I have been on shots, pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and even most recently…the Omnipod. Not to mention countless brands of blood glucose meters. (My favorite is the Freestyle Flash, because of the flash light on the strip - best feature ever!)
I will admit, after all these years, I still have my “ancient relic” of a tester around from when I was 4 years old and first diagnosed. The One Touch with the huge flat Duracell batteries; phone batteries remind me of them, actually. Remember the “45 second count down” testers? That’s the one I’m talking about! haha.
Of course, I want a cure for this disease so that none of us would have to use any of these needles, pokers, inserters, strips, monitors, and tapes and alcohol pads. I’d love to not have to carry so many supplies, to even go the grocery store. You never know though, its a good thing big purses are in style. But I have to say, I am so grateful to have the chance to use the wonderful technology we have today. And am so glad we have what we have to control our diabetes. I was inspired to write about the supplies I have used because after receiving an email from a very close friend, who introduced me to a newly diagnosed diabetic, named Anna, let me just say, like Anna, I would have loved to have had someone to talk to. So it’s my pleasure to help her now and I will be answering her questions, but its my hope that many of you will want to do the same.
Here’s some of Anna’s questions in her own words…Please leave comments!
“Mollie! It is so great to hear from you! I just found out that I was a type 1 diabetic last thursday so I’ve been through quite a week. I was reading your blog and you diabetic angels website and it really made me feel better. it is so great to hear from someone my own age about this! so do you like the pump? i have to do injections for a month before my doctor will let me go on the pump. do you like the one you have? is it comfortable? sorry…..i guess i’m being a bit overbearing with the questions! i am so glad i’ve met you!”
“so i have a very tough choice between continuous glucose monitoring or omnipod with no wires what are the pros/cons of each? have you tried the other one? i am kind of leaning toward the omnipod because i think the belt clip thing would be a pain. sorry I am bombarding you with all these questions.”
First, everybody has been where you are. All of us at one time or another were also newly diagnosed. We know what you’re going through and we’re happy to help. Ask all the questions, we’re here! :]
1. Do you like the pump? I love the insulin pump. It gave me back so much more freedom. Compared to shots, being on a pump is wonderful! I’ve been using the pump for more than 8 1/2 years now. I was on the Medtronic 507c, 508, and 722, and tried the Deltec Cozmo for a few years too. I loved the “Bolus Wizard” in the Medtronic pumps though, when I was first learning about it, that was a major feature I loved because I could put my blood sguar number in and with the settings I had, it would calculate how much insulin to correct, and also factor how many units I needed based on my insulin-carbs ratio.
2. Do you like the one you have? I LOVE the Omnipod, it’s given me much better control, and its pretty exciting to see the graphs and the records in it. It’s user friendly. :)
3. Is it comfortable? Yes! I barely feel it, and I almost never feel the insulin going in with the Omnipod. Unlike pumps with tubing, where I could snag the tubing and pull out the insertion site, the adhesive in the pods are so strong! I can put the pods anywhere and barely feel it.
4. Continuous Glucose Monitoring? Omnipod? For me, the CGM isn’t practical. I know it works for a lot of people, but for me, it didn’t work as well and I found it to be slightly cumbersome. However, you should know that I’m looking forward to Medtronic’s future devices. They are a wonderful company and I know they are doing many things that will help make our lives better.
5. Pros and Cons of the Omnipod and Minimed? Once I place the pod on my body, its like I can’t even feel anything is there. I can get it wet, exercise without having anything clipped onto me at all times, and I can pretty much place it anywhere. I like wearing it on my upper arms, stomach, and left or right above my waist, The Omnipod lasts for three days, the wireless handheld PDM or the “Personal Diabetes Manager” is the controller as well as the glucose tester, plus a carb counter too - so I don’t have to carry that, plus my tester, it’s all in one! There’s no tubing, it makes cool beeping sounds like its talking to me. When the Omnipod’s reservoir (where all the insulin is kept in the pod) is out, it beeps like a *change me!* *change me!* beeping high pitch noise. I just place the pod on me like a band-aid. No inserter. (yay!) Don’t get me wrong, The Minimed makes a great product, its comes in different colors, like blue, green, clear (I have that one!), black, and purple. At that time, Minimed was the best option for me. We liked it because of the bolus wizard, and calculators it has built in, plus it was smaller than most other pumps. It’s just that, for me, at this very busy active time in my life, a wireless pump is more conducive to my needs. In all fairness, those people who prefer the smaller insertion set and a lighter product prefer the Medtronic or other pumps with tubing. It’s just that I don’t mind the weight of the Omnipod, even thought it’s a little more cumbersome. In the end, had the Omnipod been available to me almost 9 years ago, it would have made some aspects of my life much easier.
6. Have you tried the other one? Yes, see question 1.
7. The belt clip? The other pumps belt clips were always an interesting story. They unclip all the time, and when that happens, I always felt it. The tubing pulls on my skin and it can be painful. With the Omnipod, I haven’t had this problem…there’s no tubing. It’s just too cool.
Well, for now, these are my thoughts on your questions. Like you, I look forward to reading what other diabetics have to say. Bring on the Comments!