Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pod Guts (hehehe)

File this under "understanding a thing gives you a sense of power over it." Or, whatever you want to file it under. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these pictures are pretty self-explanatory. If, however, you require a few more words, or would like a laugh, the story is below.

The Traitorous Pod which is flashing its innards in an unseemly way. Wouldn't YOU want to take it apart? Here you mostly see the "motherboard", but can also see the cannula sticking out of the right side; the four small batteries lined up across the top; the reservior fill port on the left side; and the reservior along the bottom.

We popped the case open using a small common screwdriver.

A better view of the insides; the reservior and pump mechanism on the left; the needle that injects the cannula in the center (and spring under wonder that "pop" is so loud when it injects); the batteries lined up on the right.

The reservior, minus the pump mechanism, and the tube which delivers to the cannula. The pump part is basically screw-driven, kind of like many garage door openers. One small twist lowers the plunger a tiny bit, forcing insulin into the tube.

We think this is the wireless device that communicates with the PDM. Didn't seem to have any other function.

At this point, BooBoo Bear pretty much went to town ripping the Pod apart into it's smallest components. He needed the "micro chip" for his robot project. Then, this morning, he created rainbow colored ectoplasmic goo using one of our science kits, lotion, and tempura paints, and filled the Pod casing with it. I'm not sure what it's going to be used for, but I have a suspicion I should keep an eye on it.

The Story Behind the Pictures:

Yesterday afternoon, we had another Pod Failure. Yeah, I know, you’re thinking, “ANOTHER Pod Failure?” I’m sure, when the OmniPod representative told us “You’re going to have some Pod failures in the beginning until you get it all figured out,” she didn’t really mean this many Pod failures. But, what the heck. They’re being popped onto a BOY!, and, well, there ain’t a medical adhesive devised that can stand up to a 9-year old BOY! flying down a Redneck Slip-N-Slide.

But, in all fairness, this particular Pod Failure, as far as I can tell, had nothing to do with BOY! activity. I’m absolutely positive there was NO Redneck Slip-N-Slide yesterday. He was hardly even outside yesterday because it was too bloody hot and humid. So, the fact that this Pod fell off, less than ten hours after its initial adhesion, well, that can’t possibly be our fault. I’m pretty sure.

At any rate, T-Bear came to me and showed me his site, which didn’t look good. The medical adhesion stuff that is supposed to hold the Pod snug against his skin…well, it wasn’t. In fact, it looked like it had decided on a full-scale Secession from the Union, and was doing its best to depart entirely from the State of T-Bear. It was kind of gnarly, actually. But, it was one of those moments when you have to allow your initial reaction of “ugh!” to Slip Quietly Into That Good Night, put on your Big Mamma Panties, and do your best to respond in a calm, comforting and completely logical manner.

“Hmm”, I said, “looks like it’s time for a Pod change.”

Never mind the fact that I had emptied the last vial of room temperature insulin into said Defecting Pod that morning, and only had refrigerated vials on hand to refill with (injecting a Pod with refrigerated insulin can be problematic…it really should be “room temperature”). Never mind the fact that I had to pop a vial of refrigerated insulin into my bra to warm it up before I could initiate an Emergency Pod Change (quickest way I’ve found to warm a vial of insulin to room temperature), which is really kind of uncomfortable. Never mind the fact that it’s the end of the day, and Papa Bear’s been gone all day on a home improvement project, and I’m kind of not at my best at said moment. But, it’s time for a Pod change, so that’s what we do. Thank goodness Pod changes are so incredibly quick and simple. Anyone can do it, even a pooped out mom.

But, then, I’m sitting there, looking at this Failed-and-Traitorous Pod, with its medical adhesive backing pulled away, and it’s flashing its innards at me like a co-ed who’s had a few too many beers. And, I’m thinking, “I’ve never seen the inside of a Pod before…I wonder what makes it tick...” And, I remember that I’ve got three BOYS! who like figuring things out. And, one BOY! in particular who can spend hours dismantling household appliances to figure out how they work. Hmmmm.

“Hey, T-bear!”, I bellow down the hall (because I really don't want to get up at that particular moment), “Wanna see what’s inside of a Pod?”

Three sets of feet immediately come pounding down the hall into the family room.

“Yeah!” they all shout in unison.

So, we did.

And, that's how we found out what’s inside a Pod.

BTW, I’m pretty sure we violated some FTC or FDA or ETC regulation, but, what the hell…it was educational. So, don't tell, okay? ;)


  1. Cool Magool!
    An excellent way to recycle.

  2. Funny!!! We took one apart too. My husband wanted to see if those batteries would work in his TI calculator. They were the wrong size but it was worth a try!!

    BTW - we lost 2 pods today! Swimming! Grrrr. Anyway - just thought I would let you know since I just put the pods on I syringed that insulin right back out and used it in the new pod - 2X!

    I am NOT wasting any of that life saving, clear, band-aid smelling, liquid!!!

    Better luck with the next pod!! :)

    Boys are hard on them - fo sho!

  3. My daughter was just asking yesterday if we could take one apart so she could figure out how it gives her medicine. I told her we would take one apart and see it.

    (Great minds think alike!)

  4. We've taken them apart too. Caleb's school nurse was inquisitive and we dismantled one for her as well. The batteries are completely reusable. I know a Podder who dismantles all his Pods and offers the batteries on Freecycle. He pays the shipping to get them to people. I think they may be compatible with hearing aids, or maybe I remember that wrong.

  5. We're planning to participate in Insulet's recycling program, so the rest of the Pods can be reused. Seems like such a waste of expensive technology not to use as many parts again as possible :) - Mo

  6. I know this is late, but we realized that the insulin warms up to room temp faster if you draw it into the syringe and warm that up, since it's smaller. Probably not going to want to put THAT in your bra, since it's all pointy and sharp, but if it happens again and time is of the essence (which is how we ALWAYS seem to open new bottles at our house!)- it might be worth a shot. :) Pun totally unintended.