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.

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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.

4 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,


    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…


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