Friday, April 29, 2011

The Whiteboard Solution.

Last week's DSMA chat was on looking at blood sugar trends. Or rather, DO you look at blood sugar trends? Or rather, what do you do to see blood sugar trends...

I'm confusing myself already.

Point is, I've been having a tough time for awhile spotting current trends in the boys' blood sugars. Back in the day, my memory was money...not so much anymore. It seems the older I get, the harder it is for me to retain information.

AND, there are three of them. It gets confusing, ok!?!

Spotting trends has especially been an issue since Ryan has taken over most of the nighttime checks. I am a firm believer that nighttime is THE most important time to get things right. Only because it is the easiest time to get things in order. Once nighttime numbers are on track, you have won half the battle. So, since we split up the blood testing duties, when the boys wake up out of range I'm hard-pressed to know if it is human/husband error, or if basals need to be tweaked.

Communication has been pretty much sucking eggs. When I call my hubby at work in the mornings and ask what was up with sugars...he generally doesn't remember. It is usually something like, "Two were good, one needed a correction." I'm not pointing fingers or swelly brain can't remember things anymore either...remember?

So let me get to the heart of this post right this minute...I hate trying to keep track of numbers. I start with good intentions, writing everything down and it never lasts long. It is my swelly brain rebelling to be sure. For YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS I wrote down every blessed blood sugar number there was, along with every carb that passed through the boys' lips. Once the doc said we didn't have to anymore...that was it. I didn't do it anymore. Ever.

Sure, I would copy numbers off blood sugar monitors...but when the third was diagnosed that all got thrown out the window. All my boys use the same meter...the one that is closest to them at the time. We have a good 10 of them floating around the house and around town. So now we count on the information download from the boys pumps to spot the trends. Trouble is, I don't download them...only the endo does.

Yes, I CAN download them. I just don't like it. Those graphs make me throw up. They make me cry. It is too much information!!! I can't do it...I just can't!! (And...end of dramatic scene...)

So a few weeks ago I finally came up with the solution.

Well, maybe not THE solution, but A solution.

The whiteboard!

Ta da!

We aren't brilliantly consistent with it or anything...but it has helped a ton! The boys even have been writing in their numbers at night and in the morning.

Not the solution to everything. I totally get that I didn't invent the wheel here...

But it's a solution none the less.

And the best part is...I can wipe those numbers away in one swoop. They are not permanent. Very cathartic to erase them away and start fresh!

I'm pretty sure many, if not most of the amazing people who are reading this...(you?)...keep very detailed, computer spreadsheet layouts of every number/bolus/correction/carb...and that makes my little whiteboard look like tinker toys to your Metropolis. But we all do what we can.

I'm doing the best I can.

Even if the best I can comes in the form of blue, black, green and red whiteboard markers...


  1. I think you are ADORABLE with the different colored markers Meri! AND..what a great idea to get the boys involved in it as well. I have a printed out log-gy thingy that I write on and highlight the highs (orange) and lows (blue) to spot trends. Sometimes I am great about logging and sometimes, not-so-much.

    Your swelly brain makes mine look "exploded-y". You are THE MAMA PANCREAS IN DA HOUSE!!!

  2. we don't do the spread sheets or anything like that anymore consistently because I found it turned me into a number crazy scientist that was looking far too into every number and wanting to find some pattern, when usually there was none. So, Instead I do a quick review nightly, then after a few nights if I see the same pattern of lows/highs I make a small tweak and wait 3 days. I love the wait 3 days deal because I don't pour over numbers for those 3 days. I just leave it.
    Glad you guys found something that works. TJ just started using glucose buddy and is very happy with it :)

  3. I can only guess how overwhelming it is to try and keep track between three. I always have to catch up after putting things off for a few days -- if I did that times three I would really have to struggle to keep up!

  4. I'm sorry your brain is "broke"! Hee hee. You are funny! I LOVE seeing this because to me you are a ROCKIN' dMama! I have been trying to let go of my obsessive logging lately. But I just cant...

  5. Thanks for this fab idea, I am picking up a white board on the way home from work TODAY!!! We totally struggle with the kids records and trending is really hard lately as well. Thanks so much for this post.

  6. You rock Meri! If we just keep on going, we'll all be alright!! You do an awesome job with your boys!

  7. I think you have to do what works for you and if a little white board with multi colored markers does it for you then DO IT!! :)
    I keep track of Bean's numbers on an app on my phone and it gives me averages which I like, but there are times when I'd like to see more than daily or category averages.
    We can upload her PDM and that's the info our NP and CDE use but I haven't been able to make a whole lot of sense out of time, no brain power left over to figure it out.
    Here's to doing the best we can!!!

  8. We all do what works for us. I LOVE your whiteboard idea and that the boys are involved. It's what works for you.

  9. I especially like that you can wipe them all off. What a great feeling.

  10. I might steal your idea. :) I only log on paper when we are having issues...which we are having now. I'm trying to stick to 3 days before I make changes, but it is HARD! And I suck at writing things down consistently.

  11. I am so glad that I am not the only one who wants to cry when looking at the downloaded graph. Everytime I look at it I think that I should be able to figure it out. I take care of it all day everyday, but all those lines make my head spin and my brain shuts down.
    I love the whiteboard.

  12. The graphs make my head spin too! I can't imagine trying to look at the x3...I think my head might explode if I had LOVE the whiteboard solution! I love crossing things off of my lists, so I know wiping the board clean will feel awesome!!!

  13. Downloaded graphs!!?? Ahhhhhhhhhh!!!! Way too much information for me!! I don't even use the downloading for the Cgm! I use a good old notebook when things go wild and just highlight problem areas. I'm soooooo old school!

    I love to think you can just wipe it all away on the white board! Yay! Great idea Meri!

  14. I like this idea. A LOT! Spreadsheets are awesome...but only if you use them...which we haven't lately. Sometimes, the more simple the idea and the easier to use (like this) is better.

  15. I can so relate to this! I don't record any numbers- my meter and pump keep the information. I also NEVER download it myself, because I just wait until my doctor's appointment. Things seem to work pretty well for me that way. I was trying to think if a spreadsheet would help me out in any way, but I think (at least at this point in my life) it would be too much for me to handle. Blogging about my day every night helps me spot trends though!

  16. Gosh, I used to keep spreadsheets, but I only keep a notebook now..I guess I should do more reviewing! I like your whiteboard idea!! I can't even imagine keeping track of three...God Bless You.

  17. Love the whiteboard. I like to keep my notes- (to keep Doc updated (just switched to pump and have to check in!) but, the board I think G would like and keep her invested as well! Thanks for another GREAT idea!!

  18. I was wondering what I was going to do once both of the girls on on I have a good idea!! :)


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