Scan vs Prick

Why scan when you can prick? The freedom of the finger stick.

I am a type 1 diabetic.

My pancreas broke, it stopped producing insulin and other essentials to life.

In practical terms, without frequent insulin injections and constant management of blood glucose levels, I’d be dead within weeks.

I wear a Libre.

It is a clever piece of electronics that samples and records my blood sugar level every five minutes, all day, every day. I can easily interrogate this data, complete with trends, graphs and a suite of analysis reports. Without drawing so much as a drop of blood.

Abbott Laboratories, the device’s makers, named it aptly.

Libre. Freedom.

Freedom from having to draw blood 8 or more times a day.

Freedom from worry caused by not knowing what my blood sugar is doing the other 86,392 seconds of each and every day.

Libre is accurate. It requires no calibration. It is largely unobtrusive.

Yet, I hate it sometimes. I rip the sensor out of my arm, draw blood from my finger or knee, and go back to the 8 data points a day, and to the not knowing about the other 86,392.


Ignorance is bliss.

My body is broken.

In spite of my very best efforts, in spite of the brilliant gizmos, I can never ever approximate a working pancreas.

That graph, that spike after eating, it gives me stress. 11 mmol/l and going up, trend arrow pointing to the heavens. Will it go higher? How much more? Why?

There is nothing I can do about it.

But trust. And wait. I know that it will go down after 2 hours.

Then the reverse can happen. How low can you go?

Again: trust and wait.

I had a Libre holiday. A whole week! No stress, no anxiety. Sleep for longer than 1.5 hours at a time. Trusting that my strict insulin, diet and exercise discipline would keep me safe.

I loved it. The bliss that comes with ignorance.

After a week of pricking knee, not as painful as finger, but slower healing, I surveyed the 80 or so puncture marks.

And reached for a new Libre sensor.



About the author Rien

dutch by birth 🇳🇱 | australian by choice 🇦🇺 | type 1 diabetic 💉 | married ❤️⚭ | grandfather 👴🏻 | fujifilm photographer 📷 | boat builder and sailor ⛵️ | seeker no more 🚫📖

All posts by Rien →


  1. This made me think hard. It must be tough Rien. Keep the faith.



  2. You have described the love hate relationship well. It is a constant balance. You do so well. Keep it up.



  3. You are an incredible human being Rien. Discipline is your middle name.
    By the way, you mentioned prick and Abbott in the same sentence. Very good.



    1. Thanks for your comment. I admire Tony Abbott. And Pauline Hanson too.



  4. Had no intention of being anonymous. Edi



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