Thursday marks my 45th day on the OmniPod pump. Which means that Thursday is also a looming deadline, in my mind. Remember this post about how hard it initially was to make a decision about switching to pods or not?
Well, told you so. I absolutely hate making decisions! Here’s what’s been going on…
The first few days on the Pod were amazing! I wore dresses without worrying about my pump coming loose from the waistband of my underwear and unexpectedly hitting the floor at my feet. I went to the bathroom and didn’t fret about my pump falling in the toilet (okay, actually I still brace myself for that – it’s what 14 years of a tubed pump will do to you). It felt liberating to not have this THING attached to my hip at all hours of the day.
After a few days, my honeymoon with the OmniPod started coming to an end. Maybe I jumped into this relationship too quickly? My sugars would be great for hours on end. Then, all of the sudden (without food) it hit the mid 200’s. No biggie, take a correction and wait an hour or two for the Dexcom to tell me I’m falling. Nope. These sugars were stubborn. Like moving mountains. I started to attribute it to me being lazy about my management.. “well, I did munch on a few chips at work without a bolus” or “maybe I looked at the vial of insulin the wrong way and it’s revolting.”
So I started troubleshooting. I really paid attention to how long my sugars were staying high, how many crazy correction boluses I was taking, what I was eating. None of it made sense. I’d see a 250 mg/dl 6 hours after a pod change, and it would take 6 more hours to get it down – using about 8-10 units of insulin or more. That’s just not right. I wasn’t doing anything different from when I was on the MiniMed pump either – eating the same basic foods, same exercises, same type of insulin (maybe a little added stress because my sugars were out of whack, but come on!). And before you ask, yes – I discarded questionable pods, used brand new bottles of insulin, tried out every spot on my body I’m willing to put a pod on, and even googled lots of tips and tricks to get the best out of the pod. Nada worked.
My next conclusion: I was desperately missing Pumpernickel (name of MiniMed pump given to it by one of my best friends when I got it in 6th grade). Maybe I was reflecting on my days with the MiniMed pump in an unrealistic light – forgetting about all of the days and nights he may have wronged me. So I did what any crazy diabetic would do. I wore two pumps. Let me start by saying – I do not ever recommend this. Not for the obvious reason of it being very uncomfortable to have three things attached to your body, but because it could be dangerous. I could disconnect from the MiniMed when I wasn’t using that pump and evaluating the bg levels it left me with. But I can’t disconnect from the OmniPod. Best I could do was set the temp basal to ‘OFF’ for 12 hours, and set an alarm on my phone to remind me to renew the temp basal setting. I was switching back and forth fairly often so it wasn’t an issue, but really – don’t do this unless you’re sure you won’t accidentally stick yourself with two sets of basal rates.
Without boring you with every single detail of my very scientific diabetes experiment, I have decided that I’m just not getting the same absorbtion from the OmniPod that I am from the MiniMed pump. Is it the angled cannula? Maybe more of the 9mm cannula is inserted into my skin with the MiniMed Quick-Set than it is with my pods? Is it that my lower back (all parts of my lower back, I tried many locations) and the backs of my arms would rather not be an insulin port? I guess I’ll never really know.
What I do know though, is that even though it’s been a tough road first making the decision to switch to the OmniPod, and now figuring out if it’s right for me – seeing my blood sugars this out of control makes this final decision VERY simple. After I finish up this blog post, I’m calling Insulet and sending the OmniPod back.
(side note: it also was not in the pod’s favor that they got to be really, really itchy on some days. no clue why).
If you are reading this because you are interested in making the switch to the OmniPod, please – don’t let me be the only voice to sway your decision. There are plenty of people who live happily (with great blood sugars!) with this pump. I will also say that there are lots of things I absolutely loved about the pods. Site changes were a breeze, no tubing was a great change, and being able to bolus remotely was very convenient. Customer Service, the two times I called (my PDM crapped out at 5am a few weeks back), was very nice and customer service-y, and the rep here in Durham was phenomenal. In the end though, the point of having an insulin pump is better diabetes management, and the OmniPod just isn’t for me.