Memory Monday: Log Books

One Monday per month, I’ll take a trip down memory lane and reflect on how much diabetes technology, education, and stigma has changed over the years. Remember when…

…log books were a THING that PWD used to track blood sugars?

Log books were pocket-size diaries (of a sort) designed for PWD to keep track of blood sugars, insulin and carb intake, mealtimes, etc. Basically, it was the old-fashioned way of recording blood sugars so that you could bring it with you to your endo appointments so your doctor could review the book for patterns.

I remember HATING having to write down my numbers. I felt like those little log books were contraptions put in place to judge me and my numbers. Imagine an eight year old who felt judged by something like that? It’s just wrong. But I get that they had a purpose to serve, and even when I was little, I knew it was important to write everything down even if I resented doing it.

That’s why I made it more fun by drawing doodles next to certain blood sugars – a frowning face would appear when I was high, and a mini burst of fireworks would find their way next to a blood sugar of 100 (which I now refer to as a unicorn bg, along with much of the rest of the DOC). I also distinctly remember using the log book to keep track of where I was injecting my insulin: “RL” would appear on the page if I was due to give a shot into my right leg, or “LA” for my left arm. These days, I’m really good about swapping sites, mainly because it’s easy to remember, thanks to my pods. But as a kid, it was more challenging, so writing it down helped.

Thankful that my meter tracks my blood sugars for me now (also, that 230 mg/dL would’ve totally gotten a frown-y face back in the day).

Thank goodness for modern meters and insulin pumps that keep track of my blood sugars for me now. It’s so much easier to show up to an endo appointment and hand over my meter for the nurses to download. Plus, doing so means that my doctor and I get to review all sorts of colorful charts showing my blood sugars over a certain period of time, which is more telling and helpful than a doctor thumbing through my log book and murmuring, “I see,” every few moments.

Log books are such an archaic artifact of my diabetes history that I don’t even own any nowadays. I trashed them all, years ago, when I realized that my blood sugars from 2001 were sort of irrelevant to now. Do you still have any of your log books lying around?


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