Touring the Alps with mylife OmniPod

Peter Brunner
Peter Brunner (mountain guide in the Swiss Alps) has been a Type 1 diabetic since the age of five

For a Type 1 diabetic, a regular daily schedule with regular mealtimes is an important factor for ensuring a successful therapy. Peter Brunner has been a Type 1 diabetic since the age of five and he chose an occupation that couldn’t possibly be further away from regularity and predictability.

Peter Brunner is a mountain guide in the Swiss Alps and he offers not only multi-day hikes and ski-tours but also climbing trips in high mountain regions. Up to the beginning of 2014 he had been treating his diabetes with conventional pen therapy. “As a mountain guide your daily schedule varies enormously: sometimes the day begins at three o’clock in the morning and sometimes at eight. It’s easy to get mixed up when injecting basal insulin. In addition, I was only able to provide a very inadequate response to unplanned changes in daily schedule, which occur quite frequently in my job.” The consequence was often a badly controlled blood glucose level.

To be able to manage diabetes in his everyday situations more efficiently, Peter Brunner ultimately switched to an insulin pump, opting for the world’s first tubeless patch pump, mylife OmniPod. “I chose mylife OmniPod because it doesn’t have a catheter tube,” he says. For occupational reasons Peter Brunner expects a lot of a pump, his requirements for choosing the right pump were very specific: “In my job I cannot imagine having a pump with a tube. I’m often wearing a climbing belt, into which you also fall from time to time. I’m always wearing a rucksack with a hip belt as well. The fantastic thing about mylife OmniPod is that I can attach the Pod to my abdomen or arm, depending on the trip and equipment I am wearing. Also, the Pod has never had any problems coping with altitude or low temperatures.” *

Peter Brunner definitely regards the flexibility provided by mylife OmniPod as another advantage. “I used to have a problem because I had too little basal insulin if I had to discontinue a trip; if a trip was unexpectedly more strenuous than planned, I often had too much basal insulin and had to keep supplying carbohydrates. With the Pod I don’t have the problem anymore because now it is so simple for me to adjust my basal rate to suit unexpected situations.” In addition, the Pod is small, light and very easy to take with you because it only has two parts. What’s more, snow and mountain lakes for a spontaneous swim are no longer a problem because mylife OmniPod is also waterproof. **

Peter Brunner

“With mylife OmniPod I now have total freedom in my job and can adjust to any situation without difficulty. At last I can devote myself to my passion without constantly having to think about basal rates and carbohydrates. As far as I and my job as a mountain guide are concerned, the Pod really is an enormous gain!”

* The Pod has been tested to the following conditions: 4.4 °C to 40 °C operating temperature and the atmospheric presure of 696 hPA to 1060 hPA.
** Only the Pod is waterproof (7.6 m for up to 60 minutes, IPX8), not the PDM.

Insulin pump and sport – Free with mylife OmniPod

Reto, 26 years Started with mylife OmniPod in 2013

Marcel, 38 years Free with mylife OmniPod since 2 years

Stefanie, 31 years Definitely on the home straight with mylife OmniPod for 8 months

Enjoy freedom

Cycling, inline skating, at work or when playing with brothers and sisters: the Pod is always present – yet mylife OmniPod users feel free. Get to know some of our Pod wearers and find out why they opted for the tubeless insulin patch pump.

Thanks to the mylife OmniPod diabetes no longer sets the tone.

Milan Šetena, first violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic
Milan Šetena, first violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic.

As a concert violinist you have to stand on the stage for a long time, always concentrate intensely and travel a lot. Those are circumstances that can be challenging for people with Type 1 diabetes. Ever since Milan Šetena started using the mylife OmniPod his life with diabetes has seen a radical change for the better.

Milan Šetena is a first violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic, and in 1999, when he was 33 years of age, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. “Diabetes has had a considerable impact on my life, and especially my musical career. I was always thirsty and had to go to the toilet more often than you would expect. In a five-hour concert that is definitely a problem.” His violin playing has also suffered as a result of diabetes though – as a diabetic you are often tense, and that includes your hands.

