Omnipod - frustrated!

I’ve had the omnipod for about a year now and my experiences with it have ranged from amazing to utter disappointment. Its not consistent and I can’t figure out why! I keep changing pods early and wasting insulin and pods thinking that the cannula isn’t in properly or that scar tissue may be causing some resistance.

I find it incredibly frustrating when I tell it to deliver insulin, that it doesn’t work and my number climbs over 130 and lately has been reaching 200 at times. I’ve been on an extremely low carb diet (Atkins) and am literally only eating around 5 carbs per meal, so my deliveries have been low. All day yesterday it kept slowly climbing regardless of what I did. So this morning I changed my pod and put it in a new location on the back of my arm, which I hate because it feels like I’m bumping it constantly.

However, even with the new pod and location it’s acting like I’m getting insulin resistance or the cannula is not in far enough or something. My number is now 171 and climbing and it refuses to lower my number. So now im gonna take a syringe injection to help it.

Is there a way to tell if the cannula isn’t in properly? I use skintac on the area prior to placing the new pod on… could this cause some issues too? My pump advisor just gave me some basic things to try like change spots constantly (which I already do but it’s hard for me to put them on my legs or arms due to my job).

So im beyond frustrated and venting here! Insulin costs keep rising and the pods are expensive even with insurance, so it’s really taking it’s toll financially.

I figured someone here most likely has had this same issue and can give me some pointers. I’m lost.

Thanks in advance!

What kind of insulin are you using?

Sometimes pumps become less effective on day 3 versus day 1. This isn’t a pump problem, but just your tissue becomes less receptive to the infusion after a few days.

Some sites are also less effective. Again, not an issue with the pump.

All pumps basically do the same thing. The only advantage a different pump would give is a choice of infusion lengths. OmniPod doesn’t give you a choice.

Thanks for the response! Other pumps allow a longer cannula? If that’s what you meant that might make a huge difference.

Yes, most pumps give you an option of lengths like 6mm, 9mm, 13 mm, 17mm. And they give you an option of straight or angled, teflon or steel. But for the other ones you have to deal with tubes, which is somewhat of a deal-breaker for me.

What type of insulin are you using?

Ah, I see. I’m currently using humalog.

Edit- it’s humalog u-100 (not the mixture kinds)

I’ve used a Medtronic pump and the Omnipod for almost 4 years and went back to my Medtronic this year. I had many of the same issues you’re having and started to find that dealing with inconsistent absorption, etc. was far worse than dealing with a tube. All pumps have their issues for sure, and being lean I do still have trouble with bleeding sites that don’t work now and then no matter what pump I’m using. The biggest difference I find though is that if I have a bad site with the tubed pump, I can usually tell right away - I feel pain, it never works right from the beginning, and I know almost right away to change it. If a site works well when I insert it, it will work pretty consistently for 3 days. With the pods I would find they were completely unpredictable - a pod that was working great could stop working great at any time, sometimes even on the same day, and any time on day 1, 2 or 3. I also don’t ever have highs after changing sites with the tubed pump, unless it is a bad site and then I know right away to change it.

I had a little better luck having NovoLog work for the full 3 days than Humalog. Not sure if would fix it for you, but it might be worth a try.

Thanks for the replies (both of you).

I was changed from novolog to humalog about 3 months ago due to insurance preference but now that you mention it most of my problems have occurred recently. I would say most were within these past 3 months. I do recall it happening prior but not near as often.

I like the idea of the minimed and longer cannula option. Also, how do you insert a cannula with tubing? Do you push it in yourself? Do you find it easier or harder than the omnipod?

They have options for automated insertion or manual insertion.

The tubing is a deal breaker for me. Things like sitting on the toilet, changing clothes, taking a shower. A lot of times being connected to a tube is a pain.

That’s why I chose the omnipod over the ones with tubing. I run around a lot with my 4yr old daughter and I feel the tubing would have a lot of terrible moments.

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I’ve always been on a pump with tubing and been pumping since 1990. I have never really noticed any problems with either of my kids over the years or two puppies over the years. Everyone has different opinions about what is better. It’s all very personal. I do like the longer tube because if it gets caught on a cabinet handle or door knob, it gives me time to stop before I pull the infusion set out. I have only had a few over the years pulled out.
I also now have gone back to metal ones as the Teflon ones kept kinking. Infusion sets are many & again very personal. What I like, you may hate. But most companies will send out samples so you can try different ones. Good luck and hope you find the right infusion set/pump for you. So nice to have choice but also can make it challenging.

The tubing can be annoying for sure, but I don’t find it that difficult or even noticeable most of the time. When I got my first pump I didn’t have a choice, as the Omnipod wasnt available yet - the tubing quickly became normal for me. If I had started on a tubeless pump I think I would be more hesitant of tubing, but switching back wasn’t hard since I knew what to expect. I only got the Omnipod in the first place because I was eligible for a new pump, thought it would be exciting to try something new, and liked the idea of using my arms easily as sites (where the pods worked terribly for me it turned out). It was never because I couldn’t stand the tubing.

By “new location” do you mean different from the one or two before, or never-used-before? When I was recently encountering a similar pattern, going high and staying high, and doing corrections that left me wondering if I was bolusing water, my CDE suspected it was an absorption issue because the site (or close by) had been used before – not necessarily over-used, which I don’t do, but the general vicinity. She suggested I put my next pod in “virgin territory.” Which I did, and the problem vanished.

So that’s one option. Try it and see what happens. You said you can’t use your arms or legs, but concentrating in any one area, with any pump, and with injections, isn’t a good idea.

I’ve been using pumps since 1980, and absorption problems and site irritations are par for the course for a number of (but by no means all) pumpers. It’s more about your unique body, and you can’t necessarily blame the pump itself. I have had much better results with the Omnipod than I ever did with my previous pumps or with MDI.

I have to change my infusions sets every 48 hours no matter which pump or pod I use and when I was using the Omnipod I just put in 2 days supply of insulin. It made using the Omnipod more expensive than I was originally expecting but at least I wasn’t wasting insulin. Also, folks have had problems with Apidra and pumps, so I use and have used Humalog or Novolog in both the Pods and other pumps successfully.

As always your results may vary but best of luck!

I have had the same problem. Occasionally one of the pods simply does NOT seem to deliver any insulin. I feel the cannula going in when I apply the new pod but then, even if I double or triple my insulin dosage, my blood sugar continues to rise. Some on this thread have suggested that it is the insulin but I have been using OmniPod for about 8 months, with the same insulin, and it still happens occasionally and doesn’t seem to matter if the site is on my stomach, my legs, or my arms. I admit, it is rare, but it is very frustrating when it does happen and it ends up wasting that pod and also wasting the insulin in it. I used a Medtronic for 4 years prior to the OmniPod and I am very seriously considering switching back. Yes, the tubing can sometimes be a nuisance but there are waterproof holders for the pump so that you don’t need to remove the tube when showering or swimming and, at least with Medtronic, I never had a problem with not getting insulin.