I decided to make a video of me unboxing the Omnipod and setting it up for the first time. If you have any questions about the Omnipod, please do reach out and don’t forget to subscribe to the YouTube channel!
Tomorrow night is my sleep study. This sleep study was initiated way back in August when I saw my endo and we talked about my loud snoring and waking up to gasping for air in the middle of the night.
The sleep study referral was sent out and the office made contact with me to schedule an appointment. The day of the appointment for the over night study (which at that time, I had no idea if it was overnight, at my own house, or any general information about what goes on during a sleep study).
That was not very good customer service and patient management if you ask me.
That appointment ended up being cancelled by me because I didn’t know if there was a deductible, co-pay, what it entailed, nothing, so, I cancelled.
At my last endo appointment, I already knew that my A1C was going to be high. How did I know this? My Dexcom Clarity report told me what my 90 day average was.
Knowing this information going into the appointment, I knew it was going to be a topic of discussion, so instead of trying to delay that discussion or hide it, I started the appointment off with it. I simply said, “just a heads up, my A1C is going to come in as the highest since my diagnosis and here’s why..”
I’ve been using my Omnipod for one week at this point and I wanted to collect and share my initial thoughts on Omnipod after one week of using.
Last Tuesday I had my endo appointment and afterwards had my Omnipod training in order for me to start using the Omnipod. I’ve had the Omnipod box at home for a little over a week and before I went to the appointment, I opened everything up and did a little set up video for you that you can see later this week over on my YouTube Channel.
Going into this endo appointment, I already knew that my A1C was going to be one of the highest it’s been since being diagnosed. How did I know this? Simple, my Dexcom 90 day average glucose report from Clarity told me. I have a full post later this week dedicated to just my A1C.
My weight was actually up 3 pounds since the last time I saw him in August. Not what I was hoping for. Everything else from the appointment went well. My blood pressure was perfect, as were all of my important labs. When I first came into the office, my heart rate was a bit high at 115, however, after the doctor did it again about 10 minutes later, it was down to about 85, which was better.
I do have a problem with high heart rates throughout the day, which is part of the major need to lose weight. Speaking of, I did a search on my site here, which I launched in 2009, and I’ve been talking about losing weight since about 2010 and all I’ve done since then is gain about 60 pounds. I’d say that’s not good.
Directly after my endo appointment, I was scheduled to meet with the nurse to do my Omnipod training.
When it comes to training for insulin pumps, I typically already know how 90% of it works. I don’t typically know the troubleshooting tricks and that’s what I like to learn in these trainings. However, when I go into the trainings, I act like I’ve never seen an insulin pump before and let the trainer do what they need to do. I do tell them that I am pretty advanced with technology and understand diabetes and was on a pump for 13 years. This way, they don’t waste either of our time talking about what a bolus is or temp basal, etc.
I understand it.
I’ve watched videos of people filling their Pods, but I never actually did it myself, so I asked for help to ensure that I was doing it the right way. I went through the setup process and once I was ready to put the Pod on, I decided to go on my left arm. Of course, when I put it on, I couldn’t see the viewing window, so couldn’t tell if the cannula was in properly, but I guess time would tell anyway.
My Unique Omnipod Insulin Management
Something that I have written about since I first started writing is the amount of insulin I use and how much of it I go through. I am on a 1:4 (insulin:carb) ratio and my average basal rate is about 2.5.
In order to not have to change out my pod every single day or every 36 hours, I recommended to my endo that I stay on Tresiba for my basal insulin and just utilize a 0.1 basal rate on my Omnipod. If I see that at certain times I may need an increased basal, then I do that. I don’t see a lot of lows, so the need to decrease my basal is not something that I utilize often.
However, if the Tresiba is already in my system and I’m low, then I correct the low, and if it becomes a pattern, I lower my Tresiba.
As of now, it’s worked pretty damn good.
Big Bolus Injections
I’ve still not cut out all horrible foods, so when I have eaten a high carb meal, I’ve injected insulin from an insulin pen for the extra dosage as opposed to taking the insulin from the Omnipod. I’ve decided to do this, so that I don’t dump too much insulin into the infusion site too fast.
Also, I’ve already had one Pod start to leak insulin because I dosed too much at one single time.
