Track your child's blood sugar with new Internet software

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My child hates his Type I diabetes, and I can’t really blame him. Nobody likes to have a debilitating disease that keeps him from participating in a lot of the fun stuff his friends get to participate in.

When another child brings cupcakes into the classroom to be nice and share one with everyone, my child misses out. When they go on field trips, he misses out because the school refuses to send a qualified person to monitor him. When he wants to go Trick or Treating, like he will this coming Halloween, we let him, but when we get home, we will check to see what looks safe and what doesn’t, first of all, and then we will sort out the tiny pile that is his to parse out to himself over the next several weeks and the much larger pile that we grudgingly take to work and push off onto his teachers and classmates, making them break whatever diet they were on in the first place.

But not too long ago, I found a handy tool for keeping track of all of those numbers we have to keep track of as parents, and it’s made my child hate his diabetes just a little bit less. And honestly, as much as he hates it, any lit bit of hating it less helps our whole family at this point.

There’s nothing more miserable than having to bug my kid about his blood sugar readings every time he eats breakfast, lunch and dinner, but all of that changed when we were at a recent diabetes convention.

The City of San Antonio has conventions here just like any other major metropolitan area. So over the summer, we heard about the diabetes convention being held here. Our diabetes numbers are staggering in this part of the country, but particularly in this part of the state.

The 2010 Bexar County Community Health Assessment — created by the county's Health Collaborative — reported that 85 percent of Southside residents are overweight or obese, followed by residents in Southeast San Antonio at 80 percent. About 16 percent of Southside residents were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 7 percent and 8 percent in Northwest and Northeast San Antonio.

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Now, that’s just a snapshot of where I live. Diabetes is a problem all over the country, and many of these diabetics, Type I diabetics especially, are children, just learning how to take care of themselves and resenting the heck out of the adults in their lives for making them do it.

A new software program that is designed to track blood sugar readings could help children and parents with that arduous task. While at this convention last summer, we discovered Blue Loop, Internet-based software that helps parents and kids organize the diabetic kids’ blood sugar readings.

It’s located at https://www.mycareconnect.com, and it’s amazing. The first part of the site you get to explore involves a chart with different categories you can fill out. For instance, you can track his blood sugar readings every day, if you’d like. If your doctor just needs you to keep track of a week or two worth of readings, you can do that, too. You can write them down on a piece of paper, and then you can enter them in the appropriate fields later on. You have almost unlimited options when it comes to tracking your blood sugar.

The best part of this website is that you can share it with your doctor. Because of the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, privacy between doctor and patient is at an all-time high. There are imitators of this site out here, but very few does what it does, allowing the doctor to go into your website and check your numbers all with the approval of HIPAA. The site has been approved for use in this way, meaning you can give your doctor access to your records and it’s sanctioned by people who work diligently to protect your medical records.

On the front page of Blue Loop, it says, “BlueLoop is your personal electronic health record for people with diabetes and all caregivers – parents, spouses, school personnel, doctors & more… Share BG’s, carbs, medication, notes and more instantly with your caregivers via e-mail and text message.”

I use Blue Loop as a kind of go-between between us and the doctor’s office but also to track my son’s wholle life. I use the section where we can keep track of what he ate and how much insulin he was given what day and at what time. I like knowing that kind of information so if his blood sugar routinely gets high or routinely gets low, we can consult his diet and exercise level over the last however many weeks and see if his blood sugar changes are from something that has to do with his everyday life. If those changes are due to something else, and we can’t figure it out, we’ll consult the doctor at his office.

Ultimately, the best part of BlueLoop is that since it’s on a computer, my 9-year-old son loves it. It’s a fancy form of record-keeping, so it feels like just one more thing for me to do every day, but for him it’s the chance to use computer with permission. You really can’t beat that when you’re a fourth grader.

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