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One Drop Stories

Ken Pardue

Why do you log your data?

I log my data because (1) having the data allows you to find correlations between activity, food, insulin, and blood glucose; (2) the act of recording makes you more aware of what you’re putting into your body. I’m less likely to eat that candy bar if I’m logging it against my daily intake.

I became fascinated with the quantified self when I realized how easily we can capture routine data using the same smart devices that we all carry around all day. It changes the question of “Why?” to more of a “Why not?” With the tediousness taken completely out of capturing routine data, it becomes trivially easy to take the extra step to log food eaten and medicines taken.

Why One Drop?

I’ve searched for years for a good app to allow me to help me manage my condition and help me visualize the big picture, but every one that I found were either fitness-focused with a diabetes component bolted on or diabetes-focused with so much complexity that it obfuscated the very data I was hoping to gain insight from. One Drop is laser-focused. You can tell that the developer understands both diabetes (and what’s important to a diabetic) and user interaction. Being a pumper, I’ve always felt marginalized with diabetes apps. I’ve never tracked insulin boluses because I knew it wouldn’t give me an accurate Total Daily Dose, but One Drop allows me to set and track pump basal rates and makes it so easy to log insulin boluses that I’m actually tracking that as well. The food database is expansive, and having a barcode scanner makes it easy to log packaged foods on the go.

Hobbies?

I’m an office computer jockey, so I enjoy simulating aircraft flights and procedures with flight simulators. I also enjoy researching my family history (I’ve tracked my surname back to 1685). But my hands-on hobby is working with model railroads. As a child, my father had a model railroad and it helped to bring us closer together. I volunteer at a children’s museum running a large model railroad for the children, and it’s an experience that I’m hoping to have with my own children as they get older.

Favorite guilty-pleasure food?

Oh I’m going to get in trouble for this one… I’m a sucker for a wedding cake snowcone.

Weirdest place you’ve checked your blood sugar / injected insulin / changed an infusion set … ?

It’s probably not the weirdest response you’ll get, but as someone who works in an office and doesn’t get outdoors very much, the weirdest place would have to be camping with my family on a chilly night, with the four of us cramped into a tent (life lesson: when they say a tent sleeps four, it means like sardines), trying not to wake anyone at 2am.

Anything you’ve learned on your diabetes journey that you’d like to share with the world?

First, the body is a funny thing. No matter how well you think you know it, it’s going to surprise you. Sometimes you can tack down a reason for unexpected highs or lows: if you’re under stress, if you’ve gained or lost a few pounds, or if you’re struggling with sickness, but sometimes it’s just going to decide to do something bizarre for no apparent reason, and you’ve got to be prepared to respond to that.

The second thing I’ve learned is something that saved my life: as your body ages with diabetes, you can lose sensitivity to oncoming lows. If you find that you’re losing that sensitivity—if you reach a point where it’s no longer waking you at night—do not hesitate to get a CGM. It’s very much worth the investment, and it will save your life.

One Drop Stories showcases how members of the One Drop community celebrate the drop each day. Every finger prick is an opportunity to take control of your diabetes and live your life to the fullest. 
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