Switching to Omnipod

After more than eight years of being on a Medtronic pump, I'm now going through the process of switching to Omnipod. As I haven't started on the Pod, yet, this isn't a review, but rather a post to explain my rationale.

Since going on the Dexcom over a year ago, I've become a big fan of CGM. Or, to be more correct, I've become a big fan of the Dex. I had concerns (and still do) about Medtronic's CGM solution (there seem to be more than a few complaints about it) and decided to pursue the Dex. I love it and have no plans to switch.

That being said, carrying two devices sucks and I long for the ability to have only 1 receiver. Both Animas and Omnipod announced plans for Dexcom integration and a year ago, scuttlebutt seemed to indicate the Animas would win the race to market. Two weeks ago, however, Omnipod asked the FDA to approve their device, which means they could conceivably beat Animas to the punch.

Along the way, I'd been somewhat curious about the pod. More than a year ago, I even received a sample pod. Guess what? I never put it on. I looked at it in the box and decided it looked like a big wart. I resigned myself to waiting for Animas.

But in the past year, a few other things have happened:

1) I'm tired of having my belly be a pin cushion. While I love the Dex, having two insertions in my stomach gets a bit annoying. And while I've seen some people putting the Dex in their arm, truth is I've seen a lot more Omnipod users doing that and - in general - pod users seem to move about the body a bit more.

2) Our recent trip to Florida reminded me how much Medtronic annoyed me seven years ago. When the Paradigm pump first came out, it was labeled water-proof. As a frequent swimmer and beach bum, this was THE reason I chose them, only to have them rescind the water-proof rating two years later. Having to disconnect to swim in the gulf - while I was reading about the Omnipod being water-proof - affected my decision.

3) I ordered another Omnipod sample and this time I wore it. While I don't think it's a perfect test - there's no cannula in it - I wore it on the back of my arm for 2 days and barely knew it was there. Very very cool.

4) Omnipod has a promotion called, "Cut the Cord." With this program, you pay $300, and go on the systems without getting insurance to pay for it. (obviously, insurance will pay for the replaceable pods, which - at $300/mo. are comparable to the pump). This promotion, however, gives a guy like me a few interesting wrinkles:

a. Because I keep my old insulin pump, if I HATE the pod, I'm right where I started, only out $300.
b. Because I pay $300 (and not my insurance company), I maintain my current out-of-warranty status, which means I can still have my insurance pay for the winner of the Animas/Omnipod integration race to market when the devices come out.

In short, for $300, I get to try out a way to pump using something besides my stomach with a water-proof device. And I do so, risk-free, knowing my insurance will pick up either the Omnipod/Dex if/when it becomes available or the Animas, if I wish to "re tie" the cord.

And after you realize I'm using flexible spending money to pay the $300, it's really like $240ish. All in all, not a bad gamble for a device responsible for keeping me alive.

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