{Diabetes Management} Going Old School

by Leighann on September 7, 2011

Frog Log Book

When Q was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes over 3 years ago, we began using the frog log book in the hospital to jot down her blood sugars, carbs, and insulin. Log books are helpful, particularly when a child is in someone else’s care, because you can see at a glance what the BG’s for the day were.

We filled a couple of frog log books before we began using an insulin pump. But after pumping for a while, we got a little lazy and stopped writing in the frog log.

Over time I developed an Excel spreadsheet where I could enter her BG’s and it would give me averages by time of day and for the month. When we were using the log book, I could (somewhat) quickly enter in the numbers into Excel. But with the pump, I had to scroll through, day by day, and jot the numbers down, and then enter them.

It’s all counter-intuitive. I mean the pump stores the data which can be downloaded. Right?

Well, yes and no.

You see I’m a Mac and diabetes is a PC* and it drives me C-R-A-Z-Y!

Crazy, I tell you.

So this spring when I was perplexed yet again that Q’s A1c hadn’t budged despite what I thought were much improved BG averages, I decided to go old school.

I returned to pen and paper.

For me I like to look at a week or two at a time and be able to see the numbers by time of day. I need to visually see it so that I can process it mentally.

I grabbed a fresh frog log, but didn’t quite like that it was small and that I had a couple more bits of information that I wanted to track including which day I changed her pump and where it was placed (I’m tackling post-pump change highs and think I have it mostly solved), if she had any activity such as swim lessons (swim can mess with her BG’s, but I think we’ve figured out that one too), and if we make any changes to basal rates or insulin to carb ratios.

log book

I purchased an inexpensive clip board to hold the sheets. It sits on the kitchen counter with a pen. At bedtime, the clipboard, pen, and PDM are carried to the upstairs bathroom counter so that my husband and I can write down any overnight BG checks. In the morning it comes back down. Every day I make sure all the info is there. Not every square gets filled. And the sheet is easy to fax to the endo’s office.

For right now, this system is working.

Do you keep an old school paper log? Do you download from your meter or pump?

If you are interested in using the log sheet that I am currently using, you can download it here: D-Mom Blog 2 Week Log Sheet I’m sure I’ll tweak it, but it seems to be working for me right now.

*The OmniPod PDM contains an Abbott FreeStyle blood glucose meter. The Abbott CoPilot software is not Mac-compatible and I hear that people running some recent versions of Windows on a PC even have problems. Abbott needs to step up to the plate and Insulet needs to demand better of Abbott on behalf of it’s many patients who are Mac users.

Further Reading

Post Pump Change Highs

Post Pump Change Highs (Part 2)

Post Pump Change Highs (Part 3 – Coming Soon!)

Posts about swimming

Posts about A1c’s

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 annie September 7, 2011 at 9:32 am

Where do you get the frog logs? We got one at diagnosis, which was used up a long time ago and I’ve just been entering it onto my excel sheet. I’d love to have another frog log. 🙂

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2 Leighann September 7, 2011 at 9:54 am

Annie- I ask for them when at the pediatric endo’s office. The nurse usually grabs me a couple, which last forever. I just don’t understand why they have 50 weeks and not 52 (a year)!

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3 Karen September 7, 2011 at 10:41 am

I started with a ‘Frog Log’ but found it too cramped to write down everything I wanted. Now I use a spiral notebook (a page for each day) where I can write down lots of information. I tried the computer, but I kept forgetting to enter the numbers.

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4 Debra September 7, 2011 at 11:35 am

I use a booklet called a “Smart Chart” or ” My other check book”, It was recommended in the book “Using Insulin”, I really like it because the top part is a graph so when I draw a line from each reading I can “see” the spikes and lows. But I’m very old school that way it has a place for all the foods I eat w/carb count, activity, my weight, my TDD, comments.

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5 Stephanie September 7, 2011 at 11:52 am

I just had to comment – LOVE the “I’m a Mac but diabetes is a PC!!” So true…we are a Mac family and I have to go over to my mom’s house to download Adam’s Dexcom stuff for when we have endo appts. I’ve never even attempted to look at his pump stuff. C’mon diabetes, get with the Apple generation!

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6 Tonya September 7, 2011 at 12:16 pm

I sent an email to Abbott and received this reply, “We value your observations and suggestions and have forwarded them to
our CoPilot product team.” Have yet to hear anything, but I’ll let you know if I do. My email was to let them know how frustrating it is for our Mac-only family to NOT be able to download data from our daughter’s PDM to our MacBooks. I find it unbelievable in this day and age that a company would develop anything that isn’t compatible with both a PC and a Mac. I hope to hear that they are remedying the situation and that the new generation PDMs with work with Macs. (We have one of those Frog Log books, too. 😉 Did you get the little foam frog head ball that you’re supposed to use to practice giving injections? Weird concept… 😉

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7 Lisa September 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Yep, made up my won on Excel too and keep all of the “done” sheets in a binder by date and the one we are working on is folded up in his meter bag. The sheet goes back and forth between school/daycare and home so I can see everything going on. He is not on a pump…yet.

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8 Jen September 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

We have a similar problem with downloading numbers. Our One Touch Ultra Mini meter has pretty good tracking software, but (of course there’s a but) it is not compatible with Windows 7 and 64 bit operating systems, which is what both of our computers are. They are “working on it.” But as we all know that doesn’t translate to a solution any time soon. Frustrating that the diabetes tech is not keeping up. Good luck with the manual tracking!

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9 Julia September 7, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Yes, I find the written log invaluable. We modified our endo’s log and leave it open on a counter in the kitchen beneath the phone. We log in blood sugars every day and meals, exercise most of the time. Usually go thru the meter and write down all the numbers we’ve missed logging in the evening. We can tweak every two or three days if necessary by using this method. Downloading the pump once a week is not a substitute. Trying to find a good computerized log as I’m sure our DD is not going to use this method.

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10 Natalie hodge October 27, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Hi all, I could not stand more than a day of the paper after Kennedy’s diagnosis, we went straight to glucose buddy, for three months, we are one month Into Omnipod, and we are Also a Mac family. Settled on running to a friends house twice a week to download tO abbot’s site and sharing with endo. Shame they give us user and password, yet abbots websites have no web based log in. How bizarre…

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