Omnipod, My Life Saving Device
My son Thor is constantly grabbing my insulin pump and trying to chew on the PDM and every time I tell him that it's not a toy and that its mommy's lifesaving device.
You may have seen one of these little pods on my body before and didn't know what it was and maybe thought about asking, but decided not to. I actually love when people ask me what it is and how it works. For some reason most strangers think its a new kind of nicotine patch, which totally cracks me up because I defiantly look like a train smoker.
Introducing my Omnipod
First off, what is an insulin pump?
- I fill the pod with rapid acting insulin that's delivered 24 hours a day via a thin tube called a catheter or cannula that stays under the skin. (I try to guess exactly how much insulin I will use in 3 days without going under and hopefully not too much over... Pod's are $$$ so i want the entire 3 day life and insulin is also $$$ so I don't want to waste much.)
- Must be replaced every 3 days in order to prevent scar tissue from forming and causing problems with insulin absorption.
- PDM allows me to wirelessly control my insulin.
I get a constant insulin drip 24/7 called a basal rate. This is the amount of insulin I need to keep my blood sugar steady all day long. My insulin pump allows me to set different parameters throughout the day. In the morning most people tend to be more insulin resistant. In order to accurately find these numbers I am supposed to fast for at least 4 hours and also not exercise. At that point I can start to see what my blood sugar is doing and make adjustments. Unfortunately, I get hungry and I like to exercise so my experiments don't last long.
My bolus insulin is the amount that I take when I eat carbs. I have a carb ratio of 1/7 programmed into my PDM. I try to add up my carbs for each meal and then I enter it in to my PDM and it calculates the amount of insulin I need and begins to deliver it. Some days I do a fantastic job at counting my carbs and other days I completely screw up and end up with high or low blood sugar.
Why I hate my insulin pump
- It rips off my skin leaving me looking like a leopard.
- It's bulky and unfaltering wherever it's placed.
- It can be knocked off without knowing causing my blood sugars to sky rocket.
- There's no great place to put it without it being in the way of sitting/sleeping/carrying a baby/exercising.
- I occasionally forget to replace my pod and it expires while i'm out of the house.
- My prescription only covers the exact amount of pods so if I have a malfunction, such as blood going into the tube I have to call and order a replacement.
Why I love my insulin pump
- It keeps me alive.
- It's way more convenient than giving myself injections from a needle all day long.
- It allows me to adjust settings immediately if i'm going high or low.
- My Omnipod is the only tubeless insulin pump on the market. (Most pumps have a long tube attaching to their PDM that hangs on their waist band all day.)
- Did I mention it keeps me alive?
- Yes I can shower with it on, as it is waterproof.
- Yes I can put it wherever I want, but the insulin absorbs the quickest on my stomach so I tend to place it there most often.
- Yes that beeping alarm sound is coming from me.
- No it does't not have anyway of calculating my carbs and doesn't do anything without me telling it to.
- No it is not an old phone, pager, nicotine patch or ipod.
- Yes I have forgotten it places. (I don't get far without it and luckily no one wants it!)
I would love to hear all of your questions, I know you have some!! Thanks so much for reading this, I love all of your support as I go through this crazy journey. It means so much to me that you know a little bit more about what I go through on a day to day basis.