I am both new to tudiabetes and to having t1d- was diagnosed Dec 2011. After nine months of MDI I am seriously considering switching to the Pod. I’ve considered the options- MDI has worked well so far in keeping good control but it seems like the Pod offers more flexibility about when you eat, how much, etc. My a1c has been 6.3 and 6.1 most recently and I have no shame about doing my injections in public or whenever necessary. That is to say MDI has been working pretty well for me, but it seems like the control offered by the Pod is superior. So I guess my question to experienced Pod users is first if it is worth it, and second what your experiences were first starting out on the Pod. Looking forward to your responses.
First off congrats on the a1cs. That's fantastic! And kudos for owning/controlling diabetes (by testing/injecting in public, etc) rather than letting diabetes try to own you.
"Control" being superior on a pump is a relative term/idea. For me, yes, the pod (or any pump for that matter) is superior to MDI. But that's just my experience. I think being able to adjust basal rates plays a key role in my ability to exercise the way I want, etc. But yes, the pod does give more flexibility about eating (b/c you don't have to think twice about eating something and giving insulin...a few presses of the buttons and your bolus is in action!). This can be a good or bad thing though (much easier to go back for seconds or go for that dessert when you might have previously passed it by ;)
I think some people are just as successful with MDI though. You have to remember that a pump is still a computer--meaning that it is only as smart as the information put into the system by the user. So just because someone has a pump doesn't mean it's suddenly all butterflies and rainbows ;) In the same way, just because someone buys/wears the latest and greatest basketball shoe worn by the pros doesn't mean that individual is suddenly going to be a stellar basketball player.
All that being said, I think pumping (and specifically the pod) is the way to go. I love it. Every pod has pros and cons, but I think the Omnipod's pros far outweigh the few cons. As long as there is a tubeless pump on the market, I will never go back to a conventional pump or MDI.
I think you can call the customer service line and see about getting started on the system--and there's a 45 day return policy should you decide the system is not for you (see the website or talk w/ the customer service rep about the details).
I wish you well in your search for some more feedback. I know the community here is great and I think there are plenty of others who will chime in with their perspective. Good luck as you think about making the switch!
Welcome to all the clubs! I was on a tubed insulin pump for about 5 years before I switched to the OmniPod in February of this year. All kinds of insulin pumps offer much more flexibility and control over MDIs. Even if your BG control has been very good on injections, the pump/pod makes it much easier to dose insulin. It only takes the press of a few buttons to give yourself insulin! And it is also much easier to adjust dosages on an as needed basis. Once you inject insulin, it's in your system for better or worse ;) With a pump/pod you can decrease or increase insulin as needed. Or even suspend. I highly recommend the pump but do realize it's not for everyone. If you don't like it, depending on your out of pocket expense for it, you can always go back to MDIs. The pod is great because you are tubeless. I recently took a break from it but that only lasted 1 day. It is a tad bulky but to me not bothersome at all. Good luck!
Also, I was able to do a trial period of the pods before getting one of my own. I would recommend doing this if you can so that you get a real experience using it before making a final decision.
I went onto pump therapy about 9 years ago. At the time my a1c's were at a very similar level to yours (well done on those by the way!) but I was experiencing a lot of morning hypo's on MDI.
Like others have said, pump therapy is not for everyone, and you do only get out of it what you put in. Disadvantages - at the time, my diabetes team said the main thing to get over was having the pump attached all the time. And then there's the cost (although being in the UK I have been very fortunate to get funding from the NHS).
Advantages - you don't have to plan ahead as much for eating, exercise etc, and you avoid the ups and downs of your BG levels that go hand-in-hand with MDI.
I have only been on the Pod for a month, but it's brilliant. Being tubeless is great.
The best thing to do would be to see if you can trial the Pod.
Good luck with whatever option you decide!
I was diagnosed with T1D in March of 2011 and started on the pod in November 2011. In my case, I needed a pump to get the ability to have variable basal rates for different times of the day. I was higher than I wanted over night and fixing this meant I went low in the afternoon. Splitting the long term insulin on MDI did not help.
So for me, the advantages of variable basal rates helped with control. It sounds like you are doing well on MDI, so this may not be the key advantage for you. It can help , however, with adapting to changes in exercise or activity level as Bradford pointed out. Before, if I was going to havea very active day, I needed to plan in advance and cut back my Lantus.... and then was stuck with that decision for 24 hours. With the pump you can make that decision almost on the fly, and if things change , adapt at once. (In reality of course, even fast acting insulins have a lag.. but it's 30 minutes to 2 hours instead of 24).
A pre-requisite for moving to a pumo is doing well on MDI with carb counting, corrections, etc. And it sounds like you are doing that.
Some people complain about the Omnipod failure rate... I have had a good experience so far... out of the 100 or so pods I have used, only 3-4 have had to be replaced early due to failures and Insulet replaced them free.
Thanks everyone for your replies and for welcoming me.
HPNpilot, I too have had trouble with my basal dose. My current Lantus dose is accurate most of the time, but I have been experiencing intermittent nighttime lows and have to run my glucose level up with sugar tablets before exercising to avoid crashing, so I like the idea of doing custom basal rates with the Pod depending on time of day and level of activity.
While I don't love the idea of having something attached to me, I have tried wearing a "dummy" Pod for three days to see how it felt and I barely noticed it. I'm a little nervous to try it with the actually cannula in though. If the choice were between MDI and a tubed pump, I would most certainly stick with MDI.
Bradford, I hear what you are saying about control. Currently, if I want desert or to have a say beer or two, I have to plan it with my meal bolus, which has been very good for my self control for both alcohol and sweets. Hopefully that would carry over if I switch to the Pod :).
I'm curious about your experiences starting out on the Pod. My nurse practitioner says that they usually start people on a saline run for a week before actually using insulin. I'm also curious if anyone has has success drawing insulin out of Novolog flexpens to use in the Pod. I've heard this can be done, and I recently had to order new pens and don't want precious insulin to go to waste.
Sticks, I'd be curious to chat sometime about your experiences about managing diabetes under the UK health system.
For me being on the pod provides a lot of plusses and a few negatives. Overall, you'll have even better control. Less spikes, like you can get with MDI really easily. And more ability for flexibility. The negatives are that they are more work. You have to test your BG more frequently, but that's not a big deal if you already test well. And, you have to never leave home without your PDM and supplies depending on your day and expected next change of pods. In another way, MDI I messed with 4 times a day. The pod I mess with much more times a day. But the results are worth it, I think.