Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Omnipod

So, one of the things I did with my month off was take the time to (finally) try out my trial Omnipod. It sat on my desk staring at me for over a month and all I had to do was just peel of the tape and slap it on. So why didn't I do it sooner? I was a little nervous. Why? I don't know. I have such bad feelings about pumps from my previous experience with one (I was on the Disetronic for 5 years and came off about 8 years ago) so the idea of being attached to one again was (is) not altogether pleasant. But on the other hand there was a lot of pressure for me to like the Omnipod because I really think it has the potential to improve my control.

Not to mention that if I do go on a pump . . . the Omnipod is the only one I would consider. Mostly because it's design takes a lot of what I consider to be the negatives of the pump out of the picture. There aren't a million little parts, no battery, no tubing, no cartridge, no site supplies. Just the pod and the insulin. Done and done. And I don't have to worry about the pump dangling off me (which always drove me crazy) or where I'm going to put it when I wear something without pockets. I know a lot of people use the pump garter belt or the bra pocket or whatever the new thing is now, but I always hated those things, they were uncomfortable and the pump still never seemed to stay put.

So I wore this thing for about 2 1/2 days. I put it on first thing on a Monday and took it off Wednesday night. There were a lot of surprises with the Omnipod. When I first picked it up, it was smaller than I expected and heavier than I expected. But when I actually put it on, the weight of it was not as noticeable as I thought it would be. Here are the main things I noticed:

  • It was less intrusive than I thought it would be and the longer I wore it the less I noticed it. I wore it on my belly since I figured that would probably be my default site, for the most part. I was worried that it would be in the way and uncomfortable. Not so. I was even able to lay down on my stomach and didn't really feel it. It certainly wasn't painful or uncomfortable.

  • I was concerned that, because it was so top-heavy, it would loosen easily and the tape would peel up. Again, not a problem. I would even venture to say that it was more stable than my old sites.

  • Call me superficial. . . . call me "a girl" . . . I will freely admit that one of the biggest concerns about the Omnipod was that it would look weird under clothes. I mean, having a pump with tubing put serious restrictions on my wardrobe and fashion choices. I was hoping to avoid some of that nonsense with the new pump. And since nobody ever took pics of what the Omnipod looked like under normal clothes, I had no idea what to expect!! The result? I'm not going to say you couldn't see it, because I could definitely tell that it was there. But only if I was really looking for it. And nobody else noticed it until I pointed it out. I will say that I wore clothes that were more forgiving (slightly loose blouses, dresses, etc) so I guess I'm still a little concerned about what it might look like under the rest of my clothes. But based on what I've already seen, I think it's discreet enough that I can deal. And even if you can see it, I figure there are plenty of people who carry their phones, pagers, etc. on their waistband. So it will probably just look like I clipped some sort of electronic device to my waistband rather than like I have a rectangular-shaped tumor growing out of my abdomen. ("It's not a tum-ah!")*

  • My biggest isuse after wearing the TrialPod was that after about 48 hours, it started itching. Not in a painful, scary way. Just enough to be irksome. Back in the day, my old pump-sites would do this and I was convinced it was the insertion site that was getting irritated. Well, since the TrialPod doesn't have an insertion site, I figured it had to be the tape. I usually don't have problems with tape so I was a little suprised about this. This is actually the reason I took it off a little early. The itching was starting to get to me. I have some thoughts on how to ease the itching, so I'm hopeful that this won't be very much of an issue in practice.

  • Last thing, when I finally did remove the TrialPod, there was a lot of tape residue and gunk left behind. It took a lot of effort and a few layers of skin were sacrificed to get all that stuff off . . . I'm hoping there is some sort of solvent/wipes I can buy to disolve all that stuff easily. Anyone have any suggestions?? I also thought maybe I could put some Tegaderm down under my site, so there's a layer of something between me and the Omnipod tape. I used to use Tegaderm for my sites in the past and I loved it. Never left a residue and came off great. Do you think it would interfere with the site? Opnions please!!
Alright, this has been a long ramble. But maybe I can be helpful in sharing my thoughts on the Pod, in case anyone else out there in cyberspace is considering it and has the same reservations I did. For what it's worth, I think the TrialPod is a great way to "test-drive" this particular pump and it really did clear up a lot of things for me.

~Layne

*Sorry. It had to be done. :-)

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