Giving up on Omnipod

Hello everyone,

I started on the Omnipod the last week of June. I liked it at first, but have had a lot of failed pods. Also, when I was trained on the pod, my trainer adjusted my settings (beyond the rounding up/down to the hundredths place) and my control was not as good as with my Tandem. Wondering if anyone else has had issues with poor control on the Omnipod compared to other pumps?

For me, I have decided to go back to my Tandem pump for now. I still have a supply of pods, so I may give them another try later on.

Pam K
T1D 57 years and counting

Hi @pamcklein . I’m sorry things didn’t work out with the Omnipod. Frequent pod failures is a huge deal on its own. I’m wondering why the trainer made changes to settings that worked for you before. In theory (and granted I’m not an engineer) they should all be calibrated the same, so a measurement on one should apply to all. Hmmm🤔.
Take care!

Hi Pam @pamcklein if the settings your trainer, who does know you, implemented 6+ weeks ago are not correct, why haven’t you made adjustments?

I said the above as offering you encouragement
and not as criticism. Your 57 years experience has provided you knowledge to be “Doctor You”. You know how to validate all your daily basal rates, and once you get them correct move to your insulin/carb bolus ratios. I’ve never used the Pod so I can’t offer specific help there, but the same principal applies as with the MiniMed and Tandem pumps. Just be careful that you settings do NOT cause overbasalization - don’t user high basal rates to compensate for ineffective bolus insulin to cover food, including under-estimated of carbohydrates you are actually eating.

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@Dennis - I have made adjustments, but as I am more familiar with the T:slim, I find it easier to make them on it. That is partially why I switched back. Also, because the Pod only goes to 0.05 unit increments vs 0.001 on the Tandem, it made it more difficult to fine tune.

Pam

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Hi @pamcklein,
I used to have the omnipod up until 2 or so years ago. I ended up switching to the minimed system because of also having to deal with failed pods. I was on the omnipod for about six years and to be honest I don’t think it helped at all with my diabetes considering how the pods and the battery in my meter repeatedly kept failing. My A1C was continually above 9.5 while I had the omnipod which isn’t great.
Every other pump I have been on has not had these repeated errors like the omnipod. Considering my experience and what you have been through I would say maybe research some other pump systems that may work better for you if that’s an option. If not, maybe contacting the company could provide some answers for you.
Also, I would recommend checking with your doctor on any changes your rep makes that seems concerning to you. I’ve also had reps that have changed certain settings that have conflicted with what my doctor has recommended for me.
I hope this helps!

Hi @Madison029 . As the warranty on my TSLIM was about to expire a couple of years ago, I liked into the Omnipod as going tubeless was intriguing, so I did some research. I had read - probably here😊 - about frequent pod failures so contacted them about it: they said - and I’m not pointing fingers, just passing this on - that they’re most often due to not being loaded properly, and that the user might have worn it longer than recommended. I kept in mind that they want to encourage people to buy their product so they may put the focus on user failings, not the product’s, but I couldn’t help wondering if that was the case, why it was so difficult given the nature of the device. At least there’s not the long term commitment as with the durable devices, and if you keep your stuff you can use it later if you choose to go back. I chose to continue with TSLIM and have no regrets.

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Hi again @pamcklein . 1/10 of a unit works well for me but that “ultra” fine tuning can be a big advantage. I have 4 basal rates right now but have had more - I’m thinking as many as 7 at one point but it’s been a long time and the scheduled songs I have now work well. On the forum, lately I’ve found myself saying “The pancreas wants what the pancreas wants” (:wink: to Big Bang Theory) so consider second opinions but by all means do what you know works for you. When I’ve done pump training the trainer showed me how to program the settings determined by my doctor or those that were already in place. If I need some guidance on my settings I ask my doctor or diabetes nurse educator. If the DNE is the one doing the training - which may be the case - I may take their suggestion under advisement - I might even test it out - but ultimately I decide what works best. You’re your own best advocate.

@Madison029 and @wadawabbit - Thank you both for your suggestions and support. As I said, I have gone back to my T:slim as it seems to work better for me. As for the pod, the smallest increment is 0.05. If it went to 0.01, I could have worked with that, but 0.05 did not work for me. Also, the number of pod failures was astounding! To say that they are due to user error is, in my opinion, very misleading. I followed their directions exactly. The pod would work for one day, and would fail the next. I wonder how the company would explain that?

Anyway, thanks again everyone. I am back with my T:slim and I’m happy! :smile:

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Every body is different, so kudos on figuring out which tool suits you best!

I know you know, but just for the benefit of any newer folks who might be reading this thread, we had the exact opposite experience: Omnipod works great for my daughter, while Tandem’s failure rate was completely insane, despite many, many endos, CDEs, Tandem reps, and other users’ best efforts. So we went back to Omnipod, and we’re happy. :slightly_smiling_face:

I am seriously grateful we all have so many wonderful tools available to us, and the opportunity to find the ones that work best for each person. Folks who managed back in ye olden days before all this technology, you’re awe-inspiring!

My daughter and I both use the pod successfully, but I have refused to move to the Dash because I have heard it has a lot more pod failures.

One key thing I only learned about a year ago is orienting the pod correctly in the body. It should lie horizontally in the abdomen and buttocks (or anywhere in the trunk) and vertically on the legs and arms. My daughter’s pods fail a lot less often now that we do that. I switched from Medtronic to Omni pod (and Dexcom) and my A1C went down almost a whole point.

