OmniPod Tips & Tricks

Hi everyone -

My son, Will, has been on the OmniPod now for almost 9 months and we’re still loving it. I thought I would start this thread for those of us who have been using it to help the new folks with all our OmniPod tips & tricks that we’ve learned over the course of using the product.

Here are a few of ours:

  1. After filling a new pod with insulin, take a q-tip and put it in the window of the pod to absorb any insulin that might have leaked in there during the priming - this will make it easier to see the cannula in the window (no condensation build up).
  2. Use Medi-Sol Adhesive Spray removal to remove an old pod during a change. Once you spray this on, you can fill and prime your new pod and during that time deactivate and pull off the old pod.
  3. Pod changes after a shower are good because when the pod is wet, it does come off easier (for little kids, put them in the bath).
  4. Pods that have the serial number L114 are the beeping pods of death…they are the one’s that fail on priming We have had several of these and customer service has replaced them all.
  5. For sports & swimming - use a 3M Coban Wrap around the pod (placed on the arm). This will allow you to swim all day. Works great and use can get them at the grocery store!
  6. SkinTac & IV Prep are also really great if you have a problem with the pod falling off - also, some folks swear that the soap they are using has some correlation to how the pod stays on. So if you are having sticking problems, change your soap and see if that’s the problem. We use alcohol only to put our pods on and get three days of use out of them.
  7. Unexplained highs after pod changes - give a bolus before the pod change - you have to experiment with this - customer service says anywhere between 1/2 unit to a unit depending on your size, etc… This would be a good thing to talk to your CDE when you go for a check up. We’re still experimenting with this so I have not conclusive words of wisdom to pass on…
  8. If you get a pod that beeps and you can’t turn it off - take a paperclip and open it up to a point. Look at the top of the pod - where there is a round patch (I believe that’s where the batteries are) there is a little dimple on the pod - place the paperclip in that little indent and push down hard - it will turn the beeping off - if that doesn’t work (sometimes it will start to beep again when you take the paperclip out) if that happens - throw the pod in the freezer - once frozen, it will stop beeping.
  9. If you are like me and are saving all your old pods because you feel bad throwing them in a landfill, OmniPod is working on a recycling program - who knows when this will happen but for those of us who are feeling bad about the waste, hang on to them, you may be able to send them back for recycling sometime.
  10. Pods that lift off the adhesive and pull away from the body - use superglue or liquid band aide to glue the pod onto itself. Place two tiny drops in the corner where the pod is square. DRY THOROUGHLY BEFORE PUTTING ON YOUR BODY. We just tried the superglue but I haven’t removed the pod yet (am doing that today - if there is a problem, I’ll update you all) the pod did stay stuck to the adhesive for three days. I’m going to try the liquid band aide next because the superglue seems a bit scary.

Hope these tips & tricks are helpful. If you have some, please add to the post. The more we know, the better we can deal with all of this.

Susan

Thank you Susan!!! This will help out a lot. Can I place this on my personal blog?

Sure - be sure to add your tips and tricks since I know you have some because I read you all the time!! :+)

I just took off Will’s pod that I glued down with superglue (sounds terrible, I know) and guess what, no problem, it didn’t stick to his skin or anything. The pod was on for three days and didn’t lift off from the adhesive. I would say that it worked!!

Wow!!! What a great post. Thanks for all the tips. I can’t wait to get started on the OmniPod and try some of these tricks. Thanks!!!

  1. If you are like me and are saving all your old pods because you feel bad throwing them in a landfill, OmniPod is working on a recycling program - who knows when this will happen but for those of us who are feeling bad about the waste, hang on to them, you may be able to send them back for recycling sometime.

This is great news! It is one thing that immediately bothered me about this system. I work in the environmental management field. Hmm…maybe they need a waste reduction and recycling coordinator?

Great list. Can we make it a sticky?

Great tips - thanks Susan. I’ve been using the Pod since 8/4 and I LOVE it. Haven’t had any issues at all - it’s awesome. :slight_smile:
Alice

Glad you liked the post. Feel free to make it a sticky.

Take care!
Susan

Regarding recycling: what I do is remove the 4 button batteries (size 357) and then offer them up on Freecycle. Now that I’ve developed a technique, it only takes me about 30 seconds to get into the pod and pop out the batteries; it’s a bit of effort to do that and mail them out to people, but it makes me feel better about throwing away the used pods.

