26-year-old Annabel Bonner was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when she was 18, just one week before she left for college. She now owns her own wedding planning business and she enjoys helping people connect with their diabetes, encouraging them to be open about it rather than be ashamed. Here are highlights from our interview with Annabel on how she stays in control with the Freestyle Libre 2 CGM.
How long have you been using the FreeStyle Libre 2, and what drew you to it?
I started using the FreeStyle Libre 2 back in October of 2020. I really liked that the Libre 2 had alarms for both high and low glucose so I could be more on top of my blood sugars.
How is it helpful for people with type 1 diabetes?
I think having such great technology right in the palm of our hands is so useful and helpful for management of blood sugar. Being able to keep up with how our glucose changes with just a quick scan rather than pricking our fingers is super efficient. Plus, the app is amazing and allows for a deeper looking into trends and info that you just don’t get with a lancet and test strip.
What was your diabetes regimen like before you started using the FreeStyle Libre 2 system?
Prior to using the FreeStyle Libre System, I was just finger pricking with my old meter. Truthfully, I wasn’t very good about it, either. I definitely wasn’t checking my blood sugar as often as I should have been. Having the Libre really makes it easier due to there being so few steps involved.
What is your current diabetes regimen, and have you noticed a difference in overall diabetes control since you started using it?
Currently I’m using both the FreeStyle Libre 2 as well as an Omnipod. Since moving to both of these products, my A1c has decreased by quite a bit. I’m much better about checking my blood sugar now that it’s so easy, which translates to being more aware of what my body is doing and also being able to take corrective action more hastily.
Do you still calibrate and/or test your blood sugars with a meter from time to time?
I do still occasionally test my blood sugar with a meter, though not too often. Sometimes if I get a reading that doesn’t match how I’m feeling, I’ll use my meter just to be sure. But for the most part, the FSL is very accurate for me and has really eliminated the need to carry a meter and test strips around.
How often do you typically scan throughout the day, and do you prefer using your phone or the scanner?
I am definitely an app girl. I work as a wedding planner and it’s so nice to have my phone on while I’m working to quickly check my blood sugar if need be. According to my FSL 2 app, I usually scan 6-7 times a day!
How does it work for nighttime control?
I LOVE the alarms for nighttime control. Recently my blood glucose has been climbing at night and I have the alarms set to alert me in case this happens. I can easily wake up, take a corrective dose, and go back to sleep knowing the FSL 2 will wake me up if I need do anything further. It’s been so helpful!
How do you utilize the app, data, and sharing features?
I am kind of a nerd when it comes to data, so I love that the app stores so much interesting info about trends/patterns. I regularly check my “Time in Target” as well as my “Average Glucose” reports just to have knowledge about what’s going on. I love the sharing features, as well. Anytime I have an appointment with my endocrinologist, they already have all the important info, and this lets us use our time more efficiently rather than having to spend a bunch of time looking through my meter.
What are your favorite things about the FreeStyle Libre 2 system?
I love that it has opened up an opportunity for me to educate people about T1D. Strangers will often approach me to ask what my Libre is, and they’re always so fascinated to learn about the product and what it does for me.
Do you have any advice for people with type 1 who may be thinking about getting one?
Set up the alarms! They really are so helpful and aid in fixing problems before they even arise.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I really love this product. It has given me so many great tools to feel more in the know about my body while also providing a feeling of freedom. There really aren’t any downsides for me!
For more information on the FreeStyle Libre and FreeStyle Libre 2, click here. To sign up for the MyFreeStyle Program to experience CGM for free, click here (some restrictions may apply).
I love mine. Even though I voluntarily stick needles in myself several times a day, I am happy to have fingertips that don’t hurt all the time.
Having said that, I also love that I can use the test strips with the Libre reader if I do need to do a blood test.
And my grandkids love it, too. They will push the button on my lancet to draw the blood and then watch the little Libre butterfly “taste” the blood and figure out how much sugar is in it. (They do know the butterflies in their garden don’t taste blood, but they love the cute Libre one.)
That is so cute! 🙂