Blood sugar records

I am on pump and cgm and while they record all of my stuff… I find if I don’t write them down myself I am not as aware and accountable for my numbers. I seem to take better care of myself too. I was curious if anyone else still keeps records old school and if so is it spreadsheet or notebook and what is the info you are keeping track of.

Thanks Lori

I download my meter readings to my computer and use software from my meter for long term analysis and for the reports I give my Dr. However I still keep a little notebook, with my meter, and write down all my readings in it. This is useful for short term analysis. As soon as I take a reading it’s out of my mind. The notebook is useful if I have say a high post lunch reading. I can look at my notebook, refresh my memory and decide if the reading is an anomaly or a trend.

I can’t imagine in a million years doing manual logging, but I do agree with you that it can make you more accountable. For me I spend enough of my life dealing with diabetes that I don’t need to add anything more to my days. Back in the days that I did keep BG information manually (before pumps, meters with memories, etc.), I never looked at it anyway.

I think that it is very easy with Type 1 to becoming immersed in numbers and feeling that you’re “keeping score” with your life. I have a pump and CGMS so you can’t say that I’m not daily accountable for my numbers. I don’t do much in my life with pen and paper, and diabetes manual logging just isn’t going to happen.

But if it’s helpful to you, then go for it. We each have to find our way in taming the Type 1 monster. What helps you may not help me. Just another one of those YMMV things.

I wish I did logging. I think it would help me get better control.

I find the data my pump collects pretty useless. The software focuses so much on “blood sugar” which I suppose is good if you already have a decent level of control that you just want to tighten. I really wish the software was more focuses around “events” and then how those events affected your blood sugar. I wish I could select an actual event I’ve logged, like “exercise” or “lunch” and see how my blood sugars were before and after that event. Having even more specific events like “exercise - recumbent bike - 30 minutes” and being able to see the blood sugars X window of time before and X window of time after would be even better. I don’t think there is any software or spreadsheet out there that can do this, though. They are all focused around graphing blood sugars and generating statistics about blood sugars which I don’t find very helpful.

I don’t manually log because it just takes up too much time, although I probably should. I’ve tried before and I tend to stick with it while my numbers are okay, but as soon as things go out of whack I stop writing them down. Plus, I don’t find just keeping a list of everything all that useful for looking back on. I would log if there was software like I mentioned above which was focused primarily around “events” and their effect on blood sugar, rather than being primarily focused on blood sugar itself.

Seems to me I saw a meter hooked to a smart phone not long ago. It has not been approved by the FDA so It’s really not available. This gives you access to a keyboard and enables the addition of another field or fields to allow a little more data to be stored. Then you could sort by an event or something else like a carb count, and produce a nice report to look at. One thing I know is that the best way to make use of your data after collecting it is to sort and filter various ways and look at the resulting data. Raw data is relatively useless.

I think this probably is only for geeks but hey they’re plenty of us out there. Even the non geeky could benefit. If a person is willing to log the data a CDE could do the analysis and make recommendations.

What type of regulatory hurdles would such a device have in Canada?

CoPilot does have a "before and after " meals graph, which shows before and after breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but you either have to tag the reading or set up times of day that it knows what is before and after. Since my meal times vary , this doesnt work reliably for me. I agree, a generic event mechanism, with before and after would useful.

I’m not sure how device approval works here. Some things we get a few months before you guys (Minimed Veo/Revel, Animas Ping), while others we don’t get until years later (OmniPod, Dexcom).

There are lots of apps for smartphones and/or online or desktop, but all of them still focus very heavily on blood sugar. They let you collect other types of data like food, exercise, etc., but most of them use this in isolation (i.e., saying you exercised X amount this week or eat an average of X amount of carbohydrates per day). What I want is something that would let you pick an event and view your BG X amount of time before and after that event. Or pick two events and view your BG between those two events only. Or pick X and Y events and view them side-by-side so you could see how doing two slightly different things affects your BG. I would like to be able to view it in graph AND chart form, and in an “average” graph as well as an overlay graph of all the same events (like the “modal day” graph most software has).

And of course you’d still be able to get all your blood sugar graphs and statistics of range and standard deviation and average … but that wouldn’t be the main focus of the software. The whole challenge of diabetes is that your blood sugar is basically a dependent variable which is influenced by a bunch of independent variables, so it doesn’t make sense to me why software is so heavily focused on looking at that dependent variable while all the other variables are sort of afterthoughts that you can log but can’t really graph or look at in relation to your blood sugar.

CoPilot is the closest one I know of to what I want, but even it has its limitations. I use a Ping now and the software that comes with that is not nearly as good as CoPilot was when I used a Cozmo.

I don’t have a pump, I inject. But I use my One Touch Ultra Smart meter to do some of the analysis that you’re talking about. In addition to my BG readings which are all there (obviously), I also record all my insulin injections. I can then use the provided menus to see what my total daily dose has been for the last 7, 14, 30, 60 and 90 days. It is trivial to track my TDD and see whether it is increasing or decreasing. I can break this down by insulin type if desired.

I find the built-in BG analysis very useful, to see averages over the same 7 to 90 day time periods, as well as averages for different times of day (you can program time ranges for meals), or even graphs which are sometimes useful.

In your case, you want to see exercise, so when you take a BG with exercise, tag it with the “Before Exercise”, “During Exercise” or “After Exercise” button. You can then see a summary in your meter of the last 7, 14, 30, 60 and 90 days BG averages to see what typically happens to your BG while exercising, and see whether it is changing over time

There is a surprising amount of data that can be extracted from the Ultra Smart meter. I never bother to dump the data down to my PC since I am able to get all the data from the meter directly. If you already use this meter it is worth spending some time with the online manual and playing with the menu screens to see what’s offered.

