2019-02-21

My first Borg implant

Actually, just a Freestyle Libre glucose sensor!

As you will know I am diabetic, but I am reasonably lucky at this point that whilst I don't make enough insulin, I only have to have one long term injection a day. This is, in some ways, a mixed blessing, but I would rather not have an injection with every meal.

When I have a good routine I don't have to check my glucose levels, but I am losing weight (lost 19kg so far) and this is causing a bit of fun and games. I have been lowering my carbohydrate intake and my insulin but I do need to keep things in balance. On top of all of that, exercising is helping and means I am lowering my insulin even more to avoid hypos (low blood sugar) all the time. I was managing to have high glucose and low glucose, both of which are a problem. I was getting fed up pricking my finger to be honest.

So I got a Freestyle Libre glucose monitor. It monitors interstitial glucose levels so apparently has a lag of 10-15 minutes compared to blood sugar glucose, but it is monitoring all the time, and allows me to see how my glucose levels change during the day. It is easy to just scan from my phone by holding it to my arm. It has a memory of 8 hours (I am surprised not longer) so you need to scan at most every 8 hours to not have a gap in the readings, but that is not really an issue.

I am not really the typical user for these. They are also not cheap (over £60 for a sensor that lasts 14 days). Normally these would be used by people that need insulin with every meal. In my case I am trying to make sure my insulin levels are right for a daily dose, but also trying to work out when, and how much, exercise works well to keep my glucose levels in check. Also working out if, and when, and how much Gliclazide I need to take. Having this near instant feedback from the sensor, and the graphs, is ideal. Hopefully I will not need to keep using them as I get in to a more sensible routine.

Basically, at this point, I need to go for a walk after each meal. Doing that, and taking a tablet with my main meal, should keep my glucose sensible all day. But it is a learning exercise for me, and I have only been using this for a few days. I managed to have a level of 12 mmol/l for 9 hours after having a pizza and not going for a walk, but at least I know without having to prick my finger.

I thought it would be uncomfortable to be honest, but not had any trouble sleeping on it. I did catch my arm on a door frame at one point, but otherwise it seems pretty easy to cope with. It is waterproof. I am not sure how easy it will be to get off at the end of the 14 days, I'll see.

Losing weight is good, but definitely causing changes, not just with diabetes. I have actually had to stop taking blood pressure tablets! You do have to be careful changing things like this (and I would suggest asking your doctor/nurse). I reduced dosage slowly and monitored blood pressure carefully - but basically I was getting dizzy when I stood up. Blood pressure of 100 over 60 is a tad low. I now have sensible blood pressure with no medication, which is a side effect I did not expect!

I also did not realise that there seems to be a big market for stickers people put on the sensor! Crazy.

4 comments:

  1. They are great, however beware of very low or very high readings, as the sensor will often over exaggerate the readings. They are actually around 45 mins behind your actual bm readings, but good all the same. I find the best thing is the arrow which shows if you are heading up or down, which was never possible with a normal bm test.
    I also have mine in my thigh, as I frequently knocked mine on door frames, causing it to either partially come unstuck, or completely, however they do not support it being applied on the leg.
    I have 2x long acting and 3x short acting injections per day, type 1 since 1989 :(

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seven of Nine aka Cockburn (pronounced "Coburn") 𓂺Thursday, 28 February 2019 at 11:21:00 GMT

    Impressive gadget. I believe there will be more integration of human sub-routines and digital computers in the future. We can expand our capabilities exponentially by integrating with other devices.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Try this radical alteration to your diet.
    https://drgreger.org/products/how-not-to-die-cookbook

    Simon

    ReplyDelete
  4. Been using it a few years myself, and it really does make life so much easier. A few tips:

    1) It's hell to take off in the first few days if there's a fault, but usually comes off with a bit of a tug and no pain at the end of the 14 days.

    2) Doors and even t-shirts can rip it off with surprisingly little force. Putting some transparent adhesive dressing over it makes it more secure. There are also some strap contraptions on ebay that look like they'd do the job, but I think they'd annoy me way too much.

    3) Dynarex or Zoff adhesive remover wipes are your friend. They get the icky adhesive residue off after you remove the sensor, and are also useful in general.

    ReplyDelete

Comments are moderated purely to filter out obvious spam, but it means they may not show immediately.