Lesson Learned on First Pod
The Pod that I inserted at the training session only lasted 24 hours. The next night at dinner time, I needed to take about 20 units of insulin. So, I dialed up the 20 units on my Omnipod PDM and hit the bolus button. The PDM started to do its thing and deliver the bolus.
Next thing you know, my arm felt a little wet and I smelled that awful smell of liquid gold, aka insulin.
I did the ole rub the site, then smell (did this far too often with Medtronic, which is one of the primary reasons I ultimately stopped using a pump), and I could smell it. Soon after, my wife said that she could smell it from where she was sitting.
I did the first thing that I always do when something happens, I went straight to Twitter. I wasn’t complaining, I was more looking for a solution, and luckily I found some.
One idea was to extend the bolus of anything over 3.0 units. So, that’s what I’ve been doing and it seems to have been working pretty well so far. I’ve had 2 other Pods on and neither has leaked since extended boluses out over 1 hour, on average.
I have my next follow up appointment already in a little over a week. My endo wanted me back in 2 weeks to look at Dexcom data to determine if we are going to stay with using Tresiba 100% for my basal insulin or if we are going to make it 75% of the basal insulin, plus 25% basal coming from the Omnipod.
Diabetes is all about testing, looking at the data, making an educated guess and testing all over again until you find the perfect management solution for yourself.
Overall, my initial thoughts on the Omnipod are great. I must say, I do hate the PDM. That is my only downside and flaw to the Omnipod system. The buttons are hard when I try to push them, which could be from it being so new and needing to break the buttons in.
Not being able to utilize a touchscreen for me is just brutal. Here’s the looking forward to the Omnipod Dash system.
Please just type your answers below the question and send back to me.
Welcome to the sixth installment of a weekly series here on The Life of a Diabetic called Getting to Know Diabetes: The Interview Series. Every Tuesday, I will be featuring an interview with a diabetes advocate and/or “influencer” in the diabetes community. These interviews will ask the same questions to every person.
Today’s interview is with Rob Howe. I first came across Rob from Instagram because Rob reminded me of a young me. Type 1, athletic, and driven to do something, whatever that something is. Please enjoy.
1 – Who are you? (Name, where do you live, what do you do for a living, favorite hobby, sports teams, etc.)
Rob Howe, Dallas Texas, Entrepreneur.
My favorite hobby is probably Diabetes advocacy, but I don’t really like hobbies. You put in hobby effort, you get hobby results. I have passions. I’m passionate about technology, innovation, health, fitness, creativity, mental health, advocacy, improv comedy, sneakers, fashion, cars, netflix series and the internet in no particular order.
2 – What is your connection to diabetes?
I’ve lived with T1D for 14 years.
3 – Give us the elevator pitch version of your diabetes diagnosis.
I was 16, woke up on New Years Day and vomited, after peeing no less than 30 times the night before while I was out with my friends. My mom took me to the urgent care where they tested my blood sugar (425) and told me to go to the hospital. I had a great diagnosis experience from there, and my doctor’s were very encouraging that all my dreams for my life were still within reach. I’m very fortunate to have started my journey in such a positive light.
4 – What made you decide to start sharing your diabetes? (For example, why did you start an IG account, blog, Facebook group, etc.)
In 2015 I was on a work exchange trip in Bogota Colombia, and I wasn’t allowed to leave my hotel room at night without my translator, so over the two weeks I was there, I had a lot of time to myself that I had set an intention to try to set aside time with a pen and paper to think about what I wanted to do with my life. My dad had told me years earlier that I was always happiest when I was helping people, so that’s where I started. But who would I help? Then I looked at my insulin pump which I had set on the little table in my hotel room and it clicked. I could help people with Diabetes! So I got to work and decided on doing a podcast (mostly because I didn’t want to write a blog every week) and Diabetics Doing Things was born.
5 – Obviously there are a lot of facets of diabetes, but what is your number one passion to share about diabetes? (For example, sharing signs and symptoms, mental health, eating disorders, governmental issues, etc.)
