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Showing posts from October, 2017

So, everyone's going to get Libre on prescription on 1st November?!

In short, they're not. Nobody has them on prescription yet (edit 03/11/17 - almost nobody - there is some evidence that a few people might have them, but yet to be totally convinced). There are a small number that have persuaded their doctor/specialist to fund, but it's difficult to know exact circumstances and it hasn't been done in a coherent way.

The situation became different from 1st November, in that it is now possible to prescribe the Libre. However, the budgets are controlled by the local health authority (CCG) and ultimately they decide whether to fund or not and who to fund it for. There could be a chance that a GP/Specialist could go 'maverick' and prescribe without authority...but like current funding, will be rare and not coherently managed.

The problem the CCG have is two-fold. Firstly, budgets run from April to April. Starting funding in November means that they'll have to find extra cash from somewhere to fund the Libre - at least initially, it…

Happy Birthday Libre!

So, it was exactly three years ago today that it was possible to order the Libre sensors and reader.  Having signed up for all the notifications about the system and joined the Facebook Abbott Freestyle Libre Users Group, I was able to know to order on Day 1, with my order being No. 594.  The orders are into the millions now.  I originally tracked order numbers by date as it seemed to correlate with the increases in ordering - like in 2016 when the waiting list requirement was abolished.  It doesn't work as well now but the big increase in 2017 seems to match what users are saying.


Looking back, the system does seem to have a made a difference to many people's lives.  The group has stories of how much easier it has made control of diabetes (T1, T2 and other related conditions) especially for parents of T1s.  Luckily I'm not in that situation, but can imagine the massive increase in peace of mind.

Anyway, it's a good day to celebrate this great innovation for improving…

Musical Interlude!

So, I mentioned that I might intersperse thoughts on T1 diabetes with musical ramblings, so here goes.

I love music - I don't follow a specific band or genre, as long as the tune is good, then I'll enjoy listening to it; from Byrd to The Prodigy, Shostakovitch to Take That and all things in between!

Clearly my passion is classical music, having been heavily involved with making and listening to music from the early days when my late Grandparents took me to listen to the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra perform at the Colston Hall in Bristol, age 5.  I remember Stravinsky's Rite of Spring being a huge hit with me at that age!

I had an excellent musical education but achieved modestly, however there was one pinnacle to my instrumental musical career, when I was selected to play in the IAPS Orchestra.  This orchestra was for the best musicians across all independent prep schools.  I have still no idea how I was selected, but from the back row of the cellos, I had a great exper…

mmol/l to mg/dl and back again...Why's it 18 times?

I posted this around 10 years ago, but now I have a whole new set of followers, thought I'd post it again!

Americans use mg/dl as the unit for measuring glucose levels. Most other countries use mmol/l. The relationship between the two is that 1mmol/l = 18mg/dl. I was interested to understand this relationship (as a former chemist) and also find out what it meant in practical terms. It is a bit sad, but here is my calculation:

The unit mmol/l stands for milli-moles per litre. (or liter in the US). milli means a thousandth, so what is a mole (other than a small rodent-like animal)? A mole is that quantity of a substance whose mass in grams is the same as its formula weight (atomic weight). Each molecule of glucose has 6 Carbon atoms, 12 Hydrogen atoms and 6 Oxygen atoms. A carbon atom weighs 12 units, a hydrogen atom weighs 1 unit and an oxygen atom weighs 16 units. These units are called relative atomic mass units (don't need to go into why). So the atomic weight of glucose is …

Driving with Libre - dispelling the myths?

Driving with Libre - dispelling the myths? (Group 1 Only - Standard Car Drivers) It is absolutely true, the DVLA won't give you a licence unless you agree to the following: Ref:Official Guidelines
The language, as with any legal document, is important here.  Group 1 is "recommended" and this is a "requirement for licensing".  I'm not a legal expert, but it does seem fairly clear, although not very satisfactory in my opinion.
Why does it say 'recommended' here?
So many times, I've seen people refer to breaking law if you're not a certain level or able to prove your level.  This is not what is being said.
At this point I must interject that it is irresponsible to drive any vehicle whilst low, going low or suspecting low.  Don't do it!  This is more about the law's view on levels and testing.
So, it now comes to why the law is at it is and why the Libre is not (yet) considered acceptable for the DVLA.  To get more information on this, yo…

Freestyle Liberating

So,what's all the fuss about?
The Abbott Freestyle Libre is a paradigm-changing piece of medical equipment.  It has been warmly embraced by many of the diabetic community since its launch almost three years ago (its birthday is on 16th October).  So what's all the fuss about and is it justified?
In my opinion, yes, but with some important caveats, especially with how you use it and interpret the results.  These are my tips for getting the most out of it:


Use it for trends - stop thinking you need to compare it to other meters.  The only reason you should continue to test traditionally is to meet requirements of DVLA.  OK, if you are hypo-unaware, I can see logic in checking.  Yes, it can be 'inaccurate' but that's hard to quantify.  If you're far enough into your journey with diabetes, you should have a fair idea of what the scan is going to show.  If it doesn't match what you think, it could be wrong, or you may have miscalculated food or insulin - or it c…

Blogging Renaissance

So it seems everyone's doing it, they do it in cafes, on park benches, they do it with friends and they do it alone. Clearly, I'm talking about blogging. I did try it, over 10 years ago on this blog, when I was first diagnosed with T1 diabetes (diagnosis day post). Reading back over those musings is quite a moving experience showing how I coped back then with my recent diagnosis and how little I knew and was taught. The years have clearly shown progression somewhat along the lines of the Change Curve proposed by Elisabeth Kubler Ross.


I can see how I went through most of those phases, all lasting different amount of times, some fleeting, but others lasting far too long.  I'm not sure I see it as a definite progression, with elements of denial and anger returning even when those periods have passed.

 But that's quite enough management theory...at least for the time being!

So, thoughts turn what I can blog about - I guess keeping it related to personal experience …