Weighing My Options

“I’ve worn the Dexcom CGM before; this is easy; I’ve got this; I can totally do it. Oh wait, what? You want me to wear THAT on my arm?” This was my train of thought as it took me days, weeks, maybe even a month before I gathered up the courage to unwrap the OmniPod demo kit my Diabetes Educator gave me at my last appointment to stick it on my arm for the next 3 days.

It’s been about 8 or so months since I wore my last CGM. As much as I love the transparency and the data you get with wearing a CGM, the past few months or so I have felt confident enough on my own without it. My blood sugars are good and my A1c is better than ever. When I went to put on the OmniPod I felt like I was starting all over again. Although, when I stuck on my first CGM sensor I don’t remember feeling this nervous or insecure.

The Dexcom is a heck of a lot smaller than the OmniPod, so I thought for sure it would give me trouble while sleeping, but to my surprise I didn’t even notice it. I actually forgot I was wearing it for most of the 4 days that I had it glued onto my arm. Now I’ll admit the first time I wore it I purposely wore a long sleeve, but transparent, cardigan over top to cover it up. I was so nervous someone was going to point it out on the elevator in my building or someone at work might make a comment. Pretty silly considering I work at the corporate office of a diabetes specialist care provider and everyone knows what these things are and everyone knows I have diabetes. After work in the evening I went for a walk with a short sleeve top on and the pod exposed. On the outside I was calm, cool and collected. Internally I was having irrational thoughts about every single person I passed and what they were thinking about this giant computer on my arm – just to clarify, it’s tiny, nothing computer-sized about it at all.

For the first few days that I was wearing the OmniPod no one said a word or asked me “what’s that on your arm?” To be honest, I found it quite strange. Then, when I went to a vegan food festival event on the weekend, it happened. Someone pulled me aside to ask a question. A young woman was asking about it for her partner who has type 1 and is considering switching to an insulin pump, but wasn’t there to ask for herself. I was thrilled to share any information I could and just like that all my nerves that I had about wearing this thing on my arm went away.

Now here comes the real question – after this trial am I going to make the switch to OmniPod? I’m still not sure. There’s a lot of pros and cons I have to consider.

Cons – the higher cost, a minimum 5 year commitment to OmniPod (in Canada, through ADP we get the choice of a new device every 5 years), it’s not as easy to conceal (I think at least), faulty pod = wasted site and wasted insulin

Pros – no tubing, remote control to administer insulin, lasts 3 days forcing me to actually change my site when I’m supposed to – my doctor would be very happy about this one, ha!

I still have a lot of thinking to do about this one. I’m just glad I’ve given it a shot and now know what to expect, sort of.  Any advice from the T1D community on their own experiences with the OmniPod – good and bad – is very much welcomed!

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