Freestyling my Bloodsugars with the Libre

I am 37 years old, and was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 4 years ago. In that time I have been doing my own injections and finger blood tests. Every visit I have with my diabetes team or endocrinologist someone asks why I don’t have a pump or gcm yet?

It’s simple really, I resist change at every turn in life. I will continue to resist it until I’m absolutely convinced that it’s a change I should overcome for the greater good. 

Until last year my a1c’s were always great. Always between 5-6mmol. My team would give me praise at all of my appointments as “the best numbers they have in the clinic!”. Even if that was a lie, it made me feel so good and in control of this out of control disease which was likely their goal being the awesome support they are.

Over the last year and a half my numbers have slowly crept up to the 7’s, and then most recently 8.1. If you don’t know what a preferred a1c is, most endocrinologists say 5-7 is good and mine isn’t terrible but it’s certainly going in the wrong direction.

Nothing had changed really, except I am aging of course! Perhaps it’s because of that tricky little bitch called the “Honeymoon” stage of diagnosis. Its different for everyone on how long it lasts.

The Honeymoon phase is the period of time that the pancreas is still kind of working and producing smaller amounts of insulin helping keep sugars down with a lower need for injected insulin. It does eventually crap out and the need for injected insulin will go up.

For me it was a couple years after diagnosis before my sugars seemed to start rising. No matter what I did it was always high. At diagnosis I was 10mmol, which isn’t that horrible for someone who was in DKA and been feeling like a bag of shit for months….years if I really think about it.

I will be adding my diagnosis story here soon, including details of my hospital stay with DKA.

My pancreas had still been producing a very small amount of insulin, hence the ease of my good control for so long, and has now finally kicked the bucket. My pancreas is officially useless.

All of a sudden the beast I thought I had a handle on was starting to misbehave…and piss me off to be honest! I don’t want to put more thought and effort into this disease! At the same time, I had been complacent with some things like exercise. I already had good control with minimal effort so of course I did the bare minimum. 

That is clearly no longer an option if I want to live a long healthy life.

High sugars were becoming my norm no matter what I did. So my endocrinologist pushed me once more to get a better understanding of what is really happening, and when, so we could make some adjustments with my insulin.

He gave me pamphlets on the Freestyle Libre and the Dexcom 6.

In the past my benefits didn’t cover anything beyond my insulin and test strips, until last year they added the Freestyle Libre Flash Glucose Monitoring System. The Dexcom 6 is fairly new to Canada and not covered under most benefits.

So I FINALLY get approved by benefits (and at almost 100 dollars per sensor I could not afford it without benefits) I was excited and gung ho to try out this new du dad!

Aaaaaand it sat on my kitchen table for 2 weeks.

My family would ask “Are you going to try that out today?” to which I’d usually have some reason (ya ok excuse) to not have time to do it. I told you I resist (ok fear) change. I need to give my brain a mental kick in the arse to have a shower most days so I should have known this would be no different and is a much bigger deal.

I purposely put it somewhere I would see a million times a day (I work from home) to help slowly ease myself into doing it. 2, going on 3 weeks now and it is still sitting on my kitchen table.

I know I hate and resist change, but I’m not sure what I am scared of exactly. Worst thing that can happen is I hate it and go back to torturing my fingers. I am scared it will get caught on things and rip off my arm and I bleed out…it could happen.

My boyfriend has offered to help do it, but the more I think about if he fucks it up or hurts me (EVEN if its an accident) I’ll just be mad at him so I should just do it since I’ll have to learn to anyway…and for the sake of our relationship.

Just rip the stupid band aid off you big wimp! Yes I’m talking to myself now, I’ve officially lost it!

FINALLY I just did it! Stopped thinking, got the Freestyle Libre Sensor and Application boxes, sat down and half assed read the instructions and just did it. Less thinking, more doing. That should be my mantra!

I’m such a child, for real. If my child resisted something so hard like I did I’d heavily encourage him to overcome it and see how quickly the discomfort or whatever it is will pass once you do. I still don’t give myself the credit I should I guess to adapt, and adjust. I just don’t freaking like it lol

That is a long winded way of saying i LOVE it…so far, and wish I had jabbed this arm of mine the day I got it all home.

I don’t like to be pushed into things that are scary to me or I’m afraid of the stress I will feel, and be triggered. I spent a large part of the most important first part of life, doing things I didn’t want to do and feeling things I didn’t want to feel. It’s very hard to separate that from my adult reactions sometimes but I get there eventually and faster than the last time I had to do it. 

I am a perpetual work in progress.

It’s a muscle I am building as I age. I know I can do, or overcome just about anything, as my track record for doing just that is pretty darn good. That doesn’t mean I don’t struggle along the way, or sometimes feel like I can’t do whatever it is. 

Stupid brain and the things it tells itself still in protection mode…always in protection mode hoping it will go away.

Once I overcame all that bullshit, then the sharp jab to the back of my arm! Geeez! Probably the first time is the worst I’ll admit…well I’ll hope lol I mean I have definitely felt worse things in my life and the pain did subside after an hour or so. 

I still felt a little discomfort the next day but didn’t last long. To be honest I’ve barely noticed it! I slept through the night and it was still there in the morning.

I’ve noticed that the sensor is about 2 to 3mmol less than my finger tests. So if I’m sitting at 7.0mmol with the sensor, the finger test is about 9.0 to 9.5mmol. I’m not sure if this is normal but if it’s consistent I can adjust my range in the sensor to take that into consideration.

Seeing the rising and falling trends is pretty awesome. The arrows on the reader or app, as well as the graph charts that show trends over a period of time it has a lot of information.

I’ve already learned that my steel cut oats hit my blood stream a lot faster than I had originally thought and should be taking my insulin a bit sooner. Things like this will be a game changer I can already see.

AND! It has a freaking app for I’m guessing most smartphones on the market. Just one more thing I can do on my phone furthering my phone addiction lol but really pretty freaking cool if you ask me. Scanning my sensor with my phone, just awesome.

I did 23 scans on my first day, obsessed!!

I did some reading in the forums and saw many complaints that the sensors were falling off, but the manufacturer has adjusted the glue and has corrected the problem. So far so good for me, no issues and no need for extra adhesives to keep it on.

I really can’t wait to gather more information as I use the Freestyle Libre longer giving me a better picture of areas I could improve or adjust (with the help of my endocrinologist of course!)

Showering was as per usual, other than just being aware that the sensor was there and not knock it accidently with my loofah. So far it hasn’t affected the adhesive either.

While it’s still pretty new I’m really loving it so far. As someone who resisted the change in the first place I think I was hard to convince this change would be worth it from finger testing, but I will usually admit when I am wrong and I definitely was.

My fingers are going to be SO happy!!

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