There’s a lot of data that PWD (people with diabetes) spin through on a daily basis – carbs counts, insulin units, blood sugar results, blah, blah, blaaaaaaah there’s so much shit sometimes. I’ve been encouraged by my endocrinologist to download my data and review it every week or two in order to assess trends over time, but I don’t do that as often as I should. I’m more of a monthly downloader, and I definitely download every night-before-the-endo-appointment, but a systematic review of my diabetes data is one of those things I could do more consistently.
However, the data is crucial to my health success. I just tend to lean more heavily on the daily data than the month-long reviews.
Like my beloved IOB. IOB stands for “insulin on board” and it’s a tool in my insulin pump that calculates how much insulin from my most recent boluses is still “active” in my system. And I don’t know if most pumpers love their IOB data as much as I do, but I LOVE mine. Love. Stupid love. It’s part of the trifecta of diabetes that I rely on every night before bed.
The checklist is short, but always, always the same: every single night before I go to bed, I check my blood sugar on my meter, comparing that number against the CGM graph. Then I click through on my CGM graph to get feel for how the day has mapped. And then I click through on my pump to check my beloved IOB to see how much insulin might be in play. (Okay, honestly I check on my daughter in her bed first. She’s usually asleep with her hair tousled into a huge mess against her pillow, with Loopy curled up against her legs. But then I do all the diabetes garbage.)
Checking the IOB in conjunction with the CGM graph and my glucose number gives me a fighting chance against middle-of-the-night hypoglycemia. And in the last year or so, it’s been a check that’s worked really well. Several times (last night, for instance), I will look at my data sources and determine that a low might be teased out overnight, and I can pop a glucose tab or run a temporary basal rate on my pump for an hour or two to keep me in range.
My overnight lows are way less frequent than they ever have been before, and that means I clean juice and sweat from my sheets way less often, so there is a practical bonus aside from the whole “not going wicked low while sleeping” thing.
There’s the takeaway: IOB monitoring helps cut back on laundry. Use all the money you save on detergent to buy a bionic pancreas!