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The Year of the Log.

My mom and I used to fill in my log book the night before Joslin appointments, clicking through the glucose meter's memory and writing results into a steno notepad.  

"Use a different pen, Mom," I'd encourage her.  "That way it will look like we did this on different days."

"Kerri, grab that coffee cup and smudge a bit riiiiiiight ... here."  

My logbooks looked like treasure maps from centuries past, complete with fire-singed edges and wrinkled, tea-stained corners.  And my then-endocrinologist at Joslin was no idiot. 

"Your log book is very ... weathered," she'd say with a smirk.  "Has it seen far-away and exotic countries?" 

Blush. 

I've been diabetic for over 22 years, and keeping track of my numbers has been a challenge for me and my management team since Day 1.  I need to turn this trend around and actually keep track of these numbers because they mean so much on their own, but they mean so much more when they're viewed as a big picture.  Logging is the one big resolution I have for 2009, and I said I was going to try.  So I'm trying.

I needed to get myself all incentivized to log my blood sugars.  Logging, as I've mention a million times before, is THE hardest thing for me to reign in.  I test regularly, eat well, and exercise, but I have a mental block about logging numbers.  One that I need to get over.

So I did a very grown-up thing.

I bought stickers.

Stickers work for adults too, right?

 And made myself laugh with a pun.
 
My not-so-clever pun about my diabetes log book.  I'm trying, though!

This is going to be my Log Book, and my last week's blood sugars are printed out, three-hole punched, and all nice-nice in there.  I had the chance to look at my glucose average (173 mg/dl, thanks to a 404 mg/dl after a pump site change), my glucose numbers within target (62%) and the number of hypos I've had (5).  Rough week.  I'm determined to look at better results next week and say, "Ah, there it is- I've hit my stride."  Or at least, "Hey, there weren't any numbers over 240 mg/dl and you only had one low."   

I'm hoping I can stick with printing out my blood sugars every week, and if I can stick with the program, I will slap a star on my calendar.  Stupid?  Maybe, but it's tangible proof that I DID IT.  And hopefully by DOING IT, I can hold myself accountable for my management and make some improvements.  I won't know unless I TRY.  In all caps.  That's how I roll.

So, armed with stickers and silly puns, I'm making 2009 "The Year of the Log."   And I think that I'm telling you guys in efforts to make me stick with it.  Knowing that YOU know makes ME feel like following through isn't so tough.  IN ALL CAPS.  ;)

Comments

Stickers are good. I had a friend who gave herself a sticker for every day she exercised. Me? I continue to carry around my pretty pink log book with pages all ready for me to fill out but remain empty. It has become a place for me to put loose papers that I want to have close at hand. *sigh*

I used to log everything manually with Kevin's [parenthetic(diabetic)] log book design.

Now with the Carelink USB drive thing from MiniMed I just do it all through my pump. Since I almost religiously use the bolus wizard everything including my carb count is in there.

If I didn't have something doing it for me, there is no way I would be able to consistently log.

I hear you Kerri. I just plugged in my Medtronic USB pump reader and downloaded my readings and printed the report from CareLink's site. I also noticed the last time I did an upload was April 2007, no typo on the date either.

I think reviewing them regularly will help tighten up the control a bit.

I'm also playing around with sending my BG numbers to SugarStats via SMS and Twitter. Regardless of the method, I think it will be import to look at but not over analyze too much.

P.S. - I miss the Joslin.

Logging my numbers is my main resolution for this year too :]

My methid involves writing down each reading in a book after testing, then using highlighters to colour code the readings:
Yellow = Hypo
Green = Target
Pink = Over 14mmol/L

So far, it's really helping :]

Good luck with your log book !

You motivated me to start! I don't use carelink because I never remember to logon...I just started an excel spreadsheet and put a reminder on my outlook calendar to update at least every Monday! Thanks for the motivation :)

Type 2s don't have to test that much and still I never seem to get around to getting it logged. Good luck with whatever gets you motivated to log.

Logging was part of my new years resolution too! Since I use a mac at home I can't do any of the fancy downloading of my pump :( Unless anyone knows otherwise and would like to inform me?? I have been using SugarStats and I love it! I like that I can log in at home and at work and keep my logging all in one spot. It helps to keep me from losing the book. And I also remember car rides to the endo as a kid filling in all my numbers for the past few months before my appointment. I think I did the whole pen change too.

