A New Milestone

Today I was able to skip taking one of my medications.  With diabetes comes a few other complications normally.  I had to start taking medication for high blood pressure as well as high cholesterol along with my diabetes formulary.  All in all I have approximately 12 daily tasks related to medication and testing.  Well today I can take that number down to 11.

My blood pressure over the past few days has remained at or below 120/80.  In some cases it actually was flirting with being too low!  So starting today I have stopped taking my prescribed medication for high blood pressure, Lisinopril.  Now this doesn’t mean I’m not checking my blood pressure daily.  I’ll be keeping a very close eye over the next few days to see if I see an increase in blood pressure at all.  I actually have an app that tracks my pressure records for me and creates reports on the fly.

This is good news for sure.  It points to things actually paying off finally.  This combined with me very rarely needing any bolus insulin shots are very welcomed events.  Next up I need to better track my carb intake and physical activity.  I currently average around 2.5 miles a day of walking around, and that is all tracked via Fitbit, but I need to track working out as well.

Here is picture of me receiving an award for work.  One less medication is just as good as an award!

Joseph Sollner CTB Award
Winning one of my three CTB awards.


Diabetes Management Via a Social App, I’ll Bite!

In the middle of last month I started to use an application on my iPhone called One Drop.  I’ve really like using this app to help track my diabetes management alongside the Glooko app and device I already use.  The app is very handy and unique in many ways.

The One Drop app is a manual entry app.  This means there is no automation in terms of downloading data from a blood glucose meter or insulin pump.  However, the interface is by far the best one out there for manual entry of data.  Simply either swipe the circle until you get to the number you are entering, or you can type it in via keyboard.  You can enter in data for your blood glucose level, your physical activity, your carb intake, and you insulin intake.  The food intake is a bit different than the others as you take a picture of your food and assign it a carb level value, low, medium, or high.

The most interesting feature of One Drop is the social aspect of it.  Your input is viewable by others, and their input is viewable by you.  This is neat as you can see how you are doing comparatively against others with diabetes.   You can also cheer people on by liking their numbers and placing motivational stickers to their posts.  At first it seams a bit annoying, but after awhile it is really nice to get recognition for sticking with your plan and having good numbers.  You can also look at a map of glucose reading posts and see how you are doing against others in your local area.  Unfortunately I’m the only one in my town using the app, but I can see that others are using it nearby towns.

So if you have diabetes and are looking for a neat way to track your numbers give One Drop a try.  It is easy to use and neatly visualizes your journey with diabetes.

Here are some screen shots from the app.

One Drop History Example - Joseph Sollner
This screen neatly visualizes my past few days by looking at one of my posts. Pink represents blood glucose checks, orange represents physical activity, green represents carb intake, and blue represents insulin intake.
Joseph Sollner One Drop Data Entry
This shot shows the 4 buttons you press at the bottom to enter in data, Check, Meds, Food, and Move.
Joseph Sollner One Drop Data Entry
Here you see a screen for entering your blood glucose level. You enter the number by simply moving the white circle around the pink circle until the number in the center matches your reading.
One Drop carb intake example
An example of a carb intake record.
Joseph Sollner One Drop Personal History Screen
This screen shows your personal history. It shows the standard variance in your blood glucose readings as well has hyper and hypo glycemic moments. It also tracks the percentage of insulin you are taking that is bolus (fast acting) and basal (baseline). You can watch your progress or catch yourself slipping by looking at this screen.
Joseph Sollner One Drop High Blood Glucose Screen
A screen that quickly shows all of you high blood glucose moments. Very handy to identify foods that might be causing your hyperglycemic moments.
Joseph Sollner One Drop Low Glucose Moments Screen
This screen shows your lowest blood glucose moments in comparison to the insulin you log. Very handy to help adjust insulin intake in the event of hypoglycemic moments.

An Interesting Look at A1C Levels

So when I was diagnosed with diabetes my A1C clocked in at 13.1, double what is normal for a diabetic to have as a goal, 6.5 to 7.  Interestingly enough that translates to an average blood glucose level of around 329 mg/dl, which is extremely high for an average. My blood glucose level when I was in the emergency room was over 500 mg/dl, and that was after not eating most of the day.  So in other words, my blood sugar was way out of control.

Since taking medication, doing daily insulin shots, changing my diet, and tracking everything and anything health wise, I’ve managed to get my weekly estimated A1c levels down considerably.  I used the A1c average calculator from the American Diabetes Association to create the table below.

Joseph Sollner A1C Levels
Weekly average estimated A1C levels.

As you can see my weekly estimates dropped dramatically right away, and have since continued to slowly drop.  Now, this doesn’t mean I dropped from a 13.1 to 7.1 in a week’s time.   These numbers are estimated based on the 4 daily blood glucose tests I preform (my fingers feel like swiss cheese from all the lancet pokes).  In mid-May I had an official A1C blood test done, along with a myriad of other blood and urine tests.  The official number that came back was 8.4.  Still higher than the goal, but much reduced from 13.1 (my attending doctor at the hospital referred to me being ‘super diabetic’ due to my A1C level being that high).

My next A1C and host of blood and urine tests is scheduled for the start of September.  It will be very interesting to see how close the weekly averages I am seeing match the results of the official test.  I feel confident they will be close, if not at least better than the 8.4 number from the last test.  Interestingly enough, I very rarely need to take any Humalog shots based on the low sliding scale anymore.  Humalog is a bolus insulin, bolus meaning fast acting.  I was taking four shots of Humalog a day initially.  So now a normal day for me consists of one seven unit shot of Levemir, a basal insulin, or baseline insulin.  Of course, I take 2 Metformin pills, 1 Lisinopril pill, 1 Pravastatin pill, perform 2 to 4 blood pressure tests, and preform 4 blood glucose tests daily as well.  The goal is to eventually eliminate most if not all of the medications down the road, wish me luck!

So there you have it, my interesting look at A1C levels.  You can read a bit more about it from the Mayo Clinic, or you can continue to follow my journey.

Here are a couple of pics from a trip to Maui a couple of years back.

Joseph Sollner Sailboat
Sailboat anchored right offshore.
Joseph Sollner Surf Boards
Plenty of boards, let’s go surfing.