Pricks, pricks and more pricks
One of the worse things about type 1 diabetes is the regular finger pricks we have to endure. Upon waking, before breakfast, before driving, before lunch, before exercise, before driving, before dinner and before bed. That’s a standard day, throw in a hypo or 2 and the number of finger pricks can mount up to 10+ quite easily. We put 10 holes in our fingers, everyday forever. I will leave you to do the maths on how many in a lifetime, but in my 18 months of doing it I have totalled over 6500 finger pricks so far. It is no wonder so many people do not look after their diabetes the way we should do.
What other choice do we have
We can just go by how we feel, that’s the way many type 1’s manage their blood sugars. I personally feel that is playing Russian roulette with your own life, madness in my view.
There are sensible alternatives to pricking your fingers, you could go down the CGM route. Although not cheap this provides a welcome respite from blood testing. At present the costs are around £50 per two weeks of CGM use. Now to a non diabetic this may sound a lot, but I guarantee they would pay it if it meant they didn’t have to make their fingers bleed up to 140 times, pretty big motivator in my book.
At present in the UK there are 2 brands which are popular in the marketplace, Freestyle Libre and Dexcom.
Now the Dexcom is a true CGM as it alarms when you levels go too low, whereas the Libre use flash glucose technology, in other words it only gives you a reading when you scan. To me this is not a problem, still knocks spots off of pricking my fingers.
I have only used the Libre so far, mainly due to the start up costs of the Dexcom. Although when evened out over a years usage the costs between the 2 are very similar.
Please do check out both websites and make your own mind up which product is most suited to your needs.
Please keep an eye out for my upcoming blog on the Freestyle Libre and my how to guide on getting started
Take care and prick anywhere