My Latest Attempt

A week ago today:
It has been a long time. Way too long. Not since sometime in September had I done it. And not since July had I posted it.

Do I miss it? Yeah, kind of – I mean, I guess I feel it does help me, regardless of how much work I think it is. Can I use it to help me even more? Yes. I am sure of that. Does it feel good to do it? Absolutely. It feels that I am doing something beneficial.

Logging.

I started the week really strong. Determined. Come hell or high water, I was absolutely, 100 percent for sure, going to log my blood sugars, insulin, exercise, and carb/food intake.

I am using a super great excel sheet that Kevin developed. It rocks. Best one I’ve seen. The combination of ample space to record everything and the visual feedback of the line graph below really gives me a good picture of what I’m doing.

diabetes logbook in excel
Logbook courtesy of Kevin

In fact, I’ve often found myself drawing mental line graphs in my head when I’m away from the computer – you know, to see if I’m dropping too fast or holding pretty steady. Most often I do this when playing basketball.

I’ve even taken to storing the spreadsheets on a portable “thumb drive” or “flash drive”. One of the small devices that I can actually carry around with me in my pocket.

CruzerThe one I got is way overkill for what I need. But, I’m a sucker for little gadgety things, so I splurged a bit on it. This thing is sweet. Two gigabyte capacity (that’s a LOT of logs!!). Virtually crush proof (crush force exceeds 2000 pounds!). And it’s just plain cool. Now, in reality I store much more than just my logs on it – it would take me a very long time to fill up 2 gigs with excel spreadsheets!! But the portability means I can bring it home with me, stick it in my laptop or whatever, and update my logs.

Both Kevin and I have struggled with the whole “Monday” problem. Where you don’t update your logs over the weekend because they are on the computer at work. Come Monday morning you are faced with a terribly intimidating task of updating all the stuff you haven’t yet recorded! And God help us if there is a holiday sprinkled in there and you had more than just Saturday and Sunday to keep track of!

I thought this would be a perfect solution for that.

I logged religiously for the entire week. Until Friday night that is.

I diligently tested my blood sugar, counted and weighed my dinner, carefully plugged all the info into my pump and took my bolus. After dinner I wanted to update my spreadsheet while the info was fresh in my head. I had actually been recording the food I ate over the week as well. If I don’t record that information pretty quickly after I eat, it gets lost in the vast abyss where my short term memory used to live.

I plugged my thumb drive into my laptop, pulled up the spreadsheet and started updating it. A few seconds go by and I notice that the flashing light on the thumb drive started flashing. “flash” “flash” “flash”, “flash” “flash” “flash”. WTF? And what’s this? An error message on my computer?! Oh man – what’s going on? Excel crashes on me, my latest updates disappearing off the screen.

I frantically try to access the thumb drive – wait! Where is it!!?!?? Gone?! No – it can’t be! How could it just disappear from my computer?!

Oh crap.

I unplug the drive, thinking that if I just plug it in again I’ll be able to get into it. Nope. Just that crazy pattern of tri-flashing denial. Crap.

I reboot the computer. Nothing. I try this, I try that. Nothing.

I turn to the internet – wondering if the miracle we call Google can help me recover my very important data. Lots of irrelevant hits, leading to a lot of time spent on nothing.

Finally I turn to what I feel is my last resort. I submit an online trouble ticket with the manufacturer. Over the course of the weekend we go through a bunch of troubleshooting steps. Nothing works. Nothing.

I’m now awaiting my return authorization information so I can exchange my fried data stick for a new one. A new one that will definitely not hold my blood sugar logs. I can run this damn thing over with my truck, and it will survive. But just using it, I somehow fry my data. Not. Cool.

As the realization started to sink in that I had lost all of the records for that week, I started to get mad. Angry about logging. I would say to myself “See! I don’t know why I even do it!” or “I knew I wasted my time with all that stuff!”.

But what sense does that make? None! It was not a waste of time logging – I just had a freak computer file malfunction! The lesson learned is that I should have something a little better planned for those files. Maybe I could just take a copy of it home with me and update the “main” file later. Or that I can be Ok with not capturing every slice of data for every minute of every day. Just most stuff should be fine.

So, we learn to roll with the punches and move on with a better plan. What more can we ask of ourselves? What good does it do to stay mad? Not any good.

Present Day:
I am happy to say that my little “setback” has not slowed me down at all. I have, again, diligently logged everything this week, and I look forward to continuing over the weekend, and posting my records on Monday of next week. Much of it was the routine. Just getting into the groove and staying there.

It felt good to be logging again.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…