I was 11 years old when I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. It was a day I’ll never forget, because it was the day I started having to inject myself with needles and prick my fingers six times a day to test my blood sugar levels.
I’m now approaching my 21st year with diabetes. If you do the math, that’s approximately 46,000 finger pricks – six times per day, every single day – since my initial diagnosis.
For me, finger pricking was never really a huge issue. The bigger issue was the constant fluctuation in my blood sugar level, and never knowing if I was in for a low blood sugar episode or a spike. Having diabetes can feel like you’re always playing catch-up, as you try to balance your teetering blood sugar with insulin in order to minimize any potential long-term complications.
Then along came Libre
I was first introduced to the new FreeStyle Libre glucose monitoring system in October 2017. For me, it was truly a game-changer. Not only do I no longer have to prick my fingers, but the daily struggle to keep my blood sugar within a safe range has been virtually eliminated.
The FreeStyle Libre reads and stores all of my blood sugar data, and it even shows blood sugar trends. Whereas finger pricking only provided a snapshot of my blood sugar at any given moment, Libre shows me my current blood sugar level, what levels I was at previously and the direction my sugar levels are currently trending. For the first time since I was 11, I can finally get ahead of my blood sugar levels, correcting dips or spikes before they occur. It also means I hardly ever have to worry about reaching dangerous levels.
Adjusting my insulin has become much easier, and I’ve been rewarded with an improvement in my A1C (average blood glucose level) within only six weeks. Personally, I’ve never had such consistently normal blood sugar levels, and the effect on my overall well-being has been dramatic.
As for the FreeStyle Libre sensor itself, it’s small, unobtrusive and can hardly be felt while I’m wearing it. I’ve also found the adhesive to be excellent; in fact, I’ve sometimes had a hard time getting them off they stick so well!
The sensors are waterproof, sweat-resistant and incredibly durable, and they hold up well in both hot and cold conditions.
The Libre has significantly improved my quality of life and has virtually freed me from the daily struggles of diabetes management. For as long as I have access to it, I will certainly be using it!
If you have any questions about your diabetes management or the FreeStyle Libre system, please talk to your Copeman Healthcare physician, family health nurse or certified diabetes educators.