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Life With Diabetes - A Rollercoaster I Am Proud Of

Diabetes, My Healthcare Team and Me

Real-Time Glucose Readings Lighten The Mental Load

By Aoife Willis, amateur runner who lives with Type 1 diabetes

Disclaimer: The information provided is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your healthcare professional about your diabetes management. Individual symptoms, situations and circumstances may vary.

Approved on 02/01/2024

When I was told about the FreeStyle Libre 2 system becoming available in Ireland, I was beyond excited. Having already used the original FreeStyle Libre system, I knew just how much difference updates to the technology available to me could make to managing my diabetes.

An easy transition with a big impact

From a product usage standpoint, the transition couldn’t have been easier, with ultimately no difference to how I applied the sensor to the back of my upper arm or activated it. A quick easy to follow ‘how to’ guide on the app1, when I started my first FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor, helped me to navigate the new features.

What I wasn’t expecting when I moved to using the FreeStyle Libre 2 system was how many more aspects of my life it would impact. The new alarm features2 meant that I had a backup system and support in notifying me when I needed to take action. It positively impacted my running, my sleeping, my sense of feeling safe and my mental health, along with being able to be even more present at work and socialising.

The backup I was missing

For the first time since diagnosis ten years ago, it was no longer just me and my reliance on being hyper aware of how my body was feeling, or regularly breaking away from what I was doing at any given moment to have to think about having to check if I am in range. The alarm featuremeans I have a backup, and in a sense a bit of a dia-buddy to support me and communicate with me that I need to take action to get back on track.

For the first time in 10 years, I feel like I have truly been able to clock out from having to constantly think about living with diabetes, if only for short periods of time. 


A confidence boost

This new confidence means I am much more comfortable going for longer periods of time without taking my phone out of my pocket or bag to check my glucose levels, confident that while keeping my phone within range2 I will be given a warning when my glucose level needs my attention. This means I am taking my phone out less, which means staying in the moment and having less breaks in my concentration and even going longer on runs and rows without interruption3 and diabetes distracting me from doing something I love.

Sweet dreams

Additionally, I’ve seen improvement in my sleep. Being woken by alarms2 means that I can again address any concerning glucose levels during the night and make sure I am getting the best quality sleep that I can, because even with continuous uninterrupted sleep, being hours out of range can mean often waking up not feeling rested at all. This, in turn, has also seen an increase in my time in range, since sleep takes up a third of my day during which I’m least aware of how my glucose control is.

A weight off my shoulders

Diabetes can be all consuming at times and takes a huge mental lift and load each day. Having a system that takes on some of this load has had invaluable benefits which all positively impact not only my physical but also my mental health, which is so often not considered when discussing how chronic illnesses are managed and those living with them are supported.

Aoife Willlis is a FreeStyle Libre Ambassadors. The views expressed are her own and not necessarily those of Abbott

Life With Diabetes - A Rollercoaster I Am Proud Of

Diabetes, My Healthcare Team and Me


References & Disclaimers

1The FreeStyle LibreLink app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check the website for more information about device compatibility before using the app. Sharing of glucose data requires registration with LibreView.

 2Notifications will only be received when alarms are turned on and the sensor is within 20ft unobstructed of the reading device. You must have override do not disturb settings enabled to receive alarms and alerts on your smartphone.

3Finger pricks are required if glucose readings and alarms do not match symptoms or expectations.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ADC-86145 (v1.0) 12/2023