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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, December 08, 2006

My Latest Attempt

A week ago today:
It has been a long time. Way too long. Not since sometime in September had I done it. And not since July had I posted it.

Do I miss it? Yeah, kind of - I mean, I guess I feel it does help me, regardless of how much work I think it is. Can I use it to help me even more? Yes. I am sure of that. Does it feel good to do it? Absolutely. It feels that I am doing something beneficial.

Logging.

I started the week really strong. Determined. Come hell or high water, I was absolutely, 100 percent for sure, going to log my blood sugars, insulin, exercise, and carb/food intake.

I am using a super great excel sheet that Kevin developed. It rocks. Best one I've seen. The combination of ample space to record everything and the visual feedback of the line graph below really gives me a good picture of what I'm doing.


In fact, I've often found myself drawing mental line graphs in my head when I'm away from the computer - you know, to see if I'm dropping too fast or holding pretty steady. Most often I do this when playing basketball.

I've even taken to storing the spreadsheets on a portable "thumb drive" or "flash drive". One of the small devices that I can actually carry around with me in my pocket.

The one I got is way overkill for what I need. But, I'm a sucker for little gadgety things, so I splurged a bit on it. This thing is sweet. Two gigabyte capacity (that's a LOT of logs!!). Virtually crush proof (crush force exceeds 2000 pounds!). And it's just plain cool. Now, in reality I store much more than just my logs on it - it would take me a very long time to fill up 2 gigs with excel spreadsheets!! But the portability means I can bring it home with me, stick it in my laptop or whatever, and update my logs.

Both Kevin and I have struggled with the whole "Monday" problem. Where you don't update your logs over the weekend because they are on the computer at work. Come Monday morning you are faced with a terribly intimidating task of updating all the stuff you haven't yet recorded! And God help us if there is a holiday sprinkled in there and you had more than just Saturday and Sunday to keep track of!

I thought this would be a perfect solution for that.

I logged religiously for the entire week. Until Friday night that is.

I diligently tested my blood sugar, counted and weighed my dinner, carefully plugged all the info into my pump and took my bolus. After dinner I wanted to update my spreadsheet while the info was fresh in my head. I had actually been recording the food I ate over the week as well. If I don't record that information pretty quickly after I eat, it gets lost in the vast abyss where my short term memory used to live.

I plugged my thumb drive into my laptop, pulled up the spreadsheet and started updating it. A few seconds go by and I notice that the flashing light on the thumb drive started flashing. "flash" "flash" "flash", "flash" "flash" "flash". WTF? And what's this? An error message on my computer?! Oh man - what's going on? Excel crashes on me, my latest updates disappearing off the screen.

I frantically try to access the thumb drive - wait! Where is it!!?!?? Gone?! No - it can't be! How could it just disappear from my computer?!

Oh crap.

I unplug the drive, thinking that if I just plug it in again I'll be able to get into it. Nope. Just that crazy pattern of tri-flashing denial. Crap.

I reboot the computer. Nothing. I try this, I try that. Nothing.

I turn to the internet - wondering if the miracle we call Google can help me recover my very important data. Lots of irrelevant hits, leading to a lot of time spent on nothing.

Finally I turn to what I feel is my last resort. I submit an online trouble ticket with the manufacturer. Over the course of the weekend we go through a bunch of troubleshooting steps. Nothing works. Nothing.

I'm now awaiting my return authorization information so I can exchange my fried data stick for a new one. A new one that will definitely not hold my blood sugar logs. I can run this damn thing over with my truck, and it will survive. But just using it, I somehow fry my data. Not. Cool.

As the realization started to sink in that I had lost all of the records for that week, I started to get mad. Angry about logging. I would say to myself "See! I don't know why I even do it!" or "I knew I wasted my time with all that stuff!".

But what sense does that make? None! It was not a waste of time logging - I just had a freak computer file malfunction! The lesson learned is that I should have something a little better planned for those files. Maybe I could just take a copy of it home with me and update the "main" file later. Or that I can be Ok with not capturing every slice of data for every minute of every day. Just most stuff should be fine.

So, we learn to roll with the punches and move on with a better plan. What more can we ask of ourselves? What good does it do to stay mad? Not any good.

Present Day:
I am happy to say that my little "setback" has not slowed me down at all. I have, again, diligently logged everything this week, and I look forward to continuing over the weekend, and posting my records on Monday of next week. Much of it was the routine. Just getting into the groove and staying there.

It felt good to be logging again.

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, man, that's awful. I'm glad to hear you're not too discouraged, but in a disease that is frustrating anyway, it certainly doesn't help to have negative reinforcement for our positive steps! Good for you, for getting back up on that horse!

1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude, i need to hit up Kevin for a copy of that Spreadsheet. I REALLY need to do this. I have been a very Bad B.A.D. lately.

1:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott,
I have a similar logging format, an excel file I designed. I make copies for the weekends and record the info on the sheets, then I just data entry on my work computer at home. Another thing I’ve done, back when I had excel on my home computer, was email the spreadsheet at the end of the day to my home email. When I got home I’d pull it up and save over the old log and keep it up on my computer all night and morning, entering in data as I do it, rather than jotting on the actual sheet. Either way worked pretty good.

1:24 PM  
Blogger Kerri. said...

Logging - it really is my Achilles heel as far as diabetes goes. I am terrific at testing, terrible at keeping track.

I need to kick myself into high gear. There are trends cropping up that I know I need to address but I'm just too damn lazy to print it all out.

2:01 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Dude,

Sorry to hear your way cool thumd drive has died. I hope they replace it.

Try not to worry too much about the log file, though. There will be plenty more to make! And it sounds like you haven't let this little bump in the road slow you down too much, which is great.

I've been pretty diligent with loggin the actual readings, but slacking big-time on the notes section and even the carb/bolus counting and logging bit too.

George (and anyone else for that matter), I am more than happy to send you a copy of my logbook. Just fire me an email, and I'll send it your way.

Also, Scott, I've made a few tweaks and improvements since I last sent you the file, so I'll send you a new one too.

4:09 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

AND! (how could I have missed this)

That's one kick-ass day's worth of blood sugar readings too.

Excellent...

6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I took a "break" from logging back at the very beginning of November after seeing the doctor. It was supposed to be a congratulatory week off. After all I had switched doctors and been logging really well.

I'm still on that break! I forget to start again. Ooops. Logging is the biggest pain in the butt sometimes.

7:05 AM  
Blogger julia said...

I have to start logging again. I checked O's pump last night, after a potentially scary low, and saw that she's been eating without putting her bg into the pump, just bolusing for the food. I think I'm going to switch her from that BD meter over to the One Touch to force her to enter her bgs into her pump.

I just hate doing it and she flat out won't do it.

7:30 AM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

Hey, Scott! I'm happy to see that you have recommitted to this.

I am being lazy and downloading my stuff into CoPilot every week or so, but I think I need to get on the stick, too.

Way to stick in there despite technical obstacles.

Kevin, would you send the sheet with your revisions to me as well and we can all do this together?!

8:02 AM  
Blogger Penny said...

Keep up the good work, Scott.

11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So that is how you lost it! You have a machine that is foolproof - except for that. Typical. I have a very elementary system - I stick a post it pad in the case of my test monitor and write the stuff down... I am happy your spirit hasn't been trampled. Way to go!

12:06 PM  
Blogger art-sweet said...

Oh god I hate logging. Hate it.

My PDA has an office on the go thing - think you could use an excel spreadsheet on it and sync it at home or at work. I haven't ever tried because, see above.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Island in the Net said...

Scott,
Read your post and I have decided to start keeping a log. I have been "lazy"; taking readings 5-6 times a day and then downloading to my meter to my endocronologist computer on each visit. I do track my food intake using the Calorie King Nutrition and Exercise Manager.

6:50 AM  
Anonymous Carol said...

Scott, I'm really impressed with your diligence in logging. For some reason, I can't seem to make myself do it for more than a day. You are making me realize how reactive I've gotten. Cannot seem to remember my username to sign in properly...this is from Carol over at Progress Trumps Perfection though.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Zazzy said...

My logging sucks and I rarely test more than 4x per day. I constantly admire the folks with the detailed and useful logs! I've gone low-tech again, like Chrissie. A notebook - but a fancy notebook with columns and everything.

Good luck to you Scott!

9:47 AM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Scott

Sorry to hear about your data loss. Funnily enough moments before reading your blog entry, I'd just been reading this other article about The Digital Ice Ace. Eery almost.

Have you considered using some online spreadsheet such as Google provides? While I don't think they have a graphing facility at least you could update the data itself from pretty much any PC.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Zazzy, just for the sake of clarity. I write the stuff down on a Post-it and then when I get home I put the info into the computer on the same logsheeets as Scott - ie Kevin's GREAT LOGSHEETS!

1:09 AM  
Blogger Zazzy said...

Oh dear Chrissie, then I'm the last of the low-techs! Kevin's logsheets are incredibly impressive - my motivation to do the work, less impressive.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We log on hard copies (aka paper). It's just more convenient to have the paper there on the counter and write down Brendon's numbers as we check.

I personally would use a computer log to view trends rather than as my "end all-be all" log.

We used to write detailed info on his logs. Now we just write down his glucose number and the amount of carbs he ate.

The more convenient something is to do, the more likely it'll get done.

Whatever works for you, do it! :)

8:56 AM  

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