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Precision LogBooking.

"So what is this one, the 236.  Did you correct this?  Is this after eating?  I can't really tell."

And I peered at the logbook, chock full of results.  Months of results, all neatly organized by date and time.  Only without food or insulin doses written in, so it was less like a diabetes assessment tool and more like the machine that spins the bingo balls. 

"Ah, I have no idea.  Damn, I have no clue, actually.  I'll assume I corrected it." 

There's not too much difference between writing in all the results the night before an endo appointment and printing out the numbers.

With last week's endocrinologist appointment being a little less than thrilling, I'm on a new game plan to get ready for my June follow-up.  Dr. Brown has asked me to keep a detailed logbook of my numbers.  Not necessarily a food journal, but more a list of blood sugars, insulin doses, and carb intake.  

"You don't need to list the kind of fruit you ate, but if you just put that it was 20 grams of carbs, that would be what we need.  That way we can tell what's causing what."

The wee ickle logbook.

So I bought a very small moleskine book to record everything. (I love these books. I have one in my purse at all times and I use it to jot down everything from blog post ideas to words I want to remember to look up to reminders that if I don't pay my cell phone bill, they will come for me.)  It's a wee little thing and it fits in my meter case.  Surely it will be covered in blood and have test strips stuck to it by the end of June, but so far it's been one full day and I'm still on the wagon.  (And that, my Faithful Readers, is saying a TON.)

I get burnt out with the details of diabetes.  The whole logging thing throws me off my creative stream of consciousness.  "You mean I have to write this stuff down and analyze trends?"  I'll wear the pump and the Dexcom and do my due diligence, but when it comes to the diabetes nitty-gritty, I often tumble off the wagon.  

It's a lack of patience.  Maybe a lack of desire to make a blood sugar testing moment last more than the five second countdown.  I don't like when I feel so much of my time slipping into the realm of diabetes management.  And I make plenty of excuses not to focus:  "I'm heading to Tucson."  "I'm going home to RI for the weekend."  "I'm having dinner with NBF."  "I'm too busy at work."  "I'm ... no."  

But I'm a woman on a mission.  If I don't ever buckle down and make my A1C my top priority, it may always hover around seven plus percent.  Even if it's a pain in the ass, and even if it's "hard," I owe it to myself and my future family to give it my best.

Poor Chris.  He thought Twitter ate up time?  Wait until he sees how often I have to logbook.  

Comments

As I replied on twitter, look at the online log www.sweetspot.dm . One thing I really like is that it will take log and note entries via twitter, so no excuses. You log in your phone and send something like
d sspot g 102 note:Had some peanuts

It's funny, I can keep up with Facebook and Twitter (and changing my OmniPod and infusion sites), but logging...pssh. I hate logging with a passion, so kudos to you! :) Maybe I should get a Moleskine...it's helping me at work; maybe it'll help with logging.

KG2V - Thanks for the link!

Faye - I know, that is my problem, too. I WANT to Tweet and be on FB and all that stuff, but I despise logging. Were it not for the pre-pregnancy planning stuff, I wouldn't have any motivation. I'm terrible that way. :(

Hey Kerri what about uploading your pump info onto carelink?
If you use the UltraLink meter all your BG results plus anything you bolus for will all be on there.

Im not a HUGE fan of carelink bc I don't think it contains enough info BUT the doc seems to like it...and its a great back up for those weeks that I fall off the logging wagon. :)

Kerri...have you tried the Track3 yet...you can log carbs, insulin, glucose all at one time and quickly...then have your reports to show DR!! You can also put in 'comments' if needed. Try it!

We've also discussed this on Twitter, but I'm one of those weird freaks that actually logs and logs and logs. I order the logbooks from Minimed - one came with my pump and I was hooked. I write down blood sugars, what exact foods I ate, food and carb couts, food bolus (and if I dual-waved it, those details too), correction bolus, basal rates, exercise (with BG at start and end of workout), CGM reading and how much it was off from my finger-stick.

Yeah, way too much info. How have I not burned out yet???? I swear, I'm bringing my log book to the next Fld County Dinner just so everyone can have a good laugh.