My number one passion is sharing the stories of the different interests of people with Diabetes. When I was diagnosed, my main concern was whether or not I was going to be able to play basketball with T1D. This was 2005, so internet searches were still in their infancy, but I was able to find stories about two people who were doing the “things” I wanted to do and that gave me a ton of hope and a blueprint of how to approach my life with Diabetes on my terms. Now, people can search for people with Diabetes who do whatever it is they’re interested in while they’re still in the hospital/doctor’s office/clinic, so I try to get as many diverse stories as possible so no matter what “thing” a newly diagnosed person with Diabetes is searching for, they can find it on Diabetics Doing Things.
6 – What’s in your diabetes bag? (Pump, MDI, meter, syringes, adhesives, CGMs, etc.)
Let me just take this opportunity to say how happy I am fanny packs are back in style. I wear a Medtronic 670g insulin pump, with the Guardian 3 sensor. Since this pump is the hybrid closed loop system, I test less frequently than I used to with my old pump, so really I just carry my glucometer with me on a normal work day. But when I travel I stuff my fanny pack full of new sites, reservoirs, insulin vials, test strips, sensors, skin tac, sensor tape, and a syringe just in case.
7 – Where do currently get your diabetes news? (Favorite blogs, IG, FB, Twitter accounts, etc.)
Mostly through Instagram. I keep up with most everything there. BeyondType1 is a great resource for Diabetes lifestyle content as well.
8 – Share three blogs or IG accounts that everyone reading this should be following.
9 – Let’s get real for a minute. What do you struggle with the most when it comes to diabetes? For me, it’s my weight. I can’t ever seem to lose weight. I lose it, then it comes back and being over weight creates stress and anxiety of not being around for my child in the future.
I pride myself in being very open about my life with Diabetes and not sugar coating (see what I did there) what I go through on a daily basis. I think my biggest struggle is the amount of Diabetes content we can find ourselves facing within the Online Community. Don’t get me wrong, I’m so grateful for the community and the support and friendship I’ve received from it, but I think it’s easier than ever to be overly focused on your Diabetes. There is more to life than Diabetes itself. I try to live and share my life in such a way that shows how Diabetes is a part of all the other incredible things I get to be a part of.
10 -What is the #1 myth about diabetes that just gets under your skin every time you hear it?
It’s a tie between people thinking that diet and exercise can cure Type-1 diabetes and that there is a “good” and “bad” Diabetes. All Diabetes is bad.
11 – What is your top diabetes hack? For example, before inserting a new CGM you do XYZ or you use syringes instead of pens because of XYZ.
I think my biggest one is re-using pump reservoir tubing. I use long tubes, so there are around 18 units of insulin in the pump tubing that I was just throwing away. I do around 110 site changes a year (2 per week) so I did the math in my head and decided that was a waste of insulin, especially when there are so many people out there who don’t have it. I still change the tubes after a while because they can get blocked or kinked, but that helps me save over 1,000 U per year. That’s substantial I think.
Editor Note – I did the exact same thing when I was on an insulin pump. I would change my tubing every 3 site changes on average, I would also re-use reservoirs 4-5 times.
12 – What is one thing you would like someone without diabetes to know about living with diabetes?
That some of us are really good at making this very complex, very difficult disease very easy, but that we still carry a heavy load and have so many things to consider when we do very simple activities like going to work, going to the gym, traveling, spending the night away from home, going to bars, going to college. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and yet so many people handle it with incredible grace.
13 – What is your favorite “healthy” food option?
Spoiler alert–I’m a mega health nut. Every day the first meal I eat is a giant salad for lunch that makes me so happy. Big bag of mixed greens, pulled cabbage, organic pulled chicken, almonds, organic dried cranberries, chopped bell peppers, organic sunflower seeds, topped off with generous amounts of avocado oil and salt. I don’t eat breakfast, a cup of coffee is enough for me.
Now we’re going to do a little this or that.
Cats or dogs? Toughest question by far. I love both.
Coffee or Tea? Coffee
Fruits or Veggies? Veggies
Sweet or Salty? Salty
TV Series or Movies? Please don’t make me choose
Mac or Windows? Easiest.
Ice cream cake or regular cake? Regular Cake
Pancake or Waffle? Waffle
Book or eBook? Book
Pineapple on pizza is great or pineapple on pizza is a crime – (I’m non partisan when it comes to pizza) I too am non partisan.
Take this time to add anything else. Add more to your story, include all links to all of your social media profiles and blogs, VLOGs, websites, etc.