OMG, two failed pods in one day!

I'm brand new to this party as I started wearing the OmniPod about a week and a half ago, and I keep a few pods at work, just in case. I figure keeping 3 or more is safe because for training they want you to have two in case one fails.

Well, I had TWO pods fail on me today. Previous to wearing the OmniPod I wore a Minimed Paradigm pump and pretty much exclusively rotated sites around my abdomen. Since I was at work, I chose my abdomen. I got myself all set up and programmed in a bolus when I got an occlusion warning. I disconnected and put a new one on. This time, being scared that my abdomen has a lot of recovering to do, I stuck it the upper area of my butt. I've used that spot twice with no problems. I got through lunch but then it was time for a correction bolus and I got a pod alarm! What?

I disconnect again but this time the pod is screaming! I'm at work and that goodness I'd decided that I was working out of a conference room all day. (I'm in an open office layout). I called OmniPod and O.M.G. it took so long to turn that annoying alarm off! By the time I got to someone, I was just irritated. I explain my situation: I'm at work and my pod's alarm is wailing away.

However, she's asking me for my name and other info. I do get they have to track the call and I wasn't going to hang up, but, come on. Help me silence this thing first, please. At that point, I told her she can wait until this pod is silent. Then we get disconnected! She called me right back, but that doesn't calm me down. Finally, we bumble through getting it turned off (and, great, because now I know the process.) Then she keeps me on the phone for minutes upon minutes with questions. I understand they need the data, but I'M AT WORK. I ask how much longer I have to deal with questions and she's not giving me an answer. I finally just shut the call down and she tried to get me to call back. Instead, I insisted that she have someone call me at a set time tomorrow. I've scheduled in 30 minutes. I think that will be more than enough.

I like the pod, but I do miss the higher quality of Medtronic service. They (Medtronic) warned me, but the tech was the deciding factor for me.

Hi Regina, sorry you had a bad experience. I have been with Omnipod for a year now, I have had 3 squealers in that time and about 5 pod alarms, one being when I bolus. All in all I have been very lucky. Sometimes people get a bad box so maybe if you get another alarm you could ask for a replacement for the box. As for the service, I have a different view than you I think there service is great. I always get a person, they are polite and efficient. There questions only take a few minutes and what they learn will help make better pods. I think your health is more important than any job and if you had to explain that you either had to call or have them listen to a squeal they would understand, then maybe 10 min to change it out totalling 15 min. I am not pointing fingers at you at all and hope you do not take it as an attack just wanted to share a different perspective as I have only had a good experience with OmniPod. I wish you well and hope your experience gets better. P.s. Got to love not having tubes anymore.

there does seem to be a bit of a learning curve when new on the omnipod, are you pitching up the sites, being super careful about bubbles, I agree when you have an issue answering 20 questions is a pain, but they are just following protocol, hope things get better, I think all omnipoders have had those days, I do think this next generation is better.

No worries, I’m not that sensitive. :wink:

However, you don't understand my job. On days where I'm on a live broadcast, I don't have time for 20 or more questions. I just don't. It's not about my health being less important as I'm very aggressive about my health, but their process.

I told the rep when I got on the phone that I was a work and needed to turn the squealing pod off. Then she could have made note and said she'd have someone call me at a more convenient time. It doesn't HAVE to be done right then. Plus, my backup pods were upstairs at my desk. If their issue is my health wouldn't it have been the most logical to turn the squealer off and then make sure I got a new pod on ASAP?

I got run over by a sequence of steps they've been taught. And in terms of the on the phone experience this is where Medtronic is better. When you call them and you say you're having a failure or issue they ask things about you and aren't going for an immediate data grab.

So ideally I think this would have gone better had, once she knew I had a squealing pod that she walked me through that. Then asked me the obligatory ID questions. Then the focus should have shifted to if I had a new pod near and that actually never came up while I was on the phone with her. Instead, I had to remind her that I was sitting there at work, stressed, going through questions that I could answer later AND I wasn't wearing a pod.

Doesn't feel like my health was the priority. The priority was for her to get the data.

Yeah, I think these new ones are better. I remember when I saw the first OmniPods, I was like "never". When I was considering new pumps the size reduction was significant and I was getting tired of having tubes (and having them sometimes disconnect when I was asleep - I'd roll over and there would be too much tension and *snap*.) I met a few people who wore the new OmniPods and they all had good things to say too.

As for sites, I'm not pinching as I wasn't instructed to do so when I was trained. Alas, the one thing I do have is fat as I'm overweight now, so that's maybe more of an issue when the patient is lean. I'm a pumper, so, yes, I'm super careful about bubbles as the priming process for pumps with tubing is much of a pain. ;)

Since I was with Medtronic for so long, it's hard not to compare. I'm used to their customer service workflow. It's much better. My local rep OmniPod rep is very responsive too, so I don't have a problem with Insulet overall. I've just not had the same level of service on the phone from them as I had with Medtronic. But, as I wrote, I was warned and decided to go with the more innovative technology.

