Question before I commit

My meeting with my team has just been pushed back a month so I have a lot more time to obsess over my pump choice.
I have a few things that I'm unclear on about the Ping before I can decide which pump to get:

1. I see a lot of discussion of reliability issues with pods and PDMs. Are the issues real or just a case of people reporting problems but not happiness? How much backup do you carry? Extra pods? MDI supplies? have you had to revert to MDI?

2. Can anyone comment on support in Canada from GSK good bad or otherwise?

3. I obviously like the tubelessness of the omnipod, but traditional pumpers say the tube becomes a non issue quickly. If you switched to the pod, can you comment on this?

4. Any reason you, as an OmniPod user, can think of that I may or may not want the same device over a minimed, Ping or Spirit Combo?

I'm sorry your meeting got pushed back. I'm obsessing over pump choices myself, but I've been a minimed pumper for 12 years, so I have a slightly different take. I was on an omnipod for one summer during a clinical trial, so now you know where I'm coming from. However, the #1 I've learned is that this is a totally personal choice and you might even change your mind after a few years on what works best for your lifestyle. I don't know how insurance in Canada works, but I know in the back of my mind after 4 years that I can switch to something else (US insurance).

That being said:
1. I don't normally carry more than one backup set of whatever I'm using if I'm just going to work. If I'm going away for a weekend, however, I tend to pack enough for a week. I haven't had to "revert" to MDI but for 3 summers I have taken a "pump break" and intentionally gone back to MDI and am very glad I have.

3. While it ends up being no big deal at all having a tube, I am going to try omnipod next (I think, if T:slim still doesn't get back to me). While on the trial the pods seemed HUGE on my frame, and the tubeless thing did not impress me, I want to try a different delivery system. I didn't experience pod failures or anything. I love the convenience of having the interface to bolus on me at all times that you get with a tubed pump. I disliked having to chase around a pdm. The sites on a tube system fit under clothes much better. But since you're male (guessing by your username) the pod size may not be a bother to you. Do you want to chase something down if you want to bolus or do you want it on you at all times, even when you don't have to bolus or anything?

4. This is totally a personal preference. Go with your gut. :) I think gather user experience so you know the "quirks" of each feature, but honestly, it's got to fit your lifestyle. No device is best for us all during all phases of our lives. So when you picture yourself in day to day life, which system can you see on you and not want to wince? :)

Good luck with whatever choice you make!

I have not had very many problems with reliability of pods or pdm. I work outside a lot and sweating is not an issue with Omnipods. I used a tubed pump for 4 years before going on Omni last year in June, and I like tubeless. I would get tangled up in tubing at least every couple of weeks or so. Having said all that, choice of pump type, brand, or even MDI is a personal choice. We are all at least a little different, so you have to get all the information you can and make the decision that is best for you. I hope other people comment and give you good info. Good luck, Hank.

sorry you have another month to mill over all the "what ifs"! ;)

1. No system is perfect. There are still kinked canulas and infusionset/reservoir/battery/other issues with tubed pumps that go right along with the bad pods. So there is no 'rainbows and unicorns' method, in my opinion, but rather what you prefer to deal with and/or be prepared for. Couple that with the fact that most people (and I say most b/c there are some ppl who report on positive things) who have bad experiences will be the loudest (whether online or in other media forms). So the things you read on the internet are not 100% indicative of what you may experience.

All that being said, I don't personally feel that the pods are a burden. If I did, I would choose a different system. I don't carry a ton of extra supplies when I'm close to home/work, b/c I've stashed extra supplies at those locations. So unless I'm going to travel more than about 1 hour from home, I don't carry anything extra on me. My work bag does have an extra pod in it (but I don't carry insulin), my home frig and work frig have insulin in them, and I of course have a few extra pods and some alc pads and a few needles in a drawer at work. I never need them. But that's because even if my pod started giving me warning notices (for example low reservoir or pod expiration notification), I still have roughly 8 hours until it "dies" permanently so I can make it through the day, get home, and change the pod then. When I travel more than 1 hour from my house I always have a small bag (looks like a toiletry bag I'd carry when traveling) that has 6-7 extra pods, alc pads, and needles in it. I will throw it in my travel bag next to my toiletries and then I'll grab a bottle of insulin out of the frig to take as well. Pumping (pumping in general, not just pods) requires some planning, but I feel like diabetes in general requires some planning, so I don't think it's some new burden that you'll not be able to handle.

