Posts filed under ‘tracking tools’
Nothing much to report on the insulin front. Some days I feel like a lab rat with all these charts, graphs and needles, but I do like labs and some rats are pretty cute, so that’s OK.
The first few days of high blood sugar readings were tiring, both physically and mentally, but I think I’m starting to get a better feel for dosages and timing. It’s tempting to draw conclusions about carb intake right now based on the fact that the only good numbers I’ve seen this week have been after lower-carb meals, but I will hold my tongue and give it some time.
For my diet and blood sugar tracking, I’ve gone low-tech and started using some photocopied worksheets that the dietitian gave me. The upper third of the page is an area to plot my BG on,the middle third is a chart with a column for each hour of the day and rows for blood glucose, carbohydrates, exercise, insulin doses, stress, ketones, etc. The bottom third is for food and other notes. This format will be the easiest to fax back to my PA at the end of each week, plus I really enjoy connecting the dots on the glucose plot at the end of the day. I’m thinking of enlisting my husband to makes some improvements, notably a place to record where I injected. Right now I just randomly pick an injection site and hope I don’t hit the same place twice.
I’ve returned to FitDay for my diet tracking. Combined with the occasional quick lookup on CalorieKing.com and the handy recipe analyzer on Calorie-count.com, I have a decent system for carb counting and making sure I’m getting enough calories each day. I would still like to get some sort of pocket-sized nutrition handbook to carry with me and to keep in the kitchen so I don’t need a computer when I’m planning meals and doses – any recommendations?
These How-To articles on Dsolve.com have been quite helpful in helping me understand that only time, patience and diligent testing and documentation will lead the way to normal blood sugars with insulin. Even though I have a newfound appreciation for the ease, simplicity and efficiency of Starlix, I haven’t resorted back to it – I’m just too determined to get the insulin to work.
I finally got around to installing Health Engage on my laptop. It shows promise, but a few major issues:
- The user interface is awkward. The food input mechanism would probably get easier as time goes on, assuming you eat the same things frequently.
- It’s a memory hog. If I leave it running on my laptop for more than 12 hours, even if its just sitting there idle, it starts gobbling up virtual memory. 512MB for 2 days worth of data?
- My biggest complaint: the teeny-tiny, non-resizable viewing window. It’s fine for inputting data, but not for viewing reports.
Overall I’m not impressed. I’d be willing to give it a chance if and only if I can import data into it directly from my meter (Freestyle Flash), but I don’t have high hopes that this will be possible since I am still on a Power PC-based Powerbook. I’d be interested to know if any diabetic Mac users out there with Intel-based macs have had luck using PC-only software and data management products with either Boot Camp or Parallels.
Another online tool I took a look at this week was MyCalorieCounter.com. It showed promise, but I never returned to use it because the features that I really needed (nutritional totals per-meal and per-day) are only offered to paid users. How am I supposed to decide if I want to buy your product if I can’t at least have a trial of the features I’m paying for?
So for now I’m sticking with iCal and the occasional FitDay for looking up carbohydrate content. I have a few more tools and websites to try, but I’m losing steam already and will probably just stick with what works, with the exception of giving CalorieKing.com a try for carbohydrate look-ups, and possibly trying the (gasp!) analog Glucograf data sheets recommended by Dr. Bernstein.
My current system for keeping track of what I eat, when I exercise and what my blood sugars are throughout the day is fairly simple: I create events for each meal, exercise and blood sugar reading in iCal on my Powerbook. (Click on the image to the left for a screenshot) Although it doesn’t give me pretty charts and graphs, it does give me this nice printout (see image to right) to take with me to the endocrinologist, then they can compare it with the charts they download from my glucose meter. I can also set alarms to remind me when to check.
The main problem with this method is that it doesn’t help me track how many carbohydrates I ingest at each meal. Although I keep an account at FitDay, FitDay is also flawed for diabetes tracking in that it only tracks your total carbohydrate for the day rather than at each meal.
Does anyone knows of an online-only system similar to FitDay specifically for diabetics?