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Fingertips.

First thing in the morning, I test my blood sugar.

Okay, that's sort of a lie.  First thing I do it stagger over to the bureau and slam my hand against the snooze button.  Then I collapse back onto the bed, shoving aside the little gray cat who took the four second opportunity to scurry up from the foot of the bed to the spot I was sleeping on.  After I fold myself back under the covers, my hand darts out and I retrieve my meter from the bedside table.  Fumble with the lancet device, shove a strip into the meter, and smoosh some blood onto the tip of the strip.  Sleepy countdown from 5.  Alarm goes off again.

A hole is the SUM of its parts.

This is every morning.

And every night before bed, I tuck myself underneath the comforter, do a quick blood sugar test, respond to the result (either bolus, grab a swig of juice, but most often just think, "Cool," and rezip the case), kiss Chris, go to sleep.

Blood sugar bookends to a busy day.

Testing is a big part of my daily diabetes management.  I test all the time, leaving an unfortunate trail of test strips wherever I go.  I'm constantly picking them off the ground in my office.  My gym bag is littered with them.  Don't even look at the bottom of my purses, where they form a solid layer.  I'm vigilant with testing, but not as steady with recording my blood sugar numbers.  

Since I've started at my job, I've been keeping a mangled little post-it note with my meter averages listed on it.  January 17, 2007.  March 11, 2007.  April 9.  May 2.  June 26.  It's just one little, yellow note but it's crammed ful of number notations.  It's just a matter of pressing the "Average All" option on my meter, where I'm instantly given a snapshot of my blood sugar averages. 

Keeping a steady log book is one of my biggest diabetes management hurdles.  I know there are some awesome web applications, like SugarStats, that help keeps numbers tracked, and I really need to make an instant diabetes resolution to start taking advantage of the technology I have available to me. 

I'm going home at lunch to get the cable for my meter.  I'll start downloading today.  Yes, I promise.  NaDoLoBlooMo.  (National Down Load Bloodsugars Month?  Well that's just plain bizarre looking.) 

How do you overcome the hurdle of folding number-tracking into your busy days?

Comments

I have the One Touch Ultra Smart. It does all that junk for me. It even has a little chart built right in that shows me all the jagged highs and lows for a week or month. Saves me from jotting down anything. It also gives me an average...you can tell how many x a day you actually test. Just all kinds of things. I couldn't enjoy this wonderful diabetes ride without it!

I don't have diabetes but my son does, he has had it for 5 years (officially on 11-15) and he is 6 years old so suffice it to say, I am and always have been "the logger/data manager". We keep an 8 1/2 X 11 paper in the meter case which has everything on it. The time, sensor bg, meter bg, carbs, bolus and correction amounts in rows and then columns down the middle for each entry and it's data. It has 5 days worth of data which is enough for me to eyeball and make changes. It goes to daycare, school, home and everywhere he goes.

I just started uploading the sensor data online (weekly) but I am not proficient enough yet to offer advice on it.

Anyway, that is how we handle our data, interpret it and make changes. Oh, and yes I find test strips everywhere, in my purse, car floor, under his bed, under the couch...

I don't think sugar stats gives enough information. I use a log sheet I made with Word, then manually put the data into a program called GlucoseOne http://www.glucoseone.com/ a few times a week.
The program keeps an on going graph at the bottom almost like a stock ticker. It also will predict your A1c in the print outs. It isn't perfect, but it works well enough.

I'm horrible about it. Horrible.

I use Kevin's logbook, but I only log during the two weeks prior to an endo appointment or if I'm having trouble and need to spot a trend.

"Data Manager" is literally my job title, so I feel a little foolish about how bad I am at handling my own data..

Are you sure you didn't take a picture of MY fingertips????

Kerri,

I have a sheet I've made up with blood sugars, carbs boluses, things like that on it. I sit down every night and record the numbers in for the day.

Then, at least once a week I look over all the numbers and see if there are patterns of highs and lows.

It's just something I have to make myself do. Just like I have to make myself do the laundry. I HATE to do the laundry.

Kerri,
thank you for another post with which I identify so closely. I think the reason we have trouble with keeping track is because we're still reacting like the kids we were when diagnosed... what kid wants to carry a little book around with them and write down numbers all the time...
How many times did you spend the car ride to an endo appointment trying to fill in as many blanks in that damn book as you could... or worse yet, how often did you 'cheat' in your logbook?!?

That pic looks like a pack of hot dogs peaking out!

