Glooko, the new digital logbook for diabetes


Remember the days when you sat in your doctor’s office studying your hand written blood sugar logbooks? Your doctor would make notes on the piece of paper, trying to determine trends based on your personal records. And how accurate were these records? I can’t imagine I was the only one who rounded down when it came to numbers above 250 because who wants to stare at those “bad” numbers day after day? (of course we all should know that there are no “bad” numbers, and that high or low, these numbers are a source of information….however, the realist in me knows this is not always easy to remember when you are staring at a piece of paper that looks like a bad report card.)

Thanks to tools like Glooko, the effort to maintain handwritten records is no longer necessary, and the machine won’t fudge your numbers. Glooko, an electronic logbook, enables users to download blood glucose readings from their meter directly into an iPod Touch or iPhone, look at trends, make notes and email files directly to your healthcare provider. I’ve found it to be really easy to use, it’s compatible on 11 different meters right now, and I like that I can email my records to my doctor ahead of time. In my opinion, it’s another good excuse to spend time playing with your iphone, wink, wink.

Read more of my story at Diabetes Monitor.

Wego Health Writing Challenge…Open a Book

Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 without stopping.

This is not a random page but one of my favorite books about living with illness. The Two Kinds of Decay by Sarah Manguso is a memoir of the autoimmune disease that tore through the author’s twenties, a decade of recurrent paralysis, collapsed veins, chest catheters, the deaths of friends and strangers, addiction, depression, and the trite metaphors that accompany prolonged illness.

Here is one of my favorite phrases from the chapter titled “Causation.” She writes,

Was the CIDP a physical manifestation of a spiritual illness?

Did the medication trigger the depression, or did the depression trigger the CIDP?

What about those yogis who can lie down on a bed of nails, then arise, streaming blood, then stop the flow of blood from each wound individually with the power of their minds? Isn’t frailty often a choice? 

And if frailty is a choice, then isn’t autoimmune disease a semi-intentional suicide? 

That statement stops me in my tracks every time I read it. As a woman with type 1 diabetes, I too have an autoimmune illness, and until I read this book, I’d never really considered the implications of an “autoimmune illness.” I know that our disease are very different, but like Manguso, I wondered what it meant that my own body was waging a war on itself?

When I was little and feeling sick, my dad used to tell me to think about polar bears. The polar bears were supposed to be healthy cells fighting off my sickness-my fever or strep throat or whatever it was at the time. It was the 70’s and my parents were hippies and this was his idea of a healing, positive visualization. But I didn’t like the idea of polar bears in my blood. It made me queasy. I just wanted to have someone give me medicine and make it all better.

I thought of the polar bears again when I was diagnosed with diabetes. I think it was more of a sarcastic teenage thought like, “Yeah, see dad, those polar bears didn’t do any good. Look what happened to me.” I wallowed in the ‘poor me’ phase for a long time. And I definitely didn’t believe that I had any sort of internal choice in the matter. I was stuck with diabetes and there was nothing I could do about it except feel sorry for myself and/or ignore it. Looking back now, I see that ignoring it was a sort of suicide. It wasn’t until I let my diabetes out of hiding that I felt like I had a choice about living well with diabetes.

26 years later, I chose how I manage diabetes. I did not choose to be diagnosed or to be “frail,” but I do choose to live my life well.

Wego Health, Pinboard Day

Pinboard. Create a pinterest board for your health focus. Pin 3 things. What did you pin? Share the images in a post and explain why you chose them.

Here are a few images from my “Living Well With Diabetes” board on Pinterest:

First, thanks Kim Vlasnik, because there is something beautiful about illness.

Next, this is meant to remind me not to beat myself up over a bad number. Take a deep breath and keep going.

 

 

 

 

Finally, this image reminds me that a life in balance = happiness. I am a much better mom, wife, friend, daughter, runner, writer and diabetic when my life is in balance.

Wego Health Day, Writing with Style…

Writing with Style. What’s your writing style? Do words just flow from your mind to your fingertips? Do you like handwriting first? Do you plan your posts? Title first or last? Where do you write best?

I write while I’m running. It’s been that way since I was a little girl and walked home from school. The bus dropped me at the bottom of our mile long dirt road and I took my time, kicking the dirt under my feet and plugging my nose and I wandered past the dairy cows. I told stories to myself of girls with names like Jessica or Samantha who wore their long blonde hair in braids down their backs. These girls had their very own horses and were the most popular girls in their schools. They were not lonely like me.

These stories kept me going day after day and sometimes, if it wasn’t cold and snowy, I’d linger on our front porch before I went inside because the story wasn’t ready to end. Knowing that the stories were waiting for me got me through my school days. It was the quiet of the Vermont woods that stoked those stories. The steady beat of my feet on the road and wind on my face-these noises were the orchestra to my imagination and it continues on today.

I run every morning in the still dark and quiet streets of my southern home. The plot lines have changed and I’m no longer telling stories of Jessica and horses, but the stories come just the same. Whether they are practical stories filled with interviews and tips from experts on living well with diabetes, or stories of smart and inspirational women with diabetes, or stories of my own, there are always stories to fill my head. Some mornings I go straight from my run to my computer where I sit and write, I’ve got to get it all down before it melts away. Other mornings there is nothing and I concentrate on the steady beat of my feet on the pavement and that’s okay because I’m no longer lonely.