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Omnipod people...I'm losing my mind!

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by dqmomof3, May 30, 2011.

  1. dqmomof3

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    OK - we love the idea of the Omnipod. Jayden loves the pod! She loves not having tubing. But we are having issues. I'll call Insulet tomorrow when they are open.

    We started the pod on May 15th. We have had exactly one pod last the full three days. We have gone through a whole box of pods plus one out of the second box, and we're only 15 days in. We've had two occlusion alarms, two communication errors in which we never got to insert the pod at all - I filled both pods with insulin, and they did the double beep, but that was it. PDM kept saying communication error, move and retry, and neither pod ever worked. We've had one that just died for no reason we can find...that was the screamer. I have a stack of dead pods - all but the screamer, which was destroyed after the hammer beating so I didn't get that one back. Two fell off in the shower on the second day - both after soccer practice where she got very sweaty!

    I can be ok with having to change a pod every two days, but I am going to need a lot of extra pods. For those of you who have been doing this a while, is this going to get better? Did you have this many errors in the beginning, but then smooth sailing after that? I know when we started pumping with MM, we had a lot of issues at the beginning, most of which were resolved with changing from Quicksets to Sils. But there's no change I can do here. She is using her upper buttock/back/hip area, rotating sides.

    I am learning the art of taping, so I think we're getting the hang of keeping the pod attached. But the communication errors and occlusion errors - what can we do about those? Two of those pods wouldn't even prime - it's like the PDM couldn't find the pod.

    Thanks - sorry to vent frustrations, but I'm at a loss here. Not ready to give up on the pod by any stretch of the imagination, but I do want this road to get a little more smooth. Screeching pods are really annoying!
     
  2. JeremysDad

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    Pod failures are inevitable but your failures are ridiculous. Insulet replaced our PDM when we had 2 pods that had communication errors. Perhaps your PDM might be partially to blame.

    Please call Insulet tomorrow and tell them about all the trouble you have had. Every single failure you have had should be replaced...even the occluded ones.

    Why is it that some folks have virtually no pod failures for years at a time when others have constant failures? It just does not make sense. We have had about 14 pods fail for various reasons since Jeremy started podding last November. Every single one, including a questionable PDM have been replaced.

    While agree that it is comforting to know that Insulet stands behind their product, it's disheartening when this happens to you over and over and over again.
     
  3. danismom79

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    That's a ridiculous amount of errors. You may have either a faulty PDM, or a bad batch of pods. When we prime, I have the PDM almost touching the pod, just to make sure we don't have a communication error.

    The one thing I hate about the pod is not being able to disconnect. We have bad luck with water, even though we use Skin Tac. We go through quite a bit of Hypafix to patch things up.
     
  4. caspi

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    We had issues the first time around with the pods not sticking. We now wrap every single day and so far (fingers, eyes, toes crossed!) so good. I hope you get some answers from Insulet tomorow. It does sound like a combination of a bad batch and PDM. :(

    Let us know how you make out! :cwds:

    ETA: We did have one that did not prime a couple of weeks ago. They replaced it but we still lost a majority of the insulin (not recommended, but I do pull it out if it's a new pod). Then again, when it doesn't prime, it means there's an issue with the pod so I think it's better to know that up front vs. after it's been inserted and not working.

    What you're going through is NOT normal.
     
  5. dqmomof3

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    How close does the pod have to be during priming? We've had it within a foot of the PDM every time, but does it need to be right on top of it? Maybe that's been our error.

    I so want to get this figured out. Jayden will put the pods on with no ice or emla cream...this is the first time in 3 1/2 years that we can do a site change in an instant! I don't want to give that up.
     
  6. caspi

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    We always have the PDM right next to it. We also fill the pod while it's still in the plastic container - I learned that somewhere. After applying we pinch up by the skin by the cannula before it inserts.

    My son is mainly using his outer thigh right now. We had issues with the arm (they kept falling off) and stomach (same thing, but because of sweat).

    Everyone is different though and you need to find the spot that works for you!
     
  7. alismom

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    We always have the pod almost touching the pdm while priming. I'm almost afraid to say that we haven't had any pod failures in the past 6 months. We use skin tac under the pod. Allison only uses her arm and lower back.
     
  8. Kayeecee

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    For a while, every time we changed then pod, we wouldnget a communication error. Now we literally put the podnon top of the pdm whilst priming. Solved 90 percent of our problems. We use the upper outer thigh and have never pinched up. Lose pods at the rate of about 1 a quarter. What you are experiencing is unacceptable and my guess is that Insulet will make good on the pods and perhaps a new pdm. Best of luck; we love the pod.
     