2. Sorry I'm in Oklahoma so can't speak to Canadian suppliers.

3. I was a MM pump for 5 or 5 1/2 years. I LOVE pumping over MDI. But I LOVE the tubeless factor over a tubed pump. Yes, other tubed pumpers are right that the tube is a nonissue pretty quickly, so it's not that big of deal--until you are comparing a tubed pumped to a tubeless, and then it IS a significant factor. That being said, if you choose a tubed pump you will likely still enjoy it and not be burdened by the tube.

4. People will always have their preferences. For example one could say that the pods have a finite lifespan (80 hours) so the flexibility of being able to fill a reservoir of a tubed pump with 300 units and then using that for 4-5 days is an advantage over being forced to change every 3 days. Yes it's something to consider if you are paying out of pocket, but from a 'prevention of scar tissue' perspective, most everyone should change every 2-3 days anyway, so this sort of "advantage" is really not much of an advantage at all.
But I'm digressing. My point is that you will find folks who would argue their method one way or the other, but ultimately it's about what your comfort level requirements may be that should decide your choice.

1) In about a year on the pod, the pod failure rate has been 3% and in each case Insulet replaced the pod. I had 1 PDM failure which caused me to go back to MDI for 24 hours. Insulet overnighted a new PDM.

For daily use (work and around the house, shopping, etc), the only backup I carry is some spare syringes in my PDM case (which also has a vial of Novolog in it). This will let me get to home if I have a catastrophic failure.

For extended travel I carry spare pods (more than 1 every 3 days) and pens in case of total failure (PDM loss, etc). I have made several international trips with no issues.

2) - can't say. In the US, my pods are fufilled by my mail pharmacy provider, but all technical support and replacements come directly from Insulet.

3) Never used a tubed pod

4) For me, as a new pump user, tubeless was important. I also like the fact that it is waterproof and I can swim, shower, etc. without disconnecting. I also like the fact that a broad variety of infusion sites are possible, including my arms, which makes rotation of sites easier.

If I had to change, I would hope that one of the other manufacturers that make a patch pump comes to market and I could use that, such as Roche's Solo. Other than that I would consider the Ping due to the wireless remote and the water-resistant capability.

Thanks for the insights.
I wore the demo pod for a day or so and almost enjoyed it (at least I enjoyed imagining that this was replacing my pen).

I just wish that they had a pod with 2 buttons so you could do a blind bolus without the PDM like with the Spirit. Then it'd be perfect.

I agree pretty much with everything Bradford said, I have been on the pod since its launch...I got fed up with some of the issues (bad pods, billing problems) so I actually switched to the Ping, stayed on the Ping for about 2 mos. but had to go back to the pod b/c of the tubing (If they say it will be a non issue I disagree, it was an issue for me from day one) The omnipod is really great in theory, one just needs to get used to issues like "bad" pods (which dont deliver or they fail before their expiration day)(I've had many many of these, although, I must say that Insulet is very good about replacing bad pods, I only see now this should have raised a red flag when I was first calling in about my bad pods) I have learned to live with it...the biggest problem I have with Insulet is the admin dept., billing is messed up really bad. IN any case good luck and PEACE!

1) I'm sure the issues that people are having are real to the people having them. I cannot comment other to say that I've had a few issues, but I personally attribute the issues to my learning curve, not the reliability of the pod.

3) and 4) I've never had a tubed pump so I cannot comment on how hard or easy the transition. The pod does not work for everybody, just like the Ping, Minimed, and whatever other pumps do not always work for their potential users. It's good to have options and the pod has been a option that has worked spectacularly well for me.

