Saturday, November 25, 2017

Life as a Podder

Okay – well at least for a month – I’m being a Podder … and for those of you who are wondering … WTF is she talking about ??? ....   I’m using what is referred to as a “tubeless pump” for pumping insulin through my body 24/7 called the Omnipod.  A plastic mini-me type of insulin pump is replaced every 3 days on your skin (if you’re lucky enough to not have it fail as you’ll see below).  


I’m now approaching my 2nd week as a Podder and the notes I’ve made up so far on how it has been going will hopefully help any Canadian on the fence post as to which of the 2 current pump manufacturers we have as an option with Animas exiting the pump market (NB – you can still use your current Animas pump – get supplies well into 2019 – so do not think you have to jump ship just yet – it’s just you’ll be buying your supplies from Medtronic eventually once Animas closes up shop – sigh).

As far as purchasing Omnipod supplies, especially if you are one of the Canadian provinces that have a pump program, the price tag of $300/month for the pods will go over and beyond what you might be paying for a tubing pump.  For some, that can be a deal breaker, especially if you do NOT have private insurance/work insurance.  In Canada, you also have to buy the pods directly from Diabetes Express .

My first few pods I used before the meet up with the rep from Omnipod were from a former Podder who for one reason or another, decided to go with a tube pump.  The funny thing, was the pods I used from them are newer, but they are the ones that I had problems with.  The 1st one alarmed with “OCCLUSION” about 2 hours before the Pod would shut down for a new one to be installed.  The 2nd pod, after 1 ½ days, just “FAILED”.  I went through the steps to get it to work again, and after a few futile attempts, had to remove the pod, losing about 50 units of NovoRapid.  I was NOT to happy with that since I have no insurance anymore, but I just told myself, this is an EXPERIMENT.
After that, I started to use the pods that the Omnipod rep had given me (and these are older manufactured ones than what my friend had donated to me).  So far, with only filling the pods up with the minimum amount of insulin ... NO PROBLEMS to report to date!!! 


Now for my beefs (isn't that a cute cow or what?) with the Omnipod so far, is the PDM (Personal Diabetic Manager) – which serves as your blood meter as well as for bolusing for meals and/or corrections … and setting up the programming for your pod on your body.  It’s abit dated due to not touch screen and it’s so bloody big!!!  I still keep on occasionally reaching for my waistline where I used to clip my Animas Vibe, to  bolus, etc. – then having to remember where I left the PDM (I now have a system - which works most of the time - yes - you can teach a cat new tricks)!   I also find it takes longer to punch in everything into the PDM to get my juice of life infused into me for a meal and/or correction (though I'm getting faster now - but I find more thinking is required than my Animas Vibe).  If you do misplace the PDM, the pod will continue to disperse basal insulin, nothing else, but f the pod starts to alarm, and you don’t have your PDM on you, you have no idea what it’s alarming for.  NB Rep did give me a belt clip case for the PDM, but it’s kind of useless since you still require the test strip container and finger pricker – and there’s no room for either of these.  So I am designing a little wristlet to fit everything in (yes .. I am such a Fashionista).

Always, always have a spare pod, insulin, gunk remover, alcohol etc. on hand.  I know people who inject, or use tube pumps are always ... ALWAYS ... supposed to have those with them every time they leave the house.  In the case of the Omnipod, if it starts screaming, and it can't be resolved with following instructions on PDM, you will have to remove and put a new pod in place (tip - always have an opened paper clip to mute the bloody thing - been there done that - and it is all in the very detailed instruction manual supplied with the PDM).  So, with an tube insulin pump, if you're a 15 minute drive away, and haven't got supplies, it's abit less stressful and not go bonky with a screaming pod. 

One of my other concerns originally with Omnipod was the large amount of adhesive along with the 60 degree 6.5 mm cannula.  I’ve not had much luck with plastic cannulas over the last 8 years of pumping with Animas, so stainless steel 90 degree sets are what I’ve always used, and when removing the sets, you would never know I had been infusing insulin, along with no skin irritation from the adhesive.  So my other beef is, where my insulin has infused the cannula … there’s a hard small lump underneath the skin.  I never had this with the Animas sets, so have been closely watching how the area heals (so far it seems it may take 2 weeks for the lumps to go away).  I was wondering how people who are insulin resistant – and take more than my normal 2-4 units each time for a bolus or correction  - if they experience this - and how long it takes to heal.


Now for bonuses of being on the Omnipod !  I feel quite free without any tubing (oohhh cannot wait for a romantic weekend with the hubby).  Oh, and last weekend I went thrift shopping, and usually when trying on clothing, it takes forever with unclipping pump, etc.  With no pump clipped on me, or bulk of pump … badda bing badda boom … I feel like a fashionista again … though … damn … where did some of those extra rolls of fat come from ? <lol>

There is less waste of insulin, that's if the pod doesn’t fail!  Usually with tube pumps, we have to fill our tubing, which we can’t reuse again (some do, but I wouldn’t recommend it).  So, on average, I’d lose about 10 units of insulin.  With the pod, filling it up to exactly to 3 days worth of insulin, I’m seeing about 2-6 units wasted.  NB:  I have been using Fiasp a few times for last minute meals via MDI, or a correction over 12 mmol/l (very rare these days) – so in reality – I might have run out of insulin before the 3 days is up.

One caveat is the Eco-pod Disposal Kit available free of charge from Diabetes Express.  I hate the amount of garbage that our gadgets we use for health creates on our big blue marble.  According to my rep, some items can be recycled.  I hope so!

The other great bonus though?  It uses FreeStyle test strips – yippee – small droplet of blood – more accuracy!  I sadly am almost out of the strips I was given, so back  to use my One Touch since I have lots of those test strips.  

So, that’s about it in a nutshell - I'll carry on testing it out until the last pod is used up, and decide from there ... should I stay or should I go ... back to Animas or just MDI.  If you’ve not caught my posts on Instagram and/or Facebook you’ll be able to see some extra pictures and discussions.


38 comments:

  1. Love the review! Thank you for posting it!

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    1. You are most welcome. I've put an addition on since, about the recycle program for returning pods back ... so they don't go into landfill.

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  2. Thank you very much for the sharing! COOL.. Raul

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  3. You have a good point here!I totally agree with what you have said!!Thanks for sharing your views...hope more people will read this article!!! diabetes type 2

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    1. Thank you for reading my scratchings in my litter box @Furkhundababy1 . How are you managing your diabetes control?

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  4. Now if you think of the disease diabetes as involving a locking gas cap on your car, it will be easier to understand.what should i weigh

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    1. Ha! Ha! James! I've always thought of my Type 1 diabetes when I try to explain in simple terms to people that our blood sugar when it is HIGH, is sort of like the battery acid in your car engine, leaking, and destroying parts of our internal organs. Since posting this blog, I'm using the Omnipod more often, despite being abit more expensive than the tubed pump. Of course, MDI (multiple dose injections) or "poor man's pump" with the new fast/slow insulins on the market depending on where you live, can replicate a pump, just more work, but less expensive. Have a great day and sorry I'm only getting back to you now!

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  5. Good to learn from your story. Thanks.

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    1. Thanks for reading Thomas - are you a diabetic if I'm not being too bold to ask?

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  6. I just wonder how it should be. Thanks for your story.

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    1. Thank you Hank - do you use any form of insulin pump or considering one?

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  7. thanks you for your post. Love it.

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    1. Thank you very much Conseil - I try to do my best in putting my thoughts on "paper" to educate and amuse folks who read my scribbles about living with diabetes.

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  8. Great post. I used to be checking continuously this blog and I’m
    impressed! Extremely helpful info specially the closing section ??
    I maintain such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a long time.
    Thanks and best of luck

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Kyle ... not sure about your remark with the question marks. Hopefully I didn't leave you in suspense ... if I did ... read my latest post from January :)

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  9. I like the valuable info you provide to your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and take a look at again here frequently.
    I am reasonably sure I will be informed many new stuff proper right here! , Best of luck for the next!

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks Phil. I don't blog as much as I used to, but when I do, if you've subscribed to it ... you'll be the first one to know. If you have any topics you'd love to hear from me, just let me know!

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  10. Thank you for some other informative website. The place else may just I get that kind of information written in such a perfect method? I have a venture that I am simply now running on, and I’ve been at the glance out for such info.my suggestion La Diète 3 semaines and TOUT SUR LES ABDOMINAUX and SYSTEME DELIVRANCE ,DESTRUCTEUR DE DIABÈTE

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    1. Bonne chance avec votre entreprise de perdre du poids en 3 semaines, bien qu'avec le diabète de type 2 (et même le type 1 comme je l'ai) ... Je pense que le mot "diète" est un mauvais mot à utiliser parfois. Pensez à manger sainement et à être actif pour contrôler notre santé du mieux que nous pouvons. Oui? / Good luck with your venture of losing weight in 3 weeks, though with Type 2 diabetes (and even Type 1 like I have) ... I think the word "diet" is a bad one to use at times. Think of eating healthy and being active as a way to control our health as best as we can. Oui?

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  11. Excellent article !
    Bonne journée.

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  12. Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.

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    1. Many thanks Jim. Sadly, I wish I had more time to blog - you can check out older blogs that may be informative - at Diabetes1.org - where I originally was hired on to blog about living with diabetes back in 2008. Have a great day.

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  13. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading my scribbles @Join :)

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  14. I recently visit across a fascinating website containing information on treating feline diabetes with natural herbs and supplements with the guidance
    SYSTEME DELIVRANCE,
    DESTRUCTEUR DE DIABÈTE,
    Tout sur les Abdominaux
    and
    La Diète 3 semaines.
    Thanks for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, thanks for all those links @conseilsship.com ... sadly ... with diabetes in cats (feline) ... they have to use insulin much like Type 1 diabetics do. With herbs and supplements - their body will waste away to death.

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  15. Replies
    1. Thank you @Lavine ... I will try to write more.

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  16. I love to learn from your story at diabète.

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    Replies
    1. Sadly, with Type 1 diabetes, as I've mentioned in other replies above you Jos ... your link for curing Type 2 diabetes does not work for our autoimmune disease. Wish it did, but sadly, we need insulin to stay alive.

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  17. Replies
    1. Oh no @Jui, I am so sorry to hear this. I hope you enjoy my future posts, or if you like, check out some of my older posts from Diabetes1.org at this link https://diabetes1.org/blogs/Annas_Blog/all_posts

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  18. Using freestyle glucose meter! High blood levels of glucose can cause several problems, including frequent urination, excessive thirst, hunger, fatigue, weight loss, and blurry vision. However, because type 2 diabetes develops slowly, some people with high blood sugar experience no symptoms at all. You can check your sugar with this freestyle libre flash glucose monitoring system. Symptoms of type 1 diabetes:Increased thirst, Increased urination, Weight loss in spite of increased appetite, Fatigue, Nausea,Vomiting. Click here: https://www.onlineshopology.com/product/freestyle-optium-neo-blood-glucose-meter-001/

    ReplyDelete

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