  9. Darryl

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    If you have had two communication errors, I'd ask for a new PDM.

    The pod is a little challenging with heavy exercise or sports. You might try letting the pod completely dry out before showering. Also be sure the skin is stretched as far as it will normally go when applying the pod (e.g., if on the arm, the arm should be all the way up when applying the pod) to avoid the adhesive stretching and loosening during movement. It does vary from person to person, though. Leah can be in the pool for 6 hours, and we still have to work hard to get the pod off her.

    Other than that, pod should usually last 3 days.
     
  10. lakevictoria

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    I am sooo sorry that you're dealing with these frustrations! Our 50% failure rate ruined our Christmas!!! However, because of my new CWD family, I have learned so many "tips" that have helped extremely. Everything that has been said above, we do. I'll add some more below.

    1. I keep a dryer sheet in each box of pods because a friend told me that some of the issues were static related. We have very cold and dry winters up here. I also have begun drying DS's clothes with a dryer sheet again. I don't know if this has helped our issues, but like you, I was desperate to make the pod work.

    2. We use sweat bands or bands4life (I'm even going to start sewing my own) around our extremity sites. When we're swimming we use vet wrap/coban. This worked FANTABULOUS when we were swimming in the Atlantic for 2 days straight. And DS is a very active little boy! We have not had a summer (we live on a lake) with DM1 yet, so I'm curious to see how this works. I do not put sunscreen near the pod. I also use a sorbaview on abd sites for swimming.

    3. Fill your pod slowly with room temp insulin.

    4. Do not have any electronic devices (ipods, cell phones, etc...) around.




    The weekend of Easter, we were in route to the cities and we were planning on doing a site change in the car. I brought 2 extra pods for our 3 day adventure. After disenabling the current 76 hour old pod on DS, our first pod screamed after filling. Both my husband and I began to panick, we turned off all phones/ipods/evo/etc... we seived out the insulin, topped it off with some more, then filled our last and final pod. Beeeep! I almost cried. We were on our way to a dinner theatre and had NO time to drive 2 hours home again for more pods. Calling Insulet was a waste of time as their answer was "we'll get you one tomorrow". NOT GOOD ENOUGH! So, now that we don't have any long acting on board, not only do I get to give shots for food, but I get to wake him every 3 hours to correct highs??? I called our nurse that orientated us. She found us a rep close to our vicinity and he met us on the interstate with 3 more pods. Hallelujiah!!! So, if you're in a pinch.... call your rep or nurse. THEY have the relationship with you! And in all honesty, you're still within your 45?day warrenty period and can change your mind at any time. Still call insulet for your pod failures, but if you want a real change, call someone you know.

    I'd request a new PDM as well. This helped tremendously for us.

    I am now experiencing some odd lows when his site is on his arm. I don't get this. Perhaps we need a stat order on our dexcom?

    I am also STILL experiencing alot of pressure from our CDE that we should have chosed MM. But hang in there! As intelligent as the MM pump may be, they should have been the first one out there with this amazing tubeless technology. They really need to up their game!

    I was just informed that we're going tubing. (cross your fingers!)
     
  11. Traci

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    We've been podding for almost two years now and had one batch of bad pods--lots of screamers in that shipment! Other than that, omnipod has been wonderful for us. I'm sure I'm restating what others have already told you, but here's what we do:

    1) pods are stored in a cabinet at room temp
    2) insulin is allowed to come to room temp prior to site change
    3) new pod and pdm are both flat on a paper towel for priming process (pod is left in the plastic container it comes in)
    4) slight shake of new pod prior to application to get rid of excess insulin in "window"
    5) clean site with iv prep wipe and allow to dry
    6) apply new pod and press down making sure all tape is secure
    7) pinch up fatty area and finish site change
    8) wrap with vet wrap if going in pool or having a "play" day where site might get ripped off

    We do exactly the same process each and every single time. That's how I knew for certain that the problem pods were problem pods and definitely not user error.

    Not sure why you are having occlusions, we have had just a handful on Omnipod--for us, significantly less than our other pump.

    I would also be concerned that there is a problem with the pdm from the communication errors.

    Omnipod will replace all those screamers, but you'll have to give them the lot and sequence numbers, so hang on to them until you've reported them. You can also get your prescription written for every two to three days (they ship you four boxes and then five boxes then back to four) for a 90 day supply to ensure you have enough.

    What is your pods' lot number? Are they all the same? If so, I'd see if they would be willing to trade the entire remaining stock out for you if they don't seem to think the pdm needs replacing.

    It's hard when something is new, but from day one, Omnipod was wonderful for us. We'd been on it for over a year before our problem shipment. If I had had to deal with all that when it was new, I'm not sure we would have stuck with the pod. But I knew how wonderful it could be when all was going right! I sure hope you can say the same thing soon!!!
     
  12. lakevictoria

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    4) slight shake of new pod prior to application to get rid of excess insulin in "window"


    Can you explain what getting rid of excess insulin in the window is? I don't get that. :confused: Thanks! :cwds:

    P.S. Our coban worked wonderfully tubing AND wakeboarding! :D Now on to the trampoline. :eek:
     
  13. swellman

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    Your problems are not what we see as typical. We use alcohol pads only and swim and everything and can barely get the expired pod off. We use room temp insulin - we don't refrigerate open bottles. No wraps - just pod on skin. We use the abdomen and lower back only. We almost always replace pods after a shower. We rarely get occlusions and haven't had a failed pod in what seems forever but they do happen. In times like this I just wish there was a way for people with zero problems to prime, place and activate a pod for someone else so they "know" it's not something odd they are doing and to eliminate something at activation.
     
  14. lil'Man'sMom

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    All the advice given is great.

    I would call Insulet to see about a different PDM. We started to have multiple failures a few months ago, I told them I thought it was the PDM, we exchanged and have not had an issues.

    Sorry you are going through this but I would try to stick with it. We had an alarm last night, we were at a BBQ and time got away from us, his pod expired. We were 8 hours past the 72 hours.
     
  15. danismom79

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    When the pod primes, some insulin drips out of the cannula and into the little window. If you leave it there, you may get some condensation in the window. It's only a problem if you try to look at the cannula, it's too foggy. I don't shake (afraid of making it fail), but I do take a piece of tissue and wick away the extra insulin.
     
  16. dqmomof3

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    I think we have actually had three communication errors...two before the pod would ever prime, and then one while she was wearing the pod on day 2. That's the one that started screaming.

    I will let you guys know what they say - and thank you for all the tips so far! I think we were/are doing most of that, but not the priming on the paper towel part. I do dry clothes with a dryer sheet, but I don't have one in the boxes with the pods, so I'll try that. We were using Skin Tac under every pod, but the one we put on today was alcohol only, just in case Skin Tac was causing the problem. She really does love it, so I'm willing to try most anything to keep using it!
     
  17. Daniel's Mom 1993

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    We use Tincture of Benzoin, which Heather(CA) told me about,which has helped with skin irritation and is a great adhesive. Then he puts a strip of Flexifix tape about size of pod up to canula area and then he puts skin tac on the tape(not skin) then the pod. Then he puts small strips of Flexifix around the edges on the tape not the pod itself this helps keep the tape attached to his leg and not curl up(he uses his thigh exclusively - refuses any other site..if he needs a break for sites he does shots for a few weeks).
    We keep the PDM right beside the new pod during priming. Most of our troubles I think have been from using his thighs and having major skin issues from the adhesive- this last time he did shots for almost 2 whole months and we have been back on the pod for about a month and a half with 2 occlusions and the canula was kinked on them both.
    Good luck. It is great when it works but ver frustrating when there are troubles.
     
  18. caspi

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    I don't think static would be an issue this time of year. I forgot to mention that we also use a Skin Tac wipe under every pod without any issue.

    As I said before, I truly think it's a combination of a bad batch of pods and PDM. Good luck tomorrow!:)
     
  19. vettechmomof2

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    We do nothing extra for pod adhesion and really do not see much of any problems. We will use Skin Tac sometimes if we think we will be in the water a lot for a few days but normally we just forget:eek:

    Communication errors. For priming the pod should be close to the PDM. Some will actually need to be touching while priming.

    There is a tiny pin head size hole on top of the pod. You can fit a pin or paperclip in it and wriggle it around to try and deactivate the screeching alarm of doom! We still prefer the hammer for fun!

    We rarely have failures. Have not seen an occulsion in a long while. Make sure you are using good batteries and that they are fresh (for the PDM). Def. talk with Insulet.

    Good luck,
    Allene
     
  20. chbarnes

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    I don't have much to add. We really don't specifically keep the PDM close to the pod during priming. We haven't had as many failure in the past year as you have had since May 15. We only get 2 days, because Chris is using up to 2 units an hour. We use IV Prep and Skin Tac, sometimes Mastisol, with no extra tape. I think skin type can make a huge difference for adhesion.

    I would talk to Insulet about getting a fresh start.
     

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