And, for what it's worth, the pod I've got on now seems to be working just fine. That's a good thing. :)

I'm trying to decide between a Minimed and an Omnipod right now and find your comments helpful. I filled out an online form for a trial (fake) Omnipod (offered as a sample for weight & size) yesterday and didn't realize it was going to lead to phone calls from them. Took too much effort to explain that I didn't want to "engage" with Insulet right now - wanted to go through my endo. I'm using a Dexcom G4 CGM right now and I'm pleased with their customer support. They're fast and efficient. It matters! Thanks Regina for your well-written insights.

I think Insulet might be suffering from too much process. They've got the superior technology though, and there isn't much debate about that. OmniPod wearers do have way more flexibility.

Just a guess, but they probably train their phone reps to be very specific to make sure they get the info they need. That's efficient for sure, but it has them so focused on that goal that they're unable to be flexible with the script. We're all going to be coming at them with different back stories and situations even if the basic issues are similar: a wailing pod alarm or figuring out if the OmniPod is the right system. They need to listen better and have the flexibility to be more nimble in varying situations.

Overall though, I have to say I'm thrilled with the switch to the OmniPod. The only frustrating issue is I got a ton of test strips just before my switch, so I'm carrying my old Bayer Contour meter, my Dexcom, and the OmniPod PDM. Once I use up the Bayer strips, it won't be so bad. I carry them since you have to be consistent with calibration with your Dexcom, I'm thinking next week when I switch Dexcom sensors, I'll calibrate with the Freestyle system and just use the Bayer meter at home.

hey, regina, I just switched to the Omnipod, too. Definitely takes some getting used to, and a bit harder to use than a standard pump in some ways! I also had just gotten a shipment of strips for my old meter!! I had some issues with the first 3 pods falling off (mainly due to operator error :)), but has gotten better. Good luck.

Thanks, mom2kate! I was sailing in smooth waters until yesterday and things are going fine now it seems.

The one thing I figured out is when I walk I have to always think first about where the pod is on my body. I've had a times where I forgot the pod was and hit it really hard. I tend to walk close to walls and corners (noticed that when I wore a test pod with saline in it.) Now that I'm wearing them 24/7, I make sure I give myself a little more room, so that I'm not clipping myself as I move.

We'll figure it out. :)

Yeah that's a consideration. I'm not a Freestyle fan, so I might continue bg testing with the Accuchek Compact (I like the test strip drum. You don't need to fumble around with strips for 17 consequtive tests, which I love). Old habits (I've had T1 for almost 47 years) are hard to break. You develop muscle memory (seriously) with the regimen when it comes to testing and tools. :)

2 failures in a day is not usual. When the smaller pods first came out, there were lots of problems that many of us experienced. I had a 70% failure rate in one box. But things have definitely improved. I've only had two fail in the last 6 months and interestingly, those happened within one week. You make a good point about the customer service needing to be more patient focused. I guess I am just used to their questions so I have everything prepared before I call, error code, lot #, etc. I have been on the pods for 7-8 yrs and was on mini-med before that. I have never regretted making the change. Other than the beeping and occasional squealing, I forget I'm even wearing a pod until it comes time to put on a new one. Eventually you will find good sites to attach the pod and I bet the failure rate drops considerably. A silence mode would be a convenient feature to have on the pod system that you activate before you go on the air, like putting a cell phone on vibrate. For what it's worth, I find attaching to my upper arm works well. When I first started attaching there, I knocked a couple loose, walking thru a doorway for example, but now it's just second nature, being aware of where it is and allowing space. Sounds like you are already learning that. Good luck!

I've been diabetic for just over half of that time, so I get it. I was not pleased when Medtronic switched from the OneTouch system to Bayer for glucose testing. But one of my nurses told me that the Bayer system, overall, is the most accurate.

Also, I know there is an advantage to being open to change. :) Had you asked me 6 months ago if I would have considered an OmniPod, I would have said "no", but facts changed so my opinion had to also.

Whatever decision you make remember change is good if the system will help you manage your diabetes better. :)

Diabetes 101. :)

Good perspective, clubkobe. Thanks for chiming in! I'm getting used to a new system and now I'll expect the 20 or more question routine when I call. :) I was just sitting there like "WTH?!!! When will this end?" Now I know what to expect and will plan accordingly.

I agree that silence mode would be nice. (Laughing imagining my leg or wherever it's attached vibrating though.)

I had a bad batch once and got them to replace the box with a different lot #. I had like six failures over two days or something. Also track how many fail and I would say after like 5 or so you can ask for reimbursement for insulin. I had to fight for it and follow up a bunch of times but eventually got the check.

Thanks for the tips, Matti. :) I'll definitely track it now. So far, so good with this third pod. As of now, just two out of the first box have failed, but I'll definitely keep track!

I know that cost of Humalog per vial is crazy, so I can see them resisting a bit. However, if their equipment is depleting your insulin supply it makes complete sense to ask to be reimbursed.

Matti, do you have to fill out a form or something for reimbursement for insulin?