Logging the tempestuous seas of diabetes

By | 24 January, 2014
Diabetics, unnerved by the prospects of logging their results, yesterday

Diabetics, unnerved by the prospects of logging their results, yesterday

Recently I started helping with the beta testing for a diabetes logging Android app – MySugr. I’ll burble on about the app in a future article – *spoiler* it’s quite good – but it’s been the first time I’ve properly logged my diabetes for ages.

Many years ago I went on a sailing holiday in the Mediterranean (yes, I am hopelessly middle-class) and I took charge of writing our boat’s log book. Having the attention span of a brain-damaged gnat, I quickly bored of noting down the wind-speed, the water depth and where we had anchored, so I made up an entirely fictitious account of our journey.

According to my log book, our 32-foot yacht was beset by raging storms, we were visited by mermaids (who made us salami sandwiches for lunch, as I recall) and inevitably we were attacked by pirates in the exhilaratingly-named Blind Man’s Gizzard cove.

Our various adventures continued in the log throughout the week and culminated with us being menacingly followed by a Coleridge-style black galleon, whose storm-tattered sails hung limply from its forbidding masts. As the days wore on the macabre galleon closed in on us and on the final day it drew aside our yacht and on the deck we could see the grim, shrouded figure of…

And there the log ended.

It turns out – stick with me here – that my diabetes logging is much like my ship’s log. Making a note of every blood glucose test and bolus is extremely boring. Despite MySugr’s best efforts it’s still tedious.

Similarly there’s also the massive temptation to make stuff up. While it’s difficult (but not impossible) to add a narrative about pirates to one’s diabetes log, it’s an appealing prospect to leave out the mega-highs and mega-lows. Recording that embarrassing 17.5 screw-up or series of avoidable hypos is emotionally difficult – none of us like admitting to messing up.

However, I’ve tried my best to be strong and have dutifully recorded all the ups and downs accurately and without resorting to fiction. It’s difficult in many multi-faceted ways but through precise recording I hope I can use my accurate data, look for patterns and iron out some of those pesky highs and lows.

Now, in the meantime, I wonder whatever did happen to that grim, shrouded figure?

Category: Living with diabetes Tags:

About Tim

Diagnosed with Type One when he was 28, Tim founded Shoot Up in 2009. For the diabetes geeks, he wears a Medtronic 640G insulin pump filled with Humalog and uses Bayer’s Contour Next Link blood glucose meter.

12 thoughts on “Logging the tempestuous seas of diabetes

  1. Alison

    Brownie points for actually doing some logging. I’m still in my anti logging rebellious phase which has lasted since my mid teens.

    It appears that when i decide to rebel i focus on one thing and do it for several decades.

    And I’m rubbish at sailing logging too.

  2. lizz

    I have never logged.

    My pump should log for me now I have the sensor but my computer does not sync up well with the Medtronic stupid stupid stupid site, so after trying three times I am never going to bother again.

    Shame because I am either an embarrassing 17.5 or an equally irritating 3,2.

        1. Tim Post author

          Being a web-based application I thought it would work with any computer – unless they’re using some proprietary technology which isn’t Mac friendly. Do you get Java on Macs?

        2. Dave

          Sadly it’s a OS X 10.9 problem. 10.8 and below worked OK after ignoring the warnings and tweaking a few things but 10.9 has broken the dodges. Medtronic have told me the delay is that they have to pass any software updates through the FDA. And of course I believe them.

  3. Mike

    I refuse to run Java any more since the less than enthusiastic approach to plugging the enormous security holes over the last year or so.

    I did do a bit of Veo downloading early on, but really disliked the report format and was glad to take it off the list of ‘things I think I ought to do from time to time’.

    I feel slightly exposed without a nicely kept log to check back over these days and have been full-on logging for so long I don’t even notice I’m doing it any more.

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