Omnipod – My review after using pods for three weeks

Omnipod – My review after using pods for three weeks

Omnipod 1 & a Half Month Review

Omnipod Freedom

I have been using pods for a little a month and a half now, and overall I love it.

What is different between the Omnipod and Medtronic

The main difference is that the Omnipod is tubeless. For me, this was a huge selling point. I had the Medtronic for a week and to be honest, I pretty much hated it. This, of course, is my personal opinion. I know of many people who use Medtronic and love it, but I wanted a pump to feel free, to get my blood sugars even tighter, and to live a more flexible life. This was just not possible for me with Medtronic. It was the little things that annoyed me the most. Like where the heck do you put the pump when you’re going pee? When you’re wearing a dress? When you’re going for a run and you don’t want a big clunky thing bouncing around…

The Omnipod, on the other hand, is a small pod that you stick on your arm. Completely tubeless, completely freeing. You don’t need the PDM when you’re going for a run, when you’re using the bathroom, taking a shower, etc. The PDM is used to deliver the bolus, but you don’t need it for your hourly basal insulin. This is programmed into the pod itself. The pod is completely waterproof (up to 25 feet for 60 minutes). So you can wear it in the shower, pool, bath, you name it!

Easy to Use

The Omnipod is seriously easy to use. I had a 4-hour training with my pump educators and then I was free to go. They gave me their emails in case I had other questions, but it is so easy to use, I haven’t needed to contact them. I have been working with my diabetic clinic’s nutritionist to figure out the best basal settings and carbohydrate ratios, but this has all been done over email. I can easily reprogram my Omnipod to alter ratios, basal settings, alarms and sounds, and more.

I’ve Only Had One Alarm Incident…

And to be honest, it really wasn’t as bad as people made it out to be. Yes, the alarm that goes off is loud, but it isn’t ear-piercing loud. If I was in a busy mall, I may not even hear it. The issue was the insulin was not reaching me, so the PDM and Pod began to ring. There was an error message on the screen basically telling me the insulin could not be delivered. As annoying as it was to throw away a brand new Pod and have to activate a new one, it wasn’t a big deal.

In fact, I called customer service a few days later to explain to them what had happened and they asked for the serial number (so keep your pod!) and a few other questions and then they told me they’d send me a new pod with my next order. Good customer service is a really important factor, especially when you’ll probably be dealing with them for the next few years!

Omnipod
CGM

Since Omnipod doesn’t have a built-in CGM, I’m using my freestyle Libre with it. It is great to be able to check my blood sugars by scanning my sensor and delivering insulin, literally with the click of a button. I feel a sense of freedom I haven’t felt in over 20 years! How amazing.

Well, that’s my review so far. Let me know what you think of your Omnipod, or another insulin pump that you use. P.s. Type W1N makes awesome stickers for Pods and other diabetic devices, check them out!

DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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Omnipod Insulin Pump

Omnipod Insulin Pump

Omnipod Insulin Pump

initial thoughts

If you read my previous post on the Medtronic Guardian Link, you know that I decided I wanted the Omnipod instead. I spoke with the representative from Omnipod on Wednesday and received the Free Demo Kit yesterday (Thursday). Talk about fast shipping and great customer service!

 

What’s in the Box

In the photo above you can see what came in the box (there was also an alcohol swab under the flap). Inside there was a empty, non-working pod, one alcohol swab, two little booklets (one English, one French) and a flap which has a helpful image of where the pod can be placed. This little kit is perfect for trying out the Omnipod, to see if you like (or don’t mind) the way if feels.

Omnipod Demo Kit

 

First Impressions

I was very impressed with how quickly I received the Demo Kit. I am also very impress with how small the pod is. Especially when I compare it with the MiniMed 630G insulin pump. It is lightweight as well, so you hardly notice it at all. Of course it has insulin and all the technological stuff inside the pod that makes it work so it isn’t the size of the Freestyle Libre.

The exact dimensions are 1.53″ wide x 2.05″ long x 0.57″ high or 3.9 x 5.2 x 1.45cm. It weighs only 25g without insulin, so when I say it’s lightweight, you know what I mean.

Omnipod

I placed the pod on my lower back. I usually sleep on my stomach, so this seemed like the best spot to place it. So far it has not gotten in the way at all. The only time I even noticed it was when I put my yoga pants on this morning and they got caught under the pod. It didn’t hurt or pull, so that’s great, it just adjusted my pants and I was good to go.