Good luck, Kerri.

I've always sucked at logging, but I'm getting better. It kind of helps that I practically live on the computer and had to buy Excel for school.

Stickers make everything more fun! I wish you luck. I'll look forward to your secrets to success because I haven't logged a number since big hair and cassette tapes were all the rage.

Awesome idea! I think a few of us have made that a resolution for this year. Maybe together we will have a support system that wont allow us to fail half way through :0)

Everyone deserves a fun sticker when they are doing a good job!! :) I upload my pump to CareLink once a week or every two weeks, but when I first started pumping I was also very good about keeping written records in the logbook Medtronic sent with the pump. In the past few months, I'd really slacked off on that. I'd be good for the first week of every month, then never touch it again. But now that I have my CGM, I'm inspired and logging compulsively again. I'm going to try not to let myself slack on that again - I find it very helpful.

Hi Kerri! Today is my first time reading your blog/website! I'm loving it! I'm 21 years old, was diagnosed with Type 1 nine years ago (although my identical twin sister is still wonderfully diabetes-free!), and was recently married in June 2007! I've been through several of your posts, and can relate to SO much of what you're saying! (Even this one, using the different ink colors in your log and other attempts to make it look "authentic"! I, too, did this in my beginning years of diabetes.)

I found your site after searching the internet for some information about experiencing paralysis as a result of an extreme low. I've dealt with EXTREMELY low blood sugars almost since I was diagnosed, but didn't start having any "crazy" reactions with them until right before my wedding. Since then I've experienced some, for lack of a better word, CRAZY things including fighting (and once biting!) my husband, spitting juice instead of drinking it, putting a hanger with dress pants on them on my shoulder and carrying it thinking it was a purse, insisting on drinking my juice out of an empty Coke Zero can, and lots of other things, most of which I don't remember much of, if any, afterward. But 5 days ago was definitely the most scariest experience I've ever had. My husband woke up and knew I was low, checked for me and I was at 28 (yes, extremely low, but not a first). He brought me juice and although I was completely responsive and alert, I was paralyzed! I couldn't speak, my arms wouldn't move the way I was trying to tell them to. Instead they were really jerky and almost useless. I couldn't walk, either. I felt like I was in a movie. My brain was trying to tell my mouth how to form the words and my legs how to walk, but my body was not responding appropriately. And when I didn't improve as quickly as my blood sugar did, I began to get very scared! I started preparing to call 911, and thinking about how my last semester of college was going to have to be postponed because I was going to need therapy to learn to talk and walk again. I kept telling (or trying to) my husband that I didn't understand. We began wondering if I'd had some kind of stroke. My husband, though extremely scared, was amazing and calm and stayed with me and helped me (even when he couldn't understand my babbled attempt at speech) until I was back to "normal" about an hour later. The endo-on-call said my brain probably just wasn't getting enough glucose, which makes sense, but why did I react this way this time? Like many things with Diabetes, it's yet to be discovered.

Anyway, I just wanted to comment and let you know how glad I am that I found your website. It sounds like you are at a similar stage in life (newlywed, thinking about future pregnancy, etc.), and I will definitely enjoy keeping up with this website in the future.

This is one of the very few elements of diabetes care that I do well consistently. When I'm not tracking my sugars, it shows (even if I can't see it, it shows up in my H1c), and that's my motivation. Every day I write down all of my sugars, make a graph by hand, calculate the amount of insulin I gave, my average blood sugar and write down all the carbs I ate. It's also helpful because my doctor can compare my finger pokes to the CGMS readings. So Kerri, if I can do it, you most certainly can! Now if I could only exercise as often as you do, I'd be (nearly) set. So much about diabetes is being patient with ourselves when we're not 100 perfect, isn't it?

Thanks for a neat idea - I'm type 2, trying to persuade myself back into taking responsibility for it all. Glitter and stickers just might be the way to go, for me at least!

Jan in the UK

I am a type A mother of a type 1 child. I have graphs and charts and log books that make my endo weep with joy.

