New here :) also, omnipod; 3 pods in a row not working with no error messages

Hi all! Googling this problem led me here and I've read a lot of the archived posts about this. I see a lot of people have had issues with pod failures and many people have switched to other pumps as a result. The infusion sets with the minimed didn't work for me. I tried them all. I'm on a very low basal rate and they all seemed to occlude within a day or so. Maybe that's what's happening here, but it's been working fine since April? I changed out my first pod and after dinner I was climbing and not responding to blousing. When I got to 450 and had moderate ketones I changed out the pod. Repeat, repeat again, different site, different bottle of insulin. Just woke up to 314 with large ketones. Called the company and they're mailing out a replacement PDM tomorrow after some prodding (after a half hour on the phone recounting every blood sugar and event, telling me to change the pod out is NOT a solution).
Sorry to have my first post be asking for help, but googling this problem led me here and I'm so grateful. I could really use the support of a community like this and maybe you all will have some answers or advice or pro-tips. I was diagnosed about 18 years ago and am very brittle and feel pretty alone in the world, especially right now


one piece of advise, highs after pod changes are common with omnipod, we have worked around it by doing a small bolus .5 before the change and then a bolus with no food after 1-5 U depending on jacobs bs, he is 14 and uses a lot of insulin. he tries not to eat for an hour or 2 after a change and drinks lots of water or diet coke! this helps tremendously, it seems the pump needs to be primed so to speak. we no longer have the problem so best of luck. YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!! love your little critter's happy face pic, hope you have happier days! amy

Yes, people do seem to have a few more issues with pods as opposed to other pumps, but there are also plenty who have found ways to make the pods work.

First question - are you rotating your sites? Is it possible that you're having absorption issues due to scar tissue? If you've been pumping for a long time and tend to use the same general areas for sites, scar tissue is a possible culprit.

Second question - Have you manually injected to bring down your high? Sometimes, that's a good way to check and see if the insulin you're using is bad, if it's a site issue, or (if you still don't come down) it's something going on inside your body (an infection or increased insulin resistance).

Third question - How low is your lowest basal rate? I use a MM pump and also have fairly low basal rates (at some points of the day, my basal rate is as low and 0.2). I have only had one occlusion in the past two years that required me to change out my set. With older MMs, occlusions were more of an issue, but with the newer model (the Revel) they are much rarer.

Fourth question - are you able to try a different fast-acting insulin? Some folks on here have reported highs due to resistance to the particular insulin that they are using. Apparently, this can be an issue among long-time T1s. Is this high BG sudden, or have you been noticing a trend of higher BGs lately?

I know other people have reported highs following pod changes, so hopefully they can offer some advice.

thanks for the reply! I've read as such and have been pretty successful with a small bolus upon pod changes as a small prime.
Reading the parents' posts around here makes me wanna pull my eyeballs out, you guys and your kids are so brave!

And thank you, too! I've been pumping since april (minimed trial was about 10 years ago), so I dunno if scar tissue would be an issue quite yet? I rarely use my right flank and that one is the one that gives me the most guff with poor absorption. I moved the third pod back to my left flank, which definitely needed a break and while it's not working well (obviously) it's working better than the right side. I manually injected with the first pod when i had ketones and it brought me down immediately. This morning I opened a fresh bottle of insulin and injected with that one, just to be safe. Again, it came right down. Maybe a little more resistant than usual, but that might've been because I was ketotic?
Maybe I should look into the minimed again? They never figured out why the occlusions were happening, I'm just guessing. It's interesting your basal is so low. I've not really met any other adults with such low basals (my lowest is .4)
The novolog has been working really well, almost too well. I'm so sensitive, I plummet sometimes. This is a really sudden change. I've read some things on here about apidra in the pump and it seems a little iffy

I have used the minimed pump for just over 4 years. My basals range from 0.2-0.4 depending ontime of day, but I often run at 0.1 for exercise. I have never had an occlusion.

you are brave too! we are all in the same boat. i've been in a pretty good place with jacobs D lately, his numbers have been mostly in target, no catastrophies... he is wanting more independence, far better than wanting no part of his diabetes. not trying to jinx myself or anything but things have been stable outside of all the junkfood he has been eating but mostly successfully covering for! i hope your pod issue gets better please let us know and if there is anything else i can do to help. this site is so great for advise and support, people here get what you are going through when you are heard you feel less alone and your burden is somehow lessened. so hang in there! amy

I'm currently traveling across canada for work and omnipod mailed a new pod to my hotel. I've been taking injections every few hours, which has been exhausting. I put the new pod in and was at 287. Took 1.5 units and now I'm at 251. Seems to be working. We'll see.