Ooooh, great tip. Can you explain how to do it? With little kids in the house, those batteries come in handy for their play cellphones & talking books. Normally, I have to buy them and they are pretty expensive (around $1 each). It would be great to have a stash of them.

What I do is use a pair of channel-lock pliers, like one of these, to squeeze the bottom part of the plastic case until it breaks/bends enough to easily separate from the top part of the case. You could try a regular pair of pliers, but I don’t know if they open wide enough to easily grip the sides of the case and give enough leverage to break it easily.

Once the case halves are separated, I use a small flat-head screwdriver to pry off the electronics/reservoir bundle from the plastic top-half case. Then popping the 4 batteries out is pretty easy.
If this is not enough of a description, let me know and I’ll try to take some photos the next time I do it and post those.

You can work the blade of a knife (not a sharp one) between the two halves of the plastic case and pry them apart. The two halves appear to be held in place by a silicone O-ring. Once you begin to separate them, they come apart easily. The batteries easily pop out with a small screwdriver.

I am going to have to try it! When I had the pod on my arm I wish I would have thought of super glue.

Thanks for reading:) I love blogging:)

Thanks for the great post!

I have used several products to keep the pod attached to the adhesive. Here is what I have found to work best so far.
Liquid band aid
I used this first to keep the pod on my son’s skin when he would accidentally rip it off, but the cannula was still in. This worked at first but didn’t seem to work as well once the liquid band aid had been open for a week or two. I don’t know if the product begins to degrade quickly once it has been opened. He also began to complain that it would sting his skin even if I didn’t get it
near the cannula area.

I then tried using it as an adhesive ahead of time to keep the pod stuck to the adhesive.
This did not work very well.

Next I tried super glue
This works well but it bothered me to use super glue even though it was dry before I put the pod on him, and it does contain chemicals that I wouldn’t consider skin friendly.

Now I am using a glue I found at Walmart in the scrapbooking aisle. It is made by 3M and is called Scotch Quick-Dry Adhesive. It works really well as long as I remember to put it on a few hours before the pod change so it has time to dry. It’s made to stick paper to plastic and doesn’t seem as toxic as super glue.

I don’t know if Medi-Sol Adhesive Spray is expensive. I use De-solv-it to remove the pod. I found it at Ace Hardware. It’s made by Orange-sol. They have the same product labeled for
medical use but it’s more expensive and it’s the exact same product. Best of all it’s cheap and
works great. (It’s 100% organic citrus solution)

To keep the pod on his skin I use alcohol applied with a cotton ball instead of the alcohol wipes. It seems to work a little better than the wipes, since sometimes they don’t seem like
they are wet enough.

Recently I started using the skin tac because he has PE everyday now that he is in middle school. It works great sometimes I think to good. He has been using the Omnipod 2 months.
The last 3 changes I have used glue to keep the pod stuck to the adhesive and skin tac. I have noticed a bruise where the cannula was inserted. I am not sure if this is because of the sports he is playing in school and he is knocking it around more. Or it may be between the glue and skin tac it doesn’t have enough flexibility to move and is causing him to bruise. I have started using less of both and I am curious to see if there is a bruise when I change his pod later today.

We have experienced high blood sugars after pod changes also. We are still experimenting with how to control this. I did a bolus before the pod change the other night and he still had high numbers. The next time I did the bolus right after I changed the pod and his numbers were good. I can’t pinpoint exactly why he is going high after some changes and not others. I think
it probably is affected by several variables - i.e. restaurant food vs. home cooked meal, amount of exercise that day and who knows what else. I am going to try and start keeping better notes and try and figure out what is going on.

I hope these tips help. We’ve only been dealing with this disease for 11 months. I think it can be a little more challenging to keep the pods on a active child, but the one thing I know for sure is I wouldn’t trade his Omnipod for anything. It has definitely made life with diabetes a lot easier for us.

Hi Lisa -

Great post!! I’ll try that glue you mentioned, I too, am feeling weird about using superglue - but it really does work.

Regarding going high after pod changes, I spoke with our rep about this last week. She said some people do experience highs around the time they do a site change. This is on all kinds of pumps, not just the OmniPod. Some docs think it could be an inflammatory response at the injection site. The docs just don’t know what causes it.

