as far as I’m concerned. My overarching requirement for a pump system is that it is reliable.

Exactly my feelings as well.

I’ve used Omnipod for 5 yeara and love it. Rarely a pod malfunctions like yiu described. After 3 highs (despite bolusing repeatedly) I change out the pod. CALL omnipod and they will send you a new pod and ask to ve reimbused for unused insulin in the bad pod. They dont pay much but will reimburse for insulin.

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That still sounds like a pain, to me., I never have to call Medtronic about infusion issues. It’s like a Timex watch–it (the sets and the pump) just keeps on ticking.

Put it like this, if you have a problem with the tubing, the infusion set with a tubed pump, or the site you placed it, it’s the same as a pod failure for pod users. Some part of the delivery system has failed. In the pods case the total of the mechanism is all in the pod, tubing, cannula, site problem all I one piece so we call it pod failure. And if any one of those parts fail we get to call Omnipod and get a new pod and wasted insulin paid for.

For me and it’s different for all of us, I strongly didn’t and don’t want to mess with tubing, the pluses for me outweigh any cons and that is obviously different for others for what they prefer!

Each to their own lol. I don’t believe I would ever go to a tubed pump

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