Changing the Freestyle Libre Sensor

Today is sensor changing day. Technically it is not due to end for another 21 hours but my current sensor is coming off and the readings aren’t that great because I think the filament is maybe bent or coming out. That’s what happens when you catch it on a door frame if you are not careful

I decided I would do a video of changing it. Not so much as a how to as there are a ton of better ones out there then mine but just more of a “day in the life” kinda thing. I admit it was hard. I am really self conscious about my weight and was self conscious about making a video of myself but I did it anyways. Sorry about the quality.

Before we get started on the video here is a look at my diabetes case (if you are on the main page the custom excerpt strips the image, click the post to see images and videos):


Starting from the very left we have a Tegaderm then some test strips for my Libre itself in case I need to test my actual blood. Followed by a SkinTac wipe and 2 alcohol wipes. I keep those in what is technically my waste pouch area which I don’t actually use for waste, I have a old test strips bottle that works well for that

Next inside the zippered part I have 4 or 5 needles, my old glucose meter which I keep in case and some lancets for my old lancing device, next I have the lancing device as well as my Basaglar insulin pen. Bottom right is a test strip bottle from my old meter which right now has some left over unused test strips but when they are gone I will just use it for waste and above that is my Libre Reader. The case itself is the Kate Universal Supply Case  which is $24.99 CDN before taxes and shipping. I absolutely love and recommend it.

And now to the videos of me changing my sensor, since I can’t figure out how to merge them there is two videos:

I completely forgot to do another video when I activated it. We were out so I just activated it. All there is to it is pressing the on button on the reader and scanning the new sensor a message pops up asking if you would like to start a new sensor with the options yes and no (which is nice if you sometimes have the old and new one at the same time if you like to let the new one settle for 24 hours so you don’t accidentally activate it too soon), after selecting yes it asks you to scan again and then starts counting down an hour. After the hour is up you are ready to go and can start scanning


Insulin & Glucose Monitoring

I am such a baby sometimes. I hate pain. I hate pricking my fingers to test my blood sugar, hence the Freestyle Libre FGM (Flash Glucose Monitor) on my arm. There have been points in my journey so far with learning how to control my blood sugar levels where I have literally had panic attacks when trying to or thinking of checking my blood sugar  with my Contour Next One or giving myself an insulin injection. It’s not so bad now that I am only taking Basaglar once a day and only need to test when my blood sugar levels are changing rapidly  or don’t match how I feel and otherwise can just scan my arm.

When checking my blood sugar with my blood glucose meter instead of the FGM I found it quite painful each and every time I tested. My fingers were a mess as I imagine any diabetics who doesn’t use a FGM or CGM would be and who tests often. They were bruised and sore and sometimes when I pricked my finger and got no blood and so I would squeeze it would not only come out of the hole I just punctured but also sometimes out of old ones as well. It got so painful I would skip checking and wait until I felt really horrible before checking which is why I decided I wanted to see if Manulife would cover the Freestyle Libre and asked my doctor about it after his receptionist who uses it told me about it. Now when I have to use my old machine to test since I do it only occasionally I find I’m not as hesitant and somehow it doesn’t seem to hurt as much.

As for insulin injections I find that they really hurt almost all the time. If the needle itself doesn’t hurt going in then the insulin burns like hell when injecting it. Very rarely is it pain free. I only inject in my stomach because that was the only place they taught me to. I watched videos on my own of injecting into the outer thigh and in the back of the arms but to be honest I am not flexible enough for the back of my arms and am terrified it will hurt, which it might not since out of the 8 or 9 Libre sensors I have applied only the last one I did a few days ago hurt or bled, it did both. The other ones not one of them hurt or bled more then a tiny bit under the sensor. As far as the outer thigh I tried one leg once and thought I was going to pass out from the pain. Then again I am a bit of a wuss.

In the stomach the injections hurt most of the time but at least I am used to it hurting and know what to expect. They welt which is likely the Dermatogrphia according to the endocrinologist I was seeing and the allergy specialist. At least it didn’t end up being an allergy to the insulin like they initially feared. They also bruise often and I get large lumps. I am chubby around the waist area which I was told would lessen the pain but it doesn’t really seem to. The insulin I am on I read can burn a lot more then some of the others. It’s kind of hit or miss.

Another issue I find is I am really unsure about dosing and when to increase or decrease my insulin. My doctor started me on 50 units of Basaglar because I was on 60 of twice a day Levemir (I don’t remember how much in the morning and how much at night but together it was 60 units a day) and because of the welts which would itch something crazy so he switched me to Basaglar. After reading horror stories of it not working or major reactions to it or it burning like crazy which it can sometimes I wasn’t overly enthused but it does seem to have worked.

