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From Abby: SugarStats.

I suck at logging my blood sugars.  I've tried so many times to get into a good groove with keeping tabs on my numbers (I even had a logbook with logs on it), but the only time I was really successful was when I was pregnant, and I used the "Kevin" spreadsheet. 

But thankfully, logging is possible.  And Abby has proven it.  She's been using an online service to track her numbers, and she's sharing her experience with it today.  Get along, little Loggy.

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Old timey log booking.  With old timey loggers.  You can tell it's "old timey" by the sepia tones.  Duh.Logging. It’s a scary word. It could mean a dangerous occupation of cutting down giant trees and magically turning them into paper products (I have no idea how that works). It could mean using a tiny little book filled with tons of boxes to write down lots of numbers that most 13 year olds [Editor's note:  Or 32 year olds] make up two hours before their endocrinologist appointment (been there, falsified that).

Or it could mean SugarStats.

(Sidenote: I use a Minimed pump, so my endocrinologist can download two weeks worth of numbers/insulin when I go to her office, but frankly that’s not really good enough for me. I want to see what happens the other 2.5 months with my diabetes, so I can make changes, or ask her to make changes if necessary. And yes, I’ve used the CareLink program, and hated it.)

I found the SugarStats website from a camp friend who posted it on Facebook, and I decided to give it a shot. I have to admit at first I was very overwhelmed. The site is kind of confusing to navigate (although, I’m fairly un-skilled at such technology things. See: my computer is from 2005 and my phone doesn’t have the internet.) but once I got signed up and started, it wasn’t so bad.

The actual process of logging the numbers is a little time consuming, but they have an “add multiple entries” option which is super sweet, because you can list all your blood sugars at the top, then all of your insulin/medications at the bottom on one page. Easy-peasy.

On day two I was a little annoyed at how many times I check my blood sugar and take insulin, since now I have to type that all in. Fifteen boluses per day is probably a bit excessive. And then on day three, I began to love this wonderful website.  Mainly because I have a graph proving that I really am working hard and it’s paying off.  [Editor's note:  Visual aids for the win.]

Now this is where I might lose you, but stick with me; I'm going somewhere with this.  At the moment, I consider myself in pretty good control. My last a1c was 6.7, I rarely go over 200 mg/dl … I’ve hit kind of a good-rut with basal rates and insulin-carb ratios and such, and I thank the dia-gods daily for this success. That being said, I’m still incredibly pessimistic because of years of not-so-successful control.

My endocrinologist actually said to me, “You’re being too hard on yourself! You’re doing a good job!” at my last appointment. And this is where the logging website comes in.  SugarStats came into my life at the best time possible. I can now look at my numbers, see that graph, see the color code, and realize that I am doing a good job at managing my diabetes. I have the proof right in front of my face.

But since I’m sure my pancreas is reading this, tomorrow my basals will stop being perfect, and I’ll start seeing crazy graphs, and I’ll get disappointed, and my toes will fall off, etc. However, since I’m logging, and have had this stretch of success, I’ll hold onto hope. I now have one more awesome tool in my bag (tool bag? ... of diabetes supplies? … okay, but only if it's animal print and sparkly) to help me get through the rough times.  And to help me celebrate the good times.

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Are you on SugarStats?  You can follow Abby, and make logging a steady part of your diabetes diet.  (I'll give it a try, but I can't make any promises.)  Oh, and one last, important note:  No one asked Abby to write about this.  SugarStats didn't ask or pay ... they're not even aware of this post until ... NOW. 

Comments

I've been using Sugarstats to keep track of my DD's numbers almost since her DX three years ago. I used to faithfully log in daily, now it's less frequent but I always do catch-up -- wouldn't want to miss a day and skew anything. Then again, her last two weeks have been HORRIFIC. But at least with sugarstats, I know that over the last 2 weeks her "sugar average has gone up 23%." And I know I have to do something about it. Can't say enough good things about Sugarstats -- if you need to email customer service, someone is back to you within minutes! Don't know what I'd do without them. :)

I love Abby's writing.

I am horrible about logging, too. Tree- and diabetes-related.

my partner uses glucose buddy on his iphone. it took him a few months to get into the habit of logging but now he doesn't even open the meter case until his phone is next to him. he just checks and then types it in. he loves seeing the charts and the a1c estimate, etc.

Love hearing your story Abby, you can't manage what you don't measure right?

It sounds like you're doing really good, keep up the great work and like your endo said: don't be too hard on yourself :)

Thanks, Abby! I have been looking for a program to log everything since I started pumping over 9yrs ago. I'll give this a try and see how it goes. I like how I don't have to have internet on my phone to make this work! I might even have half a log to take my endo when I see her next week!

Thanks for this post, Abby!

I've been on a constant search for a way to log our numbers. (Our pump/meter isn't Mac compatible.)

What I have been looking for is a simple chart to print out that is just like a paper logbook: one line per day with the BG's in columns according to time of day. Does this program do that? I operate under the "keep it simple, stupid" theory.

Currently we log by hand and then enter into Excel or I sit down once a week with the PDM and write out all the numbers that didn't get written down in the logbook.

For me, seeing them in a table helps to see if there are areas that need addressed.

@Leighann... we pump with minimed but when I need to look at closely at my daughter's numbers (because I'm not happy with carelink personal, just give me access to the pro reports already) I use the daily log page from Omnipod
http://www.myomnipod.com/pdf/M1002%20MyDailyLogs%20R2%2009-08.pdf

I need simplicity too
PS, if you use carelink, I just read they're now MAC compatible

Sugar stats is awesome! I'm hooked!

I love that we are all getting hooked on sugarstats. It's helped me a ton this past month!

I'm totally old school: little notebooks, one day/page. They're almost diary-like with stats, commentary (WTH!?), reminders, etc. I've not always been a good logger. Long ago, I kept about 3 weeks' worth of detailed records in preparation for a new-endo appt. The dr glanced at one page and put it aside! I learned nothing from him other than that logging and endos weren't worth my time. Things have obviously changed for the better.

Thanks for the info on SugarStats- I had never heard of this program!

SugarStats was an original supporter of Triabetes. It's a great website and the people behind it really want to help people with diabetes. I used the site and found it to be one of the best--I'm just too dang something (not going to say lazy) to log regularly. (I tend to go in spurts.) Glad to see it get some coverage here.

Thanks for the post Abby! This is very timely since I just sat down at the computer to play catch-up for my endo appt tomorrow! I will give this website a shot!

I've tried logging. I used Kevin's spreadsheet for two years but really, my endo never even looked at it so I lost the motivation to continue.
I would like something automatic. I just don't think I could stick with anything where I need to manually add my numbers.

Go Abby!!! I use the "Kevin" log that Kerri mentioned. In fact, I contacted him when I read her blog post about it. I had to take out he pie charts to get it to save correctly though. Buy hey, I figure I don't need much pie anyway. :D

My doc loves the log. Especially the "week line". Thanks for blogging about it, Kerri. And thanks for blogging about SugarStats, Abby. I might give it another go.

"I’ll start seeing crazy graphs, and I’ll get disappointed, and my toes will fall off, etc."

I am so glad you said this... I feel this way often, and have to remind myself that it is unreasonable, and my toes will not fall off because I have a day that looks like a rocket blast off on my CGM.

I'm going to check out this site.

Andrea- Thanks so much for the link to the OmniPod log sheet.

I also don't get along with logs at all. I had those logbooks with "breakfast", "lunch" and "dinner" columns. Stopped using them quickly, as they didn't fit my treatment schema. I've used for a while the "On track" application on my Android phone but also stopped using it when the novelty factor wore off.
I absolutely love the OmniPod log sheet also, and it fits since I'm a fresh pumper :). Thanks.

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