Thinking of going back on MM pump

Hi everyone. Tim’s been on the omnipod for 3 1/2 weeks and we’ve had to have 5 pods replaced in this time. Last night was horrible. First, when we primed the pump it gave the scream of death. Called, and they will replace it. Then the next one we got an occlusion during bolusing for dinner. No clue how much of the insulin he got then as it didn’t show a total like they thought it would, so the guy was going to do his ‘best guess’ for us. I thought I’d heard that it finishes delivering the amount needed when the new pod is put on, but guess not? Then, it had a communication error not long after putting the 3rd pod on. Three different problems in the same night. Very frustrating. Even though they are replacing each of the pods, this is not how I envisioned this system. I think 5 pod/pdm problems in a 3 1/2 week period is too many. He is now hooked up to his MM pump at his request. Any ideas of what we may be doing wrong? Is this normal? He loves the freedom of no tubing, but it doesn’t seem like the trade off is worth it. Does anyone else have this many problems, or is it just us? Thanks for any advice you may be able to offer.

Unfortunately I had similar experiences with pods not working for me so I went back on my normal pump after 3 months as well and just said this system isn’t for me. I think it’s a great system when it works for one but not all pumps work for all of us. Good luck. How old is Tim?

My son has also been on for 3 weeks and we love it. We only had one issue and it was our placement of the pod. We must have hit muscle because it hurt, so we took it off. My son is coming straight from MDI. He has only been diagnosed for 6 month. It has been awesome for him. Sometimes he can’t even remember where it is placed. It has given him so much freedom, but I guess you son probably has that with the MM too. Sometimes kids just like what is familiar for them. Maybe he just needs a break and you can try again in the summer…

Tim just turned 17.

We loved it too until last night. I could handle the other 2 problems, but 3 different problems in one night is a bit much. He loves the pod, but not the problems and chose to hook back up to his MM pump last night rather than deal with any other problems that may have occurred. None of his pods have hurt him fortunately. I’m glad it’s working so well for your son and hope it continues to.

My son has been on the pod for 2 weeks and the only problem we have had is a pod getting torn off. He is not quite 3 years old, so it is difficult to keep on. Other than that we love our pod. He was dx. 2 1/2 months ago and loves that the pump means less shots and more freedom. Good Luck with whatever you decide.

Had a rough start too…but loving the Omnipod now. Seems that there is always an adjustment period where things go wrong and most end up being human error…not pump. So glad we stuck to it… Do you have a pump instructor that is local and is part of the Omnipod team? Once we started using ours… things go sooo much better.

  1. Priming beeps : had them in the beginning… he never has them now… (has been on it for over a year now) Pushing in the insulin slower helps… keep the pod in the package to keep it stable…make sure there is no bubbles when putting in the insulin.
    Add one seringe of air to insulin bottle… then hold upsidedown to let it fill itself up…works great.
  2. occlusions happen w/ all pumps…but my son has to becareful not to put it in a stretch mark or scar area…
  3. communication error…usually just move the pod next to the pdm? or was it a fatal communication error?
    We use skintac and unisolve wipes… love them for podding…
    He would knock them off to at first…going around corners…and such. Hasn’t happened in a long time. I don’t know why but it did seem to have a period of time where there was things that didn’t work right… and now they are far and few between. He never had a diffrent pump though… so we can’t tell you if things were better w/different pump. All I know is now that I have the help of the Omnipod Pump instructor…things are way better. Which ever you son chooses… wish things get easier for him…If he prefers the MM…then I’d just stick w/ what he likes best… good luck.

My son will be 17 on the 23rd…

Wow, that’s too bad, I haven’t had that many issues but I don’t think you’re doing anything wrong. The occlusion happens (once with me) and I think it’s something they all can do, no ones fault but they won’t continue to replace the occlusion’s. I do find failures come in groups, though. Did you switch to another box of pods when you replaced or did you replace from the same box of 10? I think sometimes the issues are with a specific series. I always go to a totally different box, but I guess all it would do is spread the failures out! If he really likes the Pod, I would try again. Give it a bit longer and see if over a longer period it is any better. I don’t know how much it would take to make me go off the pod but it would have to be a lot!

My five year old had a really hard first weekend, too. We had an failed site (with no alarm). The only way we knew was because his BG was HIGH. A few failed pods thrown in that weekend, too. All while trying to set basals, IC ratios, etc. I agree it seems to happen within a box. We have had three fail in one night too - that time I think it was the battery on the pdm, even though it did not give that error until the 3rd pod went bad (communication error at 3am, followed by low battery). But he’s been on it for six months now, and he still likes it. I always think when it goes bad, it goes really bad! But when it works, it works great! Fortunately, it doesn’t go really bad all that often… Your son is definitely old enough to make his own decision, so that is nice. I would pick another box of pods from your shipment, and urge him to give it another shot!

Also sorry to hear all the trouble you’ve been going through. I’ve never had another pump except OmniPod… had a few problems in the beginning like occlusions and one screaming pod. I’ve been using it since 2007 and I couldn’t imagine using anything else. Good Luck!

Sorry to hear about all the issues w/ you and Tim :-/

Some of the others have mentioned helpful tips that have minimized the amount of errors that I get that you’ve mentioned.

  1. when priming, push the insulin in over a period of 5 or 6 seconds. Count out loud. It is all to easy to push a bolus into the pod the way you’d push a bolus of 5 or 10 units into your skin w/ a U100 syringe…I’m not an engineer, but I think putting that much pressure on the internal workings of the pod, that quickly, may be the issue for the priming error.
  2. I can’t speak w/ certainty, but if you go to the “history” section it should show you an insulin delivery schedule. Even if the pod errors in the middle of a bolus and you have to “disconnect” from it and start a new pod, it should still show you a total bolus (actually usually w/ a ? beside it…and if you hit the ? button it should show you a message about “the total bolus was not delivered” and it will give you the total that was delivered). However the system may have stopped communicating w/ the pod for whatever reason, so that information may not have been available the way I described (technology is great, right!? ;-/ )
  3. What kind of communication error was it? Did the pod suddenly start screeching and then you were unable to get the pdm to talk to it? or were you just trying to give another bolus or adjust a basal and it wouldn’t ever end up finding the pod? or did he bump the pod on a doorway (etc) and have it suddenly start the screech (and was then unable to make the pdm communicate w/ it? or lastly (which I have had happen to me before) he could have built up a static electricity charge that caused the error to occur if it discharged via the circuitry of the pod. This has caused a pod to fail and to be unable to communicate w/ the pdm, so I had to rip it off and break into it so it’d stop screeching. What was the actually error that was happening? Depending on what it was, there are different methods for resolving those issues.
    Ultimately I would say that while all pumps do the same thing (a pump is a pump is a pump, concerning delivery, etc), each has its own pros and cons. The tubeless lifestyle is great (IMO) but its not for everyone. So ultimately the choice of pump type is much less important than your son’s ability to be happy and healthy (to be able to control his numbers the way he wants). So while I think there is an adjustment period to any pump–and I’d say to give the pod a try one more time to try and work through the kinks–I think if you are unhappy w/ it, you should definitely go w/ whatever pump you’re able to be successful with.
    I hope you’re able to find a happy medium that your son can use w/o the worry or hassle of all the problems that you’ve had lately!

Hey Timsma - sorry to hear about your night last night. Those ones are the worst! The multiple pod changes, crazy blood sugars and insecurity with the device I depend on is enough to make me want to pull out my hair sometimes! I don’t think you are crazy at all for considering the MM. I would say that if your son wants the MM, go with it. There is no perfect pump, do what you and he are most comfortable with. I think there are different seasons in life and maybe it’s time for a change :slight_smile:

That being said, I always find it better to not make decisions about pumps, shots, etc. right after I’ve had one of those super exhausting and emotional nights. Maybe let him wear the MM for a week or so and then re-evaluate going forward. Maybe your endo/CDE/local rep can assist with some more advanced training to avoid these issues in the future? Good luck!