I usually fill my logbook at the end of the day. this way i should remember everything i ate and can write it down. snacks dont get a carbcount they are only marked as snacks. bg and ie (+dualwavestuff) i can dl from my meter/pump, and voila: complete logbook

sometimes i forget to fill it (busy evening, etc) and try to reconstruct it but that doesnt work well.
Endo used logs to fine tune my numbers..and now i have an A1c in the lower 6's, so it's definitly worth it kerri!

i will definitly try out the sweetspot.dm thing

Good thing I read the comments first. I was going to suggest what Stacey did.
Since you already use the OneTouch UltraLink, if you start using the Bolus Wizard, then your Carelink reports would have everything the doc wants to know.

I hope this doesn't look like I'm telling you what to do, but it is the only 'logging' I have been successful with.

Kudos, Kerri! I've really been logging like a crazy woman myself. (We're in the same boat on this whole pre-pregnancy thing.)

I'm also trying to drop a few pounds, so I'm calorie counting and tracking my exercise so I created an all-in-one spreadsheet to cover all these things. One side is all diabetes stuff ~ pre & post-meal readings, carbs counted for and a comments section. The second side is all food log stuff with a column for exercise!

Seems to be working so far. I'm on week 4. (I always do well for b'fast & lunch, then "forget" at home for dinner.)

Good luck!

I log everything. I don't like it. Never did.
I want to do it in an easier manner via downloading my pump data (can't get it to work) and my bg data (got caught up in trying to get my pump data have not tried bg data) so I simply add everything into a simple excel file for now.

It helps that I work from home, on the computer so the file is always accessible.

But for those times I am not home, I write on anything I can get my hands on and try to remember to log it in later.

Good luck! You can do this!

I'm not always great at remembering to write things down. However, I always have my phone/PDA with me, so before I eat, I take a picture of what I'm eating. The PDA automatically records the time and date, and there's a space under the photo to make a comment about carbs, etc if I need to. I'll also write a note about something I need to log and take a picture of that. At the end of three or four days, I just thumb through the pix on my phone and write it all down at the same time. That at least takes care of the food part, and it helps trigger my memory for other details.

Kerri - Good for you! You just wait and see, come June - you will have noticeable differences. I was told that JUST by logging your day, your A1C has the potential to decrease by 1%. That shows you the power of knowledge! I am really excited for you and can't wait for June to see how you've improved.

I'm another huge fan of Carelink. Easist logging ever, especially now that I use the UltraLink meter.

Kerri -- Your persistence in this is awesome. Just an FYI that I've discovered since I've been on the GGMS from MiniMed... A carb is not a carb, for me. So just tracking carbs doesn't actually help. I get enormous spikes from bananas, sugar free hot chocolate, sugar free pudding, etc. But I don't get the same kind of spikes from strawberries, blueberries, Ezekiel bread, etc. So it's really helpful for me to note, not just the carb counts, but also what kinds of carbs I'm eating. Keeping track of those things helped me lower my A1C from 7% to 5.8%, because it enabled me to avoid the post-meal highs of 180-300mg/dL.

For years, doctors have told me that a carb is a carb. It's not true for me. Others would probably disagree.

When I was pregnant, I made my own excel document, printed it and logged everything – food (not just carb amount - like others, I needed to know what kind of carb), boluses, corrections, exercise, anything out of the ordinary, etc. Basically anything that would give me info to let me know if I needed to adjust basals/boluses or if something else had affected my sugars. I had to do it right after I did anything (ate, exercise, etc.). If I waited, I got out of the routine and got too bogged down. I’m also one of those weird people that hate having lists and things on the computer. I like to physically write it.

Like others, my A1C was way better during pregnancy. I have a healthy son who just turned one. Of course, now the problem is getting back into logging everything! I have no motivation for it now and I’m too tired from taking care of a baby! :-)

I've been using the diabetes pilot app on the I-Phone to record my bg, food (it calculates carbs), insulin, exercise, etc. I've had it for about a month (it was my excuse to buy the I-phone) and so far it's working great. I have had trouble transferring the data to the desktop version though.

Kerri - logging is totally a pain, and I know what you mean about lack of motivation. Since I am on the computer all the time anyway to blog/tweet/Fbook etc, I started using an excel spreadsheet template that I created (I know, DORK OUT!) But once I had a basic sheet down, I could just re-use to log all info for two weeks before my endo appointment. Its a simple template - one column for each item: Time of day, BG, insulin, Symlin, food, exercise, and notes where I capture any excess of WTF moments. Sometimes I track as I go, since I am usually at work in front of the computer, and other times I just grab my meter and scroll through the history to fill in the blanks. Its a great log for two weeks and I think I end up analyzing it more than my doc for trending, etc. BUT it may not be practical for tracking months worth of stuff, which it sounds like maybe you do? Anyways, just a though. Keep chipping away at it!

