Thursday, 24 March 2011

Post-holiday ponderings

Stuart and I were on holiday last week. We spent a lovely week in Paris and then London exploring, eating, wandering around and generally just chilling out. I have to say, Chuck made the whole experience much easier than it has been in the past - temp basals are definitely one of my favourite things about the pump!

I've learned a couple of interesting things over the last week or so. The first is that my afternoon basal rates are very much determined by when I take my steroids in the morning. The first day in Paris I slept a little later than usual, and combined with the time change, I ended up taking my steroids about two hours late. As a result of which I ended up running low in the afternoon (although testing and free-carbing managed to prevent hypos), and ended up spiking to 16.7 by dinner time. I'd suspecting this before, on the occasional days when I'd taken my steroids later, but this seems to confirm it. I made sure I took my steroids at the normal time afterwards, and that solved it.

The other thing I learned is how much I rely on my logs for managing my diabetes. I keep my logs using an excel spread sheet, which I keep on a USB drive and I usually just have it open on whatever computer I'm using at the time and add to it throughout the day. Since I don't really keep a paper log, I didn't have access to this while we were away. I'm quite happy to do the daily stuff as I go along, but I really do find it useful to have a glance over my logs to see if any trends are appearing, what I did last time I had a particular food, or what temp basals I used etc. It also helps me to spot when my numbers are starting to rise, because there have been times when I've been pootling along, thinking I'm doing ok, and then when I plug my numbers in I realise my average has been creeping up and is much higher than I thought it was, and logging my BGs regularly helps me to catch that early.

Plus, I like graphs. ;) And, well, colour coding things and seeing my averages and percentages in range and all those other geeky things that I've manage to convince excel to do...

I also have a tendency to put lots of little notes in the comments column of my logs, and I have my own abbreviations for things like extended boluses, so I'm never sure how much sense they end up making to other people (especially when my notes end up being small explosions of rage or confusion over a result...), but I figure that I keep these logs for *me*, and the most important thing in that respect is that I have a system when I can have all the information I need, in a way that I can interpret. After all, I'm the one who has to make the day-to-day decisions based on these results.

I still tidy them up if I have to send them to a DSN or take them along to clinic though ;)

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