Life is Easier with Omnipod
“I love not having to think about where my Omnipod is when I wake up in the morning,” says Kathleen Weaver, 60, who’s been living with type 2 diabetes since 2002.
After she was diagnosed with diabetes, Kathleen was treated the typical way most type 2s are: with metformin, some pamphlets on diet and exercise and a prescription for a blood glucose meter and test strips. After a few frustrating months of inconsistent blood glucose management, she started insulin therapy. For nearly two years, she was injecting insulin five times a day.
No Stranger to Insulin Pumps
Though she’s been using Insulet’s Omnipod DASH system since 2019, Kathleen is no stranger to using an insulin pump. She began using a pump only two years after her diagnosis, with the now-defunct Animas insulin pump system. Her doctor at the time suggested she research it.
That’s pretty significant for a person with type 2 diabetes, especially in the early 2000s. It’s still a relatively new practice for type 2s to use pump therapy to manage diabetes. According to the 2014 OpT2mise study, the largest trial to document the usage of insulin pumps in type 2 diabetes, less than 5 percent of them used insulin pumps.
People with type 2 diabetes generally have more barriers to getting an insulin pump than those with type 1. Most people with type 2 see a primary care doctor who manages their regimen instead of a diabetes specialist such as an endocrinologist. Primary care doctors may have limited knowledge of current diabetes technology and standards of care, including the use of pumps. Therefore, the insistence of Kathleen’s doctor to encourage her to look into them is notable.
But among the other challenges to getting an insulin pump may be the lack of marketing to people with type 2, says Kathleen, who’s also used another company’s pump but was unable to upgrade to a newer version due to insurance coverage issues.
“I don’t feel like pump companies take us seriously enough to market to us,” said Kathleen. “Some of us are afraid of taking insulin because we’re tired of taking injections. We should be able to have a device that makes diabetes easier to control. We’re out here, but these companies need to do a better job talking directly to us.”
That communication to type 2s is exactly why Kathleen chose the Omnipod DASH. She talked to her doctor after reading more about the system online. She saw how inclusive the company was for people with type 2 diabetes and broached her doctor about getting her started.
“One of the reasons I’ve enjoyed my experience with Omnipod so far is because of how well they worked with my doctor’s office to process paperwork and get me started on it as soon as possible,” said Kathleen. “I also love the way the Omnipod team helps solve my issues. I’ve had pods malfunction at times and whenever I call, they replace them quickly.
Life is Easier with Omnipod
The primary goal for someone with diabetes, regardless of type, is to see better results in overall blood glucose management. Along with the freedom from injections, research shows that compared to shots, insulin pump therapy lowers A1C through consistent insulin delivery.
“It was much easier to transition from injections to a pump,” said Kathleen. “I was going low a lot during exercise.”
Before she started using the Omnipod DASH system, Kathleen’s A1C was 7.5 percent, now it’s around 6.5 percent. She’s been able to experience other benefits as well such as weight loss and noticed she uses less insulin as she’s improved her diabetes management. She also credits her success with the use of continuous glucose monitoring technology, which helps her make adjustments to how much insulin she may need based on blood glucose readings at the time.
Professionally, Kathleen is a computer science teacher. Managing her diabetes well is important in order for her to perform well for her students.
“If my blood sugar is too high, I have trouble thinking and retaining new information,” said Kathleen. “And of course if it’s too low, I can’t think at all. But having high blood sugar is really detrimental to sitting down and thinking and learning new things. You constantly have to do that with students. Computer science is an ever-evolving field. It’s an incentive to keep my blood sugar within normal ranges.”
In the end, wearing Omnipod has made living with diabetes easier for Kathleen and quell worries about being able to enjoy a couple of her favorite activities: relaxing in the hot tub and sauna.
“For 20 years I woke up in the morning all tangled up in the tubing and I had to think about where the pump was and the tubing was before I got out of bed, and I don’t have that problem anymore,” said Kathleen. “Omnipod is stuck to me and that makes a huge difference. I like to soak in the hot tub for my arthritis and I thought it impact my insulin delivery, but it didn’t.”
Kathleen hopes others with type 2 diabetes can find a similar kind of freedom to manage diabetes in their lives. A device such as Omnipod can make a life-changing difference in the lives of many.
This content was made possible with support from Insulet, a Founding Partner of Beyond Type 2.