Trying Out New Tech

First off, thank you everyone for your support with my blog post from last month. It was great hearing everyone’s support of my 5 year milestone of staying off of medication as a type 1 diabetic. I appreciated all the kind words.

The Freestyle Libre

Last summer when I had my annual endocrinologist appointment, he mentioned some new technology on the market that I might be interested in. The Freestyle Libre (“FL”) was the key item we discussed at our meeting. The FL is essentially a short-term sensor that diabetics can use that is a continuous blood-sugar monitor for a 10 day period.

In late 2018, I finally made my way down to the pharmacy and picked up my first set up sensors. It wasn’t cheap, but actually cost less than my endocrinologist told me. I can’t remember exactly, but the continuous monitor was a little over $100 and then I received a 3 pack of the sensors for around $75. All-in-all, not too bad.

I wasn’t overly worried about my blood sugars, but I was intrigued to use this device in order to provide me with a greater amount of information about the foods I eat and their effects on my blood sugars.

Even since I was diagnosed, I really only test my blood sugars once per day first thing in the morning before I eat (fasting blood sugar). This reading typically is between 95 and 125, so it can be quite volatile at times. On days that I have high readings, it was always tough to pinpoint which foods exactly were causing the spike.

The FL now gave me the opportunity to test a variety of foods and get real time information about their effects on my blood sugars. This was definitely worth a shot to experiment with the device.

Installation

Putting on the device was surprisingly fairly painless. The sensor goes on the back of your arm in the tricep area. It just sticks right on there. You can take showers, workout, or pretty much do anything in the ordinary course of a day and it doesn’t budge. It is a little odd to have on, but you get used to it after a while. It also made my arm feel a little odd for the first day or so, but that eventually went away.

Also, one of the sensors rejected after I installed it on my arm, which was annoying. So, I had to rip it out right after I put it on. The other two sensors worked fine though.

Great New Information

All-in-all, I really enjoyed this device. The flexibility was great. The sensors last for 10 days, which is a good amount of time to help test out a variety of foods. The sensors gave me a tremendous amount of information regarding how specific foods affected my blood sugar.

To test certain foods/drinks, I would test my BS before I ate, then 1 hour after I ate, and then 2 hours after I ate. I’m not sure of the key times to test, but I think this provided good guidance. I also was able to test out certain smaller items like unsweetened ice tea, coffee, gum, or smaller items like that which I was always curious of how they affected my BS.

Some Samples

I put below a list of the meals I tested during my time with the sensor on. As you can see, it’s pretty easy to identify which meals I should avoid. Many items were meals from restaurants that I’ve always eaten but was never quite sure how they impacted my blood sugars.

FL Blood Sugar Tracker

One great thing about the FL is the flexibility. I can put a sensor on whenever I want. I will likely try and use the sensor probably 1 time per month or so to continue getting more information about the foods that I eat.

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