Hi everyone. I’ve recently started using an insulin pump called Omnipod. I’m still fairly new at this I only started wearing them about 4 months ago, but I was needing some advise from other 'podders." Have any of you ever had trouble using infusion sites, such as the back of your arm or your leg? For example I can use one of my arms and it works perfectly but when I switch to the other side I experience blood sugar spikes and I either have to take more insulin to counteract the rising BG or switch the pod all together. Origninally I used a Medtronic insulin pump and did so for 12 years before switching because Medtronic was no longer working for me. Any body got any soultions or tips when using Omnipod, such as different infusion sites because right now I’m only able to use my stomach and lower back (sometimes). I would really apprecaite any advise you have to give. Thank you.
Hi, the sites that I use are:
the top of both my left and right arms
the top of both my legs at the side
I tend to move my pod in a square shape abound my body so that the last site I used can heal properly I hope this helped.
Hi Chelsea @cnmcwhirt, something you should keep in mind when placing a pump or infusion site or injecting insulin is activity.
An extremity, such as arm or leg, will tend to absorb and use insulin at enhanced rates when active. For instance a runner wouldn’t place a pump or infusion cannula on a leg. As far as one arm working better than the other, does one arm get more activity than the other?
I have been using the Omipod for about two almost three years now and I’ve had some trouble with it on certain parts of my body. Sometimes it works perfectly on the left side of my outer leg, but the other day my blood sugar kept spiking and it turns out it was a bad site. My arms and my stomach are the best spots to place my pod. I barely have any trouble with the pod site on the back of my arms and stomach. My back is super sensitive because I do not have a lot of body fat so it is really uncomfortable when I place it there. Have you tried putting the pod in any other places on your body?
I definitely have my favorite sites and some do work better than others. the big differences are blood circulation and scarring.
I just recently got on the omnipod as well. I haven’t completely decided whether or not I like it yet. The top of my thighs work the best for me. I have seen some podders who attach it to the back of their calve… it seems weird and personally I am to scared to try it but it might be worth a shot.
I’ve tried rotating my sites between my stomach back, and arms. However when I change the pod and attempt to place it on my arms or back it becomes something of a hit-or-miss if it will work or not. I realize there might be a spike when changing sites, but even after I take a bolus it continues to rise. Then I realize the site is not workign and have to switch to another. This has lead me to feeling immensely frustrated because I do not want to overuse my stomach area. I haven’t tried my calves, I’ve been afraid to try thinking the muscles around my legs might be to dense. It’s also frustrating when pods and sites don’t work and I go through my supply more quickly than I intended.
Podder from the beginning (Medtronic before that) - love this pump! I spent the first bunch of years rotating around the belly - switched to back a few months ago - while I don’t have scar tissue on the belly, thought it might be good to switch to back. I don’t do the arms, and legs are too much of a hassle with pants, etc. I found two things for me: 1) sugars were higher 48-72hours, so I change pod every two days. 2) if sugars went up the few hours after insertion, I would bolus an extra unit before changing sets to cover.
I will say with any infusion set/pump there is a concern about “is it in right?” BG tests 2hours later or watching your cgm is key. Since I switched to 100% changing pod every two days, I haven’t seen any unexplainable highs.
Only problem with putting on arm for me is bumping it on something and it falls off. Good luck!
Thanks for the feedback I reatly appreciate the advise. When you started wearing the pod did it take a lot of time to adjust to it? I find myself having a hard time with it. Sometime it works and sometimes it doesn’t. Is there any advise you can offer about how to use the pods or your experience with them. I’ve also had a a couple bad batches of pods and at first I thought it was due to the sites but when I had the pods on my stomach my BG would be fine. I admit I’m terrified and unsure of what to do. I’m been communicating with my doctor and my Omnipod trainer and we still haven’t figured it out, if you have any sugguestions I am open to any ideas.
I think there is a learning curve with all new routines. Since I started with omnipod in the early days - we used to have a lot of pod failures. Googled and found that cold insulin didn’t work well with the pods (again - this was in the beginning days of Insulet).
Now a days - maybe one a year fails for no reason I can tell. I generally try to do pod changes when activity is low - ie belly - bending over etc etc. and insulin is always room temperature.
Masitol was one of my favorites - and I used to cut out the middle of a tegaderm patch to help it hold on. Nowadays using skintac works just fine. Having a forum like this for tips, tricks, and info is wonderful! Take care!
One more thing @cnmcwhirt! Being female - hormones and all can make things a little (a lot) crazy week to week. I used to change my settings every week based on my cycle.
I also discovered Adam Brown’s Brightspots and Landmines -free at DiaTribe or at cost on amazon- he tells you the same thing we’ve been told - but he does it in such a way by identifying 42(?) things that impact blood sugars. For me it was eating normal and chasing carbs with insulin. And sleep. I keep my carb count per meal low and try to get 7.5h sleep (vs 5 I was getting before). After 27 years of diabetes, I’m finally auto stay in range.
Does it get easier though? I’m finding I’m struggling and I can’t seem to cope. This past week I had my Omnipod PDM disconnect my pod multiple times. Thankfully I had a spare. Yet on top of all that I had rotated my pod to my arms to try and give my other areas a brake. The problem being that Monday night I nearly had to be admitted to the hospital because my levels kept rising and wouldn’t come down. I realize that some areas of the body work better than others. However my question is have you ever experienced it were this occurs frequently or happens when the pod is on certain areas of the body vs another. I was so distraught Monday night that I had to miss work on Tuesday. I find myself struggling with all this because I feel very isolated and alone and I don’t have a support group. I feel like that is what I need. Yet I haven’t found it. It feels very lonely
Hi @cnmcwhirt. I don’t use a pod so can’t help you there, but I did feel for you when I read that you felt alone and without a support system. There are lots of posts on the forum with headings along the lines of " Looking for friends," and people usual note their age range. This forum is open to anyone and you have to take it on faith that people are who and what they claim to be, so be cautious. But having said that, you may make some friends online.
I’ve used the pods for the last 3 years or so and had a very inconsistent experience for at least a year during the that time. I would swear that the pods were bad and my endo thought I was crazy…well maybe I was but here is what made it better for me…
- When you prime the pod, always flip it over so the canula side is down
- wherever you place the pod on your body, always place it with the canula end up or pointed left.
- right after starting a new pod, a small bolus plus a temp basal to cover cover the rise in my bg that always happens after a pod change.
if you’ve ever opened a pod you would understand why this works better, it’s due to the reservoir location and delivery system.
Since making these changes I get at least 8 good 3 day sessions out of every box. Before it was a crapshoot…hope this helps.
I wish I could credit whoever posted this info first but I don’t remember which forum…
Hope this helps you…it helped me regain my sanity and delayed my departure from the system.