Archive for the ‘OmniPod’ Category


Your friendly neighborhood barista

August 24, 2010

I stop by Starbucks every morning on my way to work. It’s literally a block away from the office, so it’s been my go-to place for the past few months (I’ve even mayor of it on Foursquare, much to my friend Steph’s amusement– she’s trying to oust me, the nerve!). Every morning, I’m greeted by theeeee friendliest baristas ever. They greet me with, “Hey Faye…your usual?”

Since summer began, Starbucks has been giving out their very tempting treat receipts: buy a drink before 2pm, and you can buy a grande cold drink after 2pm for $2 (plus tax). Of course, this also marks that time of day where I’m squirming at my desk, trying to fight off the food coma from lunch. Perfect afternoon break!

One day, I noticed that familiar feeling of “I’m going to be low soon so I should get something.” Steph and I headed over, and I ordered a passion tea lemonade.

R, one of my favorites, made my drink, and as he was about to slide it across the counter to me, he stopped and said, “Can I ask you something?”

“Sure, what’s up?”

“What’s that on your arm?”

I looked at the back of my left arm and saw my pod peeking out from under my sleeve.

“Oh, it’s my insulin pump.” I turned to give him a better look.

“Oh, you’re diabetic? Wait…I made your drink sweetened. Is that okay for you? Do you want me to make another one with no syrup?”

I was truly touched at his genuine concern (and thankful he wasn’t one of those darn food police Storm Troopers) and assured him it was okay. I explained my bg was dropping and that I needed something to kick it back up. He, in turn, explained that he has a family history of diabetes and that he was getting regular check ups to make sure everything was okay. I commended him for staying on top of things, since most people don’t.

I left Starbucks feeling hopeful that not everyone out there will see my pod and say, “What the heck is THAT on your arm?!” (To which I want to respond, “What the heck is THAT coming out of your head? Oh, it’s your face.”) Or those who see my pod and say, “Wow, is that a nicotine patch?” (Um, not sure what kind of patches you’re using but that is a helluva lot of nicotine.) I love telling people about type 1 diabetes, but if you’re going to come at me with really dumb comments, it’s really hard for me to not be sarcastic.

Cheers to those who are curious and inquire in a respectful manner!


The incredible beeping pod

May 21, 2010

Today, the strangest thing happened. My coworker, Steph, walked into my office, and we chatted for a bit. Suddenly, a familiar high-pitched beeping noise penetrated the air.


“Holy crap, what is that?!”

“It’s my pod.”

I ripped it off, turned on my PDM to shut it off, and was surprised to see that the PDM wasn’t recognizing the pod. It kept saying “pod status unavailable.” What the heck? This has never happened before…usually a message will pop up saying there was a pod error (or occlusion).

After 10 minutes of trying to stick in a paper clip in the hole at the top of the pod, slamming it on the desk, and stomping on it, Steph and I ended its life by prying it open with a pen and a dollar coin. (The PDM then had the nerve to tell me, after all this trouble, that there was a pod error.)

Steph majored in engineering in college, so she didn’t stop there: she pried off the circuit board because she wanted to see how the thing worked. And of course she snapped a picture to post on Facebook, although I shouldn’t mention that her caption included the words “fill the canister,” “vodka,” and an idea about sticking it on someone. I’ll leave that one to your imagination. ;)

RIP, you crazy piece of diabetes technology. You and your obnoxious beeping won’t be missed.


Endo Visits

September 17, 2009

Today, I had my quarterly appointment with my amazing endocrinologist, Dr. Carrie Burns (of the Penn Rodebaugh Diabetes Center). I was excited to show her my CGM results and Kevin spreadsheet. We ended up tweaking some basal rates to tighten up control. Okay, not exactly rocket science, but it was good being able to see what was needed when, rather than playing a guessing game.

