The scanning addict
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol, morphine or idealism.Carl Gustav Jung
It’s been a month since my last freestyle libre sensor and I’m still alive. The first week was tough, I would swipe over my arm in a nervous twitch. When you’re used to getting a blood sugar reading every waking half hour of your life, you feel a bit lonely without it. My endocrinologist gave me a weird look when I told her I took a minimum of twenty readings a day. I don’t think continuous glucose monitors were invented with obsessive diabetics like me in mind.
When I lost my job I also lost my medical insurance and had to wave bye-bye to the libre sensors. I went old-school and started testing my blood with strips again. As things turned out it was a good thing. I remembered life before I became a scannable human being and sometimes even forgot for hours on end that I was diabetic. It was liberating.
Don’t get me wrong. A flash or continuous glucose meter is a brilliant tool. When you’re trying out new meal territory it’s excellent at spotting the pit falls, it picks up nighttime hypoglycemia, and you can use it to send alarms when blood glucose is rising or falling off a cliff. But it’s also easy to obsess over a flatline graph. Going back to blood tests reminded me of what it was like not to have type 1 diabetes. The occasional high reading was just that, and not the end to a perfect day of blood glucose.
I’m on the 16:8 diet, so I only test five times a day. When I wake up, after breakfast, before and after dinner, and before I go to sleep. My values are good. To lose the libre has sent me on a diabetes holiday and a scanning detox. My secret addict, that I was previously unaware of, has been cured.