Libre sensor pain... remove or not?

Some advice please? What’s your personal experience?

I knocked my Freestyle Libre sensor last night. Not the first time, but the first time that it has left me with a lot of pain. Finding a comfortable position for sleeping was challenging. I left it, hoping things would settle down by morning.

I still have pain, sharp but quite localized with pressure and sometimes with just a random movement. Is the sensor hitting a nerve?

I’m out of Canada until the end of February and only brought the necessary number of sensors. (Won’t do that again!) I don’t have to pay out of pocket for them anymore (thank you Ontario Drug Benefit program), but my dilemma is whether to remove the sensor or not.

Yes, I can go the remaining 11 days remaining for this sensor without one if I have to. But do I have to? If I can stand the periodic stabs of pain, is there any harm to leaving it in?

Thank you! :grin:

(Note to self: keep packaging with sensor serial number until it’s done.)

Haven’t used Libre but from your description it sounds like the same thing I’ve experienced with other CGMs: the filament is likely coming into contact with the sheath over the underlying muscle. Very sharp pain, not continuous but occurring when a movement or posture brings it into contact. Worst I ever had was when I tried back-of-the-calf location with a Medtronic Guardian 3. Intermittent, and I kept trying to convince myself it was ok, and then YYEEEEEEOWW! At first I thought I could ignore it, but then I was getting out of my car to go to a restaurant and it suddenly went off and didn’t go away. It was practically debilitating. Had to limp my way to the restaurant with my wife’s support and head straight to the men’s room to yank that sucker off. Harm-wise, I don’t really know, but I think if something hurts that much, your body is trying to tell you something.

Dexcom will send a replacement if you lose a sensor to a bad insertion. Will Freestyle do the same? I’d ask.

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Thank you for that. So far, the pain is minor, especially compared to your experience. We’ll see how it goes.

My sense of pain when deciding whether to withdraw a CGM is not clear cut. Sometimes initial pain fades over the first several hours or day and I’m grateful that I didn’t yank the sensor. Other times, the initial pain is intense enough to convince me to immediately take it out. It’s such a subjective thing and describing the nature of that pain is difficult.

I do think that relatively continuous pain that exceeds a low level can indicate to me that keeping a sensor in for extended periods will likely be followed with an extended healing duration. I believe that when my body takes longer than normal to heal itself, then that tells me that I should not volunteer for that situation.

I think the worse that could happen from a painful CGM site is that it becomes infected. I’ve never had that happen in 10 years of using a CGM. In fact I’ve only had that happen once in 33 years of using an insulin pump. So, I think the likelihood that you are doing any lasting harm is small. If you can stand the periodic pain, then leave it in. If, however, you observe any redness or inflammation, I would pull it immediately.

On the travel supply issue, I don’t see any good reason to try to match your travel duration so closely to your supplies. There are no medals given out for doing this well. Some people actually pack 3x the supplies needed. I don’t usually go that far but if I calculate that one sensor will cover my trip, I’ll at least pack one back-up and often add a third. The diabetes devil seems to know when you’re taking some risk with the number of carried supplies. Don’t let him/her win!

One question I ask myself in making this packing decision, is how much space and weight do these extra supplies comprise? The answer is almost always, very little – not much upside benefit, much larger downside penalty.

will Libre send a replacement?

Thank you for your very thoughtful reply. I’m glad you pointed out the possibility of infection. I will keep an eye on it for redness.

I will definitely be more mindful for my next trip. This was my first time travelling with the sensors. I have to get a note from my doctor and sign a form to get a “vacation supply” of prescriptions from the pharmacy, otherwise I only get one month at a time. They just filled the scripts for the time I needed. I will have to ask for extra next time. Just wasn’t thinking ahead. I get my pump supplies from a different source and always pack a little more than I will need, but then I have extra stocked up from over the years. I also have another meter, syringes and back up pens that I keep in my vacation home. I used to bring a loaner pump from Medtronic, but don’t bother with that hassle any more.

One good thing from Air Canada this trip: they still limit the size of carry-on baggage, but not the weight. Yay!

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Abbott is pretty liberal on sending replacements -

So I’ve been told.
I vote for replacement.
If there’s pain, there might be bleeding, which can affect sensor performance.

Pain has gone. Knock on wood. Thanks all for your input. Much appreciated. :blush: