Living with the Libre – 10 months on

By | 20 December, 2018
More copyright infringing photographs stolen from Abbott

More copyright-infringing stock photography stolen from Abbott

Back in February I became at least 10% more cyborg with the addition of a spanky, new Libre to my arm. After two weeks of using it, I wrote up my thoughts divided into the good stuff and the bad stuff.

It’s now been ten months (give or take a week or so either way) since I was kitted out with everyone’s second favourite flash glucose monitoring system, so “how’s it all going, Tim, have your views changed since February?” I hear you all cry.

Well, the Libre has become very much part of my everyday diabetic life.

I miss the damned thing when one gets destroyed in a Saturday morning DIY accident and I have to wait until Monday for a new one as I’ve forgotten, yet again, to make sure I had sufficient spares in stock.

Returning to ye olde finger-pricking just feels like a retrograde step back in time. It’s much like having your spaceship breaking down and having to spend a few days back on Earth with Ug the Caveman prodding forlornly at a stone wheel wondering how it all works. This, by the way, is a metaphor. I don’t really own a spaceship. But that’s what I would say…

Anyway, I’ve become used to checking my blood glucose 19 million times a day, just because I can, and I suspect my control is better than before. Rather than being guilt-tripped by the peaks and troughs shows on the screen, I shrug and try and get it right next time. Though I can see some people might be tormented by trying in vain to get a nice, consistent flat line. Like Sisyphus and his boulder, I think flat-lining is an impossible task. So lets just get on with life and use the data to make better decisions. So there.

Me in Verona. The sharp-eyed will notice the giveaway "pump-bulge"

Me in Verona. The sharp-eyed will notice the giveaway “pump-bulge”

But it’s not all good; I still have problems with itchiness. Though it seems to vary, my poor sensitive skin is still tormented by a reaction to the Libre’s sticky stuff. I’ve tried barrier cream and hypo-allergenic Skin Tac; the former does nothing, the latter seems to help a bit.

The Skin Tac does however, seem to keep the damned thing on. Try as I might, I kept sweating it off. This sounds icky and you’re right. While I spent a happy holiday wandering around Verona it was bloody hot and when it’s hot I sweat.

My record in Italy was killing off a sensor within four days; about which I’m still quite proud.

I think it indicates that our fiends at Abbott still have some way to go in making a perfect Libre-glue and I hope, in time, they will find the perfect goo. Equally, reliability still pains me. it’s rare for a sensor to last the full 14 days but perhaps that’s just me.

But this is all nit-picking. The Libre is a step forward and a very useful addition to the pancreatically-challenged hoards’ armoury. The itching really annoys me but would I do without it? Nope.

Category: Kit & equipment Tags:

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Abbott's Libre flash glucose monitor.

5 thoughts on “Living with the Libre – 10 months on

  1. Antony

    Hi Tim,

    I’m on the FreeStyle Libre too. I really related to “Returning to ye olde finger-pricking just feels like a retrograde step back in time.”

    I’m only a couple of months in to using it, but finding it great for increasing my control of my blood sugar. However I’m still waiting on a Hba1c test to see if it’s made a measurable difference.

    Let’s hope it has. Thanks for blogging,

    Antony

    Reply
    1. Tim Post author

      Good aren’t they? Anyway, I’m also waiting for my first A1C after using it for ages – it’ll be interesting to see if there’s a difference. Watch this space…

      Reply
      1. Antony

        I managed to get my Hba1c down from 98 to 58 in under a year. Still high, but no where near as high as it used to be.

        Have to say that it wasn’t just because of the Libre, although that’s really helped. I have also seen a Dietician, learned to count carbs and do an carbs to insulin ratio. Now I need to reduce the carbs I eat and exercise more to get into the normal Hba1c range.

        As always a work in progress. Like you I don’t stress if it isn’t a straight line, partly because I know that stress increases my blood sugar, so getting stressed would be counter to what I am trying to achieve.

        Antony

        Reply

Speak your brains