Some of you know about the Excel logbook I created a little over a year ago. While I was working remotely with Gary Scheiner
, I needed to record my blood sugars in detail and email them to him on a regular basis. I started off using one of his logbooks designed in Microsoft Word, but that became cumbersome to work with. I had also recently (at the time) purchased a bunch of "My Other Checkbooks"
I have 11 of these
taking up space in a closet. If anyone would like to try them out, just drop me a line and they're yours.close
to try out. And while I liked the notion of simultaneously graphing and recording blood sugar readings, the whole notion of actually having to draw the graph yourself
seemed pretty implausible to me (I think I only drew one). Thus I started designing a logbook in Microsoft Excel. I was pretty familiar with Excel, I have a pretty close eye to consistent layout and details, and after several hours of work, the first version of my logbook was born.
I initially shared it with Scott
I think it's a coin toss whether Scott
or Chrissie in Belgium
is the biggest fan of the logbook. But no doubt, Scott flaunts it the most and fields a TON of requests for it.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.close
and since then have shared it with almost 100 other folks in the Diabetes OC
(and otherwise). The feedback I've received from the people I've shared this with has been incredibly
, incredibly generous
I can't say this enough: "You are all very, very welcome."
The feeling I get knowing that this little thing I created is helping folks deal with their diabetes is just about the best.
Because I'm a programmer by day and keep a lot of my work under version control
I'm pretty partial to Subversion
as a version control software.
It's open source and free (nice). And with Tortoise SVN
, it integrates directly with Windows Explorer (also nice). It works beautifully for small and large computer code projects (including web pages) as well as any other type of group project that evolves over time and that you might want to have record of *every* iteration you've gone through to get to your current version.
In programming (and web design, in particular), it is not uncommon to thoroughly break something while you're "improving" it. To have the ability to go back to your previous version and figure out what went wrong, is Invaluable.
Also, if you work collaboratively with a group of folks on a project and you're constantly naming your files with suffixes like "_kevin_090107" and then someone has to synchronize changes from multiple people into a single file, then version control software can save a ton of headaches.
"I love it, I love it, I love it, I love it!"close
as things get updated, tweaked, and improved, I try to keep track of the changes and tag them. It's somewhat arbitrary when enough changes have accumulated and you decide to name a new version, or what name you give to the current version, but this one is a little cheeky/geeky
(And Damn!, if that's not the best visualization for a mathematical constant I've ever seen!).
Previously, I had four summary charts produced for each week:
Weekday Hourly Average Bloodsugars ("Weekday Avg")
Weekday Lines ("Weekday Lines")
Weekend Hourly Average Bloodsugars ("Weekend Avg")
All Week Hourly Average ("Week Avg")
The major changes I've made to the logbook is to include three new charts:
All Week Line Chart ("Week Line")
Distribution of Readings by Time of Day ("Pie Time").
Distribution of All Readings ("Pie All")
If anyone would like this new version of my logbook, just ask (nicely). I'll be more than happy to send you a copy of it. (Oh yeah, I also have a version in mmol/l for our friends to the North, Down Under, or Across the Pond, so please let me know if you'd like it in that flavor).
While overall I'm pretty pleased with the logbook I created, I really wish that I had the skills and the time to develop something more along the lines of SugarStats
or Diabetes Logbook X
(for Mac users). If you haven't seen these yet, I encourage you to check these out as well.
There was a great quote by renowned author James S. Hirsch
in the most recent DiaTribe
that really rung my bell (DiaTribe is really worth checking out if you haven't seen it yet).
But if you believe that diabetes is an endless dance to the same old song, we now have some new partners who can engage, enrapture, and even awe us, long into the night.
-James S. Hirsch
Although he was talking about insulin pumps and CGM
systems, I think that it can be extrapolated to logbooks (or practically any diabetes related product) as well. Mix it up, try new things, because we're going to be doing this for a long time. If you fall off the logbook wagon, try a new wagon. What ever works. Stamina is a big part of this game.
There are (of course) pros-and-cons with all of these logbooks but keeping track of blood sugars, exercise, carbohydrate intake, boluses, basal rates, and tracking patterns and keeping on top of or improving all of these is critical to "managing" your diabetes. Try one out. If it works for you, great. If not, find something else that works. If one works for a while and then starts to fizzle, try another one. Perhaps it'll know a new dance step or two to keep you going for a while longer.
A Nowhere Near Complete Comparison of Logbooks
|SugarStats ||Logbook X ||Kevin's Logbook |
|Store data online||X || || |
|Need to install new|
| ||X || |
|Use widely available|
| || ||X |
|Hold more than a|
week's worth of data
|Has a chart called|