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Alfie's experience of using a Freestyle Libre 2 and insulin pump

"I found that pricking my finger up to ten times a day was challenging and sometimes painful so I got the freestyle libre 2 sensor which has helped a huge tonne." 


I’m Alfie and am 15 years old. I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes about a year and half ago in July 2020. We were lucky and caught it early so I didn’t need any intensive care apart from staying in hospital for a night.

I wouldn’t say that the diagnosis was challenging, I would say it’s more of a shock to the system than anything. I had to start remembering to test my glucose levels reguarly and inject the correct amount of insulin. 

Diabetes is challenging on its own but not only do I have diabetes to overcome, I have a mitochondrial disease called MELAS which caused me to get diabetes in the first place as it weakens my muscles and diabetes is a huge part of the condition.

I’ve learnt that you never ‘get used to it’, diabetes becomes more tolerable in the sense of you know you have to do it. I have had my ups and downs like everyone does.

I have had times where I didn’t want to do my insulin injections so my diabetes team suggested I tried pump therapy which I have now been on for about a year and it is much easier.

I have also had times where my bloods have gone out of range (HI) and I felt tired and moody but I know I have to stay strong and consistent with testing my glucose so I can get them back in range. 

The Freestyle Libre2 has alarms on it which tell me If I’m going hyper/hypo and also alarms my mum as her phone is connected to it too.

Treating a hyper with a pump is a little different to how you would normally. I have to finger prick if my libre sensor is saying my glucose is above 10- although I tend to say a ‘proper’ hyper is above 13- and do a bolus top up on my pump. If this top up is unsuccessful, I check my ketones, change my pump cannula and test again. Sometimes I may even have to do a top up dose bolus with my insulin pen and retest again in an hour. 

Just remember that if you’re newly diagnosed, there are people that have been in your position before and you will have your ups and downs but there are people you can talk to. There are no limitations on life, I believe that you can still achieve whatever you want and be diabetic. Just remember: stop being afraid of what could go wrong and focus on what could go right.

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