I am feeling very negetive about the pod these days, as yesterday (which was supposed to be a pod change day anyway), The pod that was about to expire within a few hours had an “occlusion”, wasting a few hours of insulin and disablinjg me to get a pod replacement. As the new pod was priming, it went into “death scream” and disalbed. The next pod, and I guess this could be perceived as my own fault, The cannula didnt insert properly, so the pod disabled itself. I am not even going to call into Insulet as I feel it is probably a lost cause…definitely taking a closer look at the Anamas pumps right now. Wouldnt you know it, at the same time I run out of test strips, and cannot refill just yet as Anthem BC/BS doesnt allow for more than 8 tests per day, in fact, they limit tests to 4 times a day…so it was a little tough going last night, with a "pod’ that I have VERY little confidence in, and no way to test my bg. YOU GOTTA LOVE IT!!!

Timsma & Steve

I’m sorry you’re having so much trouble with the Pod. Ultimately, it comes down to whatever you’re most comfortable with. After being a MM pumper for 24 years I have nothing bad to say about their insulin pumps. Yes, I had a pump or 2 bite the dust, early on, but I had a replacement within 24 hours, usually less, even on holidays. AND, when your warranty runs out you can always hang onto the old pump for backup purposes.

When I started on the Pod, 3+ weeks ago, I had a couple of problems (ripped one off on my way to bed, not enough insulin in another) but before throwing in the towel I gave it another shot. I have got to tell you, I am kinda falling in ‘like’ with the thing. I miss having a pump in my pocket for when I want a quick bolus, and having to go through the PDM menu is kind of a hassle, evenso I think I’m adjusting. But if I were going through a box of bad pods or having 3 fail in one day, I’d certainly jump ship. That’s how confident I was with tubed pumping. The companies have been around a lot longer and that means something.
One other thought, occlusions do not happen with infusion sets as has been mentioned here. I can’t even tell you the last time I had one.

Best wishes on whatever decision you make. If it works for you, that’s all that matters.

My son finds that if he takes a warm shower before removing the pod it comes off a lot easier.

Our Omnipod start was a rough one, very rough!! We had about the same amount of failures as you. My daughter loved the pod, and I was determined to make it work for her if I possibly could. There IS a learning curve to the pod. I did a lot of reading and also had my hubby take apart the pod and disect it. I will list what works for us – since we’ve made these changes everything has been very smooth. Now we both love the pod.

  1. Store pods with dryer sheet in pod box to reduce static. The pod seems to be really sensitive to static build up. The pod will alarm during priming for a static error.
  2. Only use insulin that’s been out of refrigerator for a good 2-3 hours – The pod is sensitive to cold or even cool insulin and will alarm during priming if this happens.
  3. Keep the pod in it’s plastic tray on a table while you fill it and fill the pod very slowly with insulin - fill it too fast and it will alarm.
  4. If you look at the way the pod is made, it is only glued to a portion of the white patch. Many times the pod will start to pull off this adhesive patch. The weight of the pod causes it to pull away. Once the pod starts to pull off the patch, the cannula is being pulled away from the site too, and it is probably only a matter of time before insulin delivery is affected and you get an occlusion alarm.

    **You can prevent this problem very easily - buy some double faced tape (Scotch brand at Walmart). Before I fill a new pod with insulin, I remove the plastic needle cap and gently lift up the adhesive patch to see where the pod isn’t glued down. Now I add some tiny pieces of double faced tape onto the pod in these spots, and I press down gently to set it. Easy and takes about 2-3 minutes. I do this every single time and the occlusion alarms have stopped.
  5. The only thing I do on insertion is push down gently on the needle end of the pod to prevent it from kicking back during the insertion. I don’t do any other pushing up, pulling up type of stuff and it works much better for us.

    I hope that helps…I understand what your are going through and it’s very frustrating.

Thanks MW Mommy! Your experience is very helpful to the rest of us.

Give it some time. I’ve had the Omnipod for 6 months now and while I have had some frustrations I am catching my stride and absolutely love it now. One time I had 3 pods go bad in a row and I was over having the Omnipod. But if you weigh the positives next to the negatives the good outweighs the bad. Your son can hid the pod on his butt cheek and not have tubing and dealing with that drama. I would give any pump at least 6 months.

No problem. I hope it helps someone here. I remember being ready to throw the pod out the window at first.