On Switching Back From Omnipod

After two months of being on the Omnipod, I'm pretty much declaring the experiment to be a failure and have put my Medtronic pump back on.

DISCLAIMER: Your mileage will vary. This post is only about why the Omnipod hasn't worked out for me.

There are essentially five main reasons I've switched back to the pump, but they can all be placed in the same category: the Pod demanded too much of my time and attention.

1) It came off too easily. I'm not talking about the adhesive here, as I've got plenty of heavy duty glues. I'm talking about door jams that would rip it clean off and pods that jiggled loose after seven or eight miles of running. While I've experienced all of these things with pumps, I estimate they happened on 5-10% of my pump insertions. With the Pod, I got the full 3 days out of less than 1/3 of them.

2) The failure rate was greater for me. Whether it be Pod failures (which Insulet would compensate me for) or occlusion failures (which they wouldn't), I had more failures in my two months than what I had in a given year on my pump. Incidentally, this was the one area where I was willing to look the other way, as I know that new technologies have learning curves... my first sensors with Dexcom failed at a much higher rate than they do now, so I know operator error is partially to blame.

3) The PDM is too large. True, when you're not planning on bolusing you don't need to take it with you, but most diabetics are only a few hours from eating, anyway, and when you do have it in your pocket, it's bigger.

4) Beep. Beep. Beep. Whatever you do takes more buttons and more beeping than the pump. In particular, I would like this reassurance if I were a parent with a kid on the Pod. As an adult who has been doing this for a while, I've come to think of it as a nag.

5) Three days is three days. One of the nice things about the pump that I underestimated is the ability to make an infusion set last shorter or longer, depending on when I wanted to change it, anywhere from about 2 to 4.5 days in my case. With the Pod, you've got 8 hours more than three days, period. I don't like that.

So now what? I'm wearing my pump, but I haven't told Insulet about it, yet. First up, I'm due for another shipment of Pods and I plan to try it again. There are some Pod users who claim to like it better when the weather turns cooler, sleeves are protecting the Pod and you sweat less. Plus, I have nearly a year's worth of unused pump supplies, so I can continue to hang out and evaluate. That being said, it's so nice to have my pump back on, I dunno. It's nice not to think about it so much.

In addition, I'm continuing my focus being of moving down to one receiver. While my plan was to find whoever integrated with the Dex first, I've called Medtronic about trying on one of their CGM sensors. While the chatter on the internet is mostly negative about Medtronic CGM, the fact of the matter is some diabetics don't mind them. Moreover, internet chatter about the Omnipod is largely positive and it hasn't worked out for me. For all I know, Medtronic's CGM could be the simplest solution... again, for me.

Without a doubt, I'm a little bummed, but I recognize all of this is temporary... Insulet does have a smaller Pod in the pipeline and both they and Animas are working on Dex integration. And, for all I know, Medtronic CGM may not be the failure for me that's it been for others. But after having my first Medtronic pump be such a great move for me eight years ago, I'm a little dismayed the Omnipod hasn't given me the results I hoped for.

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