Sunday, October 10, 2010

Parade of Pumps - OmniPod

I have posted several times about my love for the OmniPod Insulin Management System. Today I would like to share the reasons why we chose the OmniPod and why I love the OmniPod so much I am thinking about marrying it. :)

Just about 2 weeks after Nate was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes our family participated in the JDRF Walk for a Cure. While at the walk my friend, Kimberly introduced me to the OmniPod representative, Rainne Brandt. We discussed the OmniPod briefly at that time but I was still completely overwhelmed by Nate's diagnosis so she gave me her card and some sample pods & I moved on.

When our family started thinking about pumping I thoroughly investigated and researched all of the insulin pumps currently on the market. All the while these little pods were sitting on my desk staring at me every time I sat down. After narrowing it down to the 3 most popular pumps: OmniPod, Ping and MiniMed it was such a clear choice for our family. We had to have the OmniPod!

* Probably the most obvious reason that we chose the OmniPod is NO TUBING. I spoke with several other D-Moms about their experiences with tubing all of which were positive but still the tubing was 100% an issue for Nate. I knew from the beginning that we needed to be tube free but I wanted to get all of the facts. I was honestly afraid my crazy boy would rip out that tubing and try to lasso his sisters with it - - - seriously, would not surprise me one little bit!

I love that Nate can do all of this with nothing in his crazy way!

* Selfish, selfish me! Let me tell you why . . .
I hate shots! I hate getting shots and I hate giving shots. When the the nurse in the hospital made me give Jim a practice shot I nearly passed out. It was awful! The thought of inserting something larger than that little syringe into my son almost made me want to die. I watched several videos (over and over) of different people doing site changes and I knew I could not do it. Nope, not going to happen! When I saw a video of the OmniPod with its AUTO-INSERTION ---- it had me at Hello!!!! The pod sticks to Nate's little body, I push a button, count to 5 and DONE.

Priming the Pod

Placing the Pod Video Video

Auto Insertion Video

Disclaimer: Site changes for Nate are hit or miss. Some nights they are no big deal and some nights he screams and cries. This night it was 50/50 but i t is the only video I've got of site change night. Welcome to my chaotic life - - - !!!!

* Although I did not love the Freestyle meter when we got it --- I seriously love it now. It is built into the PDM and the strip requires the smallest amount of blood. I actually moved Nate's lancet from a 2 to a 1 and it is the perfect amount of blood. The strips have two sides so there is NO MORE ERROR 5 and can I just say that the little light on the end of the meter totally rocks for all of our nighttime checks.

* The PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) is by far the easiest remote control that we have in the house. The screen is large, bright and very easy to read. It asks simple questions like "Are you going to eat now?" and "Would you like to change your pod now?". Once it asked "Would you like to marry me?" I said "Yes" and we have been together ever since. :)~

Here is a picture I took of Nate today. We were in the truck on the way to gymnastics. I had just checked his BG on the built in meter. He was a nice 150 (with a decreased basal (by 50%) for gymnastics) but I thought he needed a few carbs to keep him steady during his 1 hour class so I bolused him at a red light and gave him some cookies! The cookies were 15g and I wanted about 10g to be free for gymnastics. SO EASY!

Oh yea - he was 120 after class! I love that!

* The BEST SALES REP EVER - Rainne Brandt. I mentioned her earlier in this post but let me just tell you how absolutely spectacular she is:
  • She has been with us every step of the way. We started talking with Rainne long before we made a decision on which pump we wanted and she was always available to answer any and all of my questions
  • She delivers. She came to our house and delivered stickers for Nate to 'pimp his pods', she brought us samples of different products to help with Nate's sensitive skin and products to help keep his pod in place.
  • She texts! Rainne and I have had an entire text conversation while I was bathing the kids and then I called her back at 11:00 PM and we talked a little more!
  • She is Type 1 and she wears the OmniPod.
  • She let me do a site change on her before I had to do one on Nate.
  • She knows her stuff and I trust her completely.
  • She cares about Nate, she knows his na me and his diagnosis date and didn't stop calling or caring after she made the sell.
All in all there is so much more I could say about the OmniPod and I am sure as time goes on I will come back and add things to this post. I would love to discuss IOB, Temp Basals, Suspending Insulin and so much more but I will have to save it for another day. As I am sure you have figured out by now Hallie, Meri and I decided to do this post together as a Parade of Pumps and we set a deadline which I must meet today! :)

But, before I go I wanted to share with you what my pumping partner in crime, Jessica had to say about her love for the OmniPod:

Liam likes to play with stuff. Random pieces of stuff he finds around the house. Pieces of packaging, assorted electronic accessories, etc. You get the picture. So the idea of attaching a piece of tubing to his body that we were going to rely on to give him life supporting insulin, and then expect him to not touch it, play with it, turn it into some kind of space ship or something - was just not realistic, from a practical sense. And that was aside from our own issues about seeing him tethered to some sort of medical device. We didn't want anything holding him back.