It worked to well at first, 50 units was too much. I think the 60 of Levemir was too much as well. I was told as a Type 2 diabetic I would require more insulin then a Type 1 typically as a Type 1 diabetic especially younger Type 1 diabetics are not insulin resistant like I am that they just don’t produce it and that I likely do but am resistant to it and therefor need more because my pancreas either doesn’t create enough or that it was not being utilized by my body correctly (or something like that). It’s all rather confusing to me.

Either way. I am still unsure of dosing. I decreased it myself as no one really told me to but I knew it was too much when I was having 3-4 or more hypo’s each day. I was going down as low as 2.4 mmol which is way too low and was frequently under 4.0 mmol. I find anything under 4.5-4.7 and I start getting symptoms of a low. Not sure if that is right or not but that is what it seems so I have decreased it down to 32 units each night before bed. I did this on my own by decreasing 2 units each night if I had 2 days in a row with more then 1 low. I just googled it to be honest. I mentioned this to my family doctor and he said 32 was fine and agreed to decrease or increase it by 2 units if I went to low to often (I didn’t count it if I did something stupid like forgetting to eat, etc). And up 2 units if I had mornings in a row that I was over 6 mmol when I woke up.

Right now I am staying mostly between 4.3 and 9.0. But I would like to try and get the 9.0 which is mainly after meals or if I snacked a bit to much down by controlling what I eat better and exercising more. I know that exercising which I admit I don’t do much of could change things more because I may be lower overall if I get more exercise throughout the day which I am by walking more.

I find it frustrating that I am not getting much support by my doctors. I don’t know if I have too many or too little people helping me honestly sometimes I think too many and to much is getting lost between them with no or little communication or if it is to little because the Endo is no longer following me since I am not pregnant and am where she wanted to get me to before getting pregnant so now she does not want to see me again until I am pregnant which is a whole other ball game and a whole other post for another day. If you are new to my blog and don’t know you can look back through some of my TTC posts. Even though there is more to it then what I have blogged since well it’s been a year and a half since my post a few days ago and the one before it.

Right now I feel overwhelmed with information I have gotten from reputable sources (I don’t look at the others I go to sites like the Mayo Clinic or the American, British or Canadian Diabetes associations and some of the other well known better sourced sites) as well as information I have gotten from support groups on facebook and blogs which I know to take with a grain of salt and to research and check with my doctor or pharmacist who is a diabetes educator and was trying to help me sort through some of my confusion this winter and last summer when I first started insulin.

I started out with NovoRapid first 3 times a day (meals) around this time last year and then they added in Novolin NPH twice a day and then they switched kinds and at one point dropped the NPH and just did the Novorapid again and then the added Levimir and said that I was controlling it enough and with the issues I was having with the welts and itchyness they said I could just do the Levemir and then at some point in the last 3 months switched that to the Basaglar.

I am happy with the Basaglar and hope that I do not have to start taking the NovoRapid again (the only one I do not have a reaction to) but I guess only time will tell. In 3 months I have to have my A1C repeated and if it’s high I will have to go back on it again. So hopefully I can figure out the eating right, the exercising, and the insulin and glucose monitoring. I would have thought after a year of insulin and 18 months of glucose monitoring I would have figured it out by now.

Wisdom Teeth

My wisdom teeth have been bothering me off and on for years but I have never bothered to get them out. About a year ago after starting work at Scotiabank and going to the dentist for the first time in about 4 years my dentist advised me that my lower right wisdom tooth needed to come out. I apparently didn’t have one on the lower left. I was scheduled in to a dental surgeon to have it removed about a month later. After rescheduling a few times and then being booked into the hospital to have all 3 out. II finally had it done March the 28th of this year. I booked it for a wednesday because I was already on a week of vacation and would have a few days to recover. I sick the week before and was concerned I would have to cancel again but as I was feeling better by the time the appointment was scheduled they said I could go ahead. It was a stomach bug about a week before.

My husband only has his learners permit and after booking the day of a few times only to be canceled/rescheduled this time he was unable to come with me. So my mother took me because they have to have someone there with you who can drive the whole time. We got there, parked and went downstairs to the basement of the hospital where the oral and maxillofacial surgery department is located. I am a worrier so the night before I had virtually no sleep and was tired.

We went to see the nurse who asked me about my diabetes, what meds I was on and gave me Amoxicillin and Flagyl (antibiotic) and 600mg of Ibuprofen and sent me to another waiting room. We waited for about an hour past my appointment time when they finally called me for an x-ray.

The nurse then took me back to the room with my mom following and sat me in the dental chair. The doctor came in, he was the head of the oncology department as well as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. He pretty much got right too it after asking me a little bit about my blood sugar control and if I had my meter with me which I did. He explained the risks which I will be honest I only paid half attention too. I had heard them at my other dentist before they were supposed to do them and then couldn’t. I signed the papers and then he got to work putting in the IV because I chose sedation. From there it is a bit of a blur until I woke up in recovery. I remember asking if the room was supposed to spin and him chuckling and then that was it.