My doc has told me to not obsessively check for ketones. I've been noticing trace to moderate ketones most every time I've checked, even when my numbers are in range, ir at least not over 300. I guess I've never checked for them before unless I was super ill so I reckon there's a chance that I've got a little ketone action happening more often than just when I'm in big trouble. I know that only when they're large do I really need to worry, just been an interesting experiment.

Thanks for your help. I look forward to being a member of this community

sounds like the new pod is working, do you drink alot of water to help clear ketones? also have you thought about asking your md for a blood ketone meter, jacob really only uses this when things are crazy out of whack but they say it is more reliable, another thing to think about! hope things get better i cant imagine traveling and trying to deal with all this! wishing you well, and better success with your omnipod! amy

Thanks amy. I'm gonna ask about the ketone meter. I was on a tour bus traveling thru the wilds of canada with my band and awake at 5AM with large ketones and a faulty pump, pod, whatever. I haven't been so scared and felt so alone in a long time. I chugged water. And that one unit made the ketones go away in less than an hour!

I am very active, which is why I have to run low basals sometimes. Also, I am pretty small and fairly insulin sensitive at this point in my life. This has changed due to various hormonal changes over the years. I would definitely recommend to give the MM another shot. Again, I've had no occlusion issues and I like the fact that they have a wide variety of infusion sets to work with. I have found that different infusion sets work better for different parts of my body. I love the Mios, but was having some issues with kinked canulas in my thighs/upper buttocks. So, I now use the Quicksets in that area, and save the Mios for my tummy region. Some folks who also have issues with kinked canulas find that the Sure-T sets are great.

Occlusions can happen for any number of reasons - a bent canula, a kink in the line, etc. I was told by my endo when getting my pump that because my basal rate was low I would be at greater risk for occlusions. But I run that 0.2 basal rate pretty regularly (just ran a temp 0.2 rate for 3 hours last night following intense exercise) and just one occlusion that I can remember.

Also, occlusions can occur because the insulin crystallizes. What you experienced may have been due to the insulin and no the pump itself. I don't know what fast-acting insulin you were using previously, but I use Humalog and don't have any issues.

interesting. I was using homolog at the time.I switched to novolog to see if it helped and it didn't but i found that the novolog was more stable with the injections, so i stuck with it after i quit the pump. The quick sets and bent needle are the only names i remember. I tried them in my belly, my thighs and my butt and they all occluded after a day. maybe the new ones you mentioned would be different. i get so discouraged and need to remember that this is a process and we all have crappy days/weeks. The new receiver and pods they sent seem to be working. who knows what the recipe of disaster was. That's the worst part!

thinking of you cat, wow you are a musician, are you canadian, i love wide open places, that sounds like a fun trip but a little scary with your current situation. i hope you have some support with you there, but you sound like you might be a bit private about your D. what role do you play in the band? in anycase i do hope things are getting better with your omnipod, do you do a big pinch up when you insert? are they staying on ok? i forgot what sites you said are working best for you. please let me know how you are doing now i am envisioning you really all alone in the middle of nowhere! we are here for you, thank goodness for computers. but being there with you sounds like it would be more fun, can you guess i had a rough week and a little escapism sounds good! keep in touch. amy

