The day unimagined has arrived: I am a pumper. I am woman, I wear Pod. I can't believe I haven't injected myself in 3 entire days!
So far it's so existence-altering, I hardly know where to begin... In fact, I'm trying to temper my enthusiasm, so I don't peter out too fast. Meaning I'm reserving my big Happy Dance for when I really start to see results.
But here's how it went so far: On Monday, I met with my endo and the Insulet rep for training (they're just starting roll-out here on the West Coast). We spent about 2 hours going through the setup and functions of the OmniPod "insulin management system" (please don't call it a pump, 'cause there ain't no tubes on me!) It was incredibly easy to learn, for one because the menus "walk you through" everything in plain English, and in part probably because I've been writing about and following the progress of this exciting new device for over a year. So I had a very good idea of what to expect.
Nevertheless, what I wasn't prepared for was the huge shadow it would cast on my diabetes management up until now. There we were setting basal programs for .4 and .5 units/hour, plus temporary basal programs reduced to -25%, and calculations for "reverse corrections" (the system lops off a little of your bolus if you start out too low). And all I could think was how LAME my MDI regime was by comparison! There is NO WAY IN THE WORLD that even the most diligent diabetic could achieve the same BG control with the pathetic imprecision of injections compared to this high-tech wonder of medical science! I thought...
And my next A1c will absolutely HAVE TO reflect the difference. Which is critical, of course. The nurse ran a quick in-office Metrika kit A1c test on me and came up with a whopping 8.3 (!) Luckily, my doctor thought it was as odd as I did, considering my good results of late, so we had it re-tested at the lab. Got the results yesterday: 6.2 (!!). So much for on-site A1c testing. Geez...
American Diabetes Association Names New CEO
Non-profit leader Kevin L. Hagan named as new chief exec of national diabetes org after six-month search.
FDA Approves New Basal Insulin
Sanofi's Troujeo has 'flatter profile' of action that helps to avoid lows.
Daytona Win for Racecar Driver with Diabetes!
Type 1 driver Ryan Reed wins first NASCAR series race at Daytona on Feb. 21.
As far as the system goes, I don't mind the Pod a bit so far. Very comfortable. No need for irritating shower patches since it's waterproof. What bugs me a little is that my endo insisted I start wearing my DexCom again for the first week of pumping, in order to track results, particularly overnight. So now I am double-sensored. Aaack! And I need to conduct fingerstick test on both the OmniPod's built-in FreeStyle meter and the OneTouch necessary for DexCom calibration (I hate the OneTouch). Aaack x2! What we won't do to thwart this stealthy disease...
Meanwhile, I adore the little PDM (personal diabetes manager) controller device, which has a nice smooth yet solid feel in the hand. It really does look and feel like your average well-designed personal organizer, so I've got a lot less 'splainin' to do out in public.
And did I mention NO INJECTIONS? And NO TUBES hanging off my body either? What an unequivocally Happy Camper I would be...
... if it weren't for the still-unresolved issue of insurance coverage. We continue to grapple with Blue Shield, which has approved me for a "standard" insulin pump, but is still pushing back on the OP (as of press time). We went ahead and moved forward on good faith that they'd turn around soon (Insulet has just hired a Regional Manager for this area, who will focus heavily on reimbursement issues). It's only been a few days, but so far in my eyes the OmniPod is living up to its reputation for excellency -- worth every penny we'll be spending on it.
Editor's Note: Got questions about the OmniPod? I'm obviously quite the Newbie, but would be happy to attempt to answer any queries to the best of my ability/knowledge.