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Freebie for diabetics

This is less a freebie posting and more a public service announcement for Type 1 diabetics. (I should mention this is NOT a paid posting). I've mentioned before that hubby has Type 1 - this means his body produces NO insulin (as opposed to Type 2 diabetes, which when your body becomes insulin resistant - in many cases it is reversible with proper diet and exercise). He had been on injection therapy since he was nine, taking 4 or more shots every day, plus numerous finger sticks to test his blood sugar.

For a long time he did so because there wasn't a better option. As he got older, he resisted the idea of using an insulin pump because he was misinformed, thinking it was an implant. Insulin pumps are external, worn like a pager or cell phone. They connect to the body via thin tubing that attaches to the body with a small cannula, or soft needle, that stays in place for 3 days at a time. For some people, injection therapy works well - but for most, pump therapy provides more accurate insulin delivery, less injections (and less scarring at injection sites), and more consistent blood sugar levels.

We liked the control and the convenience that pumps offered, but were never crazy about those loose tubes - he is pretty active, and when he performs with his comedy group he kind of views his body as just another prop...so we had concerns about tubes getting caught and being pulled out. When we found out about the OmniPod, it was the answer we were looking for.

The OmniPod works like every other insulin pump, delivering small doses of insulin continuously through the day and allowing wearers to give themselves extra insulin at meals and when needed for high blood sugars. But unlike anything else available, the OmniPod is TOTALLY wireless. Hubby has been using it since May of this year, and it really is incredible. The disposable "pods" are very small - about a half inch thick and as long as a pager. Each pod holds about 2-3 days worth of insulin, and instead of being carried like a cell phone, they attach to the body with waterproof adhesive. The soft cannula is INTEGRATED into the pod, not separate. Insulin goes directly from the reservoir to the needle, no tubing in between. And you get a small PDA (about the size of an older Palm Pilot) which is the "communications center" for the whole system. The PDA is also a glucometer, so you don't need to have a separate piece of equipment to do your testing. And it communicates to the pods through infrared signals, for bolus doses and changes to basal rates. The PDA also has plenty of memory to store info on carb intake, blood sugars, and comes with a pretty good food/carb list for quick reference.

My husband absolutely loves it - it's very easy to program, and it's really nice to have all of his carb counts and blood sugar levels in one place for those times when he does run either high or low, to help him fine tune his settings. And because the system is wireless, he can wear the pod anywhere he has a little body fat. He has worn it on his belly, his legs and his arms, and some of the old scar tissue has already started to go away since he's only putting a needle in once every 3 days and he has a lot of injection sites to choose from. His blood sugars have stablized really fast too. We had a checkup for him just before he started with the OmniPod, and his A1C (the test to see what your average blood sugar has been over 3 months) was 8.2, which is pretty bad. Three months after starting the Pods, we had another A1C test, and this time it came back at 6.5! People with healthy pancreases test at between 3.5-5.5. That's a huge change in a short period of time.

I've had great luck with their customer service as well - every month we get a box of pods and yes, sometimes they fail. Whenever that happens I just call their service department, and they send a replacement pod free. They have always been extremely helpful with my questions, even before we decided to use their system. And most of their customer service reps are also diabetics who use the Pods, so they can answer your questions from personal experience!

Do you or someone you know have Type 1 Diabetes? Check out the OmniPod and get a free demo kit so you can see for yourself how the system works!

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Bridget said...

I tagged you and am giving you a couple awards!

Felicia said...

Just wanted to let you know that I am now a "follower"