One of the good habits I got into as soon as I left hospital was recording everything related to my diabetes management down in my diabetes diary. Ostensibly just for recording blood glucose levels and insulin doses, I quickly developed my own shorthand so I could easily record all the new elements that I learned were part and parcel of the management of this disease. I started recording the time of my insulin doses so I could avoid ‘stacking’ – having an injection before the previous one had worked through my system. I also recorded the type of food I had eaten so I could refer back and see how my dose calculation had performed when eating the meal again. My activities – mostly running, interspersed with Gay Gasper – so I could see the effect on my insulin sensitivity. Plus lots of other little things that might be of use to improve my blood glucose management, or perhaps to help me identify possible causes when everything seems to go haywire for no apparent reason. I’d never remember all this stuff, no matter how good my memory is, so the diary is an essential tool in keeping me safe from the dreaded complications.
I’d urge everyone to make friends with their diaries! Diabetes is about so much more than the readings stored on your meter, especially if you are on insulin, but also if you’re not, in order to spot those patterns emerging that might throw some light on why you went high after eating those profiteroles…
Dear Diary, have you noticed how good a boy I’ve been?
Just flick through all your pages and you’ll see just what I mean!
For every day, in every way, I’ve laid the numbers down,
The ones that make my heart content, the ones that make me frown.
For only by recording them can I see the reasons why
This morning I was far too low, that evening far too high!
And more – it’s not just fingerpricks and insulin amounts,
But food, my mood, and exercise, for every factor counts,
And when something confuses me, or I just get the urge,
I see the problem clearly in the patterns that emerge!
So thank you my dear Diary, you’re worth so much to me,
And I’ll attend you every day – oh yes, I will! You’ll see!