Our 3 year old is newly diagnosed and we are exploring pump options for him. The OmniPod seems to be a front runner simply because of activity level and no tubes. For those with OmniPod experience, any downside we should be aware of?
Thanks for taking the time
I’m interested in this as well!
Hey there @Chadwicke! Welcome to TypeOneNation! I’m glad you found us. This is a great place to ask questions and connect with others who have firsthand experience with T1D.
I’ve personally never used a pump, so I took the liberty of reaching out to a few of my friends who have experience with the OmniPod to ask them if they experienced any downsides! Here’s a summary of what they said:
If you hate tubing or are super active, it’s a good alternative to other pumps. That said, it can be irritating having to bring the PDM pouch everywhere and it might be more convenient to just have the pump on you since it’s easier to bolus that way. It also apparently has more “pump fails” than some other devices, but that can generally be fixed by slapping some adhesive on it. And it can’t go one second longer than 80 hours or it’ll start beeping like crazy, which can be irritating.
Like I said–none of these are my experience, and obviously different devices are good for different people depending on your lifestyle and needs! Personally, I’d say Omni might be good for a 3-year-old because since there are no tubes, it’ll be harder for him to rip off. Hopefully others on this site will have some guidance as well since this is a bit outside my area of expertise!
*** update! ***
An endorsement from another friend of mine who uses Omni:
“I have the omnipod rn! I used to use the Medtronic 670g. The only downsides I have experienced so far are if you’re kinda forgetful you might leave your PDM somewhere or forget it; it’s also a little painful to remove because of how sticky the back is. Other than that I can’t complain and I love it!!”
My son is 16, was dx a year ago and got the Omnipod about 3 months ago. Fortunately we haven’t had any issues so far, and he loves the flexibility it gives him around eating. He wears the pdm in a small belt/pouch around his waist and it doesn’t bother him. He has forgotten his pdm at home a few times and we’ve had to bring it to him, so I guess that’s the downside. If they’re not eating they don’t need the pdm on them, but they do need it if they want to eat.
Downsides you may knock it off (not physically, but mess it up) on a doorknob, wall, or even scrubbing too hard in the bathtub/shower; you may experience blocked communication errors to the pod and meter to deliver insulin (this is more relevant with the Omnipod Dash using Bluetooth). The only problems the Omnipod really gives me is the pod site being faulty on where I placed it. Other than that, I just have the communication errors really since my Bluetooth turns itself off sometimes.
On the bright side, it is easier to maneuver without having the wires and it is waterproof! For a small child, he will love that he can place and then take off to play outside. Overall, the Omnipod is a great option and I would recommend it to anyone.
What model of Omnipod are you interested in? I use the Dash. Alongside it, I use the FreeStyle Libre CGM.
hi @Chadwicke Welcome to Type One Nation. I urge you to talk this over with the pediatrician, to talk it over with any pump manufacturer so you understand your first costs and consumables costs given your insurance (the manufacturers all have reps and can do this for you)
and then finally, your child is 3. please consider getting a POD from Insulet, (it will not have insulin, it’s an empty pod they send for free) and sticking it you your son to see if he can even tolerate it.for the 80- hours it will be on his body. In my opinion, it’ll be big and if he’s got any sensory issues at all, it may be a big ask for any pump, including the POD (which will be kinda big on him).
I switched to pumping, and its the right thing for me. the technology is solid and very reliable.Good luck!
I started using the Omnipod Dash a few months ago. I find that it’s extremely sticky and is unlikely to fall off as long as I put it on a relatively flat, immobile part of my body (it stays on my back better than my arm, for example). And I do experience quite a few failures but Insulet has replaced the pod every single time. Lots of questions for their records but no sass at all. As your son gets older, if he’s going to be apart from you for several hours, make sure either he or someone with him knows how to replace a pod that’s stopped delivering insulin. The failures are very unpredictable. I’ve had them fail anytime from as I’m filling the pod with insulin to 2.5 days into a pod’s 3-day lifespan. That said, I’m fairly active and outdoors all the time, so not having to worry about tubes and having a water-proof system has been great. I also use the food library in the PDM to carb count all the time now. No more guesstimates.
I was told during the training that one of the advantages it has for parents with T1D children is that, because the PDM isn’t attached to the child and has a 5 ft reach (I think that’s what they said), parents can deliver boluses from a distance, like from the bench at the playground or from the grownups’ table during family gatherings. In my experience, though, the PDM often needs to be right next to my body or it has difficulty communicating with the pod. Not necessarily a deal breaker, just something to be aware of.
Do you mind if I ask how old you are and how old when you started using the pod?
Hi @Chadwicke. I’ve always used a tubed pump and don’t mind it, but out of curiousity I did go to Omnipod’s website and ask for a sample to try. No insulin and it doesn’t insert - it just sticks on top of your skin so you can get an idea what it looks and feels like. I didn’t care for the size myself but lots of people don’t mind, or find going tubeless outweighs that. I do wonder - although this is probably highly unlikely - if a baby might be able to swallow it if it came off. Just something to consider.
I’m 33. I’ve been diabetic for almost 27 years. I started using the pod in February 2020 and had never used a pump before. I’ve been using the freestyle libre CGM for almost 2 years, I think.