My husband and co-workers didn’t even notice the pod until I pointed it out to them. I have been able to sit comfortably in the car and at my desk. I love how the pod it waterproof so I didn’t even have to think about it when I got up to take my shower this morning.

 

So Far, So Good…

I haven’t used the Omnipod yet, as this is just a demo kit. I have a feeling I will be happy with it though. I did a lot of research before deciding to return the Medtronic MiniMed, and from what I’ve heard the Omnipod is one-of-a-kind. It’s also the best way to feel somewhat normal again. Whatever that means. I can’t wait to start using the Omnipod and I will be sure to give an update once I buy the Omnipod system and start using it.

 

Do you use an insulin pump? Which one do you use and why? What do you love and hate about the pump you use?
Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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Reviewing the Medtronic Guardian® Link Sensor

Reviewing the Medtronic Guardian® Link Sensor

Reviewing the Medtronic Guardian® Link Sensor

On my last post, I mentioned to you all that I ordered the Medtronic MiniMed 630G with the Guardian® Link glucose sensor. I received my order on Wednesday of last week and had my training this past Sunday. Here is my review.

 

Getting Started

To begin, I have to say, the delivery was fast, although, there was a problem with the delivery. I asked for the delivery to be shipped to my office, but it was shipped to my house, I wasn’t home, so they left a note telling me I needed to drive 60km to the “nearest” FedEx to pick it up. I called Medtronic right away and they were extremely helpful. I ended up getting my box the next day at the office.

As you can see in the header image above, the box was full of sensor and insulin pump equipment – 11lbs worth, to be exact. It was a little overwhelming at first (still is a bit overwhelming), but at least I know what each item is at this point.

 

What’s in the Box

Inside this 11lb box, there were the following items:

• Guardian® Link Glucose Sensor Transmitter
• Extra ENLITE® Sensors (which work with the Guardian® Link transmitter)
• Contour® Next Link 2.4 meter (with lancets, test stripes, a carrying case, etc.)

• Medtronic MiniMed insulin pump
• Tubing
• Infusion Sets
• 7 Training books and 1 Contour® Next Link 2.4 quick guide book

I’m sure I’m missing some items, but these are the main items.

Training

The training process is great. The Medtronic certified trainer that I had was amazing. She took the time to explain everything to me, asked me if I had any questions or concerns and got me started on the Guardian® Link. We made an appointment to meet this Sunday to hook me up to the pump, which I may be cancelling, I’ll explain later. All in all, the training process was extremely helpful and educational.

 

The Guardian® Link

Now, let me tell you about the Guardian® Link, which was the whole reason I chose the Medtronic MiniMed over the Omnipod.

The first thing my certified trainer told me was that with this glucose sensor, you still need to check your blood glucose 4 times a day, in fact, the only way the Guardian® Link will work, is if you do so. Right after she told me this, I was confused and a little frustrated. As you may know, I currently use the Freestyle Libre, which is extremely accurate for a SG (sensor glucose). I rarely need to use a finger prick, unless I don’t feel low or high when the sensor is telling me that I am. 99% of the time, my freestyle is right, and I just didn’t feel it.

To go from 1-2 finger pricks a week, to have to go back to 4 times a day is unimaginable. Some of you may think I’m being dramatic, but once you understand the freedom of scanning your sensor without having to sit down, pull out test strips (drop half of them on the floor), making sure your hands are clean, pricking your finger and then hoping enough blood comes out for the test strip to be accepted. It’s like someone giving you a cell phone and telling you that the only way you can use it is if you keep it plugged into the outlet. What’s the point?!

It gets worse (from my perspective at least)

If you don’t check your BG when it tells you to, your sensor will stop working. Not only that, it will beep or vibrate (depending on your settings) until you do so. So, if you forget your Contour® Next Link 2.4 meter at work or at home, and you need to calibrate your sensor, too bad, it will not work. To me, it’s like giving you freedom and then taking it all away from you. As far as I know, if your sensor is still attached to your arm/ insertion spot, the alarm will keep ringing minimum every hour until you check your BG.

I learned this the hard way last night, when I realized I forgot the Contour® Next Link 2.4 meter at work. So I was woken up at 1am, 2am, 3am, 4am, etc. to tell me I need to calibrate the sensor. I was pretty close to ripping it out of my arm and throwing the insulin pump outside, but I didn’t.

 

If You’re Buying the MiniMed for the Predictive Highs and Lows

Don’t. Unless you absolutely need to be warned with alarms, go with the Freestyle Libre. Even if you need the alarms, I would suggest the Dexcom before suggesting this one. Don’t buy this for the sensor. Most people, which I just found out now, don’t use the Guardian® Link with the MiniMed 630G insulin pump, because of the above mentioned issues.

