Thinking about getting a Freestyle Libre. Thoughts?

After talking with a friend last night, I learned about the Freestyle Libre. I’m on MDI, and I already test my blood sugar up to 15 times a day at most usually. If I’m sick, sometimes more. It’s usually about 8-10 times.

However, in previous posts I’ve mentioned having a bit more difficulty with control lately. I’ve switched basal insulins, hormones and sicknesses haven’t helped, and I’m just all around annoyed. I know my insurance won’t cover this, as it doesn’t cover much supplies, if any. I pay out of pocket for test strips right now. But, if I can budget for it, this might be a possibility.

I know that I don’t ever want to forget how to manage my diabetes with just a meter and injections, in case financial problems happen in the future as they have in the past, but maybe it’s worth it right now! I’d love having more access to my blood sugar so I can act on what it’s doing sooner if I need to.

I want to know, those who have it, have you experienced any negatives with it? What about cost? I still need to research but this forum is my first go to place!

Any info and suggestions would be great! I’m not 100% sure on if I can get one right now, but I at least want to be open to the option of one!

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What strips are you buying and where are you buying them at? I’m just wondering in case you are paying more than you need to.

My own experience. I jumped in and bought a Freestyle Libre just over a month ago out of pocket. I didn’t want to wait to get through the hoops necessary to have it covered by Medicare, although I’ve since gone through that and have my first order for sensors paid for by Medicare delivered by now. At WalMart, my reader and set of three sensors cost me about $200. Had I continued as a self-pay, sensors would have amounted to about $122 a month if I used them continuously.

However, when I first bought it, my thinking was that even if I couldn’t afford it all the time, just using even one sensor for ten days a month would give me a lot more information than I had by doing the daily fingerstick tests. One could more readily see just what was happening with dawn phenomenon, for example. And maybe I could see the highs and lows after eating pasta so could better determine how much insulin to inject at what time in relation to the meal. It would also be easier to basal test. And all this information could be carried over to periods when I wasn’t actually using the Libre.

The big negative I have with it is that I tend to lay on my side and this makes it look like I have regular lows at night even when it is not really a low by compressing the sensor. But I don’t worry about it. (I’ll see in a month whether my endo gets excited about the 22 “lows” I’ve had in a month.) I soon learned after testing a few times that when I’d been lying on it, my BG showed in the 60s. But when I tested, it was in the 80s or even 90. I also found that if I just waited five minutes and scanned again, it would come back up to a normal reading. So now I don’t even bother to do a fingerstick test when I find it low after sleeping. I just wait a few minutes and see if it has come up to tell whether the low is for real or not. And most of the time it is not. Oh, if the reading was down in the 40s, I’d probably go ahead and test with a regular meter, but my BG doesn’t usually change very rapidly, and I normally manage my diabetes in such a way that serious lows just don’t happen during sleeping hours. Only twice in five years have I had a hypo lower than 54 at night and neither required help from anyone else.

I’m now on my fourth sensor. Since the first one, I’ve already been able to eliminate lows any lower than 60 and to greatly reduce the number of peaks over 180, even though I eat a moderate carb diet. My time in target range (70-180) is 95%. I scan about 30 times a day, so it is just easier to take action before serious highs or lows.


I use a Kroger brand meter and buy the test strips. I pay $22 for a box of $100 strips; usually buy 2 boxes at a time. I used to use the Freestyle lite meter but insurance won’t cover the strips, and I don’t find much difference between meter readings, so I’ve stuck with the Kroger one!

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I’ve had a Libre for 3 months now and I love it. I pay $72 a month at CVS because they apply some sort of discount so if you do decide to get one go with CVS. The only real problem I’ve had with the Libre is the 12 hour warmup period every time I startup a new sensor which means I have to test my BGs during that time, otherwise I hardly ever have to test with a finger stick anymore.
I did have one wonky sensor which I convinced Freestyle to replace and I had to test my BGs quite a bit while that one was in because I didn’t have a spare one to replace it with at the time. BTW it is prescription only so you will have to see your Dr. before you can get it.


Oh, another thing I failed to mention about “troubles” with the Libre. My second sensor fell off the seventh day, though I’ll admit I caught it on my bra strap, so I considered that time at least partially my fault. The third one fell off the eighth day, when I was removing a t-shirt, so it wasn’t as though something caught on it. I had just discarded the second one and didn’t call Abbott, but after the third one fell off, I decided I wanted reimbursement.

An Abbott rep answered the phone promptly (I wasn’t kept on hold for 30 minutes), asked me questions about the failed sensor, and said they’ll send a replacement. The rep recommended that since I’m having problems keeping the sensors on that I consider using one of the third party sticky adhesives listed on their sensor adhesion guide. I expect to do that before I need to change the sensor again.

Save your box with the serial number when you apply the sensor, as you’ll need that number to request a replacement if something goes wrong.