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@MagJ Hi Maggie, and a warm welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! I hope you have found on this site what you came to see, and look forward to hear you share what you have learned about diabetes.
I read everything posted on this Forum, and your post is the first I’ve seen about preferred OmniPod orientation; I haven’t used the Pod myself, so far.

Thanks! It is interesting to see the different perspectives and ideas. I only got my pod about 9 months ago and the rep mentioned it while training me. I hadn’t heard the advice before and my daughter has been on the pod for 4 years, so it’s probably something that was recently discovered.

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I appreciate this thread as I have also had pod failures - about 3 every 90 days - which is challenging when my PBM will only allow me 30 for 90 days. Fortunately, I understand that Insulet, the corporation which makes Omnipod, will replace them. However, I am reluctant to moving back to a tubed system because of the real challenge of comfortably rotating sites. I love the fact that I can where these pods in 8 different locations on my body. After nearly 20 years on tubed system (Autosyringe 1 year, Minimed Paradigm and predecessors 19 years,) I was finding the Minimed system was failing and it appeared to be because of scar tissue on my abdomen. So, I switch to something I could rotate. I now love the tubeless system and, provided I have the preset values accurate, I think it does a great job. At the end of the day, I need a way to give different basal rates due to challenges in early morning hours with the dawn phenomena and the ability to give 0.5 unit for meals requiring slightly more than whole units of insulin. The info in this thread about how the pods are set is helpful so that may help me. My message to everyone is that you may need to eventually think about “dermal real estate” if you pump for a long time. Right now, pods make this need the simplest to address and not be dealing with endless tubes.

Tubing can be a challenge for sure. I took injections for a little over 30 years - one shot a day until I finished college😳, then MDI between 2-4 times a day for about 5 years, and have been pumping for about 25. I kept my infusion sets in for a week the first several years then switched to every 3 days. I didn’t notice issues with the 7 day program but when I switched to 3 it seemed I would get the occasional clog. Apparently I was inserting too close to a previously used site when I changed frequently, even though I thought I was showing enough space. I know you can keep diagrams as a reminder but I didn’t - but that’s another discussion.
Anyway, long story short I tried to be more conscious of where I inserted, and I started using my upper arm and thigh for both my infusion at and my CGM (get approval from your doctor for alternate CGM placement so you don’t have problems of you need to replace a sensor). I usually use the 23" tubing but the longer length (43"?) may be helpful for the thigh and especially the arm. Those alternate sites worked for me although activity may affect insulin absorption so keep an eye out to make sure you don’t go low.
Practically speaking though the abdomen and other sites on the diagram are probably more practical. But by all means do what works best for you.

https://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/customer-support/insertion-site-management/infusion-set-locations

Thank you. I hate the tubing and will do everything in my power to avoid it in the future until I’m elderly. (I am 59 and way too active and busy with family responsibilities and responsibilities for my elderly father.) Just like other aspects of the differences between humans, I believe we have differences between those you quickly develop hypertrophy and those you do not. It’s obvious to my MD and me that I do get it based on just my appearance on my abdomen where I used my Minimed Medtronic pump, So-set insertions for 3 days at a time. So, I’m likely to tolerate a 10% failure rate or less by pods so I don’t have to go back to tubing. I do appreciate your input though. Will keep your thoughts in mind for possibly future reference. Thank you!

Thank you all for your insights. I did follow Omnipod’s directions for how to orient the pod from the start, and continued to do so until I gave it up. So, I don’t think this was the issue. Also, as for scar tissue, I have been taking insulin since 1964, so I am sure I have some. I have always rotated my injection/infusion sites though, so I have kept them to a minimum. This includes when I used Medtronic as well as my Tandem and the Omnipod. The only new site was the lower back with Omnipod, which worked one time but failed the next.

I really don’t mind the tubing. I wanted to try the pod just to see if I could wear it. Plus, the one thing I would like to do is to swim with my pump. Omnipod is the one pump I can do this with. So, as I said in a previous post, I might give it another try eventually.

By-the-way, I use the 23" tubing for all of my infusion sets, but as I am only 5 feet tall, it works for me. Someone who is taller might need a longer tube for their arms, etc.

Thank you all for your comments and joining the discussion!

Pam

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Hi @pamcklein . I’ve never worn any devices on my back or backside😊 - the logistics of doing it on my own sounded too awkward - not to mention, I’m a bit of a klutz. Plus if I were moving around in a slatted chair I would be afraid of dislodging the device. So I always wondered if people felt it when lying down or sitting a certain way, or if they simply got used to it. I imagine a sensor would be less noticeable but the size of the pod always made me wonder. Did you notice anything, or did you get used to it so it didn’t bother you? Just curious. I hope you’re able to go back to your preference someday.

@wadawabbit: Hi Dorie.

I have worn both infusion sets for my T:slim and Omnipod on my backside. With Omnipod, I also used my lower back. Infusion sets did not bother me on my backside or hip. The Omnipod was uncomfortable on my backside and too large for my hip, but did not bother me on my lower back - - except the fact that the pod failed there.

Hope this info helps!

Pam K.

Thank you for sharing!

FWIW, Dorie, my daughter wears the Omnipod on her arms, abdomen, and back (generally right above and below her waistline, so never so far down that she’d be sitting against it). She doesn’t like it on her legs (but legs are her favorite injection sites, so for those rare times when she needs injections, that’s where those go). She says it’s not a big deal — probably like the tubing on the tslim, if it works well for you, you just get used to it, and don’t really notice it anymore. :slightly_smiling_face: