Sample Pop (AKA Insulin Pump)

by Leighann on August 12, 2009

OmniPod

OmniPod

Only days after I requested a sample OmniPod, we received it in the mail.

Talking with my daughter about the pump in the last week, she has been a little skeptical. I’m sure it’s a bit much for a five-year-old to wrap her brain around.

The box arrived while I was at work and the second I walked through the door she excitedly pointed to it and said the sample arrived.

We took it out of the box the next morning. I cleaned off her back with an alcohol swab, removed the backing from the pod and placed it on her back.

What seemed smaller in the box than I had imagined, seemed large across one half of her back.

She slipped her nightgown back down and the pod disappeared from sight.

The next three days would be the true test of whether it is comfortable for her to wear or not. Swim, hip hop, baths, naps, and bedtime.

Granted, the pump did not actually insert (which is a little painful) and is not full of insulin. But we’ll get an idea of how she feels having a foreign object attached to her body.

Showing It Off

When her grandparents walked through the door she rushed to show them her “sample pop.” For some reason she thought I said “pop,” not “pump.”

I helped her put on her swimsuit and it was virtually invisible. There was just a bump in back that most people would never notice.

During the day her cousins and aunt came over. She ran down the drive to meet them and show it off.

She even showed our cleaning lady. And her dance teacher who had absolutely no idea what she was showing him.

When I came home from work, it seemed as if she had forgotten it was there. A good sign. My mom did say that she was nervous when she received a back rub earlier and reminded not to touch her there.

A little bit after awaking the next morning she remarked that she completely forgot about it while she slept. Another good sign.

She was a little disappointed the morning that we removed it.

Seeing is Believing

Brochures for other pumps are arriving. I will read them all, but the lack of tubing of the OmniPod and the fact that she will not see the insertion set has my mind (almost) made up. I just wish that we could try before we buy the other pumps as well. To hold and feel the insertion sets and the pumps might make a difference to us.

In the past week I have had so many great comments and e-mails from diabetics and parents of diabetics who use the pump. They all say they would never go back.

And Twitter, dear Twitter, has been such a source of information and support and instant feedback.

See for Yourself

OmniPod

Here is the pod on her back.

OmniPod

And here it is under her shirt. You really can’t even tell that it’s there.

OmniPod

And here are the supplies that each pod will replace: three syringes and nine pen needles (and twelve injections!).

Making up Our Minds

In the week following our first little trial run we made our mind up. We definitely want to begin pumping and we want the OmniPod. My daughter still has a few reservations because it will be change. Just as in the early days of her diagnosis, when she had to get used to four injections and as many finger pricks each and every day, I am sure she will not like the unknown and the new.

I know that the insulin pump will not be a cure all. We will still have to carefully count carbs. And check her blood sugar even more times per day until we figure out her basal rate. But I think once we have settled into a routine in a few months, it will be old hat and we won’t look back.

My insurance company has about 10 requirements before approving the insulin pump. The first of which is being educated on counting carbs. I can tell you I can do it in my sleep! But I will meet with the dietician this week to be educated yet again. I already took a ten page carb counting and correction assessment given by our endocrinologist, which was good enough for them.

The next steps?

In September we will return to St. Louis for the first pump program. She will wear the OmniPod for three days filled with saline (still getting her regular daily injections). We will remove it and fill and insert another pod. If everything goes well, we will make the request of the insurance company, receive our pods and PDM from the medical supply company, and return to St. Louis where we will take another class to learn how to use it.

I have not figured out the exact out-of-pocket difference for pumping. There are several prescriptions that we will cease filling, but will add a couple of others. The insurance covers the pump at 80%. But even if there is an increase in medical expenses on our part, the freedom and flexibility that she may gain will be well worth it.

Hopefully she gets back some of the childhood that she has lost.

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