Problems with Omnipod

Hello all. Just joined and wanted to see if someone can help me. I was on a Minimed pump for 8 years and switched to the Omnipod 5 days ago. I was thrilled when I heard about the Omnipod concept as I too hated the traditional pump tubing. However, while overall the Omnipod seems to work well for me during the day, during the night and in the morning my blood sugars have become extremely high. Last Friday, first morning on the pod, BG 403! Saturday and Sunday around 300. I haven’t been sleeping well at all - Sunday night was up at 2, 4, 6, and 8 testing and had to take correction insulin for that. Last night up a couple times as well taking correction boluses and still woke up over 200. All this while an extended was going on. Talked to the trainer Saturday and Sunday and she said to be patient, it will take some time, give it a couple of weeks. Also to look at trends and chart them.

I’m so frustrated. I have been diabetic for 34 years and have no complications and want to keep it that way. These highs are making me crazy. I’ve changed the pod out twice over the weekend and their helpline did offer to replace them. They also offered that sometimes people have had to change their basal rates, but the trainer disagrees. Also, I have seen a small amount of blood on the tape of every pod I’ve changed, but none near the cannula and so, we think, no occlusions. Especially since that seems to happen almost right after I change it and it seems to work fine the first day. No one can answer that one. The other things is that I am now using my arm for insertion instead of abdomen, since I developed some scar tissue there. Could it be absorption is not as well in the arm? Anyone know?

Don’t know what to do. Seeing my Endo tomorrow. Anyone have any similar problems? Please help. Thanks.

i do not know about pump but with shots you take them in the stomoch because they absorb fastest there.

Yes, except since I’ve developed some scar tissue there, that’s not an option for me, at least until some of that has healed. Thanks anyway.

I’m no CDE or MD, but it sure seems obvious to me that you need to adjust the nighttime basal rate. Many people have a strong dawn phenomenon and just generally different body chemistry while they sleep. Did you have different basal rates for your Minimed?
Also, 5 days is not really a lot of time for you and your body to adjust. Perhaps that is why your trainer didn’t want to adjust your basal, because he thinks you need more data to base it on.

I use my upper arms every 3rd pod and have not found those sites to have lower absorption; if anything, they absorb a little better than my upper legs (where I gave 3-4 injections for more than 15 years). Overall, I’d say it took about a week before I got the hang of using the pod system and my body got used to the new kind of delivery. I would think that even though you and your body were accustomed to a pump, it seems plausible that the differences could be enough to require some adjustment time.

Did you use the 90 degree set with the minimed? It could be from the change in infusion type. The omnipod only has the one insertion angle. Also maybe try your legs just to see how they absorb. I’ve never used my arms so I do not know. I’m on the minimed right now (switching to OmniPod in December), and am having a bad site in my leg so I’m bout to change it. My bs is around 400 right now. It’s so frustrating. But I do use the 90 degree infusion sets and thought maybe that could cause a change in basal absorption? Hope things get better for you.

I work for Insulet, helping market the Omnipod. You must be patient whenever starting the Omnipod. Generally, patients will see the difference within 1-2 weeks. This is not substantiated, just an observation with my patients. You must stay in regular contact with your trainer, and your CDE. Does your Endo have a CDE in the office? Is she/he certifired as a CPT? Remember to rely on your diabetes team, and keep everyone informed. This product is the most innovative medical device to market in some time. All the other companies are doing their best to mimic our technology.
Becoming accustomed to the Pod is a bit of a learning curve because it is so radically different. Please be patient, and you will love what you see!

Thanks to everyone for such prompt responses. The advice each of you offers makes good sense (and to be honest, are mostly things I had thought of, e.g., changing infusion sites and re-setting my basal program – thus accounting for my great anxiety).

Met with my endo this am. Upon hearing that I had been using 50% more insulin during the past 5 days [Omnipod] than I had been using previously [Minimed], he announced that something clearly was interfering with my insulin delivery and/or absorption. Upon examining the last pod I used*, and the “blood stains”, which I mentioned previously, in particular, he determined that most likely I am having an allergic reaction to the material in the canula, resulting in a ‘blockage’ to my insulin absorption.

  • In my frustration and anxiety, last night, with continuing erratic BG’s, I changed out the, nearly empty Omnipod for my ‘trusty’ Paradigm pump.

In case you’re curious, and would care to learn, as I did this morning, my endo explained that what I had thought was blood was interstitial fluid (the fluid that surrounds the body’s cells). He further explained that an allergic reaction could cause this fluid to increase, possibly even causing slight swelling around the infusion site (which I had), which could then restrict the insulin’s absorption into my blood.

So, clearly at this time the Omnipod is not for me. I think it’s great that it works so well for so many. Sadly, I’m not one of them. But who knows - Omnipod might make changes in the next few years that will make it a feasible choice for me.

Thanks again to all! :slight_smile: