Podding Along by Emma
In December 2012 I attached my first Omnipod and began podding. A few weeks after my diagnosis, I met a friend of a friend who had type 1 diabetes. In my eyes, she was one of the lucky few who had an insulin pump. During my consultations, I remember frequently if I could have one and I always left feeling disappointed. In June last year I began experiencing nocturnal hypos, I would not wake to treat the hypo but instead would wake in the morning with very high blood sugar readings in a bed drenched in sweat. In addition, during the day I no longer experienced any symptoms of hypoglycaemia and this hypo unawareness meant that my blood sugars could drop as low as 2mmols without a single warning sign. In June 2012 my consultant finally suggested an insulin pump and after a lot of thought I chose the Omnipod.
Why do I love the Omnipod?
• No worry regarding tubing or cannulas
• It is waterproof
• You can easily hide it/conceal it with closing
• It is very light to wear
• No more nocturnal hypos
• You can suspend the insulin delivery when you feel your blood sugar levels are decreasing
• It does not interfere with exercise
• You can extend the insulin delivery to mimic the rate of the carbohydrates release.
What I don’t like about the Omnipod?
• It is so comfortable you almost forget it is there, until you knock it!
• The adhesive can loose its stick and you are then required to wear additional tape.
• ALLERGIC REACTIONS…
Around March this year I started to notice that when changing and removing the pod my skin was very sore and itchy. Initially I thought this was from where the adhesive was pulling against my skin (like removing a wax strip). To overcome this, the company who supply the pods sent me an adhesive remover spray. I used this spray but it made my skin sting. When I examined my skin in the mirror I noticed that there were two red lumps, one raised lump approximately the size of a 2p (where the pod had been sitting) and a smaller 5p sized insect bite style lump (where the cannula had been inserted). At my next appointment I showed my skin reaction to my nurses and consultant and they seemed to think that the only long term solution would be for me to change to an alternative pump.
I contacted the company that supplied the pumps and they were remarkably supportive. They provided me with details of barrier sprays and a ‘plaster’ style layer product that can be used to prevent any allergic reactions from occurring. They recommended initially trying the products individually and then together. As long as I am not allergic to the cannula itself then hopefully one of these products will solve my problems and allow me to carry on podding along happily.
If anybody has any questions about the Omnipod or the skin reaction then I will be happy to answer as best I can.