That was the initial appeal of it. We did some research, and we liked a lot of what we heard. We liked that there weren't multiple parts needed for each site change. We liked that the insertion was so fast, and after feeling it ourselves, almost painless in comparison to other sets. We liked that he didn't have to worry about disconnecting for bathing and activities. It became clear that it was the only choice for us.

We definitely had our questions. We may have attended pump class with the OmniPod in mind, but we listened to the advantages of the other pumps, and we asked a lot of questions.
Now that we have it, I love the PDM. I love how clear the display is, how I can bolus him remotely, that it works as a meter so that we have less to carry around. As confusing as pumping can seem when you are new to it, I have always found the PDM to be very intuitive and easy to follow. So easy that I feel comfortable that his teachers at preschool bolus him for his snack by answering a series of very easy questions. I love that he doesn't have to think about wearing his pump - he forgets it's there. No tubes to get tangled in, no digging it out of his clothes to bolus him.

It's made life so much easier.

The OmniPod was the right choice for our family. I hope by posting this with both Meri and Hallie everyone will have a chance to look at some of the pumps available and make the right choice for their own families.


Nate is so stinkin' cute! And you, my dear, are a Pod Expert! Way to go!

That Freestyle meter sounds Fan. Tas. Tic! No more error?!?! Woah, Nelly!

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I had a feeling you were taking pics today for your blog. I love being right! -H

Thank you so much for all the info on the Omnipod!! We just started our pod on E this week. He is 1 1/2 years old. What are all of the different places you place the pod? I saw you use his leg..... I would love to use my son's leg. How long did it take him to get use to having the pod on him.? So far life with the omnipod it so awesome! I am just like you I almost passed out in the hospital when they said I had to give shots 4 times a day.

Lora said...

I came over from Meri's blog. My son was diagnosed a year ago at 10 months old - your dx story was very familiar! We started the omnipod on my son 2 months ago. It is a dream, but the first few hours after we change it, his blood always goes super high. Have you experienced that? We've tried lots of different things. Just wondering!

Lora said...

OK - I commented before I watched the video. :) Now that I've watched it, I have another question. You don't hold the pod down when you insert the needle? We were taught to do that. Maybe that's why my son's blood goes high - the tube goes into the muscle, maybe? Our sales rep seemed a little wacky, to tell you the truth, but we don't have anyone to compare our experiences with. Very interesting!

Thanks so much for sharing! Very helpful!!

phonelady said...

Yeah that little guy of yours , Nate is so cute . I guess on a child this young I would prefer the omni too . I did the preview of the omni pod and it also caused a rash so I dont think I will ever be able to do the pod .

Anonymous said...

Nice job Laura! Nate is such a cutie! You are such a pro at it all - so calm, cool and collected throughout.

Love Jessica's shout out too!

Caleb's three year Podiversary is today! That's a lot of Pods and we're still chugging along!

Meri said...

This was awesome. I had no idea what to expect, I have never seen a pod in real life, and that auto insertion is a dream!

Nate is a super hero for sure..and he CAN NOT get any cuter. All my boys watched the videos. My 12 year old said that is so sad that a baby has to have diabetes...this coming from a boy that was 8 mo old when diagnosed. He is right though. :(

Love you! GREAT post!

Penny said...

Great post Laura - thank you so much! We chose the OmniPod for many of the same reasons - insertion, no tubing, waterproof, remote bolus, etc. I am looking forward to our start date on Monday. I am sure I will be picking your OmniPod brain over the next few weeks. Thanks for a great informative post! Oh and by the way, I can't get the videos to work, they buffer but that's about it, hmmmm... gotta work on that!

Jessica said...

How could I forget Rainne? She has gotten up in the wee hours of the morning to shoot me a text to make sure Liam was coming down from highs when she knew I'd be up checking him. Love that girl!

The customer service has been pretty awesome too. When I have needed to call, I've gotten great help, and a lot of the customer service reps actually wear the pod.

LaLa said...

Lora, I don't have any contact information for you so hopefully you will read this! My email is - please feel free to email me anytime.

We do not hold the pod down during insertion. We were originally taught pinch the skin up like when you give a shot but Nate is pretty chubby so we don't really need to do that. If he were a thin little guy we would certainly be more concerned about the pinching up.

As far as the highs after a pod change - we did battle with that!! Nate was getting SO worked up about just putting the pod on that we would wait before we actually did the insertion which I think may have caused a few of the highs. We also gave him dum-dum lollipops at site change and we stopped that to see if that was the cause. We have started having good numbers after the change but it took us a while to get there.

Again, feel free to email me and we can discuss further.

Penny - I am going to upload the videos here -

Hopefully, you can see them there.

Penny said...

HI Laura,
Thanks. Got the videos to work finally. Nate is such a cutie and you are so good with getting it done and over with. I give you a standing 'O' from PA my dear!!!!
In a post, at some later date, can you explain how you deal with IOB and the fact that the OmniPod doesn't really calculate it. I am so concerned about stacking doses after she gets the Pod. I mean, I have our log book to refer to, but just wondering how you deal with it all and if there is a secret to the Pod and IOB that I haven't discovered yet.
Thanks dear!

connie said...

Thank you for all of this great information! I have two daughters ages 2 and 4 years old and they both have type 1 diabetes, some day I hope to have both of them on a pump. I really love being able to see the videos so that I can get a visual of how it actually looks.

Thank you for giving us an inside look at the Omnipod, this was very helpful.

Marc said...

Thank you!

I posted on Meri's that one of my concerns is tubing. Not as much about Jonathan messing with it, but more because of stories I've heard about disconnects, kinks, and other bad situations.

Honestly, I think I've heard at least one bad story about every pump out there, but after trading your posts, I'm becoming more open to it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to put this all together!

Wow, what an awesome description and videos. Our OmniPod arrived today, and we are sooo excited to get trained and set up. Your description makes me feel even more sure that the Pod was the right choice for our T-Bear. And, thank you, Laura for the e-mail. It's a great comfort to "meet" other T1 moms out there and follow their family's progress :) - Mo

Unknown said...

Great post. I'm actually in the process of switching from the pump to the pod and appreciated your review. Though my days of wrapping cords around kids' necks are over, I'm also looking forward to cutting the cord!


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agkearley said...

I love the picture of you changing Nate's pod by the pool! Just a week into pumping and pod changes remind me of my initial days of giving injections...shaky hands, referring to manual countless times, and then holding my breath for two hours until we check bg. We are already in major love with the PDM as well! Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more! :D

Kris said...

What a great post! I haven't read up too much on the Omnipod so i learned a lot from your post.

And by the way, I just have to say I *LOVE* Nate's zebra print carseat!!!

bethany said...

my warranty was up on my minimed on august 26th ... i still haven't made up my mind on whether or not i want the animas ping or omni pod ... i keep flip flopping back and forth, i think my biggest concern with the omni pod is that i'll loose the pda. thanks for writing this, it's nice to hear other peoples thoughts, opinions, and experiences.

Tammy Langley said...

My daughter is on omnipod also for 1 year now, age 6 years old. We do love it. But the only down side for Kaley is that her skin is so sensitive that the adhesive is breaking her out and itching leaving a bad rash. By the 2nd day I must change it. I've used barrier wipes and it still doesn't work. But all in all if I could stop the irritation I would give this system a five star rating.. Awesome post by the way:)

Hi Nate! My name is Caleb. When you were crying I thought you might be laughing. It made me sad to see you upset because it looked like you were hurt really bad. I use the Pod too. It's on my arm right now. I've been using it for a while and I like it because it is better than shots. You seem like a good boy. I hope we can meet some day. Stay strong. From Caleb.

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Just a Mom

I am NOT a doctor, nor do I play one on this blog.

I AM a wife.
I AM the mom of 3 wonderful children.
I AM my son's pancreas.

The information provided on this blog is from our personal experiences with Type 1 diabetes. Because something works for us does not mean it will work for you.

Please consult your doctor if you have any questions or concerns about your health care options.

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