It's easy for me because I'm at home and not testing everywhere in existence. But on the days we're out and about, I just go through the numbers on his meter and record them on the log sheet.

I always enter my BG readings into my pump (MM 722) for the bolus wizard (whether I'm going to bolus or not). Eventually I get around to uploading my pump to Carelink and use that as my log book.

Aaron...or anyone else :)

Is there a way to enter your BG readings into your pump using the bolus wizard without bolusing? Even if you put 0 g it will still give you a correction bolus, right?

OWW! Are you testing in the middle of your fingertips? I always use the sides cause they hurt WAY LESS!

The logging question is a good one. When I was first diagnosed I was vigilent about keeping a record since I was in the doctors office like every 1-2 weeks. I just kept the pen, logbook and meter together, and wrote it down immediately before I forgot. Now, I'm a total slacker. I test, but since I can't make since of my numbers anyway, I just gave up writing them down. I too, need to go get a cable for my meter.

Good luck with NaDoLoBlooMo!

Laura,

All you need to do is keep going through the screens. The second last screen will show you how much correction bolus it intends to give you. When you get to the last one, you can adjust that number up or down. If you don't want to bolus, just move that number to 0 then press Act. Your BG will be entered in the pump but you won't have bolused anythning.

Kerri, for me it was just forming the habit. Most paper log books that come with meters were way too small for me. However, Bayer has one called "CliniLog" which is big enough to have room for notes, insulin doses, etc., but still fits in my Diapak bag. When I was first diagnosed, I was in between jobs, so I had nothing better to do than upload my meter every day, and record all my notes, carbs, doses and such in the meter software on my computer. Now that I'm gainfully employed again, its a challenge, but I still keep the written log religiously, and probably upload weekly, albeit without the notes sometimes. The written log is useful for quick analysis, and the computer software is indespensable for figuring out the trends. Writing everything down is just second nature now, I guess.

Thanks Aaron!

Hi Kerri
I so relate. Until last year, I bought a sketch book at a art and supply store. And I use my preschoolers markers to write down the numbers. I try to be creative. That helps motivate me to keep the log.

I use SugarStats intermittently. The twitter interface to Sugarstats has helped a lot. And I also rely on the really nice software that comes with my Dexcom. It's got some awesome average calculations that help me see how I'm doing overall.

It still wish there was a single piece of software to do it all. Download from my meter, CGMS, and Pump. Draw pretty graphs and tell me what a great guy I am.

Is that too much to ask for?

It's funny. I was literally just thinking about how you never mention logging your bloodsugars. Since this is an area that I need more discipline in, as well I look to my diabetes OC pals who are my inspiration much of the time lately.

I was standing in the rain yesterday thinking about how often I test and how I need to be much more vigilant about logging it all. Some scary lows have confirmed this for me, recently. Then, I read your post.

Thanks for "coming out" about your logging hurdle. It makes me feel a bit better to know there's another awesome diabetic out there who needs to record the numbers more, too. I'm sure we're not the only ones!

I wonder if Michael's comment might be correct--for those of us who were diagnosed so young, I, too, sometimes feel the little girl in my resisting and where this comes out the most is in logging. I remember fudging numbers (I used 140 a lot) on those old logbooks before Endo appointments.

I created my own form for tracking my daughter's blood sugar - you can see it here:

http://www.libertybella.com/blood-sugar-tracking.htm

It has room to record up to 9 blood sugar readings per day, daily insulin doses, space for comments and best of all -- room for meal planning!

I keep it with me where ever we go - fold it and put it in my purse. I'm pretty hard core about tracking. Daily blood sugar levels are even more revealing than your A1C ... after all, it's the daily numbers that make up the A1C! To be able to look at them at a glance is very important to me.

I understand that there are programs like sugarstats, but some of us are so sick of the computer, that one less thing we have to rely on it for is ... well, just one less thing!

My daughter pumps with the Cozmo, and we use the Freestyle Cozmonitor attachment. Every test is logged into her pump. The best part is the IOB feature; if she has enough insulin on board it will tell me (or her, or the nurse at school) that she doesn't need a correction or it reduces it based on IOB. Love that!!
Before the pump, we had a little notebook that went back and forth for the school nurse to log into, and I was supposed to as well....but, not so much. I don't think too many people enjoy the logging, even though it does give valuable info! It seems to be *one more damn thing* in the ever-lengthening list, and it's way too easy to skip. :)

I am the worst at logging.....I try to upload every few weeks (which ends up being every few months)......but I do like the jazy computer programs that come with most meters....those are my only way to visually see and analyze the data!!!

