Omnipod struggles -infections, bruising and leaking

Hi all,

Nearly 30 and have had diabetes 19 years. Was on the Aviva Spirit combo pump for 6 years, and moved onto Omnipod in November 2018.
A few weeks ago, I was put onto hefty antibiotics after getting a staph infection in a site I’d just changed. Then, I changed my pump last night and had such intense pain upon insertion - woke up this morning and have such a huge bruise at the cannula end of the pump.
When I do change my pump, it always feels/looks like there is some insulin leaking around the cannula too. Is this normal?

So, essentially, I’m feeling really downtrodden and defeated by the Omnipod - I feel like i’m just not getting the ‘hang of it’, my evening highs are still there despite extending my bolus (normally on the Aviva Spirit pump I couldn’t do a bolus of more than 4U in one go because the needle would flood!)
Is there any trick to taking the Omnipod off so it doesn’t hurt so much/not such a struggle to get the needle out/catching the needle on my skin etc?

Has anyone else had any of the above problems? I was really hoping that the Omnipod would be a game changer because I had serious diabetes burnout, specifically about the ‘constantly being attached to a tube’ part of it, mid 2018. I just feel so desperately disappointed in myself that I haven’t done better?!

Any help much appreciated… TIA.

Hi @beckarini

I’m sorry you’re having trouble with OmniPod. It’s what I use and I’ve had some of the problems you’re experiencing. I had an infection at an insertion site and had to be on two rounds of antibiotics to fix it. Still to this day there is a scar and it’s actually tender to the touch and it’s been several months since it happened.

I never knew why my pods were always wet when I changed them, wet and or bloody. I read here about “tunneling” and bad absorption. I changed where I place the pod and I’ve also stopped bolusing from the pod; I just use it for basal insulin now. Both have helped considerably. I’ve recently read here and on a few other d-sites about bolusing right after insertion and how it has a tendency to back up … people are saying to let the pod work in basal mode only for 12-24 hours before bolusing to give the cannula time to adjust.

I know of no trick to take the pod off, but I’ve heard of people using alcohol wipes or adhesive removers like go-gone or uni-solve, which should should help. I bite the bullet and pull it off, wincing each time. I really should try one of these methods myself. I don’t think there is a needle in your skin (I don’t see a needle), but the cannula, and it never sticks, just the tape around the pod.

Best of luck to you!

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I used the Omnipod many years ago for several months. I found removing the pod was painful and that pain remained for some time. I did find a technique that worked for me.

My initial technique to remove a pod was to simply peel up an edge of the adhesive and then tug on it as it pulled hard on this patch of skin. What I found worked is a little hard to describe but I’ll try to convey it.

Instead of pulling the Omnipod adhesive bandage away from the skin, I would slightly pull up the edge of the adhesive and then with the fingers of the other hand gently push the skin toward the body and away from the adhesive bandage. You need to work from the line created by the adhesive and the skin. This is a fine distinction but one that made all the difference to me.

So, instead of pulling the bandage up until the skin lets go, pull up slightly and help the skin release from the adhesive in a less traumatic fashion. I hope my description is clear enough.

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You could probably use baby oil around the edges, that’s what some of us are doing with stubborn libre sensors that won’t come off. As for infections, I had more with regular infusion sets than pods, but obviously some people have had problems. I don’t think you can mess it up. I do use IV prep wipes, before inserting the pod.Even though the rep said alcohol is good enough, I have always used IV Prep. $12 box of 50.

Cannulas can be problematic no matter the type of pump. I had to stop using cannula sets about 12-15 years ago because of leakage or kinks. Plus they would make me sore, my skin would get inflamed. I nearly quit pumping, AAMOF because Medtronic techs didn’t offer a viable solution. Then I found out about Sure-T’s. Of course, you can’t use steel sets with an Omnipod. I’m just mentioning that cannulas can difficult (impossible) to deal with.

As far as painful removal, for that I’d suggest loosing the adhesive with Unisolve, perhaps.

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I gently start prying up the edges with my fingers and work at it until I have most of it up. Sometimes that last remaining edge can hurt but I appreciate that it doesn’t come off when I don’t want it too unlike the Libre sensors which are a battle to keep on. But I have very sensitive skin and find taking my time slowly working at the edges causes the least discomfort. Oil has also worked really well for me, but you have to be careful it’s not near where you are going to attach the new one. Also if you are submerged, shower or swimming for a while, it usually pulls off pretty easily. That was an accidental discovery!
Years ago I remember a utube channel that talked about whenever they put a omnipod on their stomach they would get a staph infection so they put it other places and don’t have that issue. I also remember people talking about how they only give 2-4 units at a time to stop the “leaking”. If you switch to a concentrated humalog you also don’t have to take as much at a time.

ah, go with the Unisolve I mentioned. the pads are handy.

Do you have a small body mass - thin with not much body fat? I’m guessing you do. That can be an issue.