OmniPod

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Pump It Up

Yesterday my mom, Helen and I took Nate to Children's Hospital to attend an insulin pump training class called Pump It Up.  Before Children's will let you order this mega expensive medical device they want to make sure that the young patient will actually tolerate and wear the device.  So, before the class got started the CDE showed us how to do two site insertions on Nate.  We had not at that time decided which insulin pump he would wear so she showed us how to do the insertions with our top two (the Ping and the OmniPod). 

There really are no words for me to properly describe the heartbreak that goes along with this disease.  I have said it over and over parenting a child with a chronic disease is like a roller coaster ride.  We have our ups and our downs. Sometimes we want to scream with delight and other times we want to scream from fear.  Yesterday was a little of both. 

 
  
Click Here to see all of the photos.

After the trauma of the site insertions was over, my sweet friend, Helen took Nate home so that my mom and I could focus on the pump class.   The class was very informative.  The CDE spoke for about an hour, we did some problem solving and then the reps from each of the three major pump companies came in and spoke about their products.  I had narrowed it down to 2 before the class started but was very impressed with all 3 pumps.  I then had to rethink my entire decision.  I actually had the OmniPod inserted into my arm and the MiniMed into my tummy and left the hospital with both. In the end I went with the one that I have been drawn to since the very beginning.  

Today I filled out the paperwork to order Nate's insulin pump.  We are going with the OmniPod. I think that all 3 pumps have great features and there are things that I love about all of them but in the end I went with the one that I believe is the best fit for Nate and for our family.  We hope to be pumping by March 1st.  

Your continued thoughts and prayers are appreciated as we face the rough days to come in this long journey.  An insulin pump is not a cure for Nate's T1 diabetes but I hope it makes his journey easier and his life more exceptional.  There is nothing that this little boy cannot accomplish and we will do everything in our power to make sure he has every opportunity to succeed. 


Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Pumping, Good Grief & HOPE

Pumping.
Well, we did it.  Nate is now officially on the OmniPod Insulin pump. Yea Nate!



He wore the the OmniPod all weekend filled with saline so that I could get comfortable bolusing for all his meals and he could get used to wearing the device.  Personally, I think we both did great!

Yesterday we met Jessica and family downtown at CMC to get this pumping started.  Nate and Liam both tolerated their site changes and Jessica and I both passed the pump test with flying colors.  Can I just say 1 more time how awesome it is to be going through this with Jessica and Liam? AWESOME.
 
 

Good Grief.
I decided to place Nate's pod on his bum and cover it with IV3000.  Unfortunately, the major blow out that he has after dinner required a bio-hazard suit and a site change! Good Grief!  So, lesson learned - - - Wait for bum sites until after potty training or invest in a lot more IV3000.  After the blow out I moved the pod to his arm and he is doing quite well with it there.


 
 



All in all Day 1 went pretty well (except for the bio-hazard incident).  Nate's basal rate is set at 0.15 units from 12a-12a so he experienced some highs yesterday but no ketones.  We noted the high times and will make the necessary modifications today.

I stayed up most of the night to check his bg and watch him breathe.  He was high at midnight so I made a correction, he was in good range at 3:00 AM but was low by 6:00 AM so we definitely have some tweaking to do.  We will get there.  One day at a time.



Hope!  
I am hoping that pumping makes things better for Nate.  I am hoping that we made the right decision. I am hoping that this will help Nate live a very long life. Most of all I am hoping for a cure! 

 
Emma and Sophie are also hoping for a cure for their sweet baby brother! 


Sunday, March 28, 2010


OmniPod, OmniPod - Oh How I Love Thee!


Nate has been pumping or podding since March 1st and I now cannot imagine handling his diabetes any other way.  Multiple Daily Injections (MDI) are a thing of our past.  Podding has made our lives so much easier, so much more flexible and made Nate's bg numbers so much better.  Diabetes is still here and is still difficult. We still count carbs, measure food, and check Nate's blood sugar 12 to 14 times per day.  We still get up with him 3 times per night to check his bg but the OmniPod is making everything easier.

We still keep Nate on a pretty tight schedule but if we get delayed or held up or just run late it's ok.  No more NPH to cause terrible lows when we run a few minutes behind.  No more rigid schedule in fear that we may not get Nate's meal prepared before the NPH peaks and he crashes.

To date there are 2 major things we have now done with Nate that I cannot imagine doing since his diagnosis and before he started pumping.

