Buying Libre for travel

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Buying Libre for travel

Postby Elisha » Thu May 18, 2017 3:45 pm

I am travelling twice this year and I am wondering is it worth buying the Libre just for travel? I am considering possibly using it long term, mostly because I am having issues with short term memory and I am going through a lot of strips because I keep forgetting I've already tested, even still I am not sure if the cost is really worth it. My endo suggested I speak to an educator as he couldn't give me much info, do I really need to see one in order to learn how to use it or is it fairly straightforward (I assume there is probably no freebies like other meters either which is usually how I justify the cost of seeing the educator)? Do the sensors come with their own sticky stuff or can you use your own, I am unfortunately allergic to a lot of them and I am not sure if it's going to be worth the risk buying the meter only for it to be useless because the sensors irritate me skin. Do I still need to test with my other meter with the Libre, I read awhile ago that it was advised? And lastly is it on par with CGM like Dexcom? Sorry for all the questions and thank you :-)
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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby tantan » Thu May 18, 2017 5:51 pm

Hi Elisha,

I don't use the Libre regularly, but I do use it for travel. Most recently, I used it for a trip to Japan. It was fantastic - definitely the best thing I've ever done travel-wise for my diabetes. It was incredibly convenient to be able to keep an eye on what my BGL was doing when I was out and about, without needing to stop and test. Just knowing if I was trending up or down or steady was fantastic, especially at times when I was doing lots of walking. For me, it was absolutely worth it for travel, and I intend to continue using the Libre for any travel longer than a few days.

I thought the system was pretty straightforward to use. I didn't see an educator or anything like that. Just purchased the kit off the website, looked at the instructions when it arrived, and away I went. The sensors come with the sticky part attached. I think I've seen something about other people using skin preps of some sort with them. Perhaps try a forum search, as I don't recall the details. I brushed my first sensor on a doorway a few days after applying it, and it came off my arm. I rang Abbott and was able to get the sensor replaced, as it shouldn't have come off that easily. However, because of that experience, I also put a layer of Opsite over the second sensor to make sure it wouldn't come off.

I can't comment on comparability to the Dexcom as I've never used a CGM. While using the Libre, I still tested before bolusing, but after the first 12 hours or so, for me the Libre was pretty much always spot-on (although reliability apparently varies from person to person).
Diagnosed 07/12/2007

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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby ali m » Sat May 20, 2017 5:48 pm

I use mine full time, and will not be going back to fingersticks any time soon.

My skin is fairly sensitive too, getting worse with age, and I really struggled to use Medtronic CGMS, particularly the sensors before Enlite. Enlites were ok, but I didn't get the same accuracy with them, and resent having to calibrate with fingersticks. Libre is not an issue with regard to itching, welts etc.

I generally just stick the Libre sensor on/into the back of my upper arm, then cover it with k tape, with a small circle of reversed k tape to stop it sticking to the actual sensor. That almost lasts the full 2 weeks (usually exactly 13 days....), and I have not had one come off or stop working in nearly a year. I am not gentle with them either. At aikido this morning we practiced using a jo (glorified broomstick) against each others raised arms. I have bruises very close to the sensor, but the sensor stayed in place!

Initially I tested by finger stick as well, to check the accuracy, but don't bother now, unless I feel crappy but have a normal sensor reading. For me, the accuracy has been phenomenal, right from each insertion. Not everyone finds this though.

The reader also doubles as a glucometer, so I keep a lancing device and spare strips for it in my handbag, so I don't have to double up.

I haven't been OS since I started using the Libre, but I travel domestically twice a month, and it is brilliant. Brilliant for work as well.

It isn't a CGMS as such, because one has to go chasing the reading, and there are no alerts. However, I am waiting for delivery of a bluetooth connector thingy which will kind of turn it into CGMS sent to one's phone. I may hate this and go back to the normal mode.
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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby Catapult » Sun May 21, 2017 8:42 am

Hi Elisha

I'm pretty sure that even the most basic BG meter has a log book or memory function so you would be able to search if you've just done a test or not.

I have skin issues and just use the alcohol wipe provided in each sensor box. Then quick spray with Cavilon spray I bought online. It isn't cheap but lasts forever. It is invisible and makes stuff adhere to your skin better and provides a protective layer against adhesives like the Libre. I tried Rockadex over the Libre to protect it but reacted to the Rockadex. Even when I put clear opsite down first, then the Libre, then the protective Rockadex, the Rockadex adhesive 'bled through' the opsite. The hideous blisters and serum leakage lasted 2 weeks after removal. So anyway, I just the Cavilon spray before Libre application is all I need. It doesn't need protection. I wear it closer to my inner upper arm rather than outer to prevent it catching on door jamb incidents.

It reads well against a BGL meter, maybe 2 mmol out at very high (25 mmol). Which is 10% out and within standard of a BGL meter (they can be 20% out by law). At regular BGL say 7 mmol not much difference against a meter. Only thing is if you're hypo, the rapid changes are seen first in finger prick blood. So if you correct your finger prick will say e.g. 5.6 mmol and I know I'm safe, but the sensor (interstitial fluid) has a few minutes lag and says 2.8 still. So I always do a prick when in hypo recovery mode. Other than that no pricking. No calibration required.

The reader is kind of like a fat Optium Insulinx meter but in colour, you can do BGL and ketone tests with it and if you don't pump you can set it up with 4 time zones for carb bolus and correction ratio factors. So there's some intelligence inbuilt similar to a pump for calculating a meal and correction bolus. Only thing is they want a fingerprick BGL not a sensor BGL for that facility to be activated. Frustrating.

You only buy the reader once and it is warrantied 3 years if you fill in their form. It's $95. The sensors are $92.50 and last 14 days. Cannot extend them. It's easy to insert them, open box, open two parts, clip two parts together well (they line up) having checked date and number match on both parts first. It's now a sensor with an inbuilt spring loaded inserter. Press hard against your skin and in she pops. I press hard to ensure the adhesive is stuck down well before lifting up the plastic bits which are empty serter. Then I pat the sensor down again and check She's lodged in properly. The adhesive ring outside the dollar coin sized sensor is about 2mm all around. Not much.

They had a supply issue recently and had none! But now you can buy 4 boxes st a time. Previously I bought 8 boxes no issues. So never leave ordering to last minute (that goes for any product).

You can jazz up your reader, sensor and protect your sensor with products from
E.g. Rockadex and GrifGrips. Rockadex is in Australia, arrives very quickly. But is rock tape based so beware if you react to that. Being me, I didn't put the 'rock' in the two names together. But I have a skin and stickers for my reader and stickers for my Libre. My reader is very glam and my sensor is so metal. Love it.

Good luck

Cat.
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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby ali m » Mon May 22, 2017 8:00 am

LOL Cat (in a sensitive way, of course), Rocktape bleeding through Opsite - ouch!
I get welts sometimes too, have scars on my legs from just before Christmas (knee tape, not Libre related). However, I can use that tape elsewhere, if it's not super stretched. It seemed to be the stretch applied rather than the adhesive. Pretty much pulled my skin off. I have some on my ankle and Libre right now. I use Grip It Active K tape as a preference. It's much stretchier than regular K tape, smoother, and if not overstretched, more comfortable.
I think my arms have toughened up, because I don't get itching and welts, although I did with my first few Libre tape jobs (regular k tape, possibly Rocktape even). GrifGrips are not too bad, the round shape works best for me. Fewer edges with tension on them.
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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby Elisha » Mon May 22, 2017 1:42 pm

Thank you so much for all your responses, I think you have definitely convinced me to get one! Specially for travel I think it's probably going to be worth that extra bit of money (ok a lot haha :() for the sheer convenience and it will save having to train my friend how to do a glucose check in the event of an emergency!

In regards to adding extra adhesives, are you apply it under it then some over as well? Or is just over? (sorry if I have misunderstood!) I guess it will probably be a trial and error with trying out some tapes etc. Is the sensitivity to tapes a diabetic thing? I have a few other conditions and my physio always said it was probably related to that, I never even considered that it may be the diabetes, not that it really changes a lot.

Ohhh my current BG meter has a log but I am using the Accu-chek mobile and it's somewhat a big dodgy (I am on my 3rd one I love it but they've all had little quirks to them) and sometimes doesn't switch on for just the log. But really if my brain isn't functioning enough to realize I tested 15-20mins ago it probably won't remember to check the log :( When I went back through with my endo I was just blown away by how many times I've tested and not even realised I had just tested, so crazy.
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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby ali m » Mon May 29, 2017 7:28 pm

I tape over my sensor with the ktape circles. Have a google of Rob Palmer on YouTube. He makes a sticky patch with a "slip Layer" out of athletic tape and bits of waxed paper. I do basically the same thing with a large and small circle of K tape.

Under the sensor I just use the alcowipe, nothing else. I did try skinprep, but actually got more itchy.

I am very sensitive to Medtronic Quicksets, so I shoot the cannula through a square of opsite, but I don't need to do that for the Libres.
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Re: Buying Libre for travel

Postby brikir » Wed Jun 07, 2017 4:21 pm

I recently traveled around the globe over an 18 day period. AUS-USA-FRANCE-UAE-AUS. As you'd imagine there were multiple time zones to cross and I'm using Lantus and Humalog. Everything went smoothly thanks to the Libre. Levels stayed in range the whole time. That wouldn't have been the case if I was just relying on finger pricks. It's a no brainer...do it. But take a spare sensor and reader.
Life is not a trial run.......
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