Logging - how much is necessary?

8 months into my son’s diabetes journey, the logging is getting to be a real grind for him. I’m starting to wonder if it’s all necessary. I can certainly see how logging was helpful at the beginning and during the couple of times we were experiencing atypical numbers (generally when he has been ill), but is this really something he needs to do day in and day out for the foreseeable future? Is it something that could be reserved for those times we’re trying to figure something out? If he’s relatively steady the majority of the time, does he really need to write down every bg reading and every carb he eats along with every injection amount?

His meter has a memory and we download it regularly, so we have a method to look at bg results going backward. When he gets his pump in the next couple of weeks, we’ll also have his carbs and boluses (bolusi?) recorded for analysis, right? So, can we at some point dispense with the pen & paper tracking?

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts.

I agree logging sucks. At the same time, the more consistent data that I’ve gotten since I started pumping has been useful. The logs I did to get the pump were a complete debacle, in a little notebook full of scribbling. I think that you can mostly dispense with it with a pump as the pump does a really great job logging stuff and putting it into data for your doctor. I think that if they get the “raw” data, they can stick it into a different (better? I’m not sure about that…) version of the software, at least for MiniMed pumps.

Well, if you are on injections, I would just log the BGs, but once you get your pump, your going to have to go back to logging everything, for the same reasons when your son was first diagnosed. I have not started a pump, but I am working on getting one. Are you thinking about getting a pump for him? If, so, what kind?

The thing is that the pump logs G of carbs too, unless you eat without bolusing but I’d hit it w/ 3G of carbs for a small handfulf of nuts or some cheese.

Thanks for your thoughts. Yes, we are in the process of getting a pump. We expect to have it in hand in about a week and will get started shortly thereafter. We are getting the Animas Ping for him. We met with reps from Medtronic & Animas and chose the Animas. We didn’t consider the Omnipod as they seem to not work that well for many kids (thought I know a lot of adults love them).

With his I:C ratios (1:40 at breakfast; 1:30 all other times) and athletic endeavors, he does eat without bolusing at times. On shots, the smallest dose he can take is .5 units, so if he only eats 5 -10 carbs, he wouldn’t take a shot. When he can fine tune with a pump or his insulin needs increase, that might change.

Well, that’s true too. I do quite a bit of fiddling around trying to maintain relatively smooth BG while running pretty regularly and, frankly, I’m not quite sure how to add the exercarbs into my log for my doc. I don’t usually bolus at all before I exercise but just adjust the snack to meet things. I did email my endo the stuff to access my Garmin account recently, in the hopes that she’d take a look at that and see that if say I run 17 miles over a weekend, my BG might run a tad lower afterwards?

When I eat without bolusing I put in the carbs as if I’m going to bolus, and then either the pump recommends no insulin or else I dial it down to 0.00, and “deliver” that amount. So that way the carbs are recorded plus the fact that they were eaten with no bolus.

Oh - so it would still record with no bolus - good to know. We don’t have the pump yet, so we haven’t been able to completely dive into all the features. So, with all that your pump records, do you keep a paper log or just rely on downloading your pump amd/or meter?

My son does so well with 99% of this stuff and does a great job testing, counting carbs & taking his shots, that I am trying to figure out if I can cut him some slack on this logging thing and not be an ogre about the one thing he doesn’t do quite as well as I’d like. It sounds like once he gets his pump (and after some initial logging to get the pump settings figured out), maybe I can just download that and not have to bug him about writing stuff down. He sees the endo this week for his quarterly visit, so I’m going to run it by her and the CDE we work with and see what they think.

There’s a fine line between helping my son manage his diabetes and letting it interfere with/takte over our relationship. It seems like if he’s doing the things that really impact his health (testing, counting & dosing) well, it would be nice to be able to give him a break on the record keeping. Of course, if he started getting wacky numbers, we could get right back to logging to troubleshoot.

Thanks for helping me think this through!

That is good to know! I should do more of that! Thanks Jen!

