Monday, September 04, 2006 | 15 comment(s)
I'm a man of routines and habits. When I'm in a groove, things can chug along quite nicely - I eat the same meals, I test like crazy, I keep detailed notes in my logbook. When I'm in this groove, I've been able to keep my average readings in the 140s range (and occasionally into the 130s and once even into the 120s range).
Then I fall out of that groove. Sometimes I have no idea what happened or why. Just BAM! and the record has skipped and I'm repeating old (bad) habits. That's kinda where I am right now. (that's kinda where I am right now, that's kinda where I am right now, that's kinda where I am right now, that's kinda where I am right now (to beat a metaphor to death)).
I keep a logbook of all my blood sugar readings in an excel file that I keep on my office computer. I generally keep my glucometer out on my desk and find that it's no problem for me to test my blood and directly enter it into the logbook that I have open (generally at all times). I also log what I've eaten, how many carbs (often wild-ass guesses), how much insulin I take for each meal, and any exercise I do. I have the readings automatically plotted out in daily line graphs and some weekly statistics calculated as well. During the day when I'm sitting at my desk, this all works great.
When I've got my groove on, I come in the office and download
Nitty-gritty detailsI use Lifescan meters: The OneTouch Ultra AND the OneTouch UltraSmart. I also use Lifescan's database software that read the data from both meters. I like this.
Previously I used the OneTouch Profile II (which is a total dinosaur that requires gobs of blood, takes 45 seconds to produces a reading(!), and spits out its readings in whole blood rather than plasma equivalents) and the Ascencia Dex 2 meter.
I like using 2 meters because
- I always have a back-up handy, and
- I like one that I can keep at my desk or in my backpack, or on my night stand and another one that I can basically keep in my pocket at all times.
I found, however, that I was subconsciously (okay, perhaps consciously, too) testing when I was more likely to be having higher blood sugars: e.g., while exercising or while out socializing. And since I never downloaded the data from this little pocket meter, I never really got the "full" picture, but instead, I got a downwardly biased picture of my average readings from the OneTouch meter (which I downloaded into the same software database that I still use).
I like this new duo of meters 'cause it gives me a better picture of my control, and it helps to keep me honest with myself (which I need more often than I'd like to admit).
The down-side to this system is that I have to create a new file each week. Part of this was by design, however. I found that judging my management in 1-week intervals works best for me. I can clearly look at a graph of my weekly averages and tell whether it was a "good week", a "bad week" or a "shitty week." Every Monday morning I would do the same as any other weekday, but I'd also hand enter the blood sugar readings from over the weekend.
The Sad TruthI have never really kept decent records of what I eat, or what my boluses are like, or what my activity levels are like over the weekends, because they are often so random. I'm not eating my "standard breakfast" or my "standard lunch" and I'm certainly not eating them at relatively fixed times like when I'm at the office (and I find I snack A LOT more when I'm at home). So, I just log the blood sugar readings and nothing else from my weekends and this gives me a sense that I'm "taking a (much needed?) break" from all the other record keeping that I do all week long.
It breaks my heart every time I say this, but "weekends suck." My control slips severely over the weekend.
So my troubles started several weeks ago when I took a long weekend trip and then took the following Monday off from work. Tuesday morning, I found the notion of having to hand enter data from Thursday evening - Sunday evening in the previous week and then create a new file and then hand enter the data for all day Monday into Tuesday morning to be too daunting a task and so I happily gave myself "the week off" from logging.
When I downloaded all my readings into the OneTouch database, I was pleased to find that my control hadn't suffered a bit for the lack of logging. Then started a new week, I got back on the logging bandwagon, I had a great week of readings, and I was happy as a clam.
Other Fun "Happy as a..." Similes
- Happy as a Sandboy
- Happy as a Tapir
- Happy as a Hippo
- Happy as Larry (honest, I'm not making that up)
- Happy as a Lark
- Happy as a Peacock
- Happy as a Pig in Shit, and then (of course) there's plain ol':
- Happy Camper
But then two weekends ago it was my birthday and I had my follow-up eye doctor's appointment on Monday morning and I took the rest of the day off from work while my eyes returned to normal. Then again Tuesday last week I was overwhelmed with the amount of data I'd have to hand-enter and basically took another "logging vacation."
Only this past week I know my blood sugars have just sucked. I haven't downloaded my data yet to see how crappy my averages were over the past week but, I'm guessing they went up by 50-80 mg/dl, easily. The only thing that will keep the averages out of the 200s range will be the string of lows in the 50s range that I had three nights in a row last week (which really isn't a very satisfying way to achieve low average blood sugar stats).
I certainly can't blame all of my poor control on my lack of logging since my previous "logging break" proved to me that I could maintain decent control without writing every tidbit down. I'm putting my money on the fact that I drove to work everyday last week (except Monday, when I wasn't in the office) instead of riding my bike to work. The weatherman
I Still Haven't LearnedWhen I was a little kid, my Nana used to say to me: "Little boys who lie grow up to be weathermen."
So today is the third Monday off in the past month, and although I could get used to a 4-day workweek, I really don't like the unintended secondary effects these long weekends are having on my control. My plan is to bike into work early tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, and take the time to start the week off on the right foot and get my groove back on with my logging, my eating, and my exercising.
I've just re-read this very inspirational story about the Cleveland brothers, and while factors such as diet, exercise, and genetics certainly played a significant role in their longevity with diabetes, so too did keeping meticulous records.
I'm just hoping I can get my groove back. How'd you do it Stella? How?