Thanks for the info. I do use this meter (or at least a nearly identical one) because it’s the meter that communicates with my Ping pump. I do use the exercise feature as you described, I just wish it could do this with any variable. For example, it would be useful to see if my blood sugar is affected by hormones, by days my allergies are bothering me versus days they aren’t, by days I work versus days I don’t, by day 1 versus day 2 or 3 on my infusion set, by how many carbohydrates I eat in each meal, and so on.

I’ve also found when I’ve downloaded data from the OneTouch Ping that, even if you record exercise in the meter itself, it’s not possible to isolate this information in the software for some reason.

I pump but I log all my bg readings, carb counts for meals and other stuff in a little spiral notebook which I then organize onto a spreadhseet before seeing my endo. As you say, it keeps me focused and is a good resource about past results and problems.


I actually restarted using paper log books!

I didn’t have one in years. I partly had since the hospital I went to until I turned 18 wanted to have a look at my numbers but I was too lazy/annoyed to write them down. So when an appointment came up, I took half of them from my meter and when I got tired of going though it, I made up the rest. I made up realistic numbers so nobody ever got suspicious but it didn’t help either…

This year, I took switching to a different basal as an opportunity to start keeping a book again. During the past years, I tried several times but always failed. I made it 2, maybe 3 weeks and then forgot about it.

By now, I have a meter than gives me a graphic overview over my numbers and that’s great, but I am a person who needs paper in their hands… I admit, I love my log book. It never has a low battery, I never have to wait for it to open a program or load data , I can use it in places that don’t offer internet connections, it makes no sounds and I can choose what it looks like. By that i mean that I put photos on the covers, so every books looks differently.

I also find myself to be more aware of… well, everything. How much basal I actually took (it varies, one reason I thought I needed a book!), how much time passes by inbetween bolusing, and what my numbers are.

Without it, my A1C would be higher and I’d still live in a complete chaos.

For years, I never really knew how often and how much I injected. I never knew if my ratios worked for me, I never knew why my bg was where it was at, I never knew how often a day I tested, and many more things.

For me, keeping a manual log is a big help.
It still can do with some improvement but I’ve learned to always have it with me and to use it. Probably one of my biggest achievement so far.

I do, but I lose paper, so I do it electronically. I use Log For Life, which is unfortunately not a free service. But it keeps me accountable and helps me see how I’m doing, so it’s worth it.

Re exercise, I don’t use it so much for diabetes “logging” but, at one point, I emailed my endo the password to my Garmin 405, that I use when I run so she could have that log? It tracks time, speed and duration and will also calculate calories, elevation, V02 and a bunch of other stuff I’ve never played around with. It also has a biking mode and a running/ walking mode.

Garmin 405

sort of pricey but I find that it works great as a motivator by tracking progress. There are some “coaching” modes to help you run faster, do intervals, etc. but I just run faster to run faster?

Logging was always positive for me. It allowed to learn something from the mistakes I made. Thus it turned a negative experience to something positive. Still after university it was hard to maintain it and at some point I gave up. But then in 2006 I developed a small website that allowed me to maintain my diary via ordinary mobile phones (WAP). This lead to the Glucosurfer project in 2007. Maybe this project offers something useful for you too. I hope the website is fast enough to be used via mobile phone, iPhone or Windows Phone 7 in your area. It definitely depends on good coverage of the mobile networks.

Nope, I completely rely on my pump to record all my data. To be honest, CareLink has been my one saving grace. I was so bad about keeping track of things the old school way. I would always say, “Oh, I’ll enter that in my log book later,” and then I never would. I used some iPhone apps to keep track of things, but my pump (and meter) is really the only way I can reliably keep track of things. My endos office has access to my account and I love how my endo can log in and look at my data if I am having issues. Could never go back to writing things down. Too unreliable.

I’m not using a CGM at the moment, but I do like how the meter that came with my pump allows me to include notes about different readings. About 3 times a week I hook up my pump and meter to my computer and upload everything to Carelink. Awesomeness.

I do log on a spreadsheet (bg, carbs, insulin). I use pump/cgm data to see overall trends and tweak but I like having the numbers in front of me any time I want.

i’m old fashioned too and like to see the trends even though my son is on the omnipod i don’t download his info unless we are going to the endo, logging his numbers near his omnipod helps me see how he is doing if i’m not home and he is with my husband and to see trends, i find it very helpful to look back and see how a certain bolus affected him with a certain meal etc, what ever works right!

I manually log in a little notebook every food with grams. When I don’t do it, I don’t have the data to look back to. I find, for instance, that veggie carbs are best dealt with at a 1:5 ratio while starch carbs are best dealt with at a 1:3 ratio. So these subtle changes, recorded, give me time to think about the changes that occur in me. The numbers go into an Excel spreadsheet complete with automatic standard deviations, correction factors, the works. But if I didn’t take the time for manually recording the food, I wouldn’t spend the time to think.

I don’t, but that’s because I don’t have the tools to make it worthwhile (I have a 1:15 I:C ratio and use a KwikPen, so it’s not like I could make precise adjustments even if I wanted to), and because I have a good enough memory to remember the relatively few times that I miscalculated something and then adjust accordingly (i.e. remembering that the “diet” lemonade at Chik-Fil-A has a not insignificant number of carbs; that my usual serving of ice cream requires 2 units on its own but 3 if eaten alongside a large meal; that I need to pre-bolus and always estimate upwards for sushi; that milk, yogurt, nuts, and peanut butter seem to follow closer to a 1:20 I:C ratio, stuff like that)

Assuming I get a pump, I will try to log for a month or 2 just until I get a hang of what a tenth, a quarter, etc. unit do, how the extended bolus features work, what different infusion sites do in terms of my ratios, etc. Can’t imagien keeping it up long-term though.