Pod Person, Part 2

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My OmniPod demo kits (yes, kits… for some reason they sent two) came in yesterday. My sensor died this morning, so I had some extra real estate on my hip to try it. And lucky (?) for me, I was home all day due to illness, so plenty of time to admire… or whatever.

First, this is apparently the “slimmer” version of the Pod. The Pods used to be a lot bulkier. I mean, they are pretty big to begin with… I can only imagine what they were! There is a good half inch protruding off of my side, covered by a sweatshirt. But imagine if I were just wearing one of my dance shirts or something. My hubby made the observation that at least with the wired pump, you can conceal it a little bit better. This is just stuck to you for 3 days.

Secondly, I know they said that the demo Pods are just that – Pods with no working parts. The self-inserting cannula is only inserted when you tell your little PDM to do so. I kinda wish I could have tried out that feature too. Because there’s nothing like jabbing yourself with a needle you can’t see after you’d committed to buying it for the next 4 years.

Next, I tried sleeping on it because that’s kind of a sticking point with me. If this plastic shell is going to be a attached to me all the time, I can’t throw it to my side or in a pocket while I sleep. It wasn’t horrible to sleep on. But – again, without having a cannula jabbing me in the side like some of my Quick Sets do, it’s hard to tell what this would be like on a night to night basis.

Verdict: Eh. I dunno. I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt because the wireless thing is actually really handy. But it’s features probably aren’t really for me.

What’s next? Well, I’m still waiting for Tandem to respond to my fax, but I am starting to wonder if they actually received it. I also found out that, even though the Asante Snap is based out a Northern California town, the four week trial is not available to people in my region… which is Northern California. Huh. So – maybe the Ping?

Pod Person

So my next pump candidate is the OmniPod. I don’t know too many bloggers in the community that use the Pod system, so I haven’t read about too many different experiences. From the limited feedback I’ve received, people seem to like them if they have them. But if they are so awesome, why don’t more people have them and talk about them? Hmm.

So what is it?

OP_PDM_POD_logoThe OmniPod system is two components: the Pod and the PDA-like meter/control panel/all-in-one. (Sans a CGM… sorry y’all.) The Pod attaches to your body with the insulin pre-loaded (?) into it and inserts a canula into the skin to dispense insulin. The PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) acts as the remote control for the Pod, thus eliminating the need for wires and tubing.

That’s right… this thing doesn’t have any tubing to get stuck in, wrapped around, caught on, tangled in, or painfully dangled from. And the PDM doesn’t necessarily have to be near you all the time in order to dispense insulin. As long as your basals are set, the Pod just works. (However, you do need to be no more than 5 feet away to hear alarms, and if you want to bolus, you need the PDM, etc.)

No wires? Imagine the possibilities!

– I could wear skirts and pants without pockets!
– I could go swimming/paddleboarding and not worry about spiking into DKA territory.
– I could wear my dance costumes and not have to worry about if the dress has a place to awkwardly clip my pump.
– No more disconnect/reconnect/disconnect/reconnect during showcase weekends.

Wait… it’s not all puppies and rainbows, kids.

I got excited and decided to order a “demo kit,” which is apparently just a Pod without any working parts so you can try it out and see how it looks on you. I’ve since been called by a number of OmniPod reps to answer my questions and tell me about their early upgrade program, blah blah blah. In doing so, I’ve discovered:

– The basal increments can only be programed down to 0.05 units, which is what my Paradigm currently does… and why my CDE keeps asking when I can upgrade. One key point that I wanted in my next pump was the ability to program in 0.025 units. (Because I’m apparently THAT sensitive.) OmniPod can’t do that. Hmph.

– I’ve seen photos of these Pods online. You have to take into consideration that the Pods carry 200 units of insulin, so these things aren’t flat by any means. Owning one of these doesn’t really make you any more fashionable than if you had a pump in your pocket.

– The pump can get down to a 1:1 carb ratio, which may be my future when I conceive a child. However, the rep today told me that some pumps can actually get down to a 1:0.5 carb ratio, which actually may sound like something I could need given my ratios are currently what they are. But the Pods can do that.

– The meter in the PDM is a FreeStyle meter – which recently just recalled a ton of their test strips.

– The rep also said my insurance was “special” and may need some different permissions to get approval.


It’s probably too early to tell anything and I still have to wait for my demo package to come in.