My First Week on the OmniPod

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My first week using the OmniPod insulin pump is officially complete! I still have much to learn about the pump and its functions, but I feel comfortable making a few solid judgments about it so far.

The OmniPod consists of two components: the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) and the pod itself. The PDM is a handheld device with a color screen reminiscent of a smartphone. It is operated by the push of a button and is capable of many tasks, such as delivering boluses, tracking blood glucose and carbohydrate intake, and so much more. The pod itself contains a reservoir that is filled with fast-acting insulin. It can hold a minimum of 85 units and a maximum of 200. This means that the pod needs to be changed every three days.

OmniPod insulin pump - This little blue cannula ensures delivery of my insulin.

Speaking of, I’ve had to change my pod twice now (I will change it again later today) and there’s a few interesting things I’ve noticed about this process. For instance, I’m amazed by how easy it is. The PDM itself walks you through every step in the process – all you have to do is let it know you’re about to change your pod, and approximately five minutes later, you’re set up with a new one. I will say that it’s kind of frightening each time the cannula gets inserted, but I think this is only because the pod makes a loud clicking sound when it does so. The actual sensation itself is remarkably painless, making it stand in contrast to the stinging of a fresh Dexcom sensor application. However, I can’t quite seem to restrain myself from shrieking slightly any time I do insert a new pod, at the amusement and bewilderment of my parents.

An hour or so post-pod change, I find myself being very wary of my blood sugars. I look for any signs that my pod is working properly or failing, and this close monitoring can be a bit disruptive to my routine.

Moreover, every few minutes, I can’t help but hear a ticking sound from my pod. Tick, tick, tick…while it’s reassuring to me that my pod is dispensing insulin, it’s something that I’d like to tune out. It’s not like it’s a super loud noise or that it’s disruptive, it’s just a smaller detail that I’ve noticed.

Otherwise, I think the biggest relief for me since going onto the pump is that boluses are so much easier to me. I don’t have to worry about whipping out a needle and insulin pump before every meal. I’m now taking one kind of insulin instead of two. I’m delivering more accurate doses of insulin than before due to the calculations I have programmed into my PDM. As such, I’m more aware of how these seemingly small things are actually a bigger deal than I thought now that I’m dealing with them in a different manner.

Next week, I’m following up with my diabetes educator to see what kinds of adjustments, if any, need to be made to my basal rate or insulin to carb ratios. I’m greatly anticipating it, because now that I’m more comfortable with my pump, I want to improve my blood sugars as much as possible by utilizing any extra features of the pump that will help me accomplish that goal.

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Glen

Congrats and welcome to the Omnipod world! I’ve been on for about a year now and it’s a WORLD of difference. I wish I had done it sooner! My unsolicited advice would be to take advantage of the extended boluses when applicable. Early on, I was caught way too many times bolusing for a 35 carb meal, for example, only to find I would go low in about an hour….and then spike later on. It was then I learned about different types of food having different types of reactions to my sugars. For example, if I eat a hamburger, I… Read more »

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