At least I never felt the needles which is my worst fear I hate needles in my gums, it hurts so much and I hate the freezing I have even opted sometimes to go without for some dental work. Anyways next thing I know I wake up in recovery after drifting in and out a bit. They asked if I could walk I said yes and then my mom walked my out and upstairs and I walked to the car which was 5 min away. I felt perfectly fine. I went to my parents place that evening and my parents picked up my husband later at midnight and took us both home. At mom and dad’s I wasn’t the least bit sore as the freezing wore off. I iced my face anyways and took the pain killers (Ibuprofen and tylenol 3) when I was told to every 6 hours, first one and then 3 hours later the other, staggered like that.

We got home that night I propped myself up on a pillow and slept the whole night, the 2 tylenol 3 I took probably helped as I only took 1 at a time up to that point but following instructions I took 2 around bed time like they said. All the next day, thursday I felt fine. I stayed home, I relaxed on my own, Edward was at work. I watched TV, dosed a bit and played the Sims 3 and 4 some. Friday I was fine I was up moving around drive to get Eddie at work as he worked that Friday. By the time I got home from getting him I was starting to get sore but was still taking the ibuprofen and regular tylenol, switching the regular tylenol up with tylenol 3 only at bedtime at that point. I woke sometime in the night in extreme pain all down the length of my bottom jaw on the right. Top ones were fine throughout.

Next morning, Saturday we called the on call oral surgeon and met him down at the hospital. He said he thought I had something stuck in the socket in the bottom and he irrigated it with a syringe. Up till then I was never told to do that. I think your not supposed to for the first 3 days because of the clot forming. I spit out a lot of blood and I am assuming now looking back that that’s when I spit out the clot, cause apparently I did at some point. He said it looked good to him but because of my diabetes, the fact I was on insulin which makes you more susceptible to infections and the fact I was hospitalized a few months before for a nasty infection for 4 days that he was going to put me on Amoxicillin and Flagyl and told me to keep taking the tylenol/tylenol 3 and ibuprofen and sent me home.

The pain never went away. It radiated up to my ear and all down my jaw and into my throat. I made it to Monday but was in so much pain I was throwing up which was not helping. Monday (Easter Monday) which was a holiday I called the on call oral surgeon again and got a woman this time who told me to come on down and she would talk a look. She said I had an infection still but since I was on antibiotics to keep on them. She also said I had what could have been a slightly dry socket. Which she said is really painful but all they can really do is pain management till it heals on it’s own.

She wrote me a note for 10 days off work and packed my socket with something that tasted like cloves and sent me home with instructions to ice it for the swelling, heat for the sore jaw which she said was a combo of the fact my jaw was open during the surgery much farther then it normally would be for a while and also the dry socket and infection and to keep taking the pain killers and finish my antibiotics and to come back friday to have the packing removed. The worst of the pain seemed to subside within a few hours but my jaw was still sore, I was on a soft food diet and the antibiotics and ibuprofen were doing a number on my stomach so I stayed home, relaxed and tried to eat what they told me too which I had been doing all along.

All through it the soft diet was a bit challenging because sometimes I could not get enough to keep my blood sugar above 4.6 mmol and sometimes I would have something really sugary like ice cream or yogurt (the non-healthy sugar laden berry flavored kind) which would spike me to 10, 11 or 12 mmol or higher. I felt like crap. But by Friday I was finally feeling better. I went back, saw the same woman, she took it out the packing and sent me on my way saying to still take it easy. I had a doctors appointment for something unrelated with my family doctor but I mentioned everything with my tooth. He looked and said he thought it still looked slightly infected and put me on another round of Amoxicillin and Flagyl just in case.

I was scheduled back to work sunday. All friday and saturday I was fine, slightly sore but okay. Saturday night I got a really bad ear ache which went down again into my throat and I was having an issue swallowing. Looking it up it was the signs of a dry socket acting up which I know I had but thought it was getting better. So I left it, went to bed and work up about 3am in so much pain I was doubled over and could not even touch my face. So sunday morning I called again. Same woman. She told me to come back down.

I did and she said yeah definitely a dry socket and she packed it again with the clove tasting grossness which actually helped a lot. I told her I was still on antibiotics because my family doctor had put me on another round so she said good finish it completely and she gave me another 2 weeks off work. By this point it was 3 and a half weeks since I had been to work. Slowly over the next week the pain and swelling subsided and I went back to work only after one week not two and I worked all week last week with no major issues. A little swelling, bruising and soreness and still now I have to irrigate and watch what I eat but I have not had any pain killers in 3-4 days and am sleeping again through the night (well as much as I did before anyways). I am feeling 98% better. If I move my jaw the wrong way or eat the wrong thing (been eating solid food for the last 5-7 days again) then I get a bit of pain.

I am so thankful they took them all out. I never want to have to go through that again. Good news was was that my work is great and my benefits are great and I got paid for the whole 4 weeks and the whole thing only cost me about $120 for the surgery and all the drugs after because of the benefits.