Training on Omnipod next week- followed by vaca... need advice

I’m finally getting my training on the Omnipod (and for an insulin pump newbie) next Wednesday which will be followed by a vacation to San Diego/LA on Thursday! I didn’t realize when I booked the training that the vacation was the next day. But really I can’t wait so I don’t want to reschedule.
My question is, does anybody have any advice on what to remember while away and traveling? What not to forget since this is brand new to me? Also, I am going to a charity event and am wearing a dress to my knees- is my only option the first time my thighs? It’s not too tight of a dress it’s kinda flowy so I wonder if I can get away with it on my back or love handle. I feel weird taking off my pants and putting the pod on my thigh during my training! (lol)

Make sure to bring: PDM, lancet device, test strips (at least twice as many as you think you’ll need), at least one back-up pod (I usually have 2 with me at all times), IV-prep (or whatever you use to disinfect before placing the pod), insulin, some ketostix, some fast acting glucose, and your glucagon. Make sure to wear some form of medical ID. You’ll just be starting so you won’t know if your settings are quite right and you’ll need to be prepared for both highs and lows while you figure it out. The best way to figure it out is frequent sugar tests. Also, since the day isn’t exactly going to be normal don’t get to discouraged if things seem off. Enjoy your freedom from shots on your first vacation with the Omnipod! I’ve found it hardly noticeable under most clothing that isn’t skin-tight, I’d suggest your back or the lower stomach (I actually place mine about 1.5 inches below the bellybutton) would probably be discrete enough. But it is your training so if the thigh is where you’ll be most comfortable with it they’ll just have to deal with you putting it there. Good luck and let us know how it goes!

Thank you Rebecca! I have a couple questions (sorry newly diagnosed so don’t know everything about Diabetes yet). What are ketostix, and is glucagon the same as glucose tablets? If it’s on your lower stomach will it be hard with your pants and jeans (rubbing against the waistband, and possibly coming off)? Thanks!

Hi Marina: Ketostix are test strips that test for ketones in the urine. I usally get my at Walmart. The PDM will recommend to you when to test for ketones if you get a high reading. I believe glucagon is administer by injection, where as glucose tabs you eat. Both help raise low blood sugar. I use the tabs and I would make sure you have some with you on your trip. Have a wonderful time.

I thought Rebecca’s answer was excellent and I would like to add to it. First, take everything you used in your old routine (insulin, syringes, pens etc.) as backup in case for some reason you can’t use the pods. I had 2 pods fail during a weeklong trip to England and had to got back to injections for one day. No problem, but if I hadn’t, brought the syringes, etc., I would have been in trouble. I also want to tell you that I used the lower abdomen at first, but encountered problems with clothes…pants and jeans vary so much in the rise. I started putting it above the waist and to the side, and I’ve had better luck with that. Good luck, hope the omnipod works for you!

Hi Marina… Welcome to the world of podding. I have been using the pod for almost a year now so here is my 2 cents:

The biggest concern you will have is getting the settings dialed in. Usually your trainer/CDE will start you with a basal setting set at 75-80% of the Lantus dosage you had while doing MDI. Since this setting is just a guess you may have some real lows or highs initially. Also, because you will be away on these first critical days, you need to make sure you have someone (trainer/CDE) you can contact at any time to help you adjust the settings. Make sure during your training that you tell them you will be away and really pay attention on how to change the basal settings on the PDM.

As for the location, unless you wear a very tight outfit the pod is not noticeable. For your first pods I would stay on your abdomen. This area usually has the best absorption. Once you have all the settings dialed in and all is working well then you can try other sites like the back of your arms, thighs, lower back etc. This will let you know if those new sites are working OK.

I would also pack twice a much supplies than you will need for time you will be away. If you will be gone for a week that would be 2-3 pods so bring 4-6. Bring an extra vial of insulin also.

You did not mention if you will be flying. I have noticed that my BG goes way up when I fly. I have been told that the altitude has an affect on the insulin but it may just be due to the stress of traveling. So don’t be surprised.

As others have said, test often during these initial days, at least every two hours. Don’t get discouraged with any early lows/highs eventually it will all come together. It took me only about three days to get dialed in. The first day I was always real low so we just kept backing down the basal rate.

I wish you well with the pod and remember to post any other questions you have. We are here to help. Have a great vacation.

Another thought about your situation…your educator should do all your settings initially, then they’ll be fine tuned. Unless you are a science whiz you won’t get all the omnipod stuff the first time. There’s a definite learning curve. After a year I still pick up something new every time I see my educator (several times a year). And I’ve never heard anyone say this, but the hardest thing for me was peeling the backing off the pod without the adhesive sticking to itself. But then I’m not good with bandaids either. Have fun on youre trip.

Wow, thank you everyone who took the time to give me some advice! I really appreciate it as I am nervous about something spoiling the trip! As people have said that I might be high during the first few days, if this happens should I manually adjust the basal setting or just leave it until I get back and talk to an educator? I will ask for my educator’s phone number, but I feel bad calling her on the weekend.
I will be flying so should I manually adjust for the highs on a plane?
One last thing- I hear a lot about the insulin on board issues. What should I know about this function so I’m not confused and not get low?
Thanks so much!

Thanks so much for the invite- I may have to take you up on it if I can’t get a hold of my educator :slight_smile:
Do you wear the bodysuit everyday? Can you tell under your clothes or see the lines under your jeans/pants?

Thanks! this location seemed to work well for me too when I tested the demo!

Hi Lisa, what if you have ketones? What do you do then?

Thank you for your well-thought out answer! For flying can I bring everything in my carry-on? I have my Diabetes card- is that good enough to get those on the plane?
For absorption on the abdomen, does it hurt if you don’t put it in a place that’s “fatty”? Can a love handle be considered the abdomen? I’m concerned that the front will knock off easily (during changing or due to my waistband). Thank you!

Make sure you ask these questions at your training. I expect that your educator will have the best answers for you. You should certainly adjust to any severe highs on the plane but depending on your circumstances they may suggest a higher target glucose reading to prevent lows at the beginning. As for the insulin on board, that’s really another question for your educator. The biggest thing is that only the correction insulin is counted in the Omnipod’s Insulin on Board calculation. If you test your sugars an hour after you eat and you’re a little high it will recommend correcting even though you’ve got insulin still working in your system. My educator solved this by setting my IOB as low as it would go (2 hours) and handing me a chart that I can use to manually calculate if things seem really off. The basic need is to accurately bolus for what you eat and then be aware that insulin is still active if you do a blood sugar after the meal. (as a guideline my chart says that after 2 hours 40% of my insulin is still active, in other words if I bolused 10 units and 2 hours later my sugars were in the 160s I would need to subtract 4 units from the suggested “correction” factor). This has worked well for me but I’m fairly insulin resistant so I use a lot of insulin. I imagine it would be different for insulin sensitive people. Again, talk to your educator today, they can best answer these questions.

First thing I say is make sure to tell the trainer that you will be traveling; that will almost certainly impact what he/she has to say.
Second, I would recommend delaying your OmniPod start until after the vacation. I was in a similar situation last year when I started, and my trainer agreed that it was best to wait. Traveling makes BG control much more unpredictable and tricky than it already is, and I see no reason to take chances with your life just because “I can’t wait.” Trust me, I wanted to get started ASAP, too, but I’m glad I waited. Do you really want to spend your vacation testing every 2 hours and worrying about the pod placement, learning how to use the PDM, etc.? I sure wouldn’t…

As for Glucagon, I’ve been Type I for over 20 years and have never carried it or needed it. Only time I even saw it around was on a camping trip when my father (a physician) brought it along as a worst-case-scenario remedy.

Hi Eric,
You bring up a very good point! I just wrote my educator/trainer to see what their opinion was- I will do whatever they think I should do (believe me I’m so excited but if it’s for the best…)! Thank you!

In my 10 years as a diabetic I have used glucagon two or three times. I have never had much sensitivity to lows (once in high school I felt a little off and went to check and my meter read “7”, I didn’t know they could read that low!). It’s not something you would administer yourself, someone else needs to if you can’t take care of yourself. With that said I think I carry it around now more to appease my mother (someday she’ll let me grow up!) than for myself but it is good to have in an emergency if you’ve got a friend you’ve trained to use it. It gives them a little more power and something to do while they wait for the ambulance. Also, my doctors wouldn’t have started me on the pump if I didn’t have it. More of a security blanket than anything else I suppose.

Welcome to the Family

Well, I am getting my training this coming Monday and I am super happy. Hopefully it will go great for both of us. Good luck and great trip, just be carefull, I was going to have mine two weeks ago, but since I was going an a trip they say absolutly no!!! Just check

I think your back will be fine with the dress. When Caleb wears t shirts, you can really only notice it if he leans over and the shirt tightens around his back AND you are looking for it to begin with. People who don’t realize it’s there don’t even notice it then.

As far as traveling - figure out what you need and then pack double or more - pods, insulin, strips, etc. Are you flying?

We just came back from traveling and everything was the same - just need to make sure you have supplies and access to carb counting info. Bring your trainers number - will you have access to email/the net?

Yes I’m flying, can I get them through in my carry on? I have a couple books on carb counting- I’m as prepared for that as ever :slight_smile: I don’t have my trainer’s personal number but I will ask her, as I said before I felt bad calling her on the weekend but I do have her email…