OmniPod Pros and Cons

My son, 14, is having a lot of problems with the Dawn Phenomenon and his endo. said that the only way to prevent this (as we've already tried splitting his Lantus) is for him to go on a pump. HE really wants the OmniPod, but I have heard mixed reviews about them. 1.) I've heard that they just shut off (and stop delivering insulin) quite often. 2.) I've heard that they "scream"/alarm a lot if there is a problem. 3.) There is almost always a bad pod in every box. And 4.) You can't place them in as many areas as a tubed pumped for good absorption. I would love to hear your input on these issues. BIG THANKS!!!

I am one of Insulet's biggest enemies at TU Diabites, and I have heard from them often. I do have to say, however, that when it comes to pumps the Omnipod is probably the best option! I have worn the "Ping" as well and the tubing was just too dificult to adjust to among other problems (difficult to place/inject, pump failures, etc.). And, I must add, the customer service reps at Insulet are GREAT! (Even when I call and chew them out- for whatever reason) I swear they must be trained to deal with loudmouth assholes like me. Of course, they would only be trained this way if, in fact, there were just too many problems with the product, which I believe there still are...but, again, I do believe it is the best option to deal with this dispicable condition. In any case, good luck and PEACE!

I do want to add as well that there is a group in TU called "Momnipods and Pops" that would be worth tapping into for folks like yourself!

You are going to hear mixed reviews from lots of folks--some will agree w/ everything you've written above, and others will agree w/ none of what you've written above. Just like with any pump, it is going to be pretty individualized.
There are plenty of people on this site (myself included) who are very happy w/ this pump. There are plenty of people on this site who will also tell you to keep searching in your pump choices. So I would say take everything you read (my own words included) at face value, or with a grain of salt, or (insert some other phrase about your diabetes may vary, etc).

If you install the pod in good tissue following some general guidelines (start w/ room temp insulin, not straight from frig, pinch up the skin when it is auto inserting, apply it in an area that is free from skin oils and/or perhaps use extra adhesive wipes, etc), then you will likely have a lot of success.
I have not had any "bad boxes" of pods in a long time. I was in a rush on my last pod change and tried to put insulin that was not room temp into the pod (I pulled it from frig, drew it into syringe, and then "warmed" it by rubbing it w/ my hands back and forth to try and speed the process), and because of it, it failed during priming. It happens. It's a disposable electronic device--there is likely to be some parts of the sytem that do not work flawlessly. But having said that, this was the first failed pod in many many months, and I knew right away that it was a fault of my own, not of its own.
Yes they "scream". What people mean is that the pod talks to you with a series of beeps--two beeps for confirmation of bolus amount, two beeps when it is done priming and ready to be applied to skin, etc. In the even to of a failed pod (through occlusion, some sort of internal safety mechanism error, through static electricity discharge, etc), it will give you one long (neverending) continuous beeeeeeeeeeep until you confirm that the pod is bad w/ the PDM (the handheld "brain" of the pump). The other option is to 'kill' it by breaking it open (there are several ways to do this). Some people do not "like" this kind of alarm/noise/sound so they talk about how much they dislike more than others. It is what it is--that's how this pump talks when something is wrong.
Can't speak to the "bad pod in every box"--I think this is false based on my personal experience, but as mentioned previously, others who have not had success w/ this pump may disagree. User experiences vary (but that comes w/ any pump, FYI).
I can place the pod more places than I used to place my minimed pump infusion sets. Again, user experience varies. I have 6 spots I frequently rotate through, and I have another 4 spots that I *could* if I wanted to (in order to give those 6 a break, etc). None of the 6 spots I use now are spots that I used w/ the MM.

My suggestion is to try and talk w/ your Doc about meeting up w/ the rep. See if you can try a sample pump or not (some reps allow this, some may not--this info based on experiences from other users on this site who have written about it). There is a 45 day money back guarantee w/ Insulet as well, so it may be an option worth giving a try.
I am pretty sure you could probably get similar "trial" experiences from other companies too, except for Tandem's T:slim, which is a "once you buy it, you've bought it" policy. You might look at the T:slim group on this site to read about their experiences if that is a pump option that interests you.

I think the omnipod is a great pump and I love the tubeless design, the very easy to use user-interface, and have been generally very happy with the customer service I've received over the past 4 years.

I wish you and your son luck as you begin to investigate the pump possibilities!

lol Steve while I was typing my response, I almost put your name down as "one of the folks who was generally NOT happy w/ this pump". I knew you'd chime in though so decided to leave any direct names out of it :)

I also appreciate your candor when talking about your experience (and find it surprising/interesting that you still think it's the best option, despite not having much luck w/ it yourself).
Thanks for chiming in buddy!

I started pumping for the same reason: Dawn Phenomenon. I used minimed for 8 years, tried all different for 1-2 weeks. Once I tried Omnipod I knew It was it!. Ability to swim without disconnecting, no string hanging - freedom again. It has been almost one year on pods, still a big fan, definitively my preference.
I am sure there is no perfect pump. Every single pump will have pros and cons. This is going to be the first pump, big change in management. I think you should learn about ALL, to make a decision.
Here you don't have tubing attached, but you may lose the PDM. Once I went to the restaurant for dinner with my husband. He had a nice dinner, I could only smell it - I left my PDM at home.
I want to encourage you to explore all options, get your son to wear demo pod for a few days or so.
GOod luck.

He did wear the demo Pod (even the BIG one) and said it didn't bother him. He wears a CGM so that really isn't the big deal for him. He really - REALLY doesn't want tubes! I told him that he'll have to wear the CGM receiver in one pocket and the Pod receiver in the other, but he didn't really seem to mind. Is the PDM for the OmniPod large? It looks like it on their site?

Wow, 4 years! Sounds like you are pretty satisfied. Does the PDM also have a blood glucose meter IN it? It looks like it on their site.

I want to go with what my son wants to go with since it is HIS decision and HE has to be the one that's happy with it. But, I'm the mom & I'm going to be the one dealing with all the issues if we have them so I want to get the best one we can. Thanks for ALL of your help.

Here are some comparison shots of the PDM inside the rubber casing. Compared to my iphone 4s in it's cover. It's about (?) twice as thick as my phone (w/ covers), is just a hair shorter in length, and is just a hair wider (maybe closer to 1/4"-3/8" wider?)

2188-PDMfrontview.JPG (2.01 MB) 2189-PDMstacked.JPG (2.23 MB) 2190-PDMsidebysidethickness.JPG (1.77 MB)

Just like the others have said, there are pros and cons to every insulin pump out there. As a recent convert from Minimed, I do feel that I made the right decision. In the six months I have been on Omnipod, I have had only one failure that may be attributable to the pod itself. When I contacted Insulet, they were extremely easy to deal with and replaced the pod. All other failures I have had, four if memory serves me right, were due to factors beyond their control and mainly due to being a klutz (door jambs and soccer nets).

As far as the questions you posed, I have not experienced any of the problems mentioned, and I have used almost seven boxes (70 pods). I can tell you that I have had less issues with this system than Minimed (no deliveries alarms, etc). I did loose the option of one good spot for absorption, but many others not doable with a tubed device opened up (I tried my arms once with my Minimed, not very practical).

Good luck to you however you decide, this disease is always a complicated beast to deal with. I definitely recommend Omnipod though. As was mentioned earlier, have him try the demo pod as it definitely give you a feel for what you are getting into.

Funny, but I read a few responses from you in another Omnipod discussion and was actually wondering myself if you'd respond. It's good to hear both the good and the bad things about a product. That way, if we have the same experiences I'll know in advance and won't freak out about it.

PDM is not too big, you can fit it in the pocket etc. If tubing is a big deal here I don't think you have options. Just go for it and deal with all the problems along the road. This was my case. Pump without tubing is a huge normalization of my life, everything comes next.

Same here, > 50 pods, never had a bad one.

