Well it's about 8 months, maybe almost 9, since I started pumping insulin using the tubeless Omnipod system. Many of you have sent queries wondering whether I'm still on it, and still happy? The answers are: yes and yes.
We all know there are no miracle cures. But I can honestly say that 1) pumping has changed my life, and 2) there's no way I would be here right now, enjoying pumping, if it weren't for the no-strings-on-me option (currently only offered by Insulet).
Allow me to remind you that prior to pumping, I was on 8-10 injections per day. Mostly just little pricks from a 31g pen needle, mind you, but that's so not the point. Pain of injections was never an issue. It was the G-D inconvenience. And the G-D poor glucose control. With no way of making micro-corrections, no way of assessing "insulin on board," and only the vaguest idea of what my basal insulin was doing, I was just plain G-D frustrated. My A1c wasn't bad, but I was having lots of bad days, lots of uncomfortable lows.
Now, as you may know, my post-meal glucose levels are still not perfect (ooh, did I use the "p" word?), but they're mostly good, and I haven't had a bad low in, well... I can't remember exactly how long. At this very moment, my 90-day BG average comes up as 131, an A1c of about 6.4, according to this chart. I'll take that, sans the lows!
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I never have to fuss with screwing on needle caps before I eat. If I decide I want more, I just push a button. I can go a whole day at Disneyland -- eating and walking at unexpected intervals -- and actually enjoy myself. Woohoo!
And then there's the Pod part. I personally am ecstatic about the all-in-oneness of it. Meaning the easy-to-use PDM (controller unit) is also my glucose meter. So I just carry around the one gadget. I switch off between sticking the pod to my abdomen and my shoulder, and I'm constantly grateful that the unit is unencumbered by long plastic tubing. I do not want long plastic tubing hanging off my body. Not now. Not ever.
Have I had troubles with the Omnipod? A very few. Twice early on I had to call the company to replace the PDM because the fingerstick meter was acting a little crazy. Both units kept administering insulin flawlessly, I must add, but the meter needs to work as well. The company sent a replacement overnight.
Once or twice I must have hit a vein, because some blood pooled up at the cannula insertion spot, and I got a good squirting when I pulled that pod off. Eeww. But I'm guessing that sort of thing can happen with any infusion site. Also when I wear it on the shoulder, the pod sometimes pulls off after hitting a door jam, or after vigorous exercising: the adhesive starts to rip, and then the weight of the unit can dislodge the cannula. But that's pretty rare. Once when I had it on my tummy, during a particularly animated lunch conversation, I sort of jumped up to make my point, and ripped the pod right off my belly with the edge of the table. Yikes! No pain, but also no gain.
Anyway, these are isolated incidents. In my work here at DiabetesMine.com, I'm encountering more and more companies with fantastic visions of small wireless insulin pumps. Neat. But so far, Insulet is the only one to make this dream come true. May they make it in good health!
[Editor's Note: Want to hear from other OmniPod users? I believe you can find all 2,450 of them HERE.]
[PS - And if you haven't filled out our survey on the importance of diabetes technology, please do so right now, HERE. Thanks!]