Scott's Diabetes Blog

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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Diabetes Software for Pocket PC?

Does anyone have any recommendations for diabetes tracking software that works on a Pocket PC?

I have been using DiabeticPIM for a long time, and for the most part, really like it. It has most everything I need, and I found the food database to be excellent. It is easy to use, and has some nice reporting features that I publish on my website. They also recently released a desktop component, which is very nice as well.

However, I'm not sure how active the developer is. I am having a problem where when I purge my past data, it wipes out my basal rates too! Then I have to re-enter them, which creates a "Basal Rate Change" entry in my logbook. Makes people think that I'm mucking with my basal rates every week or so! I wrote the support address on 12/29/04, and have not heard anything back yet. I've also sent in a number of suggestions for features/enhancements, and didn't get any response their either. Not that a response is required for enhancement requests, but it certainly is for support requests!!

One of the features I'm missing, is the ability to have different ratios for different times of the day. For example, during the day, I take 1 unit of Humalog to cover 8 grams of carbs. However, in the morning, that ratio is more like 1 unit of Humalog to cover 5.8 grams of carbs. So, even using this software, I still have to pull out the calculator for breakfast.

I have a number of features that I think are required (some higher priority or importance than others), and some others that are just desired. I intend to compile a list of those things, then compare that against the software's that are available, and see what best matches up.

There does not seem to be a whole lot of people developing software for tracking diabetes (type 1 or 2). There is a handful, but not enough to make things competitive. I want something in the league of Pocket Informant and SBSH's Pocket Breeze - you know, quality robust all encompassing software.

If you know of any, or have something you particularly like, drop a comment on this post.

I'll add another post when I find something I like (or settle on). Maybe I'll compile my list of features that I want, and start marketing the idea to some of the prominent pocket pc developers out there... See if I can talk anyone into taking the project on! That's pretty ambitious, and who knows if I'll take it that far - but big things start with little ideas.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

Symptoms of High Blood Sugars?

High blood sugars are very hard to "detect" without doing a test. For most people there are not many symptoms - unless it is VERY high, where you just feel bad all around.

I spoke a little bit about getting hungry when I'm around 200 (normal is 80-120). Sometimes it's strong enough to even make me think I'm having a low! There have also been times that when I'm right around 200 that I'll get terrible heartburn.

When I get higher than that, like say high two to three hundreds or more, I get so terribly sleepy. I mean, it's so bad that I could literally fall asleep standing up. I can't focus on anything (except trying to keep my eyes open). This is especially hard when I'm at work. You can't always go take a nap when at work. All I can think about is going to sleep. During these times, I want nothing else in the whole world but to lay down and sleep. It's like my blood is as thick as molasses, and my entire being slows to a stagger. This is especially sucky because during those times, the world keeps moving at it's regular pace. How nice it would be if you could just call "TIME OUT!" and get yourself back together.

The tough part is, that you can do nothing but wait for the insulin to kick in and start dropping the level. When I'm that high, I'm looking at about an hour and a half, if not more. Sometimes when that high, your insulin is not as effective, which means it's a longer fight to get back down to normal.

Saturday, January 08, 2005

Insulin Pumps, Infusion Set Changes & Timing

I've been using an insulin pump for a while now. Those that are familiar with pumps know that you need to change your infusion sets every 3 days or so.

The "guidelines" say you should do it in the morning, with the logic being if there is a problem with it, you will know right away (well, within a few tests) rather than sleeping for 8 hours to wake up in DKA.

For some reason, I have a terrible time after changing my infusion sets. If I change in the morning (during which my BG's are touchy, even without a set change), my blood sugar skyrockets, and takes me about two days to get things back under control. Another day later and it's time for a set change again!

There is a lot of theories on this topic. Some arguing that the insulin "pools" at the new site, and takes some time to absorb. Others think it is due to some type of reaction from your body to the trauma of the needle and cannula. I've heard some people concerned about the little drip of insulin that may leak out when you pull out the old set (so they will leave the old one in for a few hours, but disconnected from the pump).

I've found what works best for me is to change my set at night, sometime after dinner. Seems like it "behaves" a little better when I give it some time to acclimate overnight without any boluses. Even still, the first meal I bolus for (which is usually breakfast, a good 6-8 hours after changing) still runs high at my post meal test.

I've even experimented with delivering a bolus after changing sets, in addition to the bolus that fills the cannula. I'll pump in another 5 units or so, and it seems to have no impact on my readings at all. However, if I deliver more than that, say 7-10 units, it will drop my readings (although still not as much as it should).

Anyone else out there experience this? Have you found anything that works for you?

Monday, January 03, 2005!

I just found what I consider to be a great site! I was heading to check out, and I noticed a little blurb from Weblogs, Inc. announcing The Diabetes Blog, at the top of the page.

I consider to be a worthwhile site, and hold them in pretty high regard (I visit them almost every day). For there "parent" company (is that accurate?) to be doing a dedicated diabetes blog is pretty exciting!

I immediately checked it out, and was very pleased to see that it was very much like engadget! I guess that means I'll be visiting The Diabetes Blog daily now too!

Please go take a look at it, it will not be time wasted!