So, even though I am not in any way technically challenged, I still find it easiest to manually log - I have a small 3 ring binder with some custom made (excel) log sheets - I print them out 6 months at a time and just manually write it all down at each bg check. it's all very low tech. I am woefully bad about downloading the pump/meter but I do that once a month or so.

So that said, I totally love the sticker idea - find what motivates you, and if its a shiny sticker, then do it.

oh and ps - I give myself permission to not log while on vacation or holidays (Christmas day..not a single entry in the log book) or when we're not at home. Even us type A's have to give ourselves a break.

Oh my god, I thought I was the worst diabetic child in the world until I read this. I used to do the same exact thing, except I was trying to fool my endo AND my parents. I remember staying up late nights before my Dr. appointments with a whole assortment of writing instruments for variety. The worst part was when the last logbook update was past the meter's memory, and I just had to make stuff up. 18 years later I realize it was stupid and I probably wasn't fooling anyone, but oh well. I agree though, the Carelink USD link makes it SO much easier....without it I'd rarely have anything on paper to look at.

I think maybe I suffer from mental blocks when it comes to stuff like this as well. I have all kinds of notebooks and things and still dont seem to have the motivation to do this maybe I should adopt this as my new years resolution to remember to log in sugar numbers . Thanks for a great blog and making me feel like I am not the only one that cannot seem to do this . LOL!!!

I logged religiously during my pregnancy and now that I'm 9 months post-birth I can't seem to get back into the groove! It was so intense that now I'm resisting having to be on such a strict regimen. Hopefully I'll get back into it at some point. Maybe when my son turns 18? :-) Good luck with your goal!

My first question? Do you have a computer. Contact the company of your blood glucose meter and ask to receive a copy, download, etc of their program that you could upload your blood glucose readings. I currently use CoPilot 4.0. It is faster, quicker and there are various graphs and charts to assist with the management of this condition. Hope this helps and have a great day.

stickers or no stickers, cute pun-a-rific log book or not, I think it's great what you're doing and, I KNOW that SINCE you succeeded with the D365 photos, then I KNOW you can and will succeed with this as well.

I have faith in you :-)

Having the computer read the numbers off the monitor is easy. Correlating them with food is easy in Excel, tedious through the monitor software. Analyzing food... that's one of those things I find incredibly annoying to do with the tools I have (and am paying for).
Guess what I need is someone to keep me accountable for logging food...

This is the one thing about my D management that I do well... too well, maybe! I write down EVERY number. High or low. At one point, I wouldn't write anything down over a 20 mmol/L (~360), and I did the highlighter thing, too!! I never write in the times.. just the readings in my log books that I get from the D Clinic (with enough spaces for 8 readings/day). I clip a pen on the side, so I am never without! My log book does look well weathered, with blood smears, curled up pages, etc, etc. I write in blood pressure readings, doctor/dentist appointments, A1C's, averages for the week (in RED ink!) and other notes.

I call it my Bible. LOL!!

Good luck with your New Year's Respolution, Kerri! It is hard to keep the logbook... but once you get onto it, it'll be as regular as blinking!

kerri, why don't you use the Carelink provided with the Minimed pump? you just download your pump to the computer and print up your logbook-- it does everything for you! plus so much more.

Hi Kerri: I have read your post with lots of interest. I follow you on Twitter. I find your information great and informative.

One consideration is a great program Diabetes Pilot www.diabetespilot.com. Diabetes Pilot can track BG, food intake, Blood Pressure and medications and Exercise. Diabetes Pilot can provide you graphs, charts. An excellent tool to use to track all of the information. Diabetes Pilot is an alternative to track your information. Good luck and thank you for your posts on SUM

I *heart* Excel.

I think you know that.

Now I should use it for something useful.

I'm surprised Kerri that for as much as you are on the computer and the KerriBerry that you do not use SugarStats.

Sugarstats.com has been a lifesaver for me in keeping records as it is so easy to log in and text in my crazy sugar readings. It's free and it will also tweet out your BS readings on Twitter too. Therefore, all of us that follow you on Twitter can now hear the same BEEEEEPing over the Twitter streams. :)

Hi,
I'm also trying to log more often in 2009. I'm still "pen & paper" though. Does anyone know where to obtain a comprehensive log / data collection sheet for pen & paper recording? Thanks.

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