Monday, October 17, 2011

A little bit of awesome HbA1c-ness

I know I know, no posts for ages and then 2 in one day :P

But look at this!

Screenshot of TuAnalyze data graph measuring my HbA1c results over time.
I am holding steady on HbA1c result of 6.5% Yay! :)

(that's a 48 mmol/mol in the new numbers)

And now I will document how I got there. No it wasn't anything strenuous or taxing, but it was consistent.

I kept looking for the best way to use the data from my blood tests. Knowledge is power, after all.

That's it.

I figured, that since I test so many times each day, and record each and every one, plus what I eat, that there must be a way to use the data more effectively. Like, perhaps in a way that I could see long term trends happening, or find patterns.

My Endo and Diabetes Health Nurse are always looking for patterns, and I can never see them.

I used to use a paper logbook:

My old paper log book. Each horizontal row = 1 day. Note the classy blood smear top right.

Then moved on to using that together with the iPhone App Insulin Calculator to work out my insulin dosages more accurately. This really made a great change, and if you look at the TuAnalyze graph above, it is what I credit with the drop from 8.1 to 6.7.

More recently - like in the last 3 months or so - I have added another App built by the same folks, called  simply Diabetes Diary. The great thing is that these two Apps link together, so I don't have to enter data twice.

It gives me weekly averages graphs. This is what my "day" way like when I started using the Diabetes Diary App.

I just go into Insulin Calculator, type in my blood sugar and enter what carbs I eat, it works out the number of unit insulin to give - and oh yeah! you can easily adjust your insulin to carb ratio throughout the day! Super precise - then just tap the "take it to Diabetes Diary" button and it's there. Too cool for school I reckon.

And this is what my "day" is averaging out to now. Quite an improvement I think.

It feels like the most advanced technological solution I'm going to achieve without an insulin pump. I'm using 2 injections of Lantus every 24hrs, plus between 3 and 6 shots of Humalog a day.

My week, in real time. I just ate a doughnut, hence the uppity spike-ity bit.

I really like these two Apps. They are very handy and I credit them with increased stability in my blood sugar control. No debilitating nighttime lows since I've been using them, touch wood.

It's good to be able to crunch the data too, like seeing time of day averages for before breakfast, post-prandial breakfast, before lunch, post-prandial lunch etc. This enables me to spot any crazy business, and I can check it with the average day graph.

But you know the main reason I got it?

The graph above. Last Seven Days. When I started logging my blood sugar (well, actually it was my parents) we wrote the details in the log book and then drew the graph by hand. We even used the spent test strips (you know, the ones you wiped the blood off and they changed colour? Really long plastic ones that took about 5ml of blood) as little rulers to keep the graph lines nice and straight and accurate.

Did that for about 15 years. Then was told they had stopped making that graph-style of log book, so I would have to switch over to the horrid chart style. Yucky. Didn't ever really like it.

So when I noticed all these DOC folks showing pics on their Dexcom's and CGMs of graphs, I thought, hey! We were doing that after a fashion ages ago!

And that is the story of why I went hunting for a diabetes iPhone app with a decent graphing feature.

- - - - - - -

Currently use Lilly Huma Pen which is metal and has half-units for the Humalog, and the disposable prefilled pens for Lantus. Blood meters is Optium Exceed. Gotta love their crazy take on the English language.


  1. I love the graphs, too. Love seeing the trends rather than the snapshot levels. I"ve got the CGM, but when I'm not wearing it, I'm checking at least 6 times a day. The more, the merrier is my motto. Can never have too much information, if you ask me. :) Glad to hear you're doing so well.

  2. Hello there,

    I was wondering whether you'd allow me to use the above picture of your paper diary in my PhD thesis on telehealth for patients with diabetes. I talk about the advantages and disadvantages of paper diaries versus electronic logbooks so this would be perfect. Would much appreciate if you could let me know. many thanks!

  3. Hi JB, if you provide me with your name and email, then I am happy for you to use them. At present your blogger profile is completely blank and I don't mean to offend, but this doesn't fill me with confidence. Do you have a blog or email? Or even a name? You can email me at thekaitakeblog @ gmail com to discuss. Cheers