Omnipod for Swimmers?

My 14 yr old daughter is a competitive swimmer and we are looking at pumps. She has the Dexcom G5 and she likes the Omnipod. I have heard rumors that it does not stay on well under water. Does anyone have experience with this?

The OmniPod stays on exceptionally well under water. My daughter does quite a bit of swimming (and sweating) in the summer and quite a bit of bathing the remainder of the year. Before sticking on a Pod, I make sure her skin is thoroughly clean and dry. Then I scrub it down with an alcohol pad and let her skin dry thoroughly again. Before applying the Pod, I swipe some Skin Tac on the area and let that dry just until it becomes tacky to the touch. Then I slap on the Pod, push the ‘Start’ button, and she’s good to go!

The Omnipod is waterproof, but a tip is to wait a couple hours until swimming after a pod change, to allow to adhesive to really stick on her skin. If the adhesive does get a bit loose and doesn’t stick anymore, don’t change the whole pod, or stop swimming, just add some medical tape and continue. One time, I took a shower after a pod change and it did come loose but as I said, medical tape will keep it down for the next 3 days. Good luck!

Thank you for your comments! So now my daughter (competitive swimmer) started on the Omnipod 3 weeks ago and it has been a rocky start!
So many high sugars with many Omnipods not lasting for 3 days, needed to change the pod after 1 or 2 days because they stopped working and we were told the site was not working with the pod.
Have you all had this problem? My daughter is very frustrated and ready to give up. The insulin in the Humalog pen appeared to work faster and more effectively than the Omnipod. Not sure what to do.

Have you tried any other pump systems while swimming? Not every system is perfect for every person.

Some people use a long-acting pen (Tresiba, Levemir, Tujeo) for basal and a tubed pump for bolus and corrections. When they swim, they take the pump off, leaving only an infusion site small plastic hub on the skin. Basal is mostly covered by the long acting pen shot with minimal pump basal to keep the site kinetics active.

It’s a little more complicated but versatile and well-suited for frequent swim sessions. This system also provides an extra layer of safety against DKA since the basal is provided separately and is not subject to the vagaries of failed site absorption, a real risk for pumping only. Silent occlusions affect pumpers regularly.

No, the Omnipod is the first pump we have tried.
We also have a cgm which we love. Though,
being a swimmer, the Dexcom numbers are
not always on track. My daughter swim practices for 1.5 hr sessions in the evening and we find that the Dexcom numbers are usually always lower than the glucometer throughput the night. It is a great guide of trends especially!

Is there a certain pump you would recommend for a swimmer if the Omnipod does not work for us?
My daughter does have a lot of muscle so maybe a reason that sites other than her abdomen are not working. I just do not want her to be locked into only using her abdomen for her site as she may develop scar tissue in the future. The Omnipod does cover a bigger surface area on her skin than
a pump with tubing might cover.

Other pumping systems (tubed systems) do give you a much better variety of infusion sets to try. The fact that she is muscular and not a lot of body fat to work with might potentially pose a problem with Omnipod and the cannula becoming bent due to it hitting muscle. There are some other tubed pumps that are waterproof. The ones I’ve had aren’t, but you can certainly leave the infusion site in, and just disconnect the pump from the infusion site. That is the biggest advantage I think of a tubed system, that if you have an issue with an infusion set, you can simply just replace the infusion set. There are sets that inject at 45 degree angles, usually more for people who are lean and more muscular, and then 90 degree infusion sets for people like me with a little extra fatty ares to work with. But pumping is not necessarily a smooth transition regardless of what system you use Omnipod or tubed, it is a pretty steep learning curve and for most of us a bumpy start initially. Have you tried working with a pump trainer or speaking to someone with Omnipod regarding your difficulties?

My daughter at nearly 13 is a competitive swimmer. She was diagnosed just before her 9 year birthday and started out using pen injections for about 1 year. She was then switched to a pump (currently the Medtronic 670G) which was a big relief for her and has for a long time worked very well. Her challenges with the pen treatment was especially on the basal carrying into the practice sessions and causing her to very careful with levels, carbohydrates and insulin prior to sessions. and actually also meant she had to get up from the pool during practice to get some carbohydrates. For the first couple of years using the pump it has worked quite well and the fact that the basal was removed during practice (she removes the pump during sessions) was counterbalanced the hard practice (1.5-2.5h). In august she moved to the next level team - the number of practice hours per week have gone up (20h/week) and the practice is also even more diverse to the anaerob and aerob side (there is a resent article in The Lancet on this subject couple with blood sugar levels in diabetes patients) - or mixes between these. This is now challenging her, as well as her normal growth and change in hormones, and we are actually now considering the OmniPod. She was very keen on trying it out when she saw it - her biggest hesitation is how it feels to use under a competition suit as she also infuses into her abdomen.

A few notes on the muscular issues is swimmers /athletes and infusion sets. As stated she always use the infusion set on the abdomen. She is very muscular in this area (as well) and it is sometimes hard for to find a good spot. She uses a standard soft cannula infusion set from Medtronic with a 6mm cannula. The experience that sometimes the cannula will bend and will not work sometimes even more times in a row - that is frustration to her but she manages. Once it is inserted correctly it very seldom bends during the 3 days usage.

More thoughts on usage are very welcome - also experiences with using the OmniPod under competition suits.

My son uses OmniPod. For long periods of swimming, I would suggest an adhesive reinforcement, like Skin Tac, but you probably have experience in that area with regular infusion sites. As far as how it feels, Caleb has never complained of discomfort under his swimsuit - he swam competitively for a short time, his Pod would be on his leg to be under his suit, so this isn’t apples to apples, but never a comfort issue. It’s pretty impossible to hide though. Caleb is a competitive dancer and certain of his costumes are very tight. The least conspicuous spots are his abdomen and the back of his arm.

Hi Jesper. My daughter is a 12year old competitive swimmer who sounds to have many parallels with your daughter. She has been on pens since diagnosed and has found long training sessions a blood sugar challenge. We’ve just started OmniPod trials this week so was wondering if you made the switch and if so whether you have any advice\experience you’d share. Many thanks.

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I swim about 10-15k a week. If the pod is under my jammer then there is no problem, this is what I would recommend for competitions and for long workout days.

If the pod is on my arm it usually falls off about 3k into a workout, especially if I’m working on a strong catch. So, in the past if the pod is on my arm I would plan on it falling off/putting a new one on after the workout or I used Coban (or generic vet wrap). Now I have been testing an armband by FreedDM and it is awesome for swimming. No chafing and keeps everything in place. I have not lost a pod while using the armband yet. It’s going to be released soon - definitely worth a look!

Is it possible your daughter is having a reaction to the cannula (plastic tube) when inserted under the skin? I have heard of this happening.

How old is your daughter? Have you tried any swim school yet? I know Houston swim club sugar land tx has intensive facilities and care for babies.

When I swim I use ankle wraps for horses to wrap around my transmitter/sensor and my Omnipod. You can pick these adhesive tapes up in equine supply stores. I swear by them.

You can also try these:

Griff Grips Sport

Yup. They are fantastic. Love them. Great in the hot and humid temps.