My son is 12, and has been wearing the Omnipod for 3 1/2 years. I wasn't completely sold on it before he got it but I wasn't sold on a tubed pump either (honestly I had heard plenty of people singing the pump's praises but even that didn't sell me on the idea.) We decided to let him decide. There is so little that he feels like he has control over in the diabetes world that this was one thing we could let him control. The idea of a tube freaked him out so much (and he refuses to stick anything in his stomach) that it was either Omnipod or shots, and he chose the Omnipod. Honestly I've heard good and bad about all insulin delivery methods and the most important thing to me was that he was happy. He loves the pod and there is no way he would consider anything else.

Has everything worked perfectly all the time? No. There were a couple of months about 2 1/2 years ago where we had what felt like a LOT of failures. Since then we haven't had a single one. Honestly I feel like there are more places you can put a pod because it can go almost anywhere without having to connect to anything. My son wears his on the backs of his arms almost exclusively, but people wear them on their stomachs, backs, legs, butts, arms . . .

And on the dawn phenomenon - it's true. My son also has a definite dawn phenomenon that we are able to combat by a high basal rate starting at around 5 AM. But of course that's possible on all pumps.

The Omnipod receiver isn't really a receiver though and it becomes his bg meter, so however he currently carries that would be how he could carry the PDM. My son has a bag that he takes everywhere with strips, lancet, tabs, and his PDM. It's always on our dining room table at home, and then he takes it wherever he goes, but it doesn't have to be on you all the time.

hi there was a recent post on here that i am not sure if you saw but is has a similar topic check out ? recommendations for a pump by jareds mom. my son jacob has been using the omnipod for about 2 years and we are overall happy. there were some adjustments in the beginning but i would imagine pump failure rates are pretty even with the different pumps. the biggest issues we had were highs after pod changes which if you run into that problem i can suggest what we did ( a small bolus post change to 'prime the pump') there are rare occlusions that beep but better that than not letting you know there is a problem. sometimes jacobs bs will just not be coming down or rising steady without coming down like we would expect when all other variables are considered too much fat not enough insulin we will change out his pod but again this is rare there can be a partial occlusion that doesnt alarm. not to bring up all the bad stuff but it is good to know what CAN happen so you are prepared if i had to guess i would say now that we are settled in jacob probably as a 95% success rate, the problems are well spaced out but stressful for those that only "like" their diabetes when it is going there way :) i guess that would be all of us, but pointing more at my teen that could use more coping skills! it works well with swimming and can occasionally need some extra reinforcement with a tegaderm strip for heavier activity. i would absolutely recommend it but wouldnt expect perfection right off the bat,a there will be adjustments and frustrations. but overall with the programming options and with bolusing with just a few buttons pressed it is much better. i am glad kyle is considering a pump and if you have any other specific questions, ask away! best of luck, amy

OK, that helps. Thanks for the pics.

My daughter says, and I agree, it would be easier to be a girl with diabetes and just throw everything in a purse. My son has everything in a backpack type sports bag that he has to take everywhere.

So, do you guys have trouble with after pod change highs??

I've been on the Pod for around 4 years. I have yet to have a Pod just shut off and stop delivering insulin. Maybe one, near the beginning of my use, but it gave me plenty of warning. I have had a few (maybe 10 at this point)give up the ghost while priming, but Insulet replaced those without argument. Figure 122 pods a year, so maybe 500 over the course of my usage... that works out to 1 in 50 being bad, which is a lot better than one per box.They do alarm if there's a problem, but I think that's what you want, right? No quiet failures. The cannula for the OmniPod is a lot shorter than those of other pumps I've used, so there may be spots on my body where the cannula cannot penetrate to the subcutaneous tissue as well as other pumps might, but so far it has not been a problem. In addition, the fact that there is less length of cannula, there is less potential scarring and irritation in the subcutaneous layer.

Good luck with your decision on this.

I really think this is the way we're going to go. If we do have a lot of problems someone mentioned that Omnipod has a 90 day (or 60 day) return policy so I don't feel so obligated. Thanks.