If your first thought upon seeing this article is that I am preaching to the choir, I hear you. I am not here to tell you another life-changing story, but rather share with you a small change that positively impacted my life and why it matters. At the end, you can judge for yourself.
The Background Story
Like many others, I used to be very skeptical of these new continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. It was not so much the system that I rejected as much as it was the cost. As someone who pays fully or partially out of pocket for their supplies, I never thought I could afford it.
The idea that I have to pay $200 a month for a sensor simply did not make sense. Wouldn’t I rather use that money for a new car payment?
The Shocking Expenditure
I already have a glucometer that I am accustomed to and it does not frankly cost me much. I hate that I have to carry it around and the finger pricking sucks but I have learned to live with it.
All of that changed one day when I came across an article on Yahoo about How Much Americans Are Spending on Coffee – And Smarter Ways To Use That Money Instead.
So I started reading it until I saw this:
The Perfect Brew reports that women spend about $2,327 per year on their coffee habit, while men spend almost $400 less, at $1,93$4 per year.
“Wow! Do I spend that much a year on coffee?” I asked myself. Horrified by what could very well be true, I scrambled to pull up my fancy 1% cash back credit card statements right away and began to tally the numbers.
I see Starbucks everywhere!
It turns out my reckless habit for fancy latte drinks form Starbucks costs me a bit over $800 a year. That’s almost $70 dollars a month I spend on coffee. At that moment, I realized that I may have been hypnotized by the big fancy chain.
I take full responsibility for my coffee expenditure. but there’s still a problem. This habit is terrible for both my health and my pocket. Am I spending my money wisely? Am I making good decisions about my health?
For the next 15 minutes I shuffled through several ideas. I’m sure these sound familiar: boycott Starbucks…save my money…get a gym membership? Seems these tactics all failed me in the past. At that moment, I realized it was time to check my glucose. I pulled out my glucometer and lancets and another thought hit me…
“What would I give to never prick my finger again?”
Somewhat less reluctant than before, I began reading about the new continuous glucose monitoring deal and all the trouble that comes with it. The more I read, the more I realized I had it all wrong.
How could I refuse a CGM when it can help me:
(1) track what’s triggering a spike or a drop in my readings by looking at my trends,
(2) exercise more freely and with less worry about fluctuating glucose levels,
(3) keep my health information organized and at my fingertips,
(4) be more discrete about my diabetes, and most importantly,
(5) significantly decrease all the finger pricking, pricking and more pricking?
Sounds like liberty, doesn’t it?
Liberty must have been what Libre was thinking about when they named their CGM. With all the bells and whistles that come with Freestyle Libre, it seems like a dream come true.
Again, I found myself thinking about money spent at Starbucks and how it could be better spent elsewhere.
The Icing on the Cake
Everything was coming together in my head, but Karen ultimately put the icing on my cake.
“This machine is a life-saver!” Karen told me.
I met Karen in the waiting room at my doctor’s office. We chatted a bit, then she shared with me that she once passed out behind the wheel on the way to work. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt, but her occasional hypoglycemia was to blame for the accident. Now, with her new Libre 2, she is able to set alarms for her highs and lows. Now she can’t imagine managing her diabetes without it.
Eventually, I was able to put my Libre ahead of my latte. With only a sensor on my arm, I feel confident that I am in charge and prepared for the unexpected. Realistically, finger pricking will always be a part of keeping myself healthy, but Freestyle Libre surely makes it all less painful.
I get to do more and worry less. And that’s the whole gist of it – a small change that made a big positive impact.
Lastly, don’t get me wrong, I still occasionally pull-up in the drive-thru, but my lattes are under the control of my Libre.
Derek is a husband, father, former athlete, and occasional blogger. He can usually be found drinking coffee reading a book. Derek likes to write about the challenges and stigma of diabetes. He is passionate about sharing his experiences of dealing with diabetes with others to help them improve their lives.