Definitely not canadian! From new york, just always touring. I play upright and electric bass. Trying to get more open with people in my life about how much i struggle. My blood sugar needs change so rapidly I rarely get to settle into routines. Also, I'm really insulin sensitive and my blood sugar will plummet sometimes and i have hypoglycemia unawareness. That's why sometimes I just freak out and binge on dessert because it doesn't seem to make a difference if i eat well or not.
The pump is not really working again but i'm finding if I bolus via syringe it helps. I do pinch up and i'm using my back (muffin-top) where my trainer taught me to do it. Never had one fall off. Anything to keep from having to go back to long-acting insulin. Every day it would either be too much or too little depending on my mercurial body and i had some really scary BG drops. Just trying to find gratitude in the things i do have. i'll be back in NY in a few weeks and maybe can work with my docs before i leave town again. I feel like there must be some holistic approach to keeping blood sugars more stable in brittle diabetics and/or someone like me whose infusion sets just stop working. Is it a yeast thing, or some kind of PH thing?
Anyway, just musing. THanks so much. sorry you had a rough week!! I find making little gratitude lists helps :)

i am still not sure why your pods are not working! i assume your insulin is good because it is working via injection. jacob has never had sustained problems just the highs after pod changes which took a while to work out and an occasional occlusion, do you thing your basal are set right? i will be happy when you get home and see your endo, you could call from the road. try your belly, love handle spot right above your waist it is his fav. and most successful. i wish there was a magic potion or holistic therapy to help as well. do you try to each a good mix of carbs protein and fat with each meal, snack. this helps jacob stay stable and i worry alot less, he has alot less lows with this he often has icecream for a bed time snack! well good luck on the road darling. i hope you dont think i have been asking to many questions. i just feel a connection with you and want try to help! good luck on the road city girl! amy

Hi, you did a good thing coming here to share your experience, you're not alone (do you know Jamie Grace?

I think you should "clear your mind" and do not draw conclusions and rethink all.
I mean, perhaps we don't have "occlusions".
Are you sure your basal rate and distribution is right?
When basal is wrong, boluses seam not to work and everything is screwed.
Basal is right when you have good BG before a meal, no insulin on board and you keep going good even if you miss that meal. Try and see.

As for infusion sets (minimed) did you actually try them all ? There are vertical sets, variable angle sets and short as well as long sets, even steel sets (link).
If eventually you find you have infusion problem, first try omnipod in non conventional ways (back of the arms, calf, thigh), beacause that is an advantage of omnipod over "traditional" pumps. If it doesn't work, go back to a traditional pump (plus CGM if you can) and try to find the set which fits you. Consider to use manual insertion sets too, because automatic insertion sets can have kink problems.
Hope this helps

One more thing. If you eat fat and protein-rich food you should count them too when you bolus, and use a double wave (also called combo) bolus to cover the long coming high bg wave ;-)

not too many questions, I appreciate the troubleshoot. Basals have been great (.10 of a unit can mean the difference between functioning and devastating lows) and I don't think it's safe for me to keep the sets on the belly since i move around a lot when i play and i don't wanna knock em off. I eat a lot of the same foods to keep a standard running, hoping to see patterns emerging. Low-fat but not no fat, lotta proteins and predictable foods. Nothing seems to stick!
I see we're "friends" now. Thanks, girl!

Hi there!

Basals have been great up to this point, I eat infrequently because my basals are so good I hate to screw em up with boluses! I tried 3 or 4 sets, including the bent needle, which left me bloodied and bruised and miserable! This is a pattern now for me - pump works for a minute (minimed was for about a month, omnipod for several) and suddenly stops working.
I'll try the back of the arm. Are there manual infusion sets for omnipod?

i dont think there are manual insertions for omnipod, i guess you would be more likely to bump a pod off your belly. maybe someone is trying to tell you to stick with MDI. if it wasnt for the cooler to bolus with a little box than it is with a needle for jacob in his teen years and the ability to do extended boluses i dont see a huge advantage to pumping. the not having to drag out needles it huge of course but his A1c has not changed. i think the teen growing years are not the age to strive for a1c's under 7. ( his usually sits 7-8 ) but still no change and more worries about pump failure, occlusions, third day highs ect. for some MDI and knowing what is going in and working just feels better. just letting some ideas flow here, not sure where you are at in your head with it. what ever you decide, i am here for you! amy