Sunday, April 14, 2013

Step 3 ... Analyze the Data

This post is a continuation of my last two posts ...

Jeff and I successfully completed our 30 day diet experiment and indirectly, the boys had too.  Now I did not force our diet on the boys.  (There certainly would have been a mutiny if I had.) The boys continued to eat toast and cereal for breakfast and school lunches.  However, because I am the main cook in the house, for dinner the boys did eat a slightly modified version of what I had prepared for Jeff and me.  I would add a glass of milk and a small serving of grains to the boy's dinner plates, but the bulk of the plate was veggies and a small serving of protein.  The boys never really complained about their new dinner plates.  Instead they spent dinnertime teasing Jeff and I.  They would take turns telling us how delicious their bread/rice/pasta tasted.  (And I secretly was laughing inside because I knew I was still winning.) 

Now because this blog is focused on Type 1 diabetes I will share how these small dinner changes affected Ben's BG numbers.  I dug up a couple charts from the Medtronics Carelink website.  (For my non-T1 friends every few weeks we upload all the data from Ben’s pump to this website.)
This first chart is an example of Ben’s BGs for a two week period.  This two week period is before Jeff and I started our diet changes.  (Again, for my non-T1 friends this chart is displaying what Ben’s BGs are throughout the day.  Each line shows what his lowest and highest BGs are for a given hour.  The circles in the middle of the lines show what his average BG was for that hour.  The green band shows what Medtronics thinks his target BG should be (140 to 70).  The average hourly BGs outside that target range are white circles and the average hourly BGs within the target range are black circles.)

I have circled the evening blood sugar readings because these are the numbers that I hoped would be affected by our dinner changes.  You might notice that these numbers are actually pretty good.  At this point in the evening we have quite a few black circles, Ben’s averages are within the target range.

Now here is Ben’s chart for a few weeks later.

In this two week period we are still seeing a lot of black circles in the evening, which is good.  Ben’s evening averages are still mostly in range.  But I was thrilled by this chart because it’s showing me my changes were making a difference.

Notice where the top of these lines are ending!  These lines are much shorter than the lines on our first chart.  This means that Ben’s highest BGs were no longer that high!  Ben’s evening BGs were more steadily in range and there were less BG spikes.  And these steadier evening BGs had another affect.

Ben was waking up with lower morning BGs too.  The red dot I have highlighted here is warning us that this is a scary low below the target green band.  And that’s not necessarily good news … but it’s easily fixed with an adjustment to Ben’s nightly basal rates.  Within a few weeks of changing Ben’s dinner plate we had to reduce his 3:00am basal rate.
Minus the alarming red dot … I was loving the numbers I was seeing.  (And I must also add that I was also loving the numbers I was seeing on the scale at my morning weigh in.)
With a new confidence and determination it was now time to tackle the rest of the day.  I don’t want to bore everyone with every detail of what will certainly be a long, long battle, fixing the boy’s diet.  But I do not want to end this series of posts just yet.

Which leads me to my last post … Step 4  My Aha! Moments

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