 

What’s Next

The reason I chose the Medtronic over the Omnipod, was because of the sensor that worked with the insulin pump. Now that I know I dislike the sensor, I think I’m going to switch to the tubeless Omnipod. I’ll write another post when or if I make the switch or if I end up staying with Medtronic. I’ll also let you know why.

 

 

Do you use an insulin pump, a CGM or both? Which one do use and why? What are your pros and cons?
Let us know in the comments.

 

 

 

 

DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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I’m Getting a Medtronic Insulin Pump – Here’s why!

I’m Getting a Medtronic Insulin Pump – Here’s why!

I'm Getting a Medtronic Insulin Pump

here's why!

medtronic_MiniMed630G

Guys, I’m excited! I’ve decided to get the Medtronic MiniMed 630G, and I think this is the best decision I’ve ever made.

Choosing the right Insulin Pump

I have been thinking about getting an insulin pump for the past year and a half. I’ve spoken with reps from both Medtronic and Omnipod, trying to figure out which one is better for me and my lifestyle. After reading reviews on both and other insulin pumps, I’m making the decision to invest in the MiniMed 630G.  Why invest? Because it will cost a pretty penny to get set up on this pump. $7200 worth. Since I have amazing insurance, thanks to my hubby’s employers, they will allow me to save 90% of a maximum of $6300. Since Medtronic has a great payment plan (see ordering process), you have time to mail in the receipts and get refunded by your insurer.

Why Medtronic

Here’s why I’m choosing the MiniMed over Omnipod. The quick answer: It has a CGM built in, Omnipod, does not. Long answer: It also has a bunch of other great features, like bolus calculator for your count, stops giving you insulin if you are below a certain BG (all thanks to the Guardian® Link CGM) and the best part: it will help me better manage my diabetes.

How does an insulin pump help to manage diabetes

I was very skeptical about this one myself. Started using a CGM this past September (using the Freestyle Libre system), and I’ve seen an amazing improvement with my bg’s. Not that they were out of control before, my A1C was 7.0% before I had started the CGM. Now, past week I was told my A1C was at 6.5%! Therefore, if a CGM can lower my A1C by .5%, just imagine what an insulin pump can do!

Ordering Process

The ordering process is pretty simple. I did everything by email, that way it was all written down and easily accessible to go back to. Basically (for Canadians), you need to fill out an insurance form from your insurance provider, get your doctor to either give you a prescription or okay it to Medtronic. If you want to pay the balance in 12 monthly (interest-free!!) payments, you have one extra form to fill out, and voilà!

Depending on your insurance provider and doctor, the process is anywhere 2 days to 3 weeks. Luckily, both my insurance and doctor were super quick in responding, so it only took a couple of days.

Final Thoughts

I am super excited to get my diabetes even further under control in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for a blog post after my first week with the MiniMed 630g. I may even write one before that about the training process, how long it takes before you get an appointment with a “trainer”, etc.

Do you use a Medtronic MiniMed 630g? Let me know what your thoughts are and how it helped to manage your diabetes!

DISCLAIMER:

I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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Controlling Type 1 Diabetes

Controlling Type 1 Diabetes

Controlling T1 Diabetes

Control Type 1 Diabetes

I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for 20 years now, in fact this year was my 20 year diaversary. I’ve come a long way since being diagnosed in elementary school. I went from my parents being the ones in control of my diabetes – making my lunches, dosing my insulin, checking my blood sugars – to having to control my diabetes on my own.

Control

Seems so simple. All you have to do is check your blood sugars, count your carbs and bolus accordingly. Ha! I wish it was that easy. Here’s a spoiler: it’s much more complex than that. Everything contributes to your glucose outcome.

Stress can cause your blood sugar to spike. This is one is hard to avoid. No one lives a completely stress-free life, and it’s hard to know how much extra insulin to take to correct a bolus because of it.

Exercise can cause your glucose to drop and spike. This depends on many things and can defer from person to person. Weight training tends to higher your glucose reading, whereas cardio normally* lowers your glucose. Although there have been times when I have gone for a run when my glucose was 7.9mmol/g and when I checked my glucose after finishing my run, it was at 12mmol/g! Other times I’ve gone from 8.0 to 3.2mmol/g in a matter of 15 minutes of running.

