Tubed pump users: Why do you prefer over Omnipod?

First: This is not to be an "us" vs. "them" sort of thread, people, please. Both tubed and patch-based pumps are incredible technologies that each work best for particular individuals. We're all different.

Which is why I'm starting this thread. I really want to know about you, the tubed pump users, and why you prefer this over the Omnipod. If you've used both, I especially want to hear from you! If not though, please don't be shy to add your thoughts.

So... basically, what this is about is wanting to understand a different point of view than my own. I'm an Omnipod user, I absolutely love it, and would return to MDI rather than use a tubed pump. This is, of course, an entirely personal, relative judgement. It's based on my own strong negative reaction to being tethered to anything. Not paranoid, just really irritated. I was one of the first adopters of BlueTooth stereo headsets when the A2DP part of the standard was implemented, because earbuds tethered to a cell phone / iPod / etc. would drive me batty working out, etc.

So for me, the Omnipod is a godsend. I could rehash all the various arguments for why no tether is so great, but we've heard them all before.

What I'd like to hear is why people don't like the Omnipod (absent issues of reliability -- assume it worked perfectly all the time), prefer tubed systems, etc.

Thanks for helping bridge the knowledge gap!

(absent issues of reliability -- assume it worked perfectly all the time).

Sorry, this is the only reason I don't try the Omnipod. I know it works great for some people, but I have heard too many people recount their failures. My Endo, who has Type 1 himself, is also not a fan for this reason.

No need to apologize.

I totally understand about the reliability issue, and that's why I excluded it. I'm very lucky that problems are exceedingly rare for me.

If I had the reliability problems some have had, I wouldn't want to use it either.

That said, everyone else -- let's please try and keep this from descending into another thread about Omnipod reliability. There are already several.

I was with you until you said "absent issues of reliability". That is just not something I can absent in making a choice about a pump! So: I've heard it is unreliable. When you lose a site you lose all the insulin inside it. The tubing making you feel tethered is something many of us worry about ahead of time and then it becomes a non-issue; I find that since I use the 43 inch tubing I don't feel tethered at all and forget it's even on me. I would find a big plastic blob on me all the time equally distasteful. Finally I love, in particular, the meter/remote that controls the Ping. (I know the Pod has something that controls it, but I'm assuming that it's separate from the meter and that you have to manually input your blood sugar.

Even though I know this thread is meant for information only, I Hope my strong feelings don't offend any Omnipod users. (I could jokingly say "pod people" but THAT would probably be taken wrong! I mentioned in another thread (the one about a survey of a new pod type pump) that I do think there are pod users and pump users and each feels strongly about their own choice (and by implication against the opposite). But I don't think that's an "us and them" in a bad sense. Just a personal preference thing!

Well, for one I'm almost certain I would forget to throw the PDM in my purse, as I do the same with my meter constantly and am forced to rely on CGM readings (terrible habit, I know!). The fact that there's absolutely no way to bolus without the PDM worries me as well.

I also prefer being able to tuck my pump into different locations depending on the outfit, instead of having the bulge in the same spot until the next pod change.

Being "tethered" isn't really something that freaks me out anymore either, you get used to it very quickly and it's really a nonissue.

Also my current tubed pump also has my CGM built in, and having to switch from a small infusion site, the sensor, one little device and a small meter to a bigger thing stuck to me, the sensor, the (big) PDM, and the CGM receiver would be a no-go for sure.

I know a lot of people love the Omnipod, but I just don't think it would work for me :P

Until you eliminated issues of reliability, I had plenty to respond. That's a big issue to set aside!

Ok, I've used insulin pumps non-stop since 1987. Like Zoe said, the irritable sense of being tethered to a pump quickly recedes into a non-issue for me. Except for five months on the Omnipod, all my experience has been on tubed pumps.

If the Omnipod had been reliable for me I would probably still be using that system. It was a nice change for me when it did perform well. It was not without its own quirks, however. I would sometimes catch a pod situated on the back of my arm on a door jamb or when reaching through a car door opening to load luggage.

Having to remember the PDM was something extra that I didn't have to remember when I had the tubed pump. I did leave the PDM behind once or twice and I felt vulnerable not being able to bolus until I retrieved the PDM. The PDM being non-waterproof was another drawback when I was around water.

If both systems were equally reliable for me, I would judge them as relatively equal, except for the Omnipod's substantial amount of waste versus the tubed pump. Each pod contained three small batteries and a circuit board that are tossed every three days. That's a lot of waste volume compared to a tubed pump. The tubed pump does have more infusion set waste but I consider that less than the pod volume. It's also plastic versus the batteries and circuit boards.

I have only used a tubed pump. I like having a clear view of the actual infusion site. I also appreciate that all boluses are done directly on the pump, so nothing extra to carry around. I have experienced 100% reliability in six years of use. That being said, I am not a big fan of the tubing itself. I just don't think I could give up the three things I have mentioned in order to be without the tubing.

I tried the Omnipod and disliked it intensely.I am very small and it is huge on me. Wearing it on my arm is out of the question. It will not fit under any shirts. And wearing it near my waistband means I cannot wear any pants I own. I would have to throw out everything and go up two pants sizes. Also, in the book Shot the author writes about getting a very nasty staph infection in her leg from the Omnipod that had to be treated surgically.

Maybe you can help. What pump is out there with a CGM built in? I have been told by my endocrinologist that there isn't one out on the market yet and that I will have to go with a separate CGM for a while at least.In fact she said it would be two more years before the CGM and the pump will be combined.

All, thanks for the great feedback! This is exactly what I wanted to bring out.

We all live a rather self-centered view about so many things, naturally, because our thoughts and ideas are formed on the substrate of our own experiences.

One example from this thread: Peggy's comment about relative size. Quite understandably, that never occurred to me. I'm 6' 215lbs (all it good stuff except the 20lbs of fat I gained since starting insulin last June :-)), and the pod is relatively small and innocuous for my frame.

Further, male clothing is quite a bit more forgiving for pods.

I hope more people comment... thanks!

The Medtronic sensor communicates directly with the pump.

Terry/Zoe, I removed reliability from consideration because it seems obvious that anyone with serious reliability issues would of course reject the Omnipod, and it seems to be an issue for a relatively small subset of people.

As I mentioned, I have great success with it -- I can't recall a pod error or occlusion in the last 3-month batch.

Terry, I do rip one off the back of my arm once in a great while. It happened a lot more when I first started getting used to it. I imagine this happens now and then with a tube when first starting out too? Or not... I'm curious!

I am on the Omnipod and I love it like crazy. First, I have had minimal problems with it not working, but even if it does fail, I just put on another one, unlike with tubed pumps because if the failure is within your actual pump (not your set),you couldn't just put on a new one. You would have to wait until you were mailed a new pump (and you may have to use shots in the meantime!)Secondly, it's really not as big as you may think. Most of the time, I forget where I've put it! Also, since the PDM doubles as a meter, its actually less to carry. I just keep with my testing supplies, and almost never forget it. Plus, I believe it may actually be less waste, since I believe you throw out old tubes, right? And lastly, I don't have to disconnect anything to go in the water. Oh, and it doesn't make my clothes not fit! All my clothes still fit me and the only time it shows is when it's on my arm. The Omnipod isn't for everyone, and if you prefer a tubed pump, I say go for it! :)

The failures of with tubed pumps are almost always from the infusion sets, not the pump. So we just replace the infusion set, and lose very little insulin.

Anna-Kate, my experience is very similar to yours. Thanks for your comments!

If possible, though, lets all please try to keep this thread about what tubed-pumpers like about their gear over a patch pump (the pod being the only available at the moment). You and I likely share many prejudices about the Omnipod, being very satisfied users!

How expensive are the sets? Pods run about $30 each, so it is pricey to have to toss one before it's expired.

I upload my pump data to a web-based site called Diasend, a service I value. I realize very few people actually do this but I find it useful. I was surprised to learn that the Omnipod is also compatible with Diasend. The Accu-Chek Spirit pumps and the Asante Snap are also compatible. Medtronic pumps are not.

I also upload my meter and CGM data.

Here's the kind of report I look at fairly reguarly:

As Kim said, it's a Medtronic. It's called the "Minimed 530g with Enlite"

This pump also has a Threshold Suspend feature and they call it "artificial pancreas technology", although I'm not sure if I would call it that personally.

I prefer my tubed pump because I don't want to have to change my site every three days. My sites often last longer than that. A set and res cost is less than 18 bucks MRP for my durable products.

I considered all brands of pumps when choosing my pump. The one main factor that drove me away from the pod was the reservoir size. At the time my TDD was such that I would be changing pods every two days. Pod changes may be easy but the fact that I would be changing 1 1/2 times as often meant more cost.

The feeling of being tethered never really occurred to me so my Medtronic with a 300 unit reservoir was a natural choice. I also didn't like the thought of carrying a PDM. If one could bolus without the PDM it would better.