Milan Šetena has now been wearing the world’s first tubeless insulin patch pump, the mylife OmniPod, since April 2014. “Ever since I started wearing the Pod, lots of things have changed. I am now much more flexible and have more freedom again because I no longer have to keep giving myself injections with an insulin pen. Now I can even cope with long concerts without any problems, such as the risk of hypoglycemia, and my playing is much more relaxed again.” Instead of bringing himself up to the appropriate blood glucose level with sweets before the concert, all that Milan Šetena now has to do is take a blood glucose measurement and reduce the basal rate accordingly using the Personal Diabetes Manager (PDM). During the concert the blood glucose levels can also be adjusted quickly and discreetly.

Away from the stage, the mylife OmniPod has significantly simplified Milan’s life. As a musician you are often travelling throughout the world. With the mylife OmniPod such mobility is no longer a problem because with a weight of only 25 grams (without insulin) and a height of only 1.45 cm the insulin patch pump is small, light and discreet. “The spare pumps and batteries from the PDM always fit in your pocket without any problem. And I don’t always have to have something sweet with me or look out for where I can get hold of something.”

Milan Šetena

"The mylife OmniPod has genuinely given me back substantial quality of life. Of course it cannot make diabetes disappear but at least the Pod makes it less dominating."

With mylife OmniPod control is child’s play and everyday life is carefree

Neela was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 4.
Neela was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 4.

Neela is six years old and she attends a preschool playgroup. A situation that was not easy for Neela or her parents. In February 2013, when Neela was four years old, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It meant she had to adjust to intensified insulin pen therapy. However, Neela recently began wearing the mylife OmniPod, the first tubeless, waterproof patch pump in the world. The family’s everyday life was thus completely revolutionised for the better.

“For Neela, injection always meant an enormous effort and for us parents it was a very unpleasant task having to urge her to do it. Still, it had to be done.” Neela’s parents soon realised though that ICT with an insulin pen could not be a long-term solution. “In the course of time, Neela began refusing pen injections more and more vehemently so we had to find an alternative as soon as possible.” The alternative to pen therapy is a switch to an insulin pump, and that was what happened in Neela’s case. “It didn’t take us long to opt for the mylife OmniPod because it is a tubeless system. We were hoping our daughter’s freedom of movement would not be restricted and that she would be able to take part in everything at pre-school playgroup and later on at school. What’s more, the Pod is waterproof – so even paying a visit to the swimming pool is no problem.”

Those are not the only benefits of the mylife OmniPod in Neela’s everyday life though. In addition to pain-free insulin delivery without a syringe, the flexibility the Pod allows is another major plus point for Neela and her parents. Rapid, flexible adjustment of insulin delivery before, during and after meals makes everyday life a lot easier, because long discussions about second helpings and dessert are now a thing of the past. “Since the Pod allows a basal rate setting every half hour, we can optimally respond to Neela’s very varied, fast-moving daily schedule and adjust the basal rate according to her condition on a particular day and what is on the agenda.”

And there is yet another benefit: control of the PDM is extremely simple so even at the age of six Neela can already adjust all the settings herself. All her playgroup minder may have to do is check the entries.

“Neela and we as parents have become accustomed to the new system very quickly. Handling is very simple and quick to learn – Pod injection is fully automatic so Neela can do that on her own as well. Up to now our expectations of the mylife OmniPod have been met in all respects.”

With mylife OmniPod, at last I can do everything my mates do.

Adrian Frei, helping out in his father’s farm machinery workshop.
Adrian Frei, helping out in his father’s farm machinery workshop.

Adrian Frei is a completely normal schoolboy with completely normal hobbies, as you would expect of a 13-year-old: cycling, doing sports, romping about outdoors or helping out in his father’s farm machinery workshop.

It was not always that normal though. On 7 December 2007 Adrian was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes so there followed a two-week stay in a children’s hospital and control for conventional pen therapy. “I never had enough courage to inject insulin myself. It was quite awkward because my mother always had to accompany me on school outings and trips to ski camp, and for sports my father was always present …” In those days it was not possible for him to stay overnight when visiting schoolmates. “School holidays and overnight stays could only be spent at my godfather’s because he was able to give me insulin injections.” Another side effect: “Prandial insulin was always injected into my upper arm so I looked like Arnold Schwarzenegger because of the lipos.”

However, since July 2013 Adrian’s life has changed fundamentally and adjusted to become the normal life of a 13-yearold. Adrian has been wearing the first tubeless patch pump in the world, the mylife OmniPod, since last year. “My parents and I had a look at lots of pumps but I didn’t want a tube. I preferred the tubeless pump from the very beginning. I can even change the Pod myself and controlling it with the PDM is very easy. What’s more, the Pod is waterproof and performs superbly in sports, which was important to me. It really is a super product.” However, this newly acquired quality of life is not just restricted to school sports, overnight stays with schoolmates now tend to be feasible – thanks to the integrated bolus calculator in the PDM (Personal Diabetes Manager) Adrian can calculate his bolus himself and adjust the basal rate accordingly.

Apart from these benefits Adrian was particularly convinced by the inconspicuous appearance of the Pod and the PDM. “Lots of people think I’m holding a mobile when they see the PDM.” Adrian and his parents also regard the blood glucose meter directly integrated into the PDM as being extremely practical because although you only have two parts you have everything you need with you and it is so compact and conveniently sized to stow away in the home-sewn pouch for the belt.

Adrian Frei

“Now my parents no longer have to accompany me all the time and I have much more freedom in everything I want to do. With the Pod I at last have the independence I want as a 13-year-old.”

Indipendent with mylife OmniPod

Stephanie, 20 years Happy with mylife OmniPod since 6 months

Michael, 54 years Carefree with mylife OmniPod for 8 months

Julia, 19 years Independent with mylife OmniPod for 1.5 years

Iphigenia und Nik, 3 years Happy with mylife OmniPod since 6 months

More flexibility and stability during pregnancy with mylife OmniPod

Christina Stark, used pen therapy to manage her diabetes for 16 years.
Christina Stark, used pen therapy to manage her diabetes for 16 years.

Christina Stark has type 1 diabetes. After 16 years of pen therapy, she switched to the mylife OmniPod when she was planning to become pregnant. Now that she is expecting, the mylife OmniPod is making it much easier to cope with the pregnancy. That’s not all, though. Many other aspects of her life are now also much easier thanks to the patch pump.

Christina Stark was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in late 1997. For 16 years, she used pen therapy to manage her diabetes. During this period, Christina found it difficult to accept her diabetes. The most challenging part was not being able to spontaneously do what she liked to do. She also often felt unwell or downright sick, since her blood glucose levels were poorly controlled.

Christina has now been wearing the world’s first tubeless insulin patch pump, the mylife OmniPod, since 2013. The main reasons for the switch were the fact that she was planning to become pregnant and that her blood glucose levels were not good. “My doctor basically forced me to use the insulin pump. I had never wanted to wear a pump. I always thought that people would be able to see the pump and the tube hanging down on me, and there was no way that I wanted that”, Christina says. Her doctor persuaded her to try wearing the tubeless mylife OmniPod, also because she was planning to become pregnant. After three days, she asked her doctor to request her health insurance company to pay for the Pod. “I never want to give back the Pod”.

According to Christina, the mylife OmniPod has had only positive impacts on her pregnancy. “My doctor specifically recommended using the mylife OmniPod during pregnancy because it makes dosing much more accurate than with pen therapy. I can also respond much more quickly to changes in my values like the basal rate and I can adjust the carb-to-insulin ratios. With my pregnancy, that is often the case”.

Christina particularly appreciates her newly acquired spontaneity and flexibility, along with the consistent blood glucose levels. Whereas in the past, she had to plan a bike trip, today she can go on one spontaneously. And when she wants to work in the garden, her decision is now based on the weather forecast rather than her blood glucose levels. “Although I need to have rather steady blood glucose levels in order to keep the baby safe, I can be flexible and there is almost nothing I can’t do”.

Christina Stark

“Since I started wearing the mylife OmniPod, I can be more flexible and spontaneous. Plus, I no longer feel sick and my values have markedly improved and stabilised. The pod makes it much easier to cope with the pregnancy”.

The patient stories on this web page reflect personal experiences of single individuals. These experiences may be perceived different from person to person and deviate from others. For information regarding diagnosis and therapy always consult your healthcare professional in charge. Read here for further legal disclaimers.