I discovered something quite by accident the other day.
We haven't kept a logbook all summer.
It seems like this should have been a conscious decision. It might have followed a period of diabetes contemplation and culminated in a dinner table conversation with the family. "What if we took a break from the logbook this summer," I might have said, sounding very wise. "The meter has a history, and even some charts and graphs we can use. But maybe a break from writing down every number would be good for our mental health."
That's not what happened. Instead we finished a packet of stapled together log sheets (our version of a 'book') and I recycled it. Maybe we were headed on a trip. Maybe I was quickly cleaning up for company. Whatever the circumstances, it simply disappeared. And apparently that's the last I thought of it...until today.
I spent some time last week tidying the little area in our kitchen where we keep the calendar, the grocery lists, scrap paper and the most urgent of mail and school notices. I got to the bottom of the back-to-school fliers and recycled a bunch of old notes and receipts. The area looked oddly empty, like there was more space than usual, but I didn't give it much thought.
It was when my daughter got home from school that it hit me. As she checked her blood sugar for snack, I asked what her lunch number was. I felt an urge to write it down. Suddenly it clicked. That empty spot was where my eyes looked for that familiar chart.
Did I run right to the the computer to print a dozen more log book pages, happily stapling them together and scanning the meter's memory to catch up for the week?
We may ultimately end up returning to that little packet of paper on the ledge, but if it fell so quickly from our collective memory, perhaps it wasn't as useful as we thought it was. First, there are things to consider.
Do we really need to document every number in the first place? Or is a quick glance at the meter's averages by time of day enough to help me spot a trend? Did this summer's lack of focus on individual numbers allow us to see the forest instead of analyzing every tree? Looking back, I know that I've made insulin adjustments despite the lack of handwritten data.
If we do resume a formal system, maybe it's time to consider some tech-based tracking options, like downloading software or an app. Maybe we'll even give the equipment that came with the pump another go.
There are surely benefits to documenting numbers. There are 3 of us living here, all interested in my daughter's blood sugars, so it's a communication tool. I can know the lunch number at school. My daughter can know what she was at 2 a.m. My husband can check the dinner number before making a late night correction. It also provides a historical picture, helping us spot changes in blood sugar trends and make needed adjustments. It encourages smart choices when, for instance, a glance at the post-cider donut 300 provides a reminder to think twice before indulging again.
While I realize these may turn out to be a rhetorical (ridiculous?) questions, I'll throw them out there anyway: Do you love your logging system? Do you have one you couldn't live without? Should we just go back to our messy, easily forgotten log sheets? Doing nothing but relying on the meter's memory seems like not enough, but I'm not sure where we go next.