I used a palm pilot with freestyle software for logging on it once.. but that didn't last. I actually prefer keeping handwritten records, but still I'm not too good at it.. More often you'll find me entering all my numbers from my tester the night (or sometimes the morning) before an appointment. :-P

Hey Kerri - I have been a terrible log keeper over the entire span of my life with the D and have never managed to get past 3 days of logging. I know I need to, but it's been such a schlep. I used to have an UltraSmart meter and that was pretty wicked with it's info, but still hard to like - overview, on the little meter.

I've just started using Sugar Stats and it seems promising with new improved features on the way - and I input all my bg and med data as I test and eat via email from my blackberry. I'm going to also try use Kevin's log, which I just received from him and hope I can keep my head on for that.

I guess it's important just to make it a habit ,like doing the washing or walking the dog!

Kerri,
THANK you for bringing this topic up. I plead guilty, guilty, guilty. While I understand how important recording is-I find it way too easy to test and move on (I'm usually testing on the fly anyway). But I've often pondered how some of us like details and others don't (read "hate"). I remember you revealing your MBTI type (ENFP)and because those of us who share that type enjoy big picture and don't delve into the details, I wondered if you shared my guilt with recording. Now I know. Thank you.

record it in my palm pilot

I'll freely confess to falling off the logging wagon, too. I used to be completely anal about it and would log everything. Now, I scroll thru her pump and meter and if I see multiple highs or lows, I'll do Kevin's log and try to figure it out. I also do it before an endo appointment. I don't know how to motivate myself to do it all the time, though. I got out of the habit and it's very hard to get the habit back.

Hi Kerri,
Another great post, thank you for talking about tracking your numbers. For me, i still havent gotten the cable that connects to my Freestyle Flash, and I never remember to upload the data from my pump, but for the past 2 years or so, I have been using these tiny little spiral 3x5 notebooks that only open on the left side, and i write the date on the top, then i have 4 columns of "time" then "BG" and "bolus" and "notes"-for like breakfast, new site, etc. and i use like 2 pages a day, but they come with 60 pages. Its great. I'll write about it with a picture in a couple of days, so you can see. :)
Anyway, goodluck with figuring out a way to track your numbers. :)

I use this little tin (empty, of course) to hold my OneTouch Ultra strips in for the meter that I carry with me. It was one of those waiting-in-line grab-on-a-whim purchases at a grocery store. Keep your eye out for one or something similar so you don't have to leave a trail of test strips everywhere you go. http://www.greatergourmet.com/gourmet_candy_tins_areka.htm

Hey Kerri,

The pregnancy has obviously necessitated good logging, since I have to fax my sheets to the CDE each week. It's become a pretty ingrained habit now... but I'm sure that'll change once the little one arrives.

It was interesting to see your fingertips... I test on the sides of my finger tips, but almost never right in the middle. I have two, distinct callouses on each finger. How funny the patterns we establish!

Interesting pic. My roommates are always in awe when I do dishes for a while or take a long soak in the shower because my pruned fingers are chock full of holes. Looks rather interesting. Do anyone else's fingers look crazy after a long bout of water?

In response to the other comment about testing with the tips of your fingers... I've never ever done that. When I was very first diagnosed they told me to most definately not use the tips. It eventually kill kill the nerve endings in the ends of your fingers & then you won't be able to feel anything!

And... it took me a long long time to get into a good steady pattern of recording everything. I've been writing everything down for about a year. Food, boluses, blood sugars.... I've definately had times when I kinda slacked a bit. I used to have the OneTouch UltraSmart... which was cool & I did use the cool computer program a few times. But, I found it way way easier to just carry my record-book thingy with me & just write stuff down as I do it. And of course ever since I got the pump, I've really been using it to add up carbs. Before I was adding up carbs as 1 carb choice = 15 g. Now I am adding up the actual carbohydrates in everything to plug into my pump.

I'm pretty proud of my record books actually now that I think about it... :)

Yeah, it's easy to let the glucose tracking get lost in the shuffle. That's why my last three meters have had download capability. (AccuChek Complete, One Touch Ultra Smart, and the current BD/Paradigm) It saves a lot of hassle to be able to just dump them to software, then graph the trends or print the stats for a doctor visit. The BD meter which came with my MiniMed 722 actually wirelessly transmits the glucose reading to the pump so you can bolus appropriately. Of course, like always, getting that bolus vs bg vs carbs ratio right is still the same challenge. :)

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