I've had the pod for two years now and after an initial period of transition, I've enjoyed a year straight of A1c's that have been as low as 5.4, but never above 5.8. The last three have all been between 5.6 and 5.4. I'm not going to say that those numbers would have been impossible without the pod, but imho opinion the pod has made my diabetes management easier rather than harder.

1. As a recent convert to the Omnipod, I have had only one failure, this is out of thirty five pods so far. Of course it was my first one, so there may have been some operator error involved. I can honestly say that, so far, I have no complaints about the system.

2. Sorry I can't answer this one, I am on the other side of the border. I can say that my dealings with Insulet have been great so far. Not to knock Minimed, but I have found that they are far better with their technical support and customer service than Minimed ever was.

3. As far as going tubeless is concerned, it is a huge deal! I was on the Minimed system eight years and never really was totally comfortable with the tubing. Going to a patch pump is a huge improvement. Tubing, while not complicating major issues, complicates the simple daily tasks that the tubeless system does not.

4. I would not go back at this point to a tubed system. Even with all the things people mention that are issues with the Omnipod system, I will stay with it. All pumps have their issues (the Minimed's CGMS system is terrible, tried it for four years and it only worked right maybe 40% of the time), but I find the system I am on now best fits my hectic lifestyle.

Reliability is a minor issue. If I'm traveling, I'll carry two backups just in case -- all the pods I need plus two more. I've had to use one before that left me with only one backup, but only one time. I think there is a tendency on all message boards that complainers are more likely to post that satisfied customers. I've never used a tube, but I can't imagine it ever not being at least a slight inconvenience. I swim, exercise, bathe and everthing else with my pod in place -- don't even have to think about it. That's convenience.

Hi there, I feel for you and the pump choice. I was on minimed for years and after reading about pods I wanted to try it. I got one pod in mail and I did't like it at all. Later, I had opportunity to actually try the pod+ PDM for real x 1 week. I had very hard time giving it up once time was up. After 6 months on Omnipod I still have moments when I rip the pod off, a big Ops. I don't carry backup, but I work quite close from home. I could always got back home within 4 hrs. I should have backup but my life is just to crazy right now. I didn't need injections since started. No problems with malfunctioning etc. Just puling the pod off and then need to start a new one.
Tube is not an issue - at least this is what I believed before. You have to do what you have to do. But ... no tubing is soo much better, at least in my case. I am in the pool daily, it does make a difference in the sugars, if you don't have this delivery gap every day.

One BIG problem with pods: If you check bs 2 hrs after meal and it's 180 - pump will suggest correction to goal, whatever is set. It supposed to be changed in the new version.
One more: I got my minimed covered by insurance. Then I learned more about Omnipod. Insulet ( omnipod) have promotion " cut the cord" you can get PMD for 200 $ if you switch. I was able to cover this cost.

Just wanted to add my perspective as a recent convert:

1. I've only been on the pod for 2 weeks. Besides the first pod failing in the DE office (the luck!) I haven't had any issues. I called Insulet to report the issue. They were extremely helpful and shipped me a replacement pod. Also, when I discussed this issue with Insulet before I made the switch they commented that many people receive shipments of pods in cycles (anywhere from 1-3 months) and that many insurances will cover over 1 box/month to help offset any pod issues. Currently I receive a 3 month supply of 4 boxes.

2. Sorry-stateside

3. I was on a traditional pump for 12 years before I made the switch to the pod. Most of the time spent of the traditional pump (MM) the tubing was a non issue in terms of awareness of its existence but a definite issue in terms of functionability. When I had issues with high BS on MM I always had to consider if the tubing was kinked/wearing thin/air bubbles/etc. This is one of the top reasons that I switched to the pod.

4. When I started pumping MM was the go-to company for reliability. That has changed. With the increase in technology and the number of T1's pumping the competition to earn your business is substantial. I would've stayed with MM if the pod was unavailable. They have excellent customer service, a great product, and proven success. However, the pod provides me with the ability to use nonabdominal sites (which, after 12 years of traditional pumping, are used up), a chance to switch to a more cost effective insulin, and takes away one extra consideration if my bs are bad (the tubing).