FreeStyle Libre: Second Time Round!

At lunch time on Saturday, my meter came back with a 3.8. Not satisfied with the result, I walked over to the other meter sitting on my desk, which came back with a 4.7. I decided to do a best of 3 with the second meter, which produced an identical 4.7.

As I picked up the collection of discarded test strips strewn on my desk, it occurred to me that I am using test strips like water at the moment. I mean, I do use test strips like water. But I have never relied on them as much as I have now. And it kind of scares me.

I’m still fine tuning my insulin pump. I’ve made a lot of progress in the past week or two, but I’m not quite there just yet. I’m a perfectionist, I suppose. My diabetes educator has even gone on to suggest as much, having taken a step forward with the insulin pump. I can see it myself, in the great attention to detail I apply towards my basal rates and blood glucose monitoring at the moment.

Yet it scares the hell out of me, that somehow, this might become the new normal. I am scared of relying on glucose monitoring so much, instead of having confidence in my own actions. I am scared that I am becoming too compulsive and obsessive with my diabetes. Most of all, I am scared that I might never get this right.

I’ve recently used my second FreeStyle Libre sensor that I received from Abbott at DX2 Sydney, and naturally, I’ve discovered a few things that I didn’t the first time round. You can find out more about what the FreeStyle Libre is in my first review here.

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The Libre has been a life saver for me at work. I don’t need to walk over to my desk to check my blood glucose levels. I don’t need to worry about how dusty my hands are. It takes a lot of the pressure away from basal testing, where I would ideally stop what I’m doing to check my glucose levels every half hour. It offers a level of convenience that glucose monitoring doesn’t. Not to mention some the weird looks I get!

Most of the time, the results have been extremely accurate – to the nearest 1mmol. However, there have also been times where the accuracy has been difficult to trust.

It’s been hard to rely on the Libre’s readings when my glucose levels are moving significantly, particularly in the first 2 hours after meals. At work, I’ve often felt the need to go and double check with a finger prick before making a decision on a reading of 14 after breakfast.

I’ve also found that the Libre pronounces very small movements in glucose levels. For instance, I remember having an espresso with a tiny amount of milk one morning. I watched my Libre trend upwards to 9 or 10mmol, when in reality the movement wasn’t so big. It did eventually “catch up” with my meter, but I had to remember that the drop did not actually represent my blood glucose dropping.

That being said, I really need this extra flexibility with my blood glucose monitoring at the moment. I recently purchased another two sensors, which will hopefully make things a little easier for me over the next couple of weeks.

I’m just hoping that this reliance on heavy glucose monitoring doesn’t become the new normal. I really want to go back to having more confidence in my own diabetes decisions.

4 thoughts on “FreeStyle Libre: Second Time Round!

  1. I test more with a CGM than i ever did without one. In fact i test maybe 2 x as much. It is crazy i do that, but I sure so.

    I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of June 27, 2016.

  2. This is not the most official link, but it gives an idea – coffee just makes bg rise, even without adding milk or sugar. Especially in the morning, I’ve heard (as in I didn’t read it in a study), it induces your body to release the glycogen that has been stored or made (??) overnight. I usually tell my pump that I’ve had 20-30g carbs for a latte. Thanks for the libre reviews, I really appreciate them 🙂

    1. Thanks for the link, Tina. I have heard this and my educator usually tells me to have a coffee when basal testing for that very reason. Thanks for reading!

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