What gives me the most trouble (and also happens to explain my BG management "issues") is that I have a heck of a time quantifying things. Then I get frustrated and quit.

Ugh. I hate logging, too. I never, ever, ever did it until I got the pump and Animas sent me the tool to download the pump. I still don't log, but I at least can print out the data to take to my endo.

I also use paper spreadsheet type thing and record time, BG, insulin, carbs, type of food, unusual excercise, illness... for my 5 year old son. I notice spikes after treats like regular ice cream (if I buy it at home, it;s usually reduced fat), drops at night after an afternoon at the playground or swimming. I don't carry the log - it sits on the kitchen counter and I enter stuff a couple of times a day, otherwise I'd forget. My son's BG bounces up and down and it's the only way I can remotely figure out what's going on!

Anyway, in the long run, whatever gets you to your goal is worth it!

I think I take the award for bad logger of the century. I have never gone longer than 48 hours consecutive logging. I wish you luck. All the tips and info everyone shared will hopefully help you reach your goal :)

We're working on this with my daughter, too. It's hard, but I know it will help us to understand the patterns (good and bad) better. You can do it! (And when you don't, don't beat yourself up!)

I could told by my diabetes nurse yesterday to start doing the very same thing. And I thought I was being so good writing down the times and BG results, hah :]
Good luck with it Kerri.

As much as I hate logging, it always helps improve my BG control. I think it holds me more accountable for the decisions I make. I can't stand the idea of writing down and confessing to the horrible food choices I make, so I try to eat better. I haven't done logging since I started my pump 4 years ago. I just get by on Carelink. The key to successful logging is finding the "system" that works for you. Good luck. At least you have a very important goal to keep you motivated.

I am a TERRIBLE logger. I hate doing it, and I don't think I have ever consistently done it.

I totally feel for the not logging the carb intake and insulin doses. Now that I'm on Lantus, it's a pain to put everything into action. But, you know there are techy resources that help with that...the Ultrasmart meter for instance will log your boluses and your carb intake. With Medtronic, CareLink can also do the same things with some of the reports it generates. Sometimes it is just better to do it the old fashioned way though.

I'm so glad to hear I'm not the only dork with a crazy Excel spreadsheet system! I feel neurotic, but since I'm pregnant, it's sort of mandatory! Hm... mandatory neurosis or logging, not sure.

Logging? HAHAHAHAH Yeah RIGHT. I think I used a Logbook when I was first diagnosed, and did that for about 2 weeks.

Carelink is one of my very best friends. I think you can also link from your pump so you get all your boluses, sugars, when you changed sites, etc. But even just your UltraLink will work and it prints out graphs and everything!

I've been trying to get my blood sugar in a better place too & started doing something that was partially inspired by you. Awhile ago you showed some features of the Minimed pumps. In playing I realized I had a lot of info at my fingertips. Now when I bolus, I NEVER do a manual bolus. I always estimate my carb amount. Ideally when I change my infusion site, I log my bolus history, (along w/ my meter readings). Somtimes I don't do it, but my book has a lot more carb & dosage info than it used to. And, I'm keeping track of how many carbs I'm eating as well as insulin use.

This is one of my big problems too.
My DH is making a comuter program for me. I'll send you a copy when he makes it.
But basically whenever my dd logs into her computer, this screen will pop up and she'll be able to drag icons to time slots to represent what was going on that day.
ie a forgot to bolus symbol, a symbol for soccer, symbol for aunt flo, symbol for eating out, etc etc.
He say he can link up the blood sugars with it no problem. I
I just can't do paper logbooks, or writing comments are too hard for me.

I wanted to try carelink, but one thing that I'm struggling with is that the information on my pump (paradigm 522) will be inaccurate because i often use the default BS of "95" in order to see how much insulin I have on board. And with the minimed paradgim pumps, you have to log a BS in order to see that information. I check out that number more than I test my blood. Anyone have thoughts about that?

Rachel, If you're here... I just lost my post, due to bad email, so I'll retype... if you'd be willing to share a template of your Excel file, I've been trying to build one for my hubby. He loves to use it, but I love to build stuff with it... if it works, he'll use it. He's trying to get his A1C down from 8.0 without crashing (for my benefit!), and I know better tracking will help. His new doc sort of insisted on it, too :) Do you think you might be able to help? Even a few tips would be great.
Thanks - angie in Colorado

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