On a good day diabetics are expected to test their blood sugars a minimum of 4 times a day. Usually before meals and bedtime. To do this you need to use a finger pricker and using a small amount of blood and blood sugar meter will tell you your blood sugar after a few seconds. However, that is on a good day, this increases after exercise, any stress or illnesses and before driving. In addition to this you have to test your blood sugars when you feel either high or low throughout the day.
The NHS funded the FreeStyle Libre (i.e. life changer)!
The FreeStyle Libre is a circle device that is inserted every fortnight into your arm to check your blood sugars. The device is simple to insert after following the instructions and 99% of the time is comfortable and unnoticeable to the user. I have had a few questions from strangers but personally I don’t mind they’re only intrigued.
To use the device you can either scan it with the meter provided or USE YOUR PHONE!!! (I find that so amazing.)
This is an example of a daily graph using my phone. The green area is my aim between 5 to 10, however you can see at certain times my blood sugar rises above and below the target range.
The aim of this device is to help diabetics spot patterns in their blood sugars and make changes to these. The most useful advice I was given was to make small changes at a time. I have often made the mistake of changing my background insulin and carb ratios at the same time and then I struggle to identify the problem areas. Focus on one problem area at a time and make really small changes each time.
I have had the device for 7 months now and I have genuinely found it life changing.
~ Quick scanning
I find it very useful when at work. I am a school teacher and it allows me to check my blood sugar using the meter within seconds and then I can either treat my high or low without having to make a big fuss.
~ Healthier fingers
~ Helps identify patterns
~ A large amount of useful data
~ Lasts 2 weeks
~ Attracts questions
This isn’t always a con but sometimes it is repetitive.
~ Cost (or getting your local hospital to fund it)
As you can see the pros overtake the cons completely! Personally I have found this device life changing and I am proud to tell people about it. I am hoping in 2020 I gain better control using the Libre and I will share my tips along the way.