The other thing I think of in encountering kids w/ diabetes (as well as my own kid, who is 12…) is that they are likely a lot better at science and math than I am? The MM pump produces very informative charts that break stuff down by time of day, etc. and, to me, provide the information I need to make adjustments.

Hi, we’re 8 months into T1 too, and my daughter never logs anything!! We tried at the beginning, but she’s 14 (almost 15) and it was just me constantly nagging her so it didn’t work. She logs things if the doctor tells her to keep track for a week or so. We are also going to get the Animas Ping in the next few weeks! I hope that will make control so much easier for her. As for all the things she’s supposed to keep track of – she’s a teenager. I think we’re doing as well as can be expected. She would never chart carbs & insulin & BG every day – and it would be even more of a hassle if I made her.

My daughter is 3 weeks away from her 1 year mark as Type 1, and I stuggle with this logging thing all the time
I was so religious about it, then something happened to me in January , and I just could not keep it up anymore
I would scroll through her meter after school and log stuff down, then i would be yelling at her , “what did you have for lunch , how many carbs was it , what did you cover your snack with etc” It was exhausting for the both of us. Our CDE said we did not have to log all the time just when there was an issue and we wanted to keep track of something for a week or so. Like she had some high BG’s at night for awhile so we watched for week in the winter and we upped her Lantus etc.
Anyway we just got the omnipod pump using saline right now ,we go live with Insulin on Tuesday, and I am sure we will be back to all the logging again for at least 3 weeks to get the basal’s straight and also probably getting up in the middle of the night again to test for awhile. The omnipod does have alot of tracking info right in the PDM so maybe it wont be so bad. Anyway, good luck with the pump! Its so exciting to be off of injections!

I’m 43 and I would never chart everything every day. Even when I did an “official” log when I was begging for a pump, I was constantly tossing in boluses or food or boluses and food and forgetting. Insurance companies should hire an administrative assistant to follow you around and keep track of stuff for you…

I dunno about 3 weeks, mine fell into place very quickly and I was in la la land I was so happy!!

To get my first pump in 2003, my docotor required that I log everything for 3 months: He would not write a script for anyone who would not show they could carb count and deliver adequate dosages. I kept it up for about 6 months after I was on the pump. Now, I only log when I am resetting basals and sensitivities; which can change,for me every 6-8 months as I age and as activity levels change with the seasons. I do not like logging, but I have ordered the little note books or made up some of my own for writing down the exact food choices . My pump /meter/CGM comb,. from MM, takes enough data for me for daily use and I do not chart. with a pen and pencil daily.

God Bless

My son was pretty good about logging during the school year, but now that summer break is here and we’re not in a routine, it’s been a real challenge. Frankly, as Pat said, it seems like we’re logging for the sake of logging.

I hope the switch to the pump goes well for you. We’re on the same time table as you. Ours should arrive late next week, then we hope to train & get going the following week. Another adventure!


Good to hear that your endo is reasonable and realistic about the logging. I know what you mean about the tracking and information gathering being exhausting! By the same token, I always want to know his numbers, dosages, etc., so having all that recorded on the pump will be a great tool for us, and I won’t have to be hounding the poor kid all the time. He was away at scout camp last week, and the one day he called home, it took every ounce of self-control I had to not ask him about his numbers. I was so proud of myself! Sometimes it feels as though his diabetes stuff dominates our relationship. That’s definitely not what I want.

I checked his meter as soon as he got home from camp (while he was showering and couldn’t see me checking!), and found out he did great. I was a little disturbed that he didn’t check before bed every night, but when I asked about it, he said they ate dessert right before bed every night, so he knew he wouldn’t get useful numbers anyway. He deliberately underdosed a bit before bed and woke up in the 80s in the morning, so he figured all was well. He made it home alive and well, so I guess he was right.

Good luck with your transition to the Omnipod. We’re right behind you with the Ping. I’m a little nervous about the unknown, but I think the flexibility will be great.