i need a method for my madness.


I’m currently reading Gary Scheiner’s book Think Like a Pancreas: A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin and it’s amazing – but more on that later (I’m not done yet!).

Today, I was reading a section on blood sugar control (or whatever that means), ways to evaluate your control, and how to analyze different reports. He speaks very highly of daily written records and their use in fine tuning insulin levels, etc. Not necessarily every day, but maybe keeping a detailed record one week out of the month. He makes a good point – CGM and meter downloads just don’t cut it. I can’t tell what I’ve been eating or how much apple juice it took to over correct a 38 mg/dl based on downloads, but I hopefully can if I write it down.

More eloquently: “At this point there is no good replacement for a written record-keeping system. Downloadable devices and electronic databases fail to capture many of the key events that influence our blood sugar levels, and none present the information in a format that is practical to analyze.” -Gary Scheiner, Think Like a Pancreas

Valid point. Not to mention, writing things down relieves stress for me. Mind racing at work about all the things I need to do when I get home? I make a list. Instant relief.

So today when I got home from work, I searched my books for an empty journal (thank you Susie, for always making sure I have one around). I could only find one, so that would have to do. I opened it up, already sweating a little thinking about the best way to organize my records so they are easy to read and easy to jot down (OK, sweating might be an exaggeration, but not much of one).  I opened the journal/my new logbook, and found this:

BG Log 2007
This journal has already been a logbook! For two whole days! In 2007!
I cringed just looking at how unorganized it feels. I totally understand why this didn’t last. It never lasts. I hate the tiny logbooks you can get with meters. I need something durable (but not gigantic) so it can float among my crap in my purse. I want something with lines, too, otherwise I hate my handwriting – and lots of lines, I have lots of thoughts.

So, this begs the question: what will work? What log book is worthy of keeping me feeling organized and motivated enough to actually write this gibberish down? What solutions have you found?


About Carlyn

I am a friend, wife, daughter, sister, dog-mother and self-proclaimed 'blogger' who was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1997 at the age of 10. I live in Durham, North Carolina with my husband and two (wild) hound dogs. We make the best of life by trying our hardest to take one day at a time, one unit at a time. You can contact me via e-mail at oneunitatatime@gmail.com!

6 responses »

  1. I can’t explain it, but my first reaction to this picture is sadness. I’m sad that the only journal you could find in the house was already used to document a day of diabetes instead of a poem or a personal thought. Sad because you’d find the same thing at my house if you found an old notebook too.

    • Now that you mention it, it is a little sad. Sometimes I can’t look anywhere that my life touches without seeing diabetes in some way, shape or form. Like right now, in my peripheral vision, I see a strip on the floor. 🙂

    • I’ll check it out. I don’t have an iPhone, but if the iBGstar and mySugr are worth it, I might have to switch next time I’m in line for an upgrade!

  2. MySugr is great! We use 8 x 11.5″ papers on a clip board, printed with a form: 24 columns (1 per hour) and rows for BG, CHO, units, basal changes, and “other” which is really for exercise/activity.

    I am pretty sure our paper system is totally lame, but it works for us.

    I can mail you some! Just kidding! No one would want them.

    • Don’t have an iPhone for mySugr. Feel discriminated!

      Your method sounds nice, but not ideal for purse carrying. I don’t feel like I’m (awake) at home enough to do it all in one fell swoop.

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