OMPOD !!! LOL... I couldn't resist ... As some of you may have guessed, the 'P.O.D' is in reference to the new OMNI-POD that I have been using since mid/late June 2016.
I have wanted to write about the POD at so many different points, but just haven't had time .. UGH. I must be sure to make more time, as I feel its so important to get the word out and to educate others on the options that are out there for T1D's, like myself, and other 'Insulin Dependent' diabetics looking for a better / more efficient way of taking care of their diabetes and diabetic needs.
So... my story is NOT your typical 'go to the doctor and get educated on the latest technology' type story ... LOL.. far from it !! I had been browsing the internet, not looking for anything in particular, when a pop-up ad for the Omni-pod system happened to literally pop-up ! So I clicked on the ad and I was immediately taken to the site containing information, etc.
I was intrigued, to say the least. A pump without tubing ?? I would be able to swim, shower, etc. without having to take off my pump for any length of time ?? I could really wear the Omni-pod in areas that I never would think to wear my Medtronic ? (ie..back area, calf, etc.). Soooo, I decided to submit insurance information to see if I could / would even qualify.
About 3 days after my initial application online for insurance coverages, etc.. I was contacted by a representative of Omni-Pod, letting me know that my pods would be covered 100% by my insurance - and depending on my dosage of insulin, that would determine how many pods I were to receive per month. YAY... I was truly excited to try...yet, there was a part of me that was scared half to death. I mean, what would I do without my 'security blankie' ...hahaha.. errrrr, I mean my 'tubing'. What would I do when in Walt Disney World, and knowing I can just jump in a swimming pool & not worry about getting the pump or any of its components wet ??!!! This was new territory for me - after being on a traditional insulin pump for over 12 years. YIKES !
So, they needed paperwork filled out by my doctor, and then I would be ready to go. However, before I began the second part of the process, I wanted to make sure this was the best for me and the right thing to do. I immediately went to Youtube and started watching other T1D's and what they thought, how they worked their pods, and inserting of the device, care, etc. Judging by the Youtube video's ..it seemed as though everyone loved the 'freedon' they gained from it ...especially on a daily basis - to be able to do things they hadn't previously been able to do without tubing, etc.
What I had also noticed on these video's ...was that 75% of the Omni-pod users also used what is called a DEXCOM continuous glucose monitor in tandem with the Omni-Pod, and they were absolutely raving about the effects that both the pods and Dexcom had on their A1C levels. Now, I had tried the Medtronic CGM before (Enlite), but hated it more than I liked it ..so it was barely used & supplies expired. :( Enter sad face here ... these are NOT cheap, either !
Before fully committing to he Omni-Pod, I did ask the representative if they could send me a 'sample' pod to wear, feel, try, etc... You are not able to fill this pod with insulin, but you can get a real feel for how it would feel on your body, etc. LOVED IT AS SOON AS I HELD IT. It was smaller than I thought, and just gave me a feeling of 'freedom'.. lol.. I may have even had a tear come to my eye.
Doctors notes sent, insurance coverages taken care of , all that was next was for me to place my order & set up a meeting with an Omni-Pod educator. Check, Check, CHECK !
Mid to late June 2016 .. here I am sitting at the local library learning how to fill, prime, and stick on this new little pod. Little, flat, oval shaped pod .. you were now resting comfortably on the back of my arm below my shoulder. WOW. NO TUBING ?? Really ??? OMPOD !!!!
The rep went thru the PDM with me .. PDM stands for : Personal Diabetes Manager (the PDM is a wireless/bluetooth device that you use with the Omni-pod. This is where you enter in your bg's, your carb ratios, and all information that you would enter into any other type of insulin pump.) I could be sitting at the dinner table and nobody would even know that the PDM was sending a signal to the pod to administer insulin ... it looks like a small BlackBerry phone !!!)
I also asked my diabetes educator about the Dexcom and she highly recommended that I use it in tandem with the Omni-pod system. So, there I was contacting Dexcom, as well. COVERED ! Thank you Lord !!!
Fast forward to today ... I have been using the Omni-pod and Dexcom systems in tandem now for almost 7 months, and I have never been happier ... Okay, so there have been some little, timy, minor occurances, but all in all, I am so happy. It's like a game for me to put the pod on a body part that I haven't ever used, and to see how well my body absorbs the insulin. I have found out that my calf works ..but not initially. Ha. My sugars will be high for hours after placed on the calf, but at night after walking all day, etc.. the insulin will kick in, and then the lows were beginning. UGH. So, calf is out for me, but many, many love to wear it there. I may have to explore that again, later !
Oh, so back to using the Omni-pod and Dexcom in tandem .. I cry happy tears when I tell you .. my A1C went from 9.1 in May 2016 - to 6.7 by end of September 2016.
I also had the chance to wear the pod and dexcom while in Disney World, and YES ... I jumped in a pool, unashamedly, with pod and dex attached to my arms !!! Best feeling ever not having to worry about removing insulin pump/tubing, being without insulin for any length of time, and not having to worry about keeping insulin in a cool place. I was told that I could wear the pod in a hottub, too... up to 104 degrees celcius... OHHHH Y AAAHHHHHHH !!!! hehehe
It is not end of January, and I am still loving the pod. I fill just below the 200 unit mark, as I don't go thru that much insulin in a 2 day period, but I noticed if I put it at around 160-175, then I am not wasting as much insulin as I was in the beginning. Omni-pods are only to be worn for 72 hours and then are to be de-activated and thrown out/recycled. Yes, if you are wearing it over the 72 hour mark, you do get an additional 8 hours .but beward .. lol.. it will sound the most high pitched, annoying alarm (that is almost impossible to turn off - I had to smash mine... literally) that just wont quit. Its a noise that everyone around you will hear, too .. lol.. especially when you are at work in a very quiet environment .. hahaha. yup...you will have everyone within earshot wondering 'what is that noise' ! hahahaha #joyofbeingdiabetc #ompod #omnipodsoundsoff
If you are new to the pumping or are thinking of changing after years of being on one type ... I would encourage someone to at least try it out. I have heard that some endocrinologists have systems you can take home and try (filled with saline) so that you can see if this system is for you & your needs.
I'm glad I tried... I am happy with it, and just like everything else, we as T1D's and insulin dependent diabetics go thru, there is a learning curve, etc., But, once you learn how much good this is doing for you and how much more control you have - it's pretty amazing.
I give this TWO thumbs up !!!
like I stated earlier ... OMPOD !!!! :)