OmniPod questions

I’ve been diabetic for 19 years and am finally thinking about using a pump. I’ve done quite a bit of reading and am interested in either the OmniPod or Ping. I LOVE the idea of the OmniPod, but have a few questions. I’ve read about alarms that you’re unable to silence. When do the alarms go off and is it the pod alarming or the PDM? I’m a nurse and don’t want to be in a patient’s room and be interrupted by an alarm. Is there a way to silence all alarms or set them to vibrate? The other thing that concerns me is what seems to be a pretty high pod failure rate. Do you have to carry extra pods and insulin with you at all times in case this happens? From what I have read, it seems like the Ping is very reliable, but the freedom that the OmniPod offers is a wonderful concept. I’d love to hear your thoughts! :slight_smile:

I haven’t had many problems with the OmniPod although others will differ with me. Unfortunately there’s no “vibrate”. I work as a consultant and see many clients every day and never had a problem with the alarm going off except when it alerts me that it’s time to change my pod. The pod itself is on you and you carry the PDM in a case which also contains insulin, test strips, etc. I always have the PDM within 50 feet but seeing as you work in a hospital you may want to keep it in a jacket pocket. The case is just about the size of a large wallet and the PDM has all the controls. The pod stays on your body for three days and you can set the time you want to change it so it doesn’t interfere with your working hours. I happen to LOVE my Omnipod but I haven’t tried any other pumps. I don’t think I could tolerate tubes but if I were you I’d investigate both very carefully. It was a no-brainer for me. Good Luck.

Oops, Janet! I meant to reply to you, but instead posted above you. Excuse me, I’m new to the forum. :slight_smile:

Is it necessary to have the PDM on you or close to you? I thought the only time you’d really need it is if you needed additional insulin or at meal times? I’m glad to hear that you like it so much! I’ve been using the DexCom CGM since November and I read many negative reviews before I deciding to try it. I’ve LOVED it and can’t imagine life without it now. I’m wondering if it’d be the same with the OmniPod. I definitely plan on discussing both at my endo appt on Monday to learn more details about both.

There are two types of alarms. One is a precautionary alarm that goes off when you’re getting low on insulin or near the end of your pod life. You can set when you want these alarms going off so that they do not interfere with whatever you’re doing. The critical pod alarms go off when you have an occlusion or when there is an error with the pod. These alarms are there to let you know your insulin is not being delivered and cannot be turned off or silenced. All alarms start on the pod and then are picked up by the PDM once you turn it on. I personally always try to carry around an extra two pods as well as my bottle of insulin. The only exception to this is if I’m running to the store really quickly. You need the PDM to deliver bolus insulin anyway and I’ve found that since I’m carrying that around the extra supplies aren’t really much more work. Is the pod failure rate to high? Yes, it probably is. Do many (if not most) of us find it worth it? Absolutely. Do your research and pick what works best for you but, as with any system, you’ll find those of us on the Omnipod love it and would never use anything else.

I’m glad you mentioned “DexCom” because I’m thinking about purchasing it. I already printed out the necessary paperwork and will bring them to my endo. I just believe it’s a wonderful precautionary device to stay within the safe zone. Can you tell me a bit more about it?

It’s wonderful! It gives you a reading every 5 minutes, although many times the reading is inaccurate. I don’t rely on it for the number, but to see what my blood sugar is doing. There are arrows on the monitor which indicate if you’re blood sugar is stable, going up, going down, and if so, it indicates how quickly it’s doing so. It’s helped me prevent a lot of hypos. I’ve been wearing it since November, and have had no issues other than one sensor failing, but it was on day 6, so I wasn’t too upset. DexCom even sent a replacement! There’s only been one day that I haven’t worn it since I’ve started and I really felt lost without it. Unlike getting a BG reading, which really gives you a snapshot of what you’re sugar is doing at that moment, it really gives you a great overall picture. I highly recommend it, and I hope you love it as much as I (and many others) do!

Hi Tiffany…The pdm does not have to be with you, so you could leave it in an office or somewhere while you are moving around work. You would only need to have it if you want to bolus or make any changes to your insulin delivery. Your basal rates are in memory of the pod itself and it will keep giving your basal delivery without the pdm being near you. The alarms and alerts are about as loud was a wrist watch alarm, if you’ve ever heard those beep or used, not sure anyone has or uses those anymore but they were big when I was in high school :slight_smile: I’ve been using the pod for 1 year now. I had 9 bad pods, of which I believe 5 were the result of me using some cheap batteries that seemed to cause issues when the pods were priming since I switched to the recommended batteries I have not had a problem since. So to put it in perspecitve I had 1 bad pod every 40 days and if I take out the 5 errors I had in about 3 days it would be 1 pod error every 90 days. I’ve had great luck and some people seem to have issues and errors, why I don’t know. I’ve never had an occlusion in the full year of being on the pod. The alerts sound at the end of a bolus or extended bolus which are a quick set of 2 beeps to let you know the pod did what it as suppose to, so if you have lunch and bolus you’ll hear the beeps right at the end of reciving the bolus. Otherwise the other alert I hear is near the end the pods life, I think its at the 71 hr mark, 2 beeps about every 15 minutes then I think it goes to 1 time an hour until the pod would expire at 80 hrs, then it is a steady alarm until you disable it with the pdm. It is the only pump I’ve been on and did not go on a pump right away as I didn’t want to deal with the tubing. Things that I considered where what to do when showering, either unhook or wear somting to strap to, what to do when I slept again having something to strap it to. I love being able to bolus when wearing the pod under layers of clothing and holding the pdm in my hands, I do a lot of hunting and fishing so it’s handy for me. I just look at it like you stated with the Dex (which I am considering) that those that have problems will state it and those that don’t usually don’t say much! Human nature I guess but I am so happy I went with the pod as it seems to have set me free from the short time I was on shots and made my life as close as possible to before I had diabetes…sorry for the lengthy reply! Good Luck! I’m sure you’ll do fine with whatever choice you go with! Take care!

Tiffany…on another note, sorry as I didn’t mention it in my other post but Dexcom and OminPod are working to combine the 2 units in some way, not real sure what it means but think the PDM would eventually be able to take readings from the Dex? I believe they are in FDA trials and I know others here can give you more info on it so that might play into your decisions.

Both the Animas and OmniPod say they are going to do this. I haven’t spoken to anyone from OmniPod, but the rep at Animas said it would be early next year at the earliest. I would LOVE to see this thappen. How nice would it be to minimize the gadgets that need to be carried around? lol

You don’t have to have the pdm on you. You only need it to start the bolus and then you can walk away. I carry a small bag in my purse that holds everything including a vial of insulin and an extra pod if I’m going to be a way for a while. I’ve had to change out because of an occlusion once in the 6 months using. I change out at night around 8 or 9 pm. I have time to make sure it’s working before going to bed but if I’m out I can hold off until I get home to change. You have about 8 hours after the “official” change time as long as you have enough insulin. Pretty sure it’s the pod that alarms but not sure. When it alarms you just hit the OK button on the pdm and I think it stays quiet from then out, haven’t paid much attention. The alarm itself isn’t very loud, it’s more high pitched than loud and it beeps 2 or 3 times and then waits for you to let it know you heard it. If you don’t respond it beeps again. You can set reminders which will cause a beep (I never do) and when it’s time to change or if there’s an occlusion ( I think that one may be louder?) Have you gone to the Omnipod website and order a sample? You should.

The alarms were really a huge deterant for me, but if they’re not that loud, than I’m sure it’s something that would work. I thought I had read someone post that the alarms were extremely loud and emberassing, but I could be wrong. Last night I requested that a demo kit be sent, but I’m not sure what will be included in the kit. I’m sure they’ll have one at my endos office, as the office I’m switching to is supposed to be very thorough in education.

It sounds like people either have had a wonderful experience with them, or hate them, similar to what I’ve read about my CGM. Maybe certain pumps work well with some people, but horribly with others. Maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones! It’s encouraging to read everyeone’s positive experiences. Do you normally carry extra pods and insulin on you at all times?

I’d think you’d almost always have to have spares on you incase of a failure. Having these in my purse is really no big deal, as I’m sure it would be difficult for those who don’t carry one. :slight_smile: Thanks for the reply!

