A ‘Gadget Guy’ Embraces Diabetes
Today he treats his type 2 diabetes with an OmniPod Insulin Management System. His latest A1C was 6.7%. He told us a little about his experience with this new technology, after years of using an insulin pump and multiple daily injections before that.
Q: What is your daily regimen for medication and meals?
A: I use the OmniPod Insulin Management System. I’m able to eat and drink anything I want as long as I count carbohydrates. My philosophy on living with diabetes is simple: I live my life and I don’t let my diabetes control me.
I ran the Chicago Marathon because I wanted to tell my children and myself that you can do anything you want to do if you put your mind to it. Diabetes is not a death sentence if I control it. My basal is set for 1.3 units. I adjust it when I exercise. I find running very therapeutic.
Q: How did you get interested in the OmniPod?
A: I am a boy with his toys—a gadget guy. I know some people working at the company. I’ve written about it and I wanted to try it
Q: Can you tell us a little about how it works?
A: There is no tubing. With an automatic cannula insertion, after you attach the OmniPod to your body, the Personal Diabetes Manager communicates with the “pod.” You wear the pod all the time for three days. You shower, swim and do everything with it. They don’t recommend its use in a sauna or steam room. For the first few days I wore it, it was very liberating, because I didn’t have to worry about where my pump was or the kinds of clothes I wore. Sleeping with it took some getting used to. With the pump, it could be anywhere, but [with the pod] it was weird—in a good way—because the pod was right there. The Personal Diabetes Manager that comes with the pod has a bolus calculator and a FreeStyle glucometer. It works like a regular pump, but you’re not tethered [to it]. Anyone who has been on a pump would enjoy it immensely. It’s never been a problem for me; it has never fallen off and I’ve worn it for three months.
Q: What are the drawbacks to the OmniPod?
A: They need to develop a smaller controller. The Personal Diabetes Manager is a good size, the size of a regular PDA. It’s likely that future generations of the OmniPod will get smaller. Overall they’ve done a very good job out of the box. It will get more interesting, especially from a pricing perspective. The lack of tubing means you have some additional freedom. But I’m able to live my life the way I want to live it, and the pump and the OmniPod made that more possible.
Q: How does the OmniPod compare to your previous methods of diabetes treatment?
A: At first I followed multiple daily injections; then I went to the pump as a lifestyle choice. I was adverse to the pump at the beginning. I was too busy for the education. Then I realized that with my irregular schedule and travel, the pump would be the only thing for me.
On April 13, 2006, Insulet Corporation announced that the OmniPod Insulin Management System received a 2006 Medical Design Excellence Award.
In June, Insulet Corporation was honored at a ceremony during the Medical Design & Manufacturing East Conference and Exposition in New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Father and Daughter Rave About the OmniPod Insulin Management System
Bill McDonald, 49, and his daughter Erin, 18, have both been living with diabetes for 10 years.
Bill had been on the insulin pump for years before starting the OmniPod Insulin Management System in December 2005. Erin began using the OmniPod Insulin Management System in February 2006. Since going on the OmniPod, her A1C has dropped 1 percentage point.
Bill says he switched because he liked the idea of no tubing.
“It would be less conspicuous,” he says. “Also, the ability to rotate sites in different areas sounded great.”
Erin, who is an athlete, likes the OmniPod because she doesn’t have to always worry or think about where to put the pump.
“I hated picking out outfits that my pump would work with,” she says. “I also wasn’t changing my sites as often as I should. I would go over a day just because I didn’t want to manually insert the infusion site.”