I still cannot believe I took the PLUNGE!
Four years with Type 1 Diabetes and I have been perfectly content with my routine: traditional multiple daily injections, and my poke + metered glucose system. No CGM, no pump, no problem.
"So why now?," you may ask....
While I am naturally resistant to (ALL) change, I have consistently observed fellow type 1 diabetics confess their unfailing love for their device and found myself intrigued.
"Maybe one day, but I am perfectly content with my routine. As the saying goes, why fix something if it isn’t broke?"
But the Freestyle Libre continued to intrigue me because it's slim & discrete. It seemed helpful, less invasive, and less intense then its cousin—Dexcom.
When it comes to any choice in my life, I typically attempt as much research & debate as possible before making my final decision.
So after 6 months of debating, 3 weeks at CVS, and another 2 weeks in my closet here I am with my newest friend: The Freestyle Libre.
My 48 Hour Review:
The Insertion Process:
Initially it comes across more confusing then it is. I think this goes for anything foreign and new to us though, right? Even looking at the box seemed daunting to me.
Once you get things opened and read the (simple) step by step guide, you will be connected and on your Libre way in about 4 minutes (this includes my sweating, overthinking, shaking, and breathing sessions).
Pain was my biggest worry. The idea of a sensor (with a needle) shooting into my arm seemed painful.
But it wasn’t, I didn’t feel a thing!
Sensor Thoughts/My Usage So Far:
It’s such a treat to give my fingers a break.
4 years of poking my fingers 8-12 times a day has been exhausting and painful.
Reaching into my purse to grab the reader and scanning my arm is refreshing and a bit mind blowing (yay technology). Sometimes I’ll check my blood sugar 5-6 times in a row—just because I can!
In regards to better blood sugar awareness, I feel it’s helping.
These past few years I have worked really hard to listen to my body and stick to a solid routine of clean (low-ish carb) eating which has kept my blood sugars (not perfect) pretty balanced and happy.
This discipline (along with logging trends) has been imperative in my blood sugar management and understanding how exercise, food, stress, hormones, etc. have an effect on my blood sugar levels. If I had a meter earlier in my diagnosis, I worry I may have used it as a crutch.
One really cool thing about the Freestyle Libre is how it shows if you are trending up, down, or steady. For the most part, I can feel this or problem solve my last dose + meal + activity and adjust accordingly, but it’s been lovely to have the extra support and clarity.
Things to be Mindful of:
- It takes 12 hours to “warm up” post insertion—oh the anticipation! I suggest you do it towards the evening so you can wake up and begin your new adventure first thing.
- I trended high the first day post insertion. I directly link this to minor inflammation and it being an “addition” to my body. While it’s tiny, you would be surprised how sensitive and reactive our bodies can be to the slightest change.
- The Libre is considered a "flash glucose monitor" as in you have to ASK for the information versus it constantly feeding data to your device like the continuous glucose monitor (Dexcom). You scan/swipe the reader to the sensor for your reading.
- The Libre measures interstitial fluid, which has a delay for -+15 minutes from the blood measurement. Example: It can say you are LOW, but you just corrected for the low. If you know your body & keep this factor in mind, this isn’t an issue but can be confusing and stressful for some.
- The sensor automatically stops working after 10 days. I wish it lasted longer as I am a bit nervous to take it off and re-apply in the same region. I assume with time this can be painful as scar tissue builds up but I’ll keep you posted!
Overall, I am pleasantly surprised and really looking forward to having this sensor for my big trip to Asia next week! Less finger pokes and less digging around for my strips + meter + lancet, will allow me to be more present and free amidst my adventuring through Japan & Thailand.
Change can be scary and I resist it more then I'd like to admit.
But it's necessary friends.
Whether it's small or big, seek out and step into something that intrigues your soul! Maybe it's your diet, a new workout, or.... a blood sugar sensor--I encourage you to try it! What's stopping you from a new page in your story?
I'll leave you with a beautiful quote from one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller:
I want to keep my soul fertile for the changes, so things keep getting born in me, so things keep dying when it is time for things to die. I want to keep walking away from the person I was a moment ago, because a mind was made to figure things out, not to read the same page recurrently.
Stay tuned for more Freestyle Libre chronicles! Time will tell if this is something I will stick with for the long run.....
Questions or concerns? Ask away!