I’ve had alarms go off when around people and they usually look but aren’t sure what it is, it the world we live in I think they just think it’s another text received on someone’s phone. I don’t usually carry extra pods with me as I’m fortunate to be only about 10 minutes from my work. I’ve only once had to go home and change because I forgot to change the pod that morning and it started it series of alarms for expiring. I usually change mine in the mornings so at the end of 3 days it will alert me around the time I get up and I then usually change it after I’m up and before I get ready for the day! If I go on trips then I always take extra pods and supplies along but for those that live further from work may want to carry an extra pod. Just make sure to use that spare on and put a new one in rotation…I’ve read some people having problems with pods that they carried around in their glove box or purse for some time. The demo kit will have 1 pod that without the syringe and cant be activated. You can put one on which I went thru 2 demo kits before I made my final choice…PS Get your self some Uni-Solve to take them off it make it much easier.

I just ordered a demo kit last night. I was bummed to see that it was going to take 2-4 weeks for me to get it. That seems a little rediculous to me, but hopefully they just overestimate. I’m also switching endos and this place I’m going to on Monday, I’ve heard is wonderful and they have really great educators there. Maybe they’ll have one that I can “play” with.

What’s Uni-Solve? I feel like my skin’s going to come off when I change my CGM sensor, so maybe I could use that for those removals also?

I think I got mine in less time. You won’t be able to hear the sound of the alarm but maybe someone at the new office can get one to beep. I think you’ll find, once you put it on you’ll forget about it. I like to wear it just under my belt line either on my stomach or on my back.

Your pants/skirts dont bother it? I would imagine it would be uncomfortable to wear there.

I got the pod in October and was initially happy with my decision of switching from Medtronic. However, after several weeks of being on the pod I noticed I was having a lot of pod failures and there were other times when my sugar was unexplainably high and could not get it to come down. I would have to change the pod over and over again. I was really frustrated and about to start nursing school in January and decided to switch back to my Medtronic pump. My A1C after being on the pod for almost three months went up from 6.7 to 8.3. I’m also a little upset that the company had told me the “smaller” pods would be out by now along with the new PDM integrated with Dexcom. I understand they were most likely doing their job of trying to “sell” me on the pump, but I am sitll dissapointed. The alarms are not loud, however when you have a failed pod (which can occur at anytime) this alarm is very loud and would not want it going off while I was in a patient’s room during my clinicals.

I’ve been on the pod for 4 months and I’ve had 2 PDM errors within the 1st 3 weeks of starting. These were the ones that wouldn’t “shut up”. They tell you you can silence them by pushing in a paper clip in the little hole on the pod but I wasn’t successful and they are still in my freezer so they won’t go off! I ended up getting a new PDM after the 2nd PDM error and have had no further problems. I did have to change a pod early after less than 24 hrs due to an occlusion but that my my fault. I placed it somewhere that was not on the official placement “map”. After reading the challenges that some have had, I am pretty religious about following the change out procedure that is in the manual and am pretty methodical about it to avoid any problems. I used to be religious about carrying all the supplies just in case (and I still do if I’m going to be away from home for most of the day) but I’ve slacked off on that-not sure if that’s smart but that case is a bit much and if it’s cold or hot, I don’t feel comfortable leaving it in the car so I’m stuck carrying it around with me.

When all is going well with the pod, I LOVE it. I’m needle phobic so can’t imagine how I would do a cannula insertion (pen needles were hard enough for me at times!) and I’m just not interested in tubing and the disconnects that are associated with it. The pod isn’t perfect (but I think all pumps have their drawbacks) but I feel I’d be going “backwards” if I went for a pump with tubes. I’m sticking with this as long as it works reliably. Good luck with your decision. It took me a while to finally take the pump “plunge”.

It’s an Adhesive remover, makes taking the pods off much easier and might work on your CGM senors also. It is made by Smith & Nephew and is called Uni-Solve. I got mine from Walgreens although they had to order it. It comes in an 8oz bottle or in little packets like alcohol wipes do which I only use when I travel. I usually wet a Q-tip about 3 times and soak the cloth tape on the outside and under the pod first then go through my filling a new one and changing and by the time I’m done with that I can almost lift off the pod, some of the adhesive will still be on your skin but just use some more uni-solve on a some paper toweling and it wipes off. If you want to try a packet I could mail you one to see it if works…let me know if you want to try.