I also got my blood drawn for the good ol’ A1C. Side note: the lab tech was good; it only took her one poke! I’m curious to see what my A1C is like; since the last visit with Dr. Burns, we’ve worked on cutting out the crazy lows. I’m fully expecting it to go up (I had a 6.9 last time), but she said “I’d rather have you at a stable 7.2 than a crazy 6.9 any day.” Ditto! Now to work on the postprandial spikes.

We also touched on the topic of preparing for pregnancy, as the CGM is my first step in all this. Thankfully, Chris and I have three years before all this, but it’s never too early to prepare. I need to start tightening up (and I mean REALLY tightening up; none of this “holy crap my bg is 268 an hour after a meal, but let me to do a super bolus and be low an hour later”).

Oh, and here’s an interesting twist in my Ping vs. OmniPod decision: an hour before my appointment, I had a few units left in my pod and decided to change it. Well, it errored out during priming…with 200 units in there! UGH. That’s the second time in less than a month that happened. Again, I don’t mind losing a pod, as Insulet is very good at replacing them, but losing that much insulin hurts. Dr. Burns was on board with my switching over to the Ping, so hopefully that paperwork will get rolling very soon.

All in all, I love visiting my endo. I never feel judged, no matter how whack my numbers have been. That kind of doctor-patient relationship is priceless.


OmniPod vs. Animas Ping

September 10, 2009

Last night, I cheated on my OmniPod. I met with an Animas rep to check out the One Touch Ping.

Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my OmniPod. I love that it’s wireless, discreet, and that I don’t get tangled up in it while I’m sleeping. I also love that it’s a great conversation starter (and many times an opportunity to educate).

But I HATE losing insulin when a pod errors out or occludes. And frankly, it’s happened way too many times in the past month. When Chris and I were in California, the pod errored out while priming. During my equipment fail, the pod’s cannula was bent and no occlusion alarm went off, even though it was leaking insulin and not delivering my basal properly. Both times, I had 200 units of insulin in there. Ouch. I know Insulet will not hesitate to replace a pod, but who will replace the lost insulin???

What made me [initially] shy away from a traditional pump was the tubing. I didn’t like the idea of accidentally ripping out an infusion set, but as my perceptive husband pointed out, “at least you don’t lose insulin when you rip out an infusion set.” Touche, hubby, touche. ;)

I also compared prices on the two systems:

PDM: $1750
Box of 10 pods: $450

Animas Ping
Pump and meter: $6000
Box of 10 infusion sets: $135
Box of 10 insulin cartridges: $36.50

The start-up cost of the OmniPod is definitely way cheaper, but over time, the Ping will be cheaper. On supplies alone, my 10% portion would go from $45 to $17.15 per month! Over four years, I would save about $1300.

But I don’t know…I’m still VERY iffy about the tubing (mainly because I toss around like a madwoman in my sleep). Nonetheless, I filled out the form and gave it to the Animas rep. They still need to run it by my insurance and give me my final out-of-pocket numbers.

Ahhh, decisions, decisions!


Diabetes Equipment Fail

September 3, 2009

Eeks. I woke up a few minutes ago feeling completely sick. I grabbed my DexCom off the headboard, only to find ??? staring back at me.

“DOH!” I leaped up from bed and practically ran to my meter as fast as my sluggish body would let me. Something definitely did not feel right.

I clocked in at a whopping 361.

I gave myself a bolus, and, on a hunch, felt around my pod (on the adhesive part that sticks out) for any leaks. BINGO. A pod changed revealed that my OmniPod (which I had changed about 3 hours prior to this fiasco) had a bent cannula and thus wasn’t giving me my basal insulin properly.

But the kicker was that somehow Dex’s receiver lost communication with the transmitter as I was asleep, thus not alerting me even when I reached 200.

Does anyone have any ideas as to how I can prevent this from happening? Obviously I won’t know about the bent cannula until my bg rises with no explanation, but how about preventing the lost communication between the receiver and the transmitter? I currently have the sensor on my lower back, but I sleep on my stomach, so there is really nothing in the way except my shirt and blanket.

I’m totally blaming diabetes for this one.