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If Blindness Comes

If Blindness Comes is a special pull-out section on diabetes and vision loss, printed in a larger font. If you know someone living with diabetes and vision loss, please pull this section out and share it.

Log on and take control

At www.Dia-Log.com, you and your health care team can learn from your records

by Thomas Ley

It’s important to track your daily blood glucose, food, exercise and medications. For many decades this meant using paper forms and then taking them to the doctor to review. Today, you can use a variety of tools to keep track of these daily numbers. And one of the most versatile and accessible is a web logbook at www.Dia-Log.com. Websites allow you to enter daily readings online from any computer or portable device that can connect to the internet, and this one is accessible if you are blind or have low vision. I use it daily, and it is easy to use with a screen reader such as Window-Eyes or Jaws for Windows. And it’s free!

Dia-Log.com describes itself as “a FREE online diabetes logbook that helps diabetics track their lifestyle.” It offers:

• An online logbook to enter blood sugars, insulin, food, carbohydrates, events and notes
• A logbook to track doctor visits, lab results, and medications
• Printable personal charts and graphs that can be shared with doctors and educators
• Custom features for insulin pump users including a basal logbook
• Complete confidentiality and security for personal medical information (Dia-Log.com uses standard, reliable security systems to keep information private. If you are comfortable making online purchases or banking online you will find the security adequate.)

To begin, you create a user ID and password. You will probably start with the most frequently used feature, the daily logbook. Once there, the current day and time will be entered by default. Type in your blood sugar reading and link it to a time or event such as before breakfast, after breakfast, low blood sugar, before exercise, random, before bed, etc.

Next, specify carbohydrate count, and how much short- and long-acting insulin you used. Along with how many grams of carbohydrate, the entry form provides two fields for selecting or typing the food eaten. On a separate portion of the site, you can create a list of the foods and meals you most commonly eat, along with the carbohydrate value of each. There are lists that show up here so you can choose the foods and values. The advantage of these lists is that the carbohydrate value for each item automatically drops in to the carbohydrate space. You can also track how different foods affected your post-meal blood sugar.

Finally, you can provide a comment for the entry. A great feature is that you can modify or delete an entry at any time. The site is flexible. During a busy day, you may not have time to enter information, but Dia-Log.com allows entries to be added for any day.

I provide my Dia-Log.com user ID and password to my endocrinologist and nurse practitioner. When I need some advice, I just call or email them. They look up my readings online and can print reports. Then we plan our next steps together.

I recommend Dia-log.com. The accessibility is not perfect, but I find it easy to use with a little practice—and my doctors like it. If I have Internet access, I have
Dia-Log access, and that’s a great advantage. It helps me maintain better control of my blood sugar, and that keeps me healthier.