Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Logging for Rebels (By Sysy)

This post comes at a very interesting time.

I am NOT a logger. I have never logged for more then a few days. I am at the point right now where I really need to log blood sugars, exercise and food. I want to be serious about my diabetes and training. I need to figure out if I'm training smart and if my insulin regime needs tweaking. I need to see if I'm consuming too many or too few calories. I need to log miles in my shoes so I don't go and ruin my feet again. All of these reasons should be enough, but evidently they aren't in my stupid brain.

If I try, I last maybe a couple days. Katie, I lasted about 1.5 days on that app. I'm thoroughly disappointed in myself. I guess it just wasn't the right app for me.

I have tried all sorts of ways of convincing myself. Be it digitally on the computer or on my phone or by hand on a notepad/calendar/hand. You name it. I start and I think, "I'm never going to keep this up." low and behold I never do.

Right now as we speak I have like a month of workouts to log. All I have is the info from my Garmin at this point since I can't remember how many hours I slept 3 Wednesdays ago or what my blood sugar did.

I'm really pissed off at myself. I turned to someone I think is highly influential and inspirational. I asked Sysy who is like my diabetes guru for good management. She works hard and I look up to her. She wrote this guest post for me. Needless to say, I'm going to try AGAIN.

Read on.....

I know logging numbers is hard. I abhor it. I've often been a rebel when it comes to my diabetes. In fact, I wrote my mom an angst filled poem once in my early teens called, “Your Rebel Without A Cause”. In logging one’s diabetes numbers, the cause for rebellion is that it can be a most unpleasant chore. So I get it. If you get it, this post is for you.

My doctor doesn’t ask me to log my numbers because he knows I won’t do it so he just looks at my meter. For my benefit at home, since I am the one that changes all of my insulin needs (albeit, never drastically) I review my meter’s log each week and track trends.

Here is an idea for tracking trends if you really find it hard to log or are simply as stubborn as I am:

Get a calendar or use the one in your phone or gadget of choice (I’m a decade behind so I use the kitchen wall calendar). At the end of each day or two, grab your meter and make a note of which times of the day or night you were high and low. I am pretty general, for example: “Morning-high”, “3am-low”, “Afternoon-high”. I don’t write down when I’m in range because this info is assumed by it’s absence. I also completely skip days which I might have ruined with some sort of binge eating. In fact, sometimes a Monday or Wednesday here and there has just said “chocolate” on it. Nuff said. You see on those days, blood sugar data isn’t accurate because what threw our blood sugars was our atypical actions that day. And it’s ok. It happens. But I find that stressing over insulin changes for data like that just skews everything. Something else I’d make note of on the calendar if you’re a girl-pms time of the month. This definitely changes things and is worth keeping track of with a little red dot.

Now, at the end of each week, take a look at the last calendar week and look for similarities.

For example, do you have highs most mornings? If so, this is a trend. Are you low several times a week in the middle of the night? This is also a trend-and so on. This is what doctors do with your numbers. And nothing stops you from doing the same. If you feel uncomfortable adjusting your insulin, please consult your doctor. If you do adjust your insulin on your own, do it in small, safe increments and add a few blood sugar checks, especially for overnight changes.

My endo never gives me insulin recommendations. He brings my attention to trends he notices and asks me if I know what’s going on. If I don’t, this means I need to investigate. For example: My endo pointed out at my last visit that I was having higher highs. I was having the same number of highs as before, but they were higher. This lead me to think honestly about what I’ve been doing differently lately and by writing up a one week food journal I realized I was eating more carbs than usual. This lead me to reduce carbs again and get those highs down from around the 300 range to 200, which makes a big difference in the way I feel and makes the process of correcting much faster and simpler.

So ok, you get the idea. The key really is just to get creative and figure out some way to track trends while giving them enough time to prove themselves real and to learn what works and doesn’t work for you.

Good luck with logging, however and whenever you manage it!

The tip about not bothering to record blood sugars that are in range is simple but brilliant. That makes a huge difference. THANK YOU SYSY! And I've had a few of those "chocolate" days myself.

I have an idea for a Scully'ized app now.

3 comments:

  1. i HATE logging! thank goodness my Dr. and DEC girls know it, and dont expect much. it's easier for me now that i am on a pump. years ago, most of my logging was done the morning of the appt and were LIES!! i'm sure the drs knew it from and A1c's i was showing!
    now i just download and look for trends. i'm not really good at it yet, but i'm getting the hang of it!
    i do like the calendar idea though! it's there at a glance, and all it takes is a few minutes at the end of the day, or whatever time works! as long as it's everyday!
    thanks for the great guest post!

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  2. I also don't log my blood sugars. I did when I was first diagnosed and even through college, then just got burned out and stopped. Needless to say, I have not picked up the desire to do it again. Although, Sysy's approach seems good.

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  3. I was a religious logger for the first 16 months after Bean was diagnosed and then I stopped because I started working.
    I need to get back to it for trending purposes because for some reason I just can't 'see' it from meter data.
    Love the wall calendar idea...even though I app-ed it the first time, I'm a low-techie at heart.
    Thanks for sharing!!!

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