The Button and the Reader

Let’s get one thing straight.  I hate diabetes.  I was diagnosed years ago as a Type II diabetic, and I’ve been fighting the disease ever since.

And one of the things I detest about diabetes is the constant “finger sticks,” pricking my finger and dripping blood on a test strip, then checking my numbers against a monitor.  Sometimes you think you’re doing everything right … and the meter says you’re way off.  Sometimes you just don’t want to look at the meter afterward.  And then you get frustrated.

A few weeks ago, I visited my endocrinologist for an appointment.  Again we discussed treatment options and such.  As one of the technicians took a sample of my blood, I noticed that he had a little coin-sized disc attached to his bare arm.

“What’s that?” I asked.

“This is how I test my diabetes.”

And I’m thinking … where the hell do you stick the needle to drip on the test strip?

“I can get you one of these, if you think it will help you monitor your diabetes,” he smiled.

Oh … kay …

And thus begins my new adventures in healthcare.

I am now using a device called a FreeStyle Libre blood glucose monitor.  The product, manufactured by Abbott Laboratories, allows patients to monitor their blood sugar levels digitally.

I attach the button to my arm and the button stays there for ten days.  During those ten days, I can use the reader to check my levels – all I have to do is wave the reader over the button like one waves a credit card over a reader.  One beep and you’re done.

Essentially … I’ve gone bionic.

I’ve tested the system out for the past two weeks.  After a few moments where I saw my blood sugar go higher than Pete Weber’s career bowling average, I was able to tune my meals and exercise to fit into the patterns of highs and lows.  And all the data can be downloaded from the reader so that my endocrinologist has a better idea of how I’m doing and what improvements are necessary.

It’s an interesting feeling … being able to get my blood sugar without piercing my finger every other minute.  That, and just knowing that I can see more clearly where my highs and lows are occurring – and, in essence, how to make sure I can read my own internal senses to match up.  Mental biometrics, shall we say.

Besides, anything that helps me stay healthy and alive is a good thing, right?

FTC NOTICE: At no time did I request, nor did I receive, any special compensation or benefit from Abbott Laboratories or my endocrinologist or pharmacy for the review in this blog.  All comments and reviews in this post are unsolicited and true testimonials.