Positive Omnipod trial for a desperate kitesurfer; now I need the real deal!

Hi all,

I wanted to share my recent experience of the Omnipod with you, especially those of you who might be involved in watersports, as I am. If you're a surfer, kitesurfer, windsurfer or any other kind of surface watersports participant, i think the Omnipod could well be the best system for you.

I just finished a very positive three day trial on the Omnipod. While the pod was only loaded with saline it still gave a great insight into living with the system for a few days. I was genuinely surprised by how unobtrusive it was (worn on an arm) and how easy the system was to manage via the PDM.

The greatest advantage was in testing it with wetsuits. It's good to know that I can get into and out of my suits (including a 5/4/3 winter steamer) without ripping the pod off; something that really concerned me about conventional pumps. Great to see the look on friends faces when they saw the canula in the inspection window as well! And the best part (here's the guilty secret): I got to geek out when I took the deactivated pod apart at the end. There's an awful lot going on in that little plastic case, and I'll freely admit to a morbid fascination with the insertion mechanism.

Now all I need is for my local health trust (UK NHS) to agree funding. Bring on the Pod and my return to the water!

I’m a kiteboarder, water-skiier and swimmer and I LOVE the pod!
Glad it worked out well for you in your trial…best of luck getting approval!
(are you in the UK? I didn’t know you could get pods there!)

Thanks Maia, good to know it’s working for a fellow kiteboarder. Can I ask if you’ve tried it with a waist harness yet? In answer to your question: yes, I’m in the UK. The product was launched here by Ypsomed (Mylife Diabetes Care) in late 2009. Still early days yet though, and I imagine I’ll serve as a case study for further roll-out in my area, assuming funding is provided of course.

Let me preface this with the fact that I’m not a very advanced kiteboarder…In my area, it seems there is either no wind or a squall…so as a newbie to the sport, there aren’t a lot of days I’ve been able to get out since I learned…I’ve only used a waist harness, it’s never been a problem
I learned the sport while using the OmniPod…so there was a lot of crashing and the pods did great!
I can wear the pod on my thighs or my arms, and the Dexcom CGMs doesn’t get in the way on my abdomen (I slap some FlexiFix tape over it, though, just in case)

I’ll have to let my UK friends who have been interested in the Pod know that it IS a possibility!

oh, and I take apart old pods every once and a while to show my friends how they work…I’m STILL fascinated with them!

Okay, I appreciate the caveat, thanks. Still great to get hear your experience of pod use with watersports though. Also good to know the dexcom system works well as I’m considering self funding this (no hope on our NHS) next year.

As for UK NHS funding for the Omnipod, I know a few patients have had success but it’s still a fairly small group. I expect the system to gain traction as awareness increases and patients start to be more demanding by way of the pumps they’re requesting.

PS. I can sympathise with you on your local weather conditions; nothing worse than a run of high pressure or offshore winds! That’s why I started paddle boarding :wink:

Kiteboarding and waterskiing seem to be a great combination, when the wind picks up and ruins the water for skiing, pack up the gear and head to the beach! I’ve never crashed as hard as on a Waterski (can you say hitting the water at 60+miles an hour!) so I’m fairly certain that anything you could do on a kiteboard or surfboard will be fine!
Best of luck, keep us updated!

This was my first season of rafting with the Omnipod. I was worried about ripping it off my arm in big rapids but it was never a problem. Getting in and out of wetsuits was even pretty easy as long as you are mindful of the pod.

Sailed all summer with the OmniPod – no problems in salt water or getting caught on rigging. On some longer distance races I would start running low on insulin since the resivor is a little on the small side and the pods self destruct after 3.5 days.

One time I lost one corner of a pod and just put some tape around my tricept to hold everything together till I got to land and replace the pod. I always keep some Lantus nearby when sailing in case I rip it cleanly off and need some basal.

Yet more positive pod stories from water sports folks. This is great, thanks! I’ve actually just ordered myself a new surf-drysuit from Ocean Rodeo; should make life with OmniPod even easier as no need to squeeze arms or legs into tight neoprene. Instead, you wear a breathable dry-core undersuit and a thin neoprene compression garment on top to keep the bulk down. Not cheap, but ideal for pump users and anyone in cold water environments. I’ll let you know how I get on with it.

Just got funding approval today. OmniPod, here I come!

YAY! Congrats Pete!
By the way, while I love drysuits, the compression of the Wetsuit actually does a better job keeping MY pods on… though I know there are some situations where a drysuit is a necessity! Just my personal experience!

Thanks Maia. I know what you mean about wetsuits, I found it pretty easy to get my 3/2mm spring/summer suit on over the trial pod. Doing the same with a 5/4 winter suit was a different matter though; certainly do-able, but a hell of a struggle! The thicker the neoprene, the less stretchy it is, so the dry-suit will just be for winter kitesurfing and cold days in the surf. Otherwise, a spring suit is fine for paddling as you’re usually too hot anyway.