Lessons from the First Week of Logging.
This was my first week of logging my blood sugars, per my 12 Changes in 12 Months resolutions. And you know what I learned?
I suck at logging my blood sugars.
I always thought I was really routine at doing this. Breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon, dinner, bedtime and maybe one or two other checks in between. But I haven’t been. I test irregularly and erratically, and so I’m left unable to make heads or tales out of any of these numbers. Not only do I not test often enough, I don’t test at the right times. How did I get so lackadaisical about it?
When I was in college, I was terrible at testing my blood sugar. I had no problem with taking my insulin, because I wore an insulin pump on my jeans pocket (which is where it still resides) and my pump was easily accessible. Reaching down and bolusing was not a problem. My meter, on the other hand, was always stuffed in my backpack with notebooks, pens, my wallet, and bunch of other crap I carried around. I often ate lunch on the run, grabbing a Subway sandwich or pita sandwich while walking to my next class. Or sometimes I would just start eating before getting to a table in the Memorial Union, and of course, by the time I realized I hadn’t tested, I was halfway through eating. I would think to myself, “Well, my blood sugar is already going up from the food, so really, what’s the point in checking now? The reading is ruined!”
Wrong! God, it’s amazing the things I convinced myself were true back then.
In any event, I didn’t started really testing again until I started working with a diabetes educator. I had to send him my blood sugar log sheets every couple of weeks. And of course, for that to make any sense, I had to actually, you know, test.
Now, with this newfound commitment I have to logging my blood sugars, I’m also facing the fact that I just don’t test often enough, which is strange because unlike college, where I was bounding from class to study group to a quick lunch to my apartment and back to class again, I’m at home. All day. Everyday. Perks of working from home.
Not only do I not test enough — which really isn’t shocking because I hate testing — but I also don’t test at the right time. Breakfasts? Could be at 8:30 a.m. Or 10:00 a.m. Lunch? Could be 12:15 p.m. Or could be 2:20 p.m. Dinner? Anywhere from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. And bedtime? Let’s not even go there.
It’s difficult to find trends when you only have one or two data points to work with. So while I made a commitment to log my blood sugars during the month of January, I’m making a new commitment to actually testing often and testing at the right times, so that the numbers I’m getting will actually be helpful.
In college, when I found it really difficult to test because my schedule was so varied, I set alarms on my insulin pump to remind me to test. I had one when I woke up and then several times throughout the day. If I hadn’t tested within an hour from when the alarm went off, I would test. My A1c? Dropped to the lowest ever during my junior year. For some reason, even though my schedule is fairly easy, I still have difficulty. Most likely because I don’t have the same kind of benchmarks throughout my day that I used to have. Since I don’t have a commute, sometimes I’ll get up early, but other times I’ll sleep in as late as I can get away with. Lunch is taken whenever I get hungry. There isn’t the same kind of consistency, and so it’s tricky for me to see what’s working. I think I really just need to build my own schedule into my workday, even if it’s artificial.
If anyone has any tips for how to keep a schedule when you, for all intents and purposes, don’t actually have one?
This week: 202.8
Weight change: -1.5
Total weight loss: 1.5 lbs.