Her advice, an of course, don’t do this unless you talk with your CDE, and this advice is based on other patient’s exeriences and actions:

If the BG is in target prior to the change, change out the pod and
perform a Temp Basal of + 10-20% for 2 hours, then recheck. The temp
basal may need to be increased or lengthened, depending upon the BG
checks two hours after the pod change.

If the BG is elevated prior to the change, don’t bolus on the old pod,
the elevated BGs may be site or cannula related. Perform a correction
bolus and/or Temp Basal once the new pod is on.

And recheck the BG in 2 hours and as needed to adjust.

We tried bolusing with the new pod when we changed the pod and increased the basal by 20% for two hours. The 20% was too high for my little guy (why I started with the top, I don’t know). But he didn’t go high and was a little low (65-75) and I spent those two hours feeding him all sorts of wonderful things (cookies, etc.)

This last time, we bolused on the new pod and then changed the basal for 10% for two hours and it worked like a charm. No issues with going high or low after the change so I think we may have found our formula.

As with all things diabetes, it’s all trial and error. Just make sure that you keep a close watch and test every two hours after doing these changes.

Good luck and hope this is helpful.

Susan

Thanks Susan! Great tips.

We are still new to the pod (Gigi, 2yrs old, 3 weeks on OmniPod), so still developing our tips and tricks (and mostly using Susan’s). But here are a couple:

  1. With only two sites open right now (on her tush), we have to keep her sites in good shape since we rotate them every 3 days. We have found that massaging the site with Vitamin E oil once a day (and immediately after removing the pod after a good cleaning) really helps the skin to recover from the adhesive irritation.

  2. Occasionally she will pull a small section of adhesive off (like ripping a band-aid off) if she is jumping around–while the pod stays on, she has gotten a red rasberry where the adhesive pulled off too fast. We just started applyiing pure calendula oil to these red spots to help them heal, and it appears to be working great.

  3. On pod removal, we tried to buy the Medi-Sol on-line, but they were out-of-stock, so got the De-Solv-It instead (of course, I bought a gallon of this stuff, enough to remove about 10,000 pods). First time we applied it, we sprayed it all over and not surprising she got a rash. But since I have a gallon I had to give it another try. Next time, I just dipped a Q-tip in the De-Solv-It and painted it on just the adhesive around the pod that was attached to the skin. I put on two coats, keeping it just on top of the adhesive and not painting outside the lines onto her skin, and let it sit for 3 minutes. The pod popped right off with a slow, upward pull–no skin irriation and no “adhesive removal marks”. So if you have limited sites, and/or sensitive skin, try the Q-tip application instead of the spray.

My first shippment is on the road and I’ll be using the Omnipod soon. Do the men usually shave the spot before sticking it on. Seems like common sense to me but I have not read any comments about having to shave an area before applying the pod. If you did not shave seems that it would hurt when you remove it.

So I guess what i’m asking is razor or hair removal cream like Naire?

Robin

I’m a guy and I never thought of shaving my pod sites. Then again, I only use inner, upper thigh, abdomen, and upper arms and none of those places have very much hair (on me, at least). The inner thigh is the only spot that has even some hair.
There are other discussions on this site that talk about removal techniques; I’ve found the best to be removal right after a warm shower; other people have reported that using a product call De-solv-it make removal very easy, but I don’t care for it very much. Look at the other recent discussions in this group to find the one about removal.

I looked everywhere for De-Solve-It and it must be a regional distribution thing because I cannot find it anywhere here is Mississippi. Even the medical version of it could not be found. So I broke down and ordered it online. The shipping cost more than the product…but it’s great. I used it Sunday morning and had no problem getting the pod off and no residue.

Thanks for the tip.

Robin

Robin,
It’s too late to save you the $$$ but I found it at Ace hardware, which I think has stores all over including in Mississippi. It might be years before you need another bottle, but maybe someone else will benefit from that info.

From their website I saw all the stores that carry the product and I checked all down here in Miss. that are around. ACE Hardware, True Value Hardware, Rite Aid, Wal-greens, Lowe’s, Hame Depot Wal-Mart… I know some are not listed on the Website but I looked everywhere and even asked for help which men do not do very often. De-Solv-It just is not in the stores here in the area, but like you said, I have it now and probably will not need anymore for a while. Although I may have to let my daughter use it to get gum out of the dryer after leaving some in her pocket.