My First Post and I am so excited! My weekend was pretty much a diabetes-o-rama but that will be a later post because I promised myself I would write my first post about Omnipod.
I'm going to be straight up, honest about this insulin delivery system, it is not an exaggeration to say that this "Pod" changed my life, the way I think about myself, and the way I view my diabetes. I went on the pump about 7 months after I was diagnosed, at the age of 17. Needless to say, while the pump made my life more manageable...I was annoyed. When you are 17, is there really anything more important to you than wearing the latest fashions, flirting with boys and spending your entire summer running around your neighborhood, staying up late and wearing your new bikini by your best friend's pool? In other words, having an infusion set on my tummy/booty was just not cool. So fast forward to the college years, my hate/love relationship with my Insulin Pump was only further magnified by meeting my first real relationship/boyfriend. But honestly, let's save that for another conversation because the OmniPod has been so amazing I have compiled a list of likes, dislikes, advice, etc. that I want to share with all of you! So here we go!
1. Waterslides, Bikinis and Pods DO NOT MIX!
This may seem like a weird number one but let me just tell you ladies, don't go down a waterslide expecting your Pod to stay glued to your butt cheek. I worked for a kids program last summer and we went to a waterpark, luckily I was prepared with injections but let's just say I walked out of the slide only to turn around and see my pod floating in the pool. This was pretty tramautizing however, I have some news that only a pump girl would find as thrilling...I was able to hid my pod under my bikini bottom (securely fastened to my upper thigh/butt area)!!!
2. Fabulous Customer Service
Ok so I was slightly overzealous with the timing of this major change in my life. I decided to spend my first summer away from home, outside of Boston, away from my friends/boyfriend working for an incredible summer program for Inner City Kids. However, I thought I could handle switching over to OmniPod days after my 21st Birthday and only a week or two into the program. There were some technological glitches which under different circumstances would have been easy to handle but seemed overwhelming with no one there to "understand". I remember going out for my first Sex and the City-esque Martini as a 21 year old, I had my cute outfit, my cute boyfriend and my cute drink in hand when my pod had an occlusion and stopped working...and started beeping obnoxiously at me to change it. Needless to say, I freaked out. However, I called Insulet and they told me to try squeezing the area where you are applying the pod to avoid occlusions and massaging the area when you do. Oh the joys of being a newbie pumper all over again.
My second major nervous breakdown occurred when one day for some unknown reason...my PDM aka my own handheld pancreas control system decided to fly across my room out of my hand and slam onto the tile floor. Just imagine your "pancreas" flying through the air and you not being able to do anything about it. Minutes later I was on the phone with Insulet crying, apologizing profusely as I found out a replacement cost 300 dollars. It took some negotiating and a lot of tears but I got my replacement! WOO!
I am proud to report that thanks to the tube-less pumping system, I officially have my sense of style back! While it took a period of trial and error, I truly appreciate the fact that I am often able to wear jeans with little to no discomfort. I wear my Pod on my butt so I often wear the boy-short style underwear to protect it from rubbing against the jeans and wearing off the adhesive. Pump Girls will surely appreciate putting on a hot pair of jeans, a cute top and some heels. Previously, my happiest fashion moment was the leggings comeback, It mean I could conceal my pump with a cute moo-moo baby doll dress and not have people asking me what the heck that thing is. However, lets be honest...past your teenage years, spandex is pretty risky. With the OmniPod, I can wear whatever I want (within reason)...I personally am a HUGE fan of dresses, they are flattering (cover your pump) and easy to throw on with a pair of tights. AND, you don't have to lift up your dress to retrieve your pod...after all, that could get you in trouble in some places.
4. Less Math Equations
One time, I had a Diabetes Educator tell me that I should carry a carb-counting book, my glucose monitor and a SCALE with me at all times. A SCALE. I was astounded...I should have known when I walked into her office that she was a complete whackjob. After all, photos of your pug dressed up in costumes cannot be evidence of your sanity. She actually had the audacity to tell me that my basal rates were so out of control that she would have thought they were the basal rates of a type 2 obese older man. It took all my self-control not to lunge across the office and give her a piece of my mind. Now, I have discovered the joys of technology..the OmniPod basically does all the math for you once you program in all your info(meaning no scale in the dining hall or dormitory haha). FANTASTIC!
5. It really sticks.
Once you put the pod on, that sucker really sticks! At first I was nervous to lay on the pod or hit it on something because I was afraid to crimp the tubing or rip off the adhesive. However, this adhesive is unbelievable..you can lay on it, jump up and down, move around, or roll around (wink wink) and I've very rarely had the adhesive even begin to peel off.
6. Did I mention the built in glucose meter?
The OmniPod PDM has the Freestyle Flash meter built into the system, so you can test yourself and incorporate your correction factors into your bolus. Also, I love the Freestyle Flash because it uses the least amount of blood and my manicure wont be ruined by my gross, hole-y fingers.
It's been about 8 months since I went on the OmniPod System so I'm sure there are details I'm forgetting. While adjusting is always frustrating, even the negative aspects of this system are so manageable. As I think of other comments I want to make, feel free to ask me any questions about the Pod and don't worry about being too personal. I appreciate those questions because they are things I wish I could have asked someone. I tried to focus on the things that the OmniPod Brochure won't tell you...I don't think they mention anything about how hot you will look with your new pod or how the lack of tubing might actually make you feel sexy and free. I also have contact information if you are interested in exploring the option.
My next post I'm going to report back on the Boston Diabetes Expo which I had the opportunity to help plan and work at, It was truly an unforgettable experience which I am still reflecting on.
Peace, Love and a Happy Pancreas.