Tips and Tricks needed for the OmniPod

We are prescribed Novolog Flex pens (21 every 90 days) even though we pump. Reason is that a) if the Omnipod fails while we are out and don’t have an extra Omnipod (which we always do but in case that one does kaput too), we have instant MDI with the flex pens. And b) you get more insulin with the flex pens than with the vials. Learned that early in here in FUD.

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My son uses syringes because a pen vial and a syringe is so much smaller (more compact) than a pen and pen vial. So syringes have their place. Also, the longer needles are really helpful with rage boluses IM.

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Honestly I tried the Omnipod for about 6 weeks and I hated it. Just so you know, you have a right to return it within 30-45 days if you aren’t happy with it. I love my Tandem pump

What did you hate about it? I am looking at using the Omnipod Horizon as soon as my wife’s insurance will cover it. I hate the idea of tubing with a conventional pump.

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Good question! Several things I didn’t like. For what it’s worth, prior to trying Omnipod, I was a Medtronic user for almost 20 years.

  • I did not like having to carry the PDM around - it is so much easier to just clip a pump to my pants or put it in my pocket, rather than to have to lug another device around. That way all of the controls are on my person at all times. This was truly the most annoying part.
  • Use of the PDM was cumbersome - it wasn’t as easy and fast as using my old Medtronic pumps.
  • I didn’t like the angle of the cannula - I believe it is 45 and not 90 degrees, as my other pumps have been. It didn’t seem to absorb as well.
  • I had really bad reactions to the adhesive - I tried a few from different lots and my skin kept breaking out. It was so bad I started reacting to my Dexcom adhesive, which had never happened before.
  • It was quite particular about filling and wear time - after your pod had been on for 72 hours (plus a small grace period), boom - it’s done. You HAVE to take it off and replace it when it demands you do or it will start beeping at you. With other pumps (Medtronic and Tandem), you can go until the reservoir is empty - whenever it happens.
  • The waste. Sooo much waste. I felt bad with how much garbage the Pod system generated.

After I tried Omnipod, I went to Tandem and have never been happier. Dexcom in conjunction with Tandem (Control IQ) is simply awesome. I’ve had the best A1cs I’ve ever had in over 25 years of type 1.


That would be a be big problem factor for me if I were ever able to even consider a pod pump in the first place.

The thing I hate most about Dexcom G6 is the waste of throwing away that bulky inserter. But that’s only every 10 days or so versus how frequently one would need to change a pod pump. :slightly_frowning_face:


Sorry, just catching up on this thread. You guys think there’s a lot of waste with the POD change outs? I don’t really see a ton of trash?

  1. The container the POD came in
  2. The empty syringe once the POD is filled
  3. A couple alcohol wipe packages (used to clean Liams leg)
  4. A cotton ball used for the Uni-solve
  5. A band-aid package (for covering up the old site)
  6. The 2 sticky back pieces that peel off of the POD.

That equates to very little trash honestly. Am I just missing something? Am I just doing it wrong? :laughing: I would think that pumps that use tubing would have a lot more trash than the self-contained POD unit.

We loop so we don’t have/use the PDM but I certainly didn’t like having to carry it around when we did so I can understand that point.

As far as how the cannula is inserted, the POD goes in at a 45 degree angle and goes into a depth of 6.5 mm. Absorption is an issue with the POD and we usually count on at least 4 - 8 hours of Liam wearing a new POD for his site to be “fully absorbed” and really work as it should for each measure of insulin he receives. But isn’t absorption an issue with all pumps because it really has to do with the skin layers/interstatial fluids being receptive to insulin more than which pump is putting insulin into the skin?

I think the pod counts as trash when it has completed it’s three day tour of duty, which is what they are referring to if I were to guess. I did collect all the trash my son generated for a month, it was far less than I thought it was going to be. For me, waste isn’t one of my concerns.


It’s not just waste, it’s electronic waste. Lord knows we generate enough of that already. But to me throwing a pod in the trash doesn’t seem that different from throwing a pump in the trash every however many days.

I realize people using pods have other priorities. I just wish the larger world in general had different priorities.


Well we can’t have both. It’s either we pump (which requires the electrical components) or we don’t.


Maybe he’s pointing to the difference between a 3-day disposable pump and one that gets reused for years.


1&2. This is why I want the Omnipod Horizon. The PDM is replaced with by my phone. The same one linked to my Dexcom G6 which I always have with me.
3. The G6 is also at 45°, and that has no issue for me.
4. Adhesives have never bothered me.
5. Fill and wear time is a concern for me. How long did you typically go between fills and pod replacement?
6. Is there more waste than the Dexcom G6?

Tandem Control IQ- I have no experience with pumps at all, so the feedback loop on the Horizon as described to me by the Omnipod sales person sounds like as close to an artificial pancreas as we have yet. It issues a constant low-dose drip and if the BG goes high, it pumps extra insulin without input from me.

I could be convinced to try the Tandem, however, so talk to me.


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Yes, I was including the pod itself in the waste generated. Other pumps also create trash, but the whole pod goes in the garbage. Of course we will generate trash being diabetic as it is.


No, the tubing is 90 degrees for Tandem/Medtronic’s flexible cannulas. You’re referring to the CGM, which is 45 degrees for the sensor.

For the pods, you have essentially 72 hours, depending on how much insulin you use. For Tandem, I can get 5-6 days’ worth of insulin in the cartridge and then I change my set separately every 3 days.

I use G6 as well as Tandem. I think you’re getting your terms mixed up here.

Control IQ is essentially as good a closed loop as you can get without having to wear another device to give you glucose separately (which there are some in development but none on the market yet). You can read all about it on Tandem’s website or watch their YouTube videos.

Just thought about this one more…the fact that someone has the option to keep an infusion set inserted into their skin longer doesn’t mean they should. There is a real fear of lipohypertrophy among other issues the longer a cannula stays inserted under the skin.

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I’m not saying I did this, but if I changed it at 7am one day and then the next time was a weekend and I wanted to sleep in, it would start nagging me even though I could wait a bit to change it. I definitely do not condone leaving sites in longer than 3 days - the pod system was just very particular.


I feel you here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to wake up at 2 or 3am to change his POD because it’s screaming at me. :laughing: And I’m the only one that hears it…my wife and Liam himself just sleep right through it. Fortunately, he doesn’t even wake up - sleeps right through the change-outs. The 3 days + 8 hours as the hard cut-off does get annoying sometimes, I have to admit it.


For me it is easier to have a change in the evening, and it is only every 3 days. I know that early morning is more of a rush, and the evening is more flexible.

And having the 8 hour grace period and having the change time in the evening means - I have anywhere from, say 6pm to 2am to get it done.

If I can’t find 10 minutes to do a change between 6pm-2am, I must be living a great life. :grinning:

If a pod dies early and I am forced to do a morning change, I always bring the next change back to the evening.


Also, for our change-outs that we have to do mid-morning (early morning hours), I don’t even bother removing the old one. I just install the new one and then, when he wakes up, he likes to remove it himself…he applies the unisolve and pulls the pod off, cleans it and applies his Neosporin to his band-aid and puts it on his leg. He likes to help in the processes around diabetes.


I have had a few die in the middle of the night. When that happens, I usually just take some Levemir and go back to bed, and worry about the change in the morning.

I know you are not there yet with being able to comfortably do that. Just saying it’s nice to have an option like that. Like when he is older, getting some experience with Levemir or Lantus can be helpful for stuff like that.

It’s like a tool chest. There are a hundred different tools in there. And I pick the one that fits the job. So while I might use the omnipod 99% of the time, there is a tool in the tool chest - the “it’s 2am and the pod has died” tool.

Or like for me, using Loop. I don’t need it much. But when my wife is out-of-town, it’s a good tool to have available.

Or the pre-loaded micro-dose syringes next to my treadmill (0.15 units and 0.5 units). Don’t use them much. But it sure is nice to have them there.

I have never been upset about having something I didn’t actually need. Much better to have something you don’t need, than need something you don’t have.


Yep, everyone has their own thing that works for them… hence this fabulous community :wink: