Moving from MDI, trying to decide on a pump... need opinions

Hi all, I’ve been a type 1 since 1987 and I’m just now planning the move to a pump. I’ve got it narrowed down to either the Vibe (which I tested for a week) or the Omnipod. I’d also like to pair whichever one I choose with the dexcom G4 or G5. Here are my concerns: One, is the fact that I’m a fairly active runner and mountain biker, and I sweat a ton, plus I live in south Louisiana where heat and humidity are almost a constant year round. This is my main concern about using the omnipod, but who knows, I’m not certain how hard it is to get one of the pods to stay secured to someone who is active and super sweaty.

Secondly, the topic of intimacy while using a pump and or CGM, and I know this is a personal topic, but I’m sure it’s something many single diabetics new to pumps have thought or wondered about, so I’d like to get opinions. I’m a single guy, actively dating, and I don’t know… having a pump or CGM just seems like a killer when it comes to things like intimacy. I’d love to hear others experiences, advice, or opinions. Thanks!

I’ve never has an adhesion issue with a pod, and I live in a very humid area of North Carolina and have spent a lot of time playing ball and swimming in the ocean wearing pods. Some of it depends on your skin chemistry, I think, because some people do report issues. I wear my pods on the back of my upper arm, and it’s pretty out of the way there. I’ve been married a long time, so I don’t have to explain it to my partner. I think, as far as intimacy is concerned, it’s probably more an issue for the wearer to get over.

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If you can pull back from it far enough maybe you can see it from the perspective that if the pump is going to be a problem with “intimacy” then you and the other person probably aren’t a good enough fit (yet?) to be going there in the first place.

Of course, the <insert your favorite name for it> wants what it wants and thought & reflection tend to have little to do with that. At least in my experience. <sigh /> :disappointed:

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I use a Dexcom CGM, and I’ve had both the Omnipod and the Vibe over the past 6 months…

I’m not as active as you; however, I did have one or two Pods come unstuck from sweat. Most of the time, it was not a problem. I personally found that I get better results from the Vibe than the Omnipod - I think it might have to do with straight vs. angles sets or with the infusion speed (Vibe is much faster). I’m quite happy with the Vibe - I generally do not find that the tubing gets in my way. I was ‘ok’ but not totally happy with the Pod. A lot boils down to preferences.

I love the Dexcom (G4). Have had it for 2.5 years, and it’s been a huge help.

As for intimacy, like Jim, I’ve been married for quite some time, so it hasn’t been a big issue. I will note that a low alarm from a Dexcom can in fact be a bit of a buzz-killer, but it’s better than the alternative, I suppose. (Passing out might kill the moment more!) The pump just gets disconnected and mostly forgotten - no real big deal. Like John said - may as well know at the onset if this will be a problem – you’re going have T1D with or without your partner - you need someone who understands!

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I find that if I scrub my skin with hot water, soap, and washrag, I tend to get more long lasting adhesion. I also add Skin-Tac liquid adhesive to my CGM bandage. It’s worked pretty well even when I’m on vacation with swimming and hot-tubs. I don’t do heavy exercise but I do walk briskly about 2-3 miles each day. I haven’t had troubles with adhesion with either the Animas Ping or the Omnipod. I did have troubles with getting a good consistent insulin flow with the Omnipod. It’s best to have a formal trial period or even a 30-day money back guarantee since you’ll likely have to live with this decision for the next 4-5 years.

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I use the Omnipod and have not had troubles with adhesion. This is the only pump I’ve used and love the fact that there is no tubing to deal with which makes intimacy less of an issue.

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Omnipod rocks! Tubeless FTW!!!

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Regarding intimacy, I think it’s a very natural human tendency to be taken aback the first time someone encounters diabetic life support up close. Before my own DX, I had a diabetic cat who needed insulin and the thought of having to stick him with a needle twice a day was creepy. But I loved that cat, and after a week of doing it, I got over my initial attitude. We had 9 years together, so it wasn’t entirely an unsuccessful relationship :blush:

My point is this: your date will probably be taken aback the first time seeing your setup, whatever you choose. I think that’s normal. Don’t feel rejected, you are unique in that person’s experience! Let some time pass, and you’ll both find out if you can be intimate without being on tenterhooks.

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Thanks for the responses everyone, it sounds like I really can’t go wrong with either pump. Also, as far as the intimacy goes, again, thanks for the responses, you’ve all given me some great advice to think about.

LOL: This is the first story about a diabetic cat that didn’t offend me! (e.g. “Oh, your daughter has diabetes? I had a cat with diabetes.”)

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I admit that I am biased towards Omnipod, since that’s all I’ve ever used. But, in my mind, because of the flexibility of infusion sites and the fact that there’s not a tube running from the controller to the infusion site, it just seems that it would appear much less overwhelming to someone seeing it for the first time. Just another $.02.

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Let me just start off by saying, I am not nearly as active as you are. I have the animas vibe which the great thing about the vibe is that it is integrated with the dexcom. That is one of the most important things abou a pump for me personally, that it is integrated. Before the vibe, I had the dexcom and it is so much easier having them on one device. Tubing personally does not bother me. This is all about personal choice. You have to think about what is more important to you. There are many people who love the omnipod and there are many who don’t. I personally do not want the omnipod because I do not like how bulky it is and also it seems like it would get annoying that if you do not have the pdm or whatever it is called with you would be unable to bolus. Some people love it though. It’s all about personal opinion. This is a great tool for comparing pumps: http://integrateddiabetes.com/insulin-pump-comparisons/
It is all about the features that you personally want in a pump and what you feel would best suit your lifestyle. For me, I originally chose animas because of the smaller basal rates and the fact that it is water proof. It is now integrated with the dexcom which is important to me. Having an integrated pump is essential for me. This is not a “one size fits all” matter. I wish you the best of luck! I know this can be a very difficult decision to make.

As for the intimacy thing, think of it this way, if someone isn’t accepting of you diabetes and all, is that really somebody that you want to be with? I mean, if somebody truly loves you they will be accepting of you for everything, including diabetes. There are people like this out there, you just need to wait and find that person. Someone who truly loves you is going to be accepting and supportive of you for everything in your life, including diabetes.

I wish you the best of luck, and I hope I could help!

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My point is more along the lines of, yes, it can go wrong, but the person most likely to know why and how it would be wrong is you because it will depend on how you feel about living with the pump. That’s why the best thing to do if at all possible is to try before you buy.

Think of getting a pump more like getting a car. All cars basically accomplish the same thing, more or less, in that they get you from point A to point B. Yet for some reason there is not just one type of car which works equally well for everyone. How can that be? :smirk:

I think people do better at answering more specific functional questions about a pump than the more vague “What’s good?” or “What’s bad?”.

It’s probably easiest for me to go back to the OmniPod as an example. Every time someone drags out the “Tubing! Oh! The horror! :open_mouth: :scream:” card, I find myself overwhelmed with a feeling of “Eh, what?” :confused: Still, I have no doubt it is true enough for them. Some things are just personal.

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Well, in my case I think I actually would be quite happy with either, they both seem like an improvement over MDI… leaning towards the animas though. It’s waterproof and feels like a solid pump. Tubes don’t bother me at all, after testing the animas, and being able to unsnap my pump and take it off should the need arise, is much easier than having a pod stuck to me. Also, I don’t like the idea of not being able to bolus without the omnipod remote. The main hesitation in the animas for me I suppose is, it’s a really old pump. Sure, new in the U.S., but really old, I think it came out in 2011. It’s still a great pump, but my problem with this is making a four year investment in something that could be phased out by a newer model relatively soon. I work in programming and technology for a living, and I’ve got to say, the UI on the Animas feels ancient to me. On top of that, the G5 is now available but it’s not compatible with the Vibe, so something tells me Animas will be rushing a new pump out the door within a year or so… decisions, decisions…

Tyler, if you think a pump is going to “kill intimacy”, just think about how intimate you are going to be if your “equipment” fails to function in a few years because you can’t keep your bg’s under control as well on MDI as you could on a pump. Get a pump and stop putting mental roadblocks in your way. The sooner the better. Pumping is superior for active people thanks to using only short-acting insulin. I am VERY active and I couldn’t be as active (safely) if I went back to MDI. Get a pump!

I’ve never used Omnipod (not interested, after looking into them). Sweating won’t be a problem for sure, if you use a pump that uses an infusion set separate from the pump. ie, a MM or Animas, etc. I can’t speak to how well an Omnipod will stay attached to you but I CAN vouch for the security of sets used with non-Omnipod pumps. I only use Sure-T’s and place a transparent dressing over them for added security. I think since 1996, I’ve had less than 4 sets come off and those are issues of the past.

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If it were me … and it certainly is not me but … if I were to switch from Medtronic I think I might be interested in looking at the Tandem pumps. In particular, their unfortunately but understandably (IMO) named “G4”. Well, ok, the full name is actually the “Tandem t:slim G4” I guess. :blush:

I believe it was officially “blessed” by the FDA less than 2 months ago on September 22. I didn’t see any officialishy reviews of it when I searched, just some posts on some of the discussion sites. It seems to be dedicated to the G4 in that it some said it doesn’t have BlueTooth so it couldn’t be firmware upgraded to use with the G5.

Still, of all the pump companies, Tandem seems to be the one which seems to be most actively investigating updating a pump’s firmware. I think it is turning out to be a harder road than they anticipated since I expect the FDA is being a PITA about security and reliability and such.

If you want to have G5 compatibility with a pump I think you are just going to have to wait. But if your main concern is being able to use Dexcom sensors with your pump then, if you haven’t already done so, maybe give a glance in the direction of the t:slim G4. Possibly? Perhaps?

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I did check out the t:tlim, and I do like it. It has a very nice UI and software. There is actually an iphone app that simulates the pump on your iphone if anyone wants to check it out. I ended up going back with the animas being my first choice because (and I didn’t mention this) I’m on the water boating and swimming frequently, and the animas is fully waterproof, whereas the t:slim is highly water resistant, but not waterproof. Thanks for bringing it up though!

Pump technologies do not advance at the rate of for example smart phones, so 4 years is actually relatively recent in pump years. In fact the Animas Vibe is basically the 2020 model with Dexcom interconnectivity and a few minor menu upgrades. The 2020 goes back to the year 2000! Medtronic pumps were basically the same model (with a few tweeks) for around 15 years and the most current model available in the USA, the 530G, is a member of this 15-year historic line. Medtronic have introduced a completely new model the 640G which is available in Europe but not yet approved in the US. The 640G (which is fully waterproof) is a really nice pump - the Vibe shows its age in a comparison. BUT the 640G has its CGM integration with Medtronic’s Enlite sensors and by almost universal agreement, these are nowhere near as accurate as the Dexcom system.

I cannot comment on the T-Slim, which like the Vibe has Dexcom interconnectivity as it is not available in Europe. However this is a relatively new design.

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One word, Benjamin:

Omnipod

Ha! I totally sympathize. Though I have two pretty close friends who have diabetic cats, and I’ve sort of gotten over that reaction. Actually, the funny thing is that, because they have to deal with it in a hands-on way, they actually understand a lot more about the technicalities of it than most people I know. That counter-intuitive thing–that it’s the insulin that poses more risks to your daily functioning than the disease–isn’t an impenetrable mystery to them the way it is to a lot of people no matter how many times you explain it.