January 29, 2015

Help in Diabetes Management Education – Part 3

Part 3 of 12

I don't expect everyone to keep all the records that I keep, but these are offered to give you ideas. A few of my fellow support group members are good with databases and keep more information than I keep. I use spreadsheets in my system. A few members keep it all on paper from tablet paper to fairly large accounting paper.

Now that I have patted myself on the back, I find that there is always more that I could record. Journaling is not something I had even thought about, but David Mendosa writes about it here. Not only does he journal about the positive things that happen, but also the worst things that happen to us with diabetes. Journaling is personal for your own use and not shared generally and as David says, he uses a diary format.

Since I have blogged about the spreadsheet format before, I will just refer you to those blogs. The first is my food log and the information I keep. I keep more than most people would, as I am on insulin. The second is my daily blood glucose testing log and related notes. The third blog and other logs are my daily health log, lab test log, and other logs. Yes, they do take time and effort, but this is my health and I treat this with respect.

This is mentioned in the third blog, but I do think it needs some clarification. This log is my medications log and I do print this out in two copies and one I give to the doctor for adding to my medical records. This is also something that I give to my local pharmacist at least once a year or anything there is a change in my medications. Since I use the Veteran Affairs pharmacy, I also give the VA nurse a printout which they check against their records and change accordingly. A change made at the VA office is available to all offices that need it.

The medications log has my name and address centered across the top and includes my telephone number. After I print out the report, I hand write my social security number on a blank also in the heading and my date of birth.

After the heading, the first column is just the number starting at one through the number of medications. This also includes all non-prescription drugs (like aspirin) and
dietary supplements (like vitamin D3 and B12). The second column is for the name (like Lantus - Insulin Glargine) of the medication. The third column is for the daily dosage. Column four is the description or purpose of the medication. Column five is the daily usage or when taken (AM, PM, or AM/PM).

Then for my usage are the columns to the right after two blank columns. The first column is the RX number which comes in very handy when the print on the vial holding the medication becomes unreadable. The next column is the expiration date of the prescription. The next column is the last purchase date which comes in handy when the next purchase date will be after to expiration date. This reminds me to ask for a new prescription. I have other columns that I use, such the number of pills or capsules in the bottle of non-prescription drugs and dietary supplements and this I use to determine when to repurchase and whether the count is correct.

You will need to determine what works for you and what you want to keep in the way of records. I will say that many of us that keep detailed records recover from mistakes faster and are able to discern the cause of problems easier.

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