From Animas to Omnipod - feedback after one month

After having been on the Animas Vibe for 3 years I had to start thinking about what would be next; the Omnipod, the Medtronic 630g (or maybe the t:slim X2 if it gets approved in Canada in 2018). I had the opportunity to try the Omnipod at no charge for the PDM, so I figured I had nothing to lose. On December 12th I started my trial of the Omnipod.

I love my Vibe, so I am sad that Animas is closing up shop, but I actually like the Omnipod more than I thought I would. Here is my feedback on my first month as a ‘Podder’.

THINGS I LIKE :grinning:

• So far I have enjoyed being tubeless. I never minded the tubing while I was using the Vibe, but I have to say that I am a bit concerned that it would bother me if I ended up going back to a tubed pump.
• It’s given me the opportunity to use different sites (leg and arm). It’s been really nice not having an infusion set inserted in my midsection. It makes me feel like I am not wearing a pump.
• I have found that I have better insulin absorption with the Omnipod. My corrections work much faster and I am having a bit more lows, especially during exercise. It may be partially because I am inserting the pod in sites that I have not used in many years.
• It’s nice to be able to shower without removing it.
• It is easy to insert and easier to put in harder to reach places by yourself
• Even though the PDM is a bit big and clunky, I like the functionality and I find it easy to use
• I had no problems with airport security when I went on vacation to the US. I did not mention my pump and CGM and no one asked (as they were both hidden). With my Vibe, the metal detector always beeped and I needed a pat down. I also had to carry my loaner and have it inspected since it couldn’t go through the x-ray.

THINGS I DON’T LIKE :frowning_face:

• When I remove the pod my sites are always bloody and they take long to heal. The Inset II that I was using with my Vibe barely left a mark on me.
• You can’t remove it for a short time, like for an x-ray. It requires a complete pod change. I haven’t had to do this yet, but it would seem like a major pain. With the Vibe I just disconnected and reconnected.
• You have to confirm that it’s you every time you check your BG. I often forget to do this and I’ve wasted a ton of teststrips!
• It’s a pain to have to pull my PDM out of my purse when I want to bolus or check my IOB (instead of just grabbing the pump hanging on my pocket).
• I somehow feel more vulnerable to the possibility of pump failure (I guess mostly because of what I have read online). In 3 years I never had a failure with my Vibe.
• It’s very hard to see into the window to see if it’s inserted properly. Also, I seem to get condensation in the window, which bothers me (not sure if this is usual).

I am continuing with the Omnipod for now. I have until November when my warranty expires to make a final decision.

Are there any other Animas users trying out the Omnipod? Or are people swaying more towards Medtronic? I would love to hear your feedback!

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Here’s what I do to remind me. This has helped me a bunch, I used to forget the confirm button a lot too.
omnipod-bg-test-confirm-reminder

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I also have the condensation. But I usually have pod in a place where I couldn’t look in the window anyway, so it doesn’t matter. I can tell if it’s in pretty quickly.

For me, Medtronic = never.

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My son used to have about 1 pod failure per month, but after having worn it now for 2 years, we think those errors may have been user error because we haven’t had 1 failure now in the past 6 months. Not to say PODs don’t error of course, but we’re not encountering near as many failures as we used too.

We stole Eric’s idea and we also have this screen. Eventually, you don’t need anything because you know the drill…but when starting out, this visual reminder certainly helps.

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I love your idea about changing the PDM ID. I am just not sure if I would notice it as I am pretty quick about sticking the test strip in and putting my blood on the strip.

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Could you give more information here? I’m not sure I understand what you’re saying with this bullet.

At around $1 per strip, I learned to notice it. :smiley:

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I have difficulty seeing the cannula in the window even with my reading glasses and a flashlight. So usually I just assume that it inserted correctly. Also, from either exercise or showers, condensation builds up in the window. It doesn’t cause any problems, it just bothers me psychologically because I know that the moisture will sit there for 3 days.

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Mine are bloody about 1/3 of the time. But they heal very quickly.

This bothered me a lot at the beginning because I forgot too. But, after 4 months, now i do it automatically and it does not bother me.

I think the reason is if you are in a family with more than one T1.

My dad bought a neoprene case for my PDM with a tether. At home I often wear it around my neck, so it’s easy. The rest of the time, i carry all my diabetes gear in a small sling bag, and I keep my PDM in it too, bundled with my test kit.

Where I put mine, I can never see through the window because of where it is. My mom can never see it either. But my dad has no problem in general. A lot of the time he uses a flashlight to see the blue better.

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@Kaelan thanks for your tips!

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I also use a flashlight to see the cannula when it’s newly inserted. Sometimes it looks wet in there, and I assumed it was insulin or something. But now you point it out, that’s kinda strange. I’ve never thought to look after the initial installation to see if the cannula was inserted.

The failures are a bummer but I think they’re not that big of a deal overall. We’ve been carrying spare pod and insulin everywhere with us on a recent trip, and haven’t had a failure while out and about. Did have a failure one evening which we didn’t catch for a while.

