EASTON, Md. – Caroline Welte, a 14-year-old from Easton, is grateful after learning she is the first TidalHealth Peninsula Regional patient to receive the OmniPod 5 hybrid closed-loop insulin pump.
“I was pretty excited, a little surprised,” Caroline said.
Caroline was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was almost 3 years old. She says the difference between type 1 and type 2 is that with type 1 there is no cure, but there is treatment. As for type 2, it basically says you can get rid of it.
“Type 2 is often when people overwork their pancreas and it doesn’t work properly anymore because it’s just about under too much stress,” Welte said. “With type 1, my pancreas doesn’t make insulin; I have to get some insulin out of a bottle and stick it in a device that will basically deliver the hormone to me.
Now, with OmniPod 5, it might be easier for her to live with type 1 diabetes. This device communicates with the continuous glucose monitor, Dexcom, predicting a patient’s glucose level. “And, from there, the OmniPod will look at it and see, maybe you’re a little low and it’ll give me less insulin; or if I go high, it’ll give more insulin,” Welte said.
It’s the automatic adjustment that makes the difference for her. Before, Caroline checked her blood sugar every two hours, did calculations and gave herself the amount of insulin she needed. “With the Dexcom, I don’t have to do manual checks like this 10 times a day, and then with the OmniPod 5, I don’t have to do so many corrections,” Welte said.
And it’s not just Caroline who feels the excitement of this new tool, her mother Samantha too.
“We saw the press release that said it had finally been approved for children by the FDA and we said okay, we have to get it; how do we get it, what do we do; who do we call? said Samantha Welte.
Samantha said the OmniPod 5 gives her daughter an extra level of protection, while freeing up some of her worries as a parent. “It was always scary; children with type 1 diabetes die at night when their blood sugar drops, or they are in very serious condition when they are active, or maybe they have not eaten enough or have taken too much insulin,” Samantha said. .
Caroline added that now that the OmniPod 5 is out, she hopes the technology will advance even further to help diabetes.