Saturday, June 23, 2007
Why keep a log?
As you can see, Pearl's weapon of choice for logging is one of my Harry Potter fountain pens.
Whether you keep an online account, excel sheet or, like Pearl, the non-techno version of pen and paper, logging is very helpful. We do both. Pearl's way, and then I put it online, so we can keep the vet up to date by emailing, or now, by the blog.
Logging your BG results can help you manage diabetes by seeing trends in the numbers. The way you do a diabetic log and how it is written for best at a glance comprehension is to label your preshots am and pm: thus amps or pmps to establish what your number was. Notate the amount of insulin given after that. Right now I am still figuring out Pearl's optimum dosage, so I do more tests in between. To notate when a reading is taken, you use a +number number=hours after shot.
Today so far looks like this
amps 396 2.4u
+4 140 (niiiiiice)
Later, I will add more numbers. probably a +6 and a +8. I know that Pearl is going to peak somewhere in there, so I am not going to test nearer to the shot times as I am doing today.
Today's curve will be
What, you say? That is 5 pokes in one day! It's OK. If I showed you Pearl's ears, you would not even know which ear I test on. But even so, I don't like to subject her to tons of pokes. So, normally, I would do preshots only throughout the week and do curves or partial curves on weekends. It's less expensive (strips are the costly part of diabetes) and less annoying to Pearl. She mostly just doesn't care for her ear being held. Rather like Captain Sisko being seized by the ear everytime he comes across a vedik.)
If you do a curve, that means you track the BG levels throughout the day, either every two hours, or I prefer every three hours or sometimes just 4 hour spot test with a two hour middle. This will help you determine when the insulin "Peaks" or your lowest BG levels. You want your curve to be gentle, and insulins like Lantus, PZI and some even use Levemir are longer lasting and provide, in general, long, slow, calm curves. Other insulins like Humulin N, Vetsulin or Caninsulin usually peak early and may have very short, sharp curves. If this happens, you may want to investigate slower insulins. Short curves leave the cat too high much of the day.
Of course, with diabetes, your ideal isn't always acheivable and you take what you get, but a log of your tests can help you approach management with good data that you and your vet can use for good decisions.
And, besides, it's fun to use a fountain pen.