EH doesn’t like to use the meter in the PDM. He uses a different meter and inputs his BG into the PDM later. Seems silly to me, but it’s his T1D so I haven’t argued the point. We’ve occasionally used the PDM meter and I never install the strip until I’m to the screen that says install it now. I think it makes sense if you’re used to something else how frustrating that would be!!!

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Does EH use another Freestyle meter or does he use a completely different brand? I am curious because I have a Contour Next One which is supposed to be more accurate, and I have been thinking about using it. It’s nice to have the meter on the PDM, but I am used to entering my BG into my pump because I had to do that for the Animas Vibe.

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In just over a year of using the pod, I haven’t had any failures (which of course doesn’t mean they don’t happen). I’ve certainly had site failures, such as leaks, especially in the early days before I honed my insertion technique. But I have never had an Error Code message or a pod that stops working properly.

Omnipod is happy to replace any pods you need to change out early because of discomfort or pain, bleeding, unexplained high BGs, leaking – pretty much any reason.

It sometimes feels we spend hours trying to see into the window, with bright lights and magnifying glasses. When I have to call Omnipod, they don’t often ask about looking through the window, but they do ask if the pink slider moved to the cannula end of the pod, indicating cannula insertion. This doesn’t rule out a kinked or dislodged cannula, but it does mean the cannula is not still inside the pod. If the cannula isn’t in you properly, chances are you’ll smell leaking insulin.

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@Beacher thanks for the info. I am glad to hear that you haven’t had any pod failures. So far I have not had any problems except once, when I filled the pod with insulin, the insulin pooled out on top of the pod. I called Omnipod and they sent me a replacement.

I think I will give up trying to see into the window. I will just verify that the pink slider moved. I think that my Dexcom would let me know if I am not getting any insulin. I am looking forward though to decorating my pods in the summer :sparkles: I guess that I won’t be able to see the pink slider then and I will just have to trust my CGM.

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I am curious if anyone has ever seen a failure of the pink slider moving forward? We haven’t, btw.

He uses the Freestyle Lite meter. And has for years. And we’ve tried the Lite strips in the PDM and they seem to be relatively accurate. He likes the AccuCheck FastClix lancet device, and feels like he might as well use his old meter because he’s carrying the lancet around anyhow in the Freestyle case. We could improve on this set-up but haven’t made the time.

He loves the Freestyle meters because they require very little blood and have that second chance thing @Thomas mentioned on another thread.

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Wow! How much insulin did that? Because a few drops do that almost every time I fill it up! I wipe it with a tissue before we stick it on and it seems fine. Good to know!

Never.

I did once have what may have been a failure of the inserter needle to retract. I started the pod and had shooting pain down my arm with any movement. That was the only explanation Omnipod could come up with. (This was early days, so I didn’t examine the pod when I removed it, and I’d returned it in the eco-bag by the time I reported it.)

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I am an Omnipod user. I tried a used Medtronic pump out after I got my Omnipod, but didn’t like the whole tubing thing and decided I was happy with Omnipod.

No pink slider failures for me.

I use the Contour Next one because I liked my meter when I got the pod and didn’t want to switch. I do not use the built-in Freestyle meter.

When I first started on the Omnipod, I got my wife to peer into the window for me with a flashlight to check if the cannula was inserted. After a while, I just gave up on looking in the window and as long as the insertion “feels right” I go with it. Most places I put the pod, I can’t see in the window at all.

When I put the pod on, there can be a drip of insulin left on the cannula from priming. This will cause condensation. I also get condensation from sweating. I just tend to ignore the condensation and watch my CGM to tell me if I cam getting enough insulin.

This is me too - in the first couple of months, I thought that the PODs were not working for me. I did not have pod failures but I had site failures and site bleeding on a regular basis. Then after a lot of practice putting the pod on and changing my pod application technique, I finally figured out how to apply PODs and it is rare for me to have any site issues.

My feeling is that the site failures have to do with cannula movement. Once I get the POD on right, and and have no cannula movement, everything seems to work for me. The only failures I seem to get these days is when I am carrying my 2 year old around and he pulls the POD or kicks me or something like that. Usually, this shows up as bleeding. Sometimes this shows up as insulin leaking around the cannula.

Here are my two top tips (which I repeat from other threads):

  1. Make sure the POD sticks to your skin well - (shave for those who have hair), clean the skin with alcohol, apply the pod cannula end sort of first. Press down to make sure it is stuck on. I do not use skintac, but if you need it, use it.
  2. When you hit start to insert the cannula - squeeze up on either side of the pod at the cannula end while pushing down on the cannula. I usually squeeze up with my thumb and middle finger and push down with my index finger. For some reason, this seats the cannula in my skin better.
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And one thing members here helped me understand (something that I believe led to errors), is to NOT put skintac or other adhesives directly on the skin in the location that the cannula will be inserted. This alone resulted in many less errors. Now my strategy is clean the skin, put 4 small dots in the shape of a diamond on the skin…almost too small to even be seen, with marker. Put skintac on the outsides of those 4 dots…then after it dries a bit, apply the pod with the cannula INSIDE that diamond that has no skintac on it.

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We do same, except that we draw a 3/4" circle with a pen :slight_smile:

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