*depends person by person, this is based on my own personal experience

Hormones can create havoc and really cause mayhem with your blood sugars. A lot of females notice a spike in there glucose before they start their period, or while on their period. Sometimes it feels impossible to correct, you keep taking insulin and your glucose keeps rising. Many T1 women who are pregnant notice their blood sugars are nearly impossible to control because of the height in hormone levels.

Medications that you need to take because you are sick can cause your glucose to spike as well – cough medicine, pain killers and more. Make sure the doctor who prescribes your medication knows that you have diabetes, this can change what they prescribe.

Being sick not only sucks, it can raise and lower your blood sugars. If you have the flu and can’t keep anything down, this can cause your sugars to drop fast. On the other hand, fevers and colds tend to raise your blood sugars. I’m not a doctor, so I don’t exactly know why this happens, all I know is that it does, and it’s frustrating. Who wants to be checking their glucose every hour when you can’t even get out of bed!

Relax, we’ve all been there

As unpleasant as it is, we’ve all been there. We can’t always have control, even though we may try our hardest to. Stressing over your glucose will just add to your stress which will then increase your glucose. So relax. Go for a walk. Go out with a friend Take it day by day. If your glucose won’t do down, contact your doctor.

Control – It is important

Although, we should stress out too much when our sugars are higher when we are sick or when there are explanations for it. We should also keep in mind that our healthy glucose range is between 4.5 and 7.8*. As much as possible, this is where our glucose should land. When you’re having a hard time controlling your glucose, keep this in mind:

C – count your carbs.
O – obvious reasons your glucose is out of range, adjust insulin accordingly.
N – no added sugars. Try to steer clear of added sugars when your diabetes is not in control.
T – timing is everything. If you’re a female T1, are your glucose readings high because of hormonal changes? Adjust insulin accordingly.
R – relax, the more you stress over your glucose, the higher your glucose will get.
O – outdoors will help to relieve stress and can also help to lower your sugar levels.
L – learn what is making your glucose spike. Keep a diary of your daily activities, food intake and bolus measurements. Remember that if you can’t lower your blood sugar, call your doctor. The more you can tell them the better, which is why keeping a diary is important.

*talk to your doctor about what your healthy glucose range is

Let us know how your day-to-day life has effected your diabetes. How did you fix these issues?

DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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Freestyle Libre – Not So Fun on Your Belly

Freestyle Libre – Not So Fun on Your Belly

Freestyle Libre

Not so fun on your belly

FreeStyle Libre

I tried using the Freestyle Libre sensor on my belly, it didn’t work out too well. Here’s my feedback.

Reason #1 of why I hated it

There’s nothing worse that feeling the sensor. When it is on your stomach, at least where I placed mine, I could feel it constantly. When I sat down, when I turned to the side. Don’t let me begin with how uncomfortable it was in my Yoga and Pilates classes. Actually, let me tell you. It’s great when your laying flat on your back or standing straight, but as soon as you bend forward it’s there and you feel it! Think sit-ups, bending to tie your shoes, sitting down and your jeans come up a bit – OUCH! Never again will I wear my sensor on my belly, literally never.

Reason #2 of why I hated it

I started to notice on day 7 that my sensor wasn’t accurate – at all. There is an up to 20% discrepancy, but my Freestyle Libre results were way off! I checked my sugar one morning and the screen read LO (which means 2.2mmol/L or under). I didn’t feel low at all, so I checked with my regular glucose monitor, which read 6.5mmol/L! To me, this is a huge difference. It’s a matter of drinking a juice box pretty quickly versus going back to work without a worry. It didn’t stop there, my CGM readings were always much lower than my regular glucose monitor, so I decided to stop using it, since it wasn’t doing much for me.

Possibility of the Freestyle Libre Sensor not working – not the site

Before I go and tell you to never use your stomach as a sensor site, it is very possible that my sensor was defected and it had nothing to do with my stomach site. Which is definitely a possibility considering my new sensor (which I placed on my upper arm) is not working properly either. I’ve heard a lot of Freestylers who love to have their sensor on their stomachs or backs, it’s just not for me.

There you have it! This is my review of the Freestyle Libre on my belly and why I did not like it.

Let us know what your favourite sensor site is and why below in the comments 🙂

DISCLAIMER:
I am not a medical professional and should not be taken as such. I am only speaking from personal experience. Talk to your doctor about any health concerns you may have regarding your diabetes.

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TypeW1N

Want to dress up your CGM and insulin pump? Check out this awesome shop located in Canada. Don’t worry you can order everything online from anywhere in the world.

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