The 1st is our trip to Iowa.  We obviously would have gone with or without diabetes but the pod made the trip so much easier.  The day that we left, Nate was recovering from a horrific stomach bug that had kept us up most of the night due to his vomiting.  The days that followed were not easy.  He had NO appetite, would not eat, and was still suffering from a few other symptoms that I will not go into here.  Let's just say if we did get him to eat, he was losing a lot of the carbs pretty quickly.  We were stressed to the max with an all night drive on no sleep, driving non-stop in fear we would not make it to Iowa in time, then once we arrived we spent most of our days and evenings in the hospital with Jim's mom and the rest of his family.  Certainly not ideal conditions for a little one with diabetes.  The crazy good thing is that Nate was ok. We were able to set some temp basals, reduce his boluses and he did great!!  We did great!!  Hey, I'm just going to go ahead and say it - - - I rocked it!

The last time Nate had a tummy bug was just weeks after his dx and we ended up back in the hospital for 3 days.  Tummy bugs and diabetics are not a good combination but with the pod it is certainly more manageable.

The 2nd thing is not quite as big but since Nate's dx I have not wanted to spend any time at our lake house.  It is about 90 miles away from our house and about 60 miles away from civilization.  If anything were to happen there we would have a long drive back to Dallas because there in no one out there that would be able to help with Nate's diabetes.  The closest hospital is the one I went to when I had my miscarriage and there was no one that could even do a sonogram to confirm the miscarriage.  I'm going to go ahead and guess that they do not have a pediatric endocrinologist on staff and they probably don't even have anyone that would have a clue what to do with such a tiny person with Type1.

Well, we packed up our bags this weekend and headed 90 miles south and spent some time at the lake and it was great!  No shots, no worry about the rigid schedule, we didn't have to plan the drive at a certain time so that we could feed Nate at a certain time and all that blah, blah, blah that came with the NPH and the MDI.  It was awesome.  It was fun. It was relaxing.



Nate does always get his own suitcase for all D supplies everywhere we go but even that has become easier with the pod.  The funny thing about this trip is that I packed Nate's D bag with all of his supplies, Emma's bag full of clothes, Sophie's bag full of clothes and my bag with all of my clothes but I forgot to pack any clothes for Nate!!  The good news is that we had all of his D supplies but the bad news was he had to wear his sister's pretty, pretty princess nightgown for night-night!

The hard parts of D are still with us.  That will never change.  We roll with it and do the best that we can to care for him and keep his blood glucose in check but we have days were the meter says HIGH and we have days where the meter says LOW.  We have days where I cry and we have days where he cries.  We have days where we both cry.  Diabetes is not an easy disease.  It is hard on his body and it is hard on my mind.

The pod is making the management easier and his numbers better but with the pod has come more bg checks.  We check Nate's bg all day --- before meals, after meals, before and after snacks, before he goes to bed and as soon as he wakes up and anytime in between where we feel he may be high or low.  We also check him at 10:00 PM, 12:00 AM and 3:00 AM and if one of those number is low we stay up until it is up, if one of those numbers is high, we stay up until it is down.  I've had a lot of people ask me when we will be able to stop checking him at night and the simple answer is NEVER.  The risk it too great.  In the last 2 months there have been 2 young boys in the DOC (diabetes online community) that have passed away due to type 1 complications.  I cannot begin to imagine the heartbreak.  These are families that know diabetes, that do what we do and yet sometimes this silent killer takes our children even when we do everything right.  Therefor, as I pray for comfort for the families that have lost their precious children I will also continue to check my precious son throughout the day and all through the night and thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to get up and check him even at 3:00 in the morning.



* This post was originally written to be a super positive tribute to the OmniPod but my heart is heavy tonight as I think about the families that have lost their children so my post made a slight detour. 



Monday, March 29, 2010


OmniPod Tips and Tricks

Ok, so we have only been using the OmniPod for a month so I really do not have that many tips and tricks but my last post received a lot of questions that I will attempt to answer here.

* We do decorate Nate's pods or as we like to call it "Pimp the Pod" with stickers but they often come off in the tub.  So, we just add another sticker after bath time.  Stickers are fun anytime!! The stickers that last the longest are the clear plastic kind or the non-paper type.  

* We always change Nate's pod after bath time so it has a chance to soak before site change.  We then use Uni-Solve (Smith&Nephew) to help remove the rest of the adhesive before we pull it off.  We tried baby oil and it did nothing for us but I know that it does work for others.

* Nate has super sensitive skin so currently before we place the pod we clean his skin with Skin-Prep (Smith&Nephew).  It helps keep the pod in place and also protects his skin from all of the adhesive.  Some people use an alcohol wipe but Nate's skin is too sensitive for that. 

* Nate's correction factor on the OmniPod is 1:300.  We started him at 1:200 but increased it to 1:300 about 2 weeks ago.  It is totally an option on the OmniPod. 


* OmniPod does have an Insulin On Board (IOB) feature but it calculates the IOB differently than other pumps.  The OmniPod calculates the IOB from the correction insulin instead of from correction and bolus insulin.  This totally works for us but does not work for everybody so I am not going to debate the IOB issue on my blog.  We love it.  Some people hate it. Some people just don't know anything about it!  :-)
My suggestion would be to speak with an Insulet representative to get the true facts about IOB and if it will work for your needs.


Insulet's definition:
Insulin on board (active insulin)
The amount of insulin that is still active in the body from a previous correction bolus dose. The amount of time insulin remains “on board” or active depends on each individual’s duration of insulin action. Talk with your healthcare provider to determine your duration of insulin action. The OmniPod System continually calculates the IOB to help prevent stacking of correction bolus doses, which is a major cause of hypoglycemia. 

* We currently have Nate's PDM set so that his IOB stays active for 5 hours. 



* The Reverse Correction is turned on for Nate's pod.  This is a feature that I love and feel like really keeps Nate from dropping to low. 

Definition:
Reverse correction (negative correction)
Using an individual’s correction factor (sensitivity factor), the reverse correction is a calculation that reduces a portion of a meal bolus dose when the patient’s blood glucose level is below their blood glucose target. This feature is an option of the PDM, which should be turned on or off according to the advice of a healthcare provider.

*  Nate is only 21-months so he does not have huge insulin needs.  His basal rates change throughout the day and the night so we love all of the different basal rates available. Here are his current settings:



* My most important tip is for site changes!  I actually got the idea from Tracy and her brave boy, Zane. We give Nate a Dum-Dum lollipop during site change and it makes the entire ordeal almost a non-issue.  Nice!


I know there are many out there that have been pumping and podding longer than we have that can offer more advice, tips and tricks but I just wanted to answer some of the questions that I received via email, comments and Facebook.


Friday, April 23, 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
video
Placing the Pod Video Video
video

Auto Insertion Video
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.

Friday, April 30, 2010


The Sweet Spot - Warning: Rated R for Some Nudity

We finally found the best spot for Nate's pod.  We like his arm, we love his thigh but have always struggled with his bum because of his diapers and his tendency to poop in them.

After some trial and error we finally found a spot that doesn't bother him and where the pod stays fresh as a daisy for 3 entire days!!

Here it is . . .

This is day 2 for Pod on Bum!

And the cutest part of it (as if that cute little bum isn't cute enough) Nate started saying "Pod on my bum" "Pod on my bum".  It's so cute.  I'll try to get a video of it because it really is THAT cute.  



Friday, May 7, 2010


Podders Night Out - OmniPod Social

OmniPod hosted a great night out at Main Event last week.  I was lucky enough to be able to take all 3 kids with a little help from my mom, dad and one friend!  It was a gathering of podders, soon-to-be podders and those interesting in podding.  My fellow D-Mom, Jessica and family were there and we met several other wonderful D-Mommas with children the same age as our kiddos.

It was also a great opportunity to hear about the up and coming things that Omnipod has in the pipeline.  Luis Malave the Chief Operating Officer of Insulet was on hand to give us the run down on what to expect with future releases and to answer our questions.

And . . . why yes, the subject of Insulin On Board (IOB) did come up!  I knew you were wondering.  I may have been the only one with my hand up, squirming in my chair, yelling PICK ME - PICK ME but I knew others really wanted to know!!  I asked Mr. Malave about the response that a dear D-Mom blogger (Ms. Wendy) received and blogged about here.  I for one LOVE the OmniPod and actually really like the way that the pod handles IOB.  It is what I know - it was I am used to and I do not have any problems with it.  Further more, I do NOT like change and after the past year of my life being full of change I may have begged him not to change it?!?!    He did agree that is is certainly a hot spot with their competitors and some issues by consumers have been noted.   The FDA does not have any policy in place that directs pump companies how to calculate IOB so at this time OmniPod is looking at different options but no final decision has been made.  From what I understood they are looking at maybe being able to set it one way or the other (I'm down with that) so that everyone would be happy.  I am not anticipating seeing any changes anytime soon but I am sure I will be pleased with whatever solution they decide upon.

My lovely friend, Jessica asked about smaller basal rate increments and I am sure Mr. Luis answered but Nate was running amuck and needing a bg check about that time so maybe Jessica can provide some insight on that one.  Jess??

We also got to see the new smaller version of the pod which I LOVE!!  I WANT one NOW!  I am hoping to have one of these on Nate's 'sweet spot' in 2010!

Here is my own (somewhat warped) version of the smaller pod:

Nice!

Happy Podding Y'all! 

Sunday, May 23, 2010


The New, The Improved, The Smaller OmniPod!

My next few posts are all about OmniPod - a bit of a continuation on the Parade of Pumps and OmniPod, OmniPod - Oh How I Love Thee!

I am not trying to push the OmniPod ---  just passing along a few facts and a lot of personal stories about our journey on the pod.

I don't know about you but I cannot WAIT until the next version of the OmniPod comes out.  Here are a few of the things that I am SUPER excited about:

* The new pod will be 40% smaller.  That is a huge difference on Nate's little sweet spot!!




* The minimum amount of insulin required will go from 80 units to 65 units.  Yippeee!  

* The cannula will be BLUE so that you can see it more clearly through the window.  Call me a dork but I am SUPER excited about this feature!  It might be my age but I find it really hard to see that cannula.

* CGM receiver integrated into the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager or Remote).  It will be the 1st three in one . . . glucometer, CGM and pump remote.

I heard a rumor that the 'Idex' which is the OmniPod PDM and Dexcom receiver was submitted to the FDA 2 weeks ago!!  Woot-Woot!!

I love all of the progress being made by Insulet.  They are truly a 1st class organization.  Everyone that I have met at Insulet Corporation has been kind, compassionate and knowledgeable.   One of the things that touches me personally is that so many of the employees that work for Insulet have first hand knowledge of Type 1.  Many of the employees have type 1, the Chief Operating Officer's wife has T1 and the original Venture Capitalist has a son with T1.  This company is not out to make a quick buck on diabetes.  This is a company that knows and cares about diabetes & knows and cares about the 25,000 patients that trust OmniPod to keep them alive every day.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Super Nate Running on OmniPod for 1 Year

Super Nate Runs On OmniPod!
 
1 year ago today I posted Pumping, Good Grief and Hope - if you have time you should go back and take a look. We've come a long way. Nate and Liam started pumping with the Pod on the same day. They both look so little and oh so very brave!

Liam and Nate - 3/1/2010


1 Year pumping with the OmniPod!

Wow!

12-Months of Podding



How did a year slip by so quickly?

For a super fantastic review of the OmniPod Insulin Management system - please check out Lorraine's review here.  I would love to write a fabulous review but there's no need --- Lorraine did an outstanding job so I'm just going to use hers.  Thanks, Lorraine!

Speaking of Lorraine . . . she and Caleb have provided an amazing amount of support, knowledge, and kindness. I'm not sure we would be where we are today without their paving the way and sharing their knowledge.  Thank you, Lorraine and Caleb for all that you have done but thank you most of all for your friendship and support!

Jessica and I both had an uphill battle getting the OmniPod on our 2 sweet boys.  We dealt with opposition around every corner it seemed.  The doctors, the nurses, even other pumpers tried to convince us that this was not the right choice.  We held firm in our belief that we, as mothers know what is right for our children and I have not regretted our choice - - - not even once!  I am BEYOND grateful to have gone through this journey with Jessica and Liam.  We've made quite a team over the past year!!  Although our friendship extends beyond diabetes and podding I know that it is those 2 things that brought us together and I am thankful every day to have Jessica by my side in this journey!!

Team Super Nate and Team Liam! 


Pumping with the OmniPod is by far the best thing we have done for Nate's D care.  Our life before the OmniPod was pure hell. The agony of multiple daily injections and NPH was almost more than I could stand. The OmniPod changed everything for us - everything! For more on how the OmniPod helped us reclaim our lives - please read OmniPod, OmniPod Oh How I Love Thee.

Everyone told us that beginning the pump would be like being diagnosed all over again.  Our experience was the complete opposite!  I fell in love with the OmniPod the moment I stuck it on Nate's little bum.  It was an easy transition for us and I cannot imagine caring for Nate any other way. Nate was 20-months old when we started pumping so I was already dealing with irregular blood sugars - - - a lot of highs and a lot of lows so switching to a pump and dealing with tweaking basals was not that challenging for us.  I was already used to all of the crazy numbers.  I wish I could tell you something negative about the OmniPod but I just can't do it.

I honestly believe that upon diagnosis they should send the parents home with an insulin pump and a case of wine ---- wouldn't that make the blow of the dx much more manageable!?

I didn't really plan out this post the way I should have --- I don't really have anything profound to say.  So, for Nate's Pod Anniversary Jim and I decided to count all of the test strips in our test strip jar.


Yep - that's right!  We put all of Nate's used test strips in the above jar and we decided to count them! Every. Single. One.



Can you guess how many are in there?



Here's a little hint:
We've been putting them in this jar since October.


One drop of blood for every strip in the jar.  Pictures like that make the reality of what I do every day sink in and yet Nate doesn't even flinch.  He says 'No ouch, Mama - no ouch!'  I guess he's just used to it because he always says no ouch when I ask him if it hurts.

So, can you guess how many test strips are in the jar??

Leave me a comment with your guess and the person closest to the actual amount will win a few of our super fabulous Pod Magnets.

Check out some of our latest designs:






. . . and because every year on the day we celebrate Nate's 1-year OmniPod Anniversary we will also celebrate a day of HOPE! Here are our HOPE pictures for 2011 . . . 



Big Strong Nate runs on OmniPod!!