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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Buy Freestyle Libre Sensor Stickers, Omnipod stickers, Dexcom sticker, and more from Type W1N. There are over 35 designs to choose from for men, women, and children!

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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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The Ups and Downs to Being T1 Diabetic

The Ups and Downs to Being T1 Diabetic

The Ups and Downs to Being T1 Diabetic

This post, as the title states, is about the ups and downs while being a T1 Diabetic. Lately, I’ve been feeling very in control of my diabetes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have high and low glucose every so often. In fact, I tend to get a low glucose at least once per day. Usually it is nothing scary, just a 3.5 or 2.9, and normally I’ll feel it, check my glucose and have a snack.

 

The Lows

Then there are the times that I don’t feel it, or the times when I under treat a low blood sugar, like this morning.
I woke up, scanned my sensor to find out I had been low (LO, low) all throughout the night. So I got up, went to the kitchen, took out my juice box, drank it and went on with my morning routine. Normally, this would have been fine, it’s happened more than once. Although, today was different. As I was washing my hair, I got a wave of dizziness and felt as if I was going to be sick. Stepped out of the hot shower and then I couldn’t see anything. I stumbled around the bathroom trying to find the toilet (I felt like I was going to throw-up). Luckily, my fiance heard me stumbling around and ran in to see if I was okay. Spoiler: I was not okay. I passed out.

 

Don’t Worry…

A minute later, my fiance came back in with a juice box and dex tabs. I had come back to consciousness as he walked in the door, ate the Dex tabs and drank the juice box. Mentally, I felt a lot better, but physically, I felt really sick. After finishing my shower I felt even better. I finished up my morning routine, even walked the dog, like normal. Once I was sitting in the car as my fiance drove I thought: Wow, that was scary, and that could have been a lot worse! I looked over at my fiance, and said Thank you. Seriously, thank you. If he wasn’t there it could have gone 2 ways: 1. Passed out until the earlier juice box kicked in, or 2. Passed out and never woke back up. I like to think the juice box would have kicked in, but not everyone is always so lucky.

 

What “Normal” People Think

When people hear “I have type 1 diabetes” they normally think, oh, I guess this girl ate too much sugar as a kid. Which we all know has no correlation to T1D. Most people also think, okay, they have some disease that is treatable. Which, in a way is true. I can treat insulin resistance with synthetic insulin, but it doesn’t mean that is all I have to do. Most days, I don’t think about my diabetes. I mean, I am constantly reminded that I have T1D because I check my glucose, take my insulin, count carbs, etc., but I don’t really think about how different my life is now.

 

Being Different as a T1 Diabetic

I was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 8, which means I’ve had diabetes for over 70% of my life. I don’t remember what it was like to eat whatever I wanted and to not have to take insulin or worry about going to bed at night.

That’s the aspect most “normal” people don’t understand. The living in worry. T1 diabetic worry when their glucose is too high or when it is too low. We worry about catching a cold or the flu, because it messes up or glucose even more. We worry about exercising, because we may go low while out for a run or a hike. T1 diabetics need to stay three steps ahead. We pack insulin, glucose monitors, snacks, juice boxes and water. Our friends bring clutches to restaurants, we bring handbags. We are reminded everyday how different we are. Most days I ignore the differences. Hiding my disappointment when I have to bring a stuffed purse to a wedding or party, when everyone else uses their tiny purses as accessories. I remember deciding to leave my wallet at home so that my blood tester would fit in my tiny purse. I was so frustrated because I wanted my purse to match my shoes, but after emptying my wallet (credit card, interact, medicare, drivers license, change…), my purse still wouldn’t close.

 

Just Live

Now, I look past what everyone else is wearing. Maybe it’s because I’m not 18 anymore or maybe I just realized that in reality being different is better. Who wants to be the same as everyone else? I buy a beautiful handbag instead of a tiny clutch. There’s no point in dwelling on what you can’t have or can’t do. I am a T1 diabetic. I have supplies that I need in my purse, not to be dramatic, but sometimes those supplies are what keeps me alive.

 

T1 diabetics worry about things, because, well, there are things in the life of a T1 diabetic that need to be worried about. It’s better to be cautious then careless, especially when you have this disease.

 

Here are a few things I will never stop doing:

1. Check your glucose before bed – have a snack if needed
2. If you were lower than 4.0, check again in 15 minutes
3. Always have snacks with you – a granola bar, juice box, candies, anything that will bring your sugar up!
4. Try to be as accurate as possible when taking insulin (count carbs if you can, there are some great apps for this)
5. Always check your glucose before doing any activities, during activity and after.
6. The first thing you do in the morning: check your glucose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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Buy Freestyle Libre Sensor Stickers, reader stickers, Omnipod stickers, Dexcom stickers and so much more from Type W1N. There are over 35 designs to choose from for men, women, and children!

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Awesome Accessories for T1 Diabetics

Awesome Accessories for T1 Diabetics

Awesome Accessories for T1 Diabetics

Being diabetic comes with many devices: glucose monitors, finger prickers, insulin pump, needles, CGMs, the need to always have a snack with you in case of a low blood sugar. The list goes on. If you are anything like me, you like to have the smallest purse possible when you leave the house. This means, I carry my insulin pens out of the case. It also means, broke needle tips in my purse. I should mention, I usually lose the pen caps pretty quickly after I open a new one. So normally I attach the needle to my pen so that the tip wont become dirty. Needless to say, diabetics need accessories to keep our machines organized and safe.

 

 

 

Oraganizers Available to Buy Online

 

That being said, I have done some research and have found a few sites that sell diabetic accessories, for pretty reasonable prices! The first few links I will show you are organizers: wallets sized, purses, backpacks, etc. These are great for travel or for all-day excursions. They allow you to keep your insulin, needles, blood testers, and snacks all in one place. There are two sites I recommend to find these awesome accessories: typew1n.com and medtronic. There are other sites where you can buy diabetic accessories, but these two are the most popular and most trusting. If you know of any other great stores for diabetes supply carriers and organizers, let us know in the comments below!

 

 

 

Personalize Your Pumps and CGMs

 

You wear your sensors for 14 days (if you use the Freestyle Libre). You might as well pretty them up! There are a few awesome shops that sell stickers for your pumps, scanners and sensors. These are my favourites:

 

Type W1N

GrifGrips

 

Not only are these accessories awesome for adults, they are great for kids. They help children feel more confident while wearing an insulin pump or CGM by camouflaging the medical machine look to a kid-friendly sticker.

 

 

 

Let us know what you think about these great accessories by leaving us a comment.

 

Do you buy accessories for your diabetes supplies? What site or shop do you use?

 

 

 

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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