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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.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The Simple Act of Logging

I have been logging pretty consistently lately. I'm using the "Smart Charts" or "My Other CheckBook". The upper portion of the page is a line graph, where you can plot your BG's for each hour, and there are spots for basal rate (or lantus dose), carb bolus and correction bolus.

The bottom half of the page has spots to record food and carb grams for breakfast, lunch, dinner, morning snacks, afternoon snacks & evening snacks. The space is tight, but workable. There is a place for the day of week, the date, your weight and a couple lines for notes/comments. Again, the space for notes & comments is tight, but workable.

I've found it difficult to pay close enough attention to my boluses enough to separate the carb and correction boluses. For the most part, I plug in my BG and/or my carbs, and let the pump figure the dosing for me. If the situation ever dictated, I can go back through the pumps history to nail down details of how much the bolus was. I'm not sure if getting the exact insulin dose is very important or not - or if just counting on my insulin to carb ratio and correction factor is enough. I suppose if I have any suspicions on any scenarios I would certainly examine that more closely.

I do track when I run temp basal rates, such as for basketball, but again I don't track the actual units/hour, but the percentage of my normal basal rate. That is just because that is the way I program my temp rates - in percentage rather than units.

It's been around one month, and I think that the simple act of logging has helped my control. I believe that this is true for many people - but it's really such a PITA (Pain In The Ass) that it gets neglected often.

Maybe it keeps me honest, maybe it keeps my control on my mind, maybe it's the internal conversation of "how the heck am I going to log this?!" that helps me make good decisions - who knows for sure.

I have been consistently logging for about a month. There are pockets of time where I'll miss a couple days (mostly weekends), but for the most part, it is every day.

Of particular value to me is the line graph that's built in. It is helping me to better understand what my food choices do to my bloodsugar, and to spot things that don't seem to make sense (like that dang set change).

Looking through these, many of my morning readings are high. I believe this is due to one of a couple things. For one, I've been very very sloppy at night before I go to bed. So, this results in either highs from overeating and under-counting, or lows that I'm rebounding from. A while back I caught myself rebounding from lows, by doing some 2am tests, but I haven't done any of those lately.

I also think that there is something going on after basketball, due to my temp rate needing some additional fine tuning.

I plan on continuing to log consistently, as I feel it is beneficial for me. Over time it will help me identify problem areas, or confirm suspected problem areas.


Blogger Sandra Miller said...


Definitely do some middle of the night/early AM testing-- especially if you caught yourself rebounding from late night lows in the past...

I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about the Smart Charts. We've been using them for over a year now, and I don't know how we'd get along without them. The line graph has been invaluable in spotting trends.

Keep up the excellent work logging (and encouraging others to do the same!).

10:58 AM  
Blogger sweetsnomo said...

I also use "My Other Checkbooks" and it sure does help you log everything - maybe too honestly.

I love Girl Scout Thin Mints...before diagnosis (and when I was the cookie mom) I would eat a whole sleeve of them while driving the minivan home filled with cases of cookies. Now that I use these logs I know that I'll have to write down how many I actually eat so it helps me control my urges. I think I've only eaten about five this cookie season (when I was low)...I'll have to check my logbook.

Been reading for a while and just starting to blog.

11:05 AM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

I have used those "smart charts" also, and agree that reading them can be incredibly insightful.

Actually, it's not not only the charts that are smart and easy to read. It is you that is getting smarter through "the simple act of logging."

It's easy to go through periods in which we are less motivated to deal with everything or to take the time to do that kind of stuff. The reward is seeing what a difference the discipline can make in our lives.

Great job!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Shannon said...

I couldn't imagine not logging Brendon's numbers. We used to be a lot more detailed, but now we just record his numbers, the carbs he ate, what we did to correct numbers (like enacting a temporary basal, etc), and what foods we did a extended bolus for.

For me logging is like wearing a seatbelt. I wouldn't feel secure not wearing a seatbelt, and I don't feel secure not having a visual of Brendon's numbers.

4:51 PM  

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