Sunday, November 17, 2013

OmniPod: Alarm During Bolus Delivery

My original plan this morning was to make coffee and peanut butter toast and enjoy the silence of my apartment while getting my first of 100 Facebook fixes of the day.  Alas, while attempting to bolus 4.20 units for the toast and slight blood sugar correction, my pod alarmed saying there was an error, I did not receive the bolus and had to change the pod immediately.  

And a good morning to you, too, OminPod!

First things first, had to change the pod because now it had shut itself off and I wasn't getting any insulin.  Normally, I wouldn't think anything of this, except I had only changed my pod about 10 hours earlier so my pod was FULL of good insulin that would now have to be thrown out.  Unless, of course, you do what OmniPod tells you not to do and you extract the insulin from the "bad" pod and use that in your new pod.  <---I only consider doing this if I have just recently changed the pod.  

To do this, open the new pod kit and assemble the syringe.  Instead of drawing out insulin from a vial, insert the syringe into the "insulin hole" (technical term) of the old pod (that you have now taken off your body) and draw out the insulin.  Keep drawing it out until you hit air.  Get the air bubbles out of the syringe however you normally prefer (I use a pen and whack the syringe to get air bubbles to the top).  If you're like me and need more than what you were able to draw out of the old pod (remember, you would have already used some of that insulin), stick the syringe into your vial of insulin and draw out the remainder of what you need.  Viola, you have just salvaged 80 units of perfectly good insulin.

With my new pod activated, I was on to the second task - figuring out if I received any of the original 4.20 unit bolus!!  When the pod alarmed it said something to the effect of "bolus error - change pod immediately, you did not receive the bolus" or something equally as terrifying.  It was critical to know if I had received any insulin because I had already made my delicious peanut butter toast and now it was just staring up at me with sad eyes saying, "Can you eat me?  Did all the insulin get in your belly (because that's where I imagine insulin goes) or just some of the insulin?  What if it was just some of the insulin, but you eat all of me and then you go high?  What if you only eat half of me to be cautious, but then you go low?  Why do you think peanut butter toast has eyes and is talking to you?"

Ok, so here's how you find out how much bolus you received. 

Click on Home --> My records --> Insulin delivery --> Bolus --> then look for the time you took the bolus and it will list exactly what you received.  Click "Event" and use the down arrow to scroll to the event and then push the "?" button.  Now you will see what the "suggested bolus" had been and can compare that to what you actually received.  

In my case, I was supposed to receive 4.20, but only received 4.15.  I was only shortchanged .05 units.  Now I can go back and bolus a titch more insulin to make up for that.

Final step...I'm on the home stretch.  I called OmniPod because I'll be damned if I'm going to just throw this bad pod away without getting a free replacement!  Very nice gal answered the phone (and I only had to wait about 2 minutes).  She took down all my information, asked me various questions such as, "When you insert the pod, do you pinch up the skin before the cannula inserts?"  A: Yes.  Then she asked for the lot number and series number (found on the side of the actual pod) and lastly, she had me read off the pod error. 

Here's how you find the alarm information.  Home --> My records --> Alarm history --> highlight the alarm you're looking for and push the "?" button.  Information on the alarm history appears and the rep will want you to read off the "Ref" number.

At that point, she said a replacement pod was being shipped out and also a kit to return the bad pod to OmniPod (free shipping both ways).  

1. Change your pod/consider extracting insulin from the old pod into the new
2. Check to see how much bolus you received
3. Call OmniPod to report it and get your free replacement pod
4. Save the old pod so you can return it
5. Eat the hell out of the peanut butter toast.  You've earned it.


  1. Never a moment's rest with diabetes. It's not a matter or if something will get messed up today. It only which device, carb count, bolus or basal decision, etc. will be off.

    But anything that ends with peanut better toast can't be all bad. This is from someone who just bolused for her lunch of peanut butter toast....

  2. If the Omnipod ever holds 300 units, or if my insulin requirements ever will go below 100 units per day, I would love to try it. (and if I do, I'm coming to you for a 1:1 training session :) I get sooooooo tired of the tubing sometimes!

    1. Between Nikki (another MN blogger/OmniPod lover) and I we can totally hook you up with OmniPod: 101.

  3. was it a Thomas's English muffin toast or a One-Minute muffin toast or some other toast?

    AND...if i need an insulin pump, am i getting an O-pod? it sounds scary but i will probably just do what you do.

    1. Low-carb bread toast. My "go to" when I want it quick 'n dirty, which in this case turned into slow 'n soggy.

      I love when new people want to try OmniPod. I seriously don't understand why women (especially) use anything else (except for the totally legit reason Rhonda mentions above).

  4. I've used Metronic pump and OmniPod and I love the OmniPod except for the lack of proper customer service. Toward the end of December they were supposed to automatically ship me a 90 supply of Pods. I had four left when I called them and they said they were going out that day but with the Christmas shipping problems it would take longer than normal. Two days later I had two Pods go bad so I was down to two Pods and very worried. I was not looking forward to going back on injections after more than 20 yrs on a pump! To make a long story short, the Pods arrived just in time but OmniPod does have a lot that go bad so you always need to carry a spare. I was on a cruise in Sweden in August and my Pod went bad so I had to go back to the ship to change. Learned my lesson the hard way!