Keeping Track of My Diabetes: The Diabetes Log

April 8th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

I’ve never been any good at keeping a log of my numbers.  It doesn’t help that my doctors wanted me to when I was a kid and teen.  (Not so good at doing what someone else wants me to do without at least one Very Good Reason and a lot of Instant Rewards.)

I’ve always considered that keeping a journal of my numbers, activities, insulin, food, and feelings was not as important as living my life.  I can do it for a few days, but the thought still makes me unhappy. 

My Anal Self doesn’t like my Options (and I’ve looked at and designed a load of journals)

The little boxes with the little times on them—if I check at 9:13am and then again at 9:50am, where do I put those two meter readings?  At the 9am?  The 10am?  What if I then check again at 10:30am?  Where do I put that number??  Some of the logs have only four boxes- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Evening; that system isn’t ever going to work for me!  I check my blood glucose 8-12 times a day, and rarely at the same times.

The little boxes for “exercise”—do you want me to write in what I did?  Really??  Where do I put what my meter reading was when I was on mile 4 of a 6 mile run?  What do I do when I’m leading bootcamp or when I go to IKEA?*   I’d rather just exercise and keep moving instead of trying to figure out how to record what I’m doing.

The food journal.  It is a great idea, and rather helpful when trying to lose weight or catch an unknown pattern, but for a daily log of my life, can’t I just skip it?  Writing down the number of carbs I ate isn’t enough information, since it matters what I ate along with those carbs.  (Was it straight crackers, or was it crackers and cheese?  Those two snacks will affect my blood glucose differently.  What about the veggies?)

On my pump, writing out each bolus feels cumbersome.  Yes, I have a record in my pump that I can easily transcribe, but again, transcribing seems like maybe not the best use of my time. 

Back in the day before I was on a pump and when my mom was in charge of the food I ate and I kept my meter at home, it was probably easier to keep a log.  But for the past fifteen years or longer, it just hasn’t made much sense for me as a way of life. 

Overall, I just think I’m not a Record Keeper

I just am not good at writing down what I do.  I’m not good at taking photographs, either.  I tend to see both as a kind of distraction from participation in my actual life. 

And yet, the diabetes log looms at many doctor visits.  It is a great tool for someone else to look at to evaluate my choices and decisions.  (Great.  Just what I need after 22 years of school; more evaluations.)  I really do see that it is a great tool when I’m having trouble with a certain time of day or can’t see a pattern. 

The smart CDEs have asked me to just keep a log for a week.  The smarter engineers have built meters and pumps that can download all my information to a computer for my doctor.  (Thanks for that!)  My favorite doctors, of course, are those who can read the computer printouts and have never asked to see anything I have written down.

For now, I say thank you to everyone who has ever tried to ease my record-keeping burden or erase it altogether. 

And if we ever go away on vacation, you’re the one in charge of the camera.

*I go low at least once every time I enter that store.  I don’t know why.  Magic doors?  Insulin spray circulating through the vents?  It happens at every IKEA location I’ve ever been.

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  1. Peggy says:

    For the record, I go “low” (in non-diabetic terms) every time I go into IKEA too. I’m going “low” just thinking about it. I think it’s part of the nervous panic I experience wondering if I will be able to find my way out.

    And if we go on vacation, I’m all over camera duty.

  2. MaiaJane says:

    I havent been diabetic for very long, but I see exactly what you are talking about.
    I am SO not a record keeping kind of gal.
    Just like you, I have designed, bought and tested about a million of them…
    If you ever findone that works for you, let me know!

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