Scott over at “Rolling in the D” wrote a great post Monday about driving with diabetes.

He read an article on Sunday in his local paper about a PWD dealing with a low blood sugar who was beaten by police for resisting arrest.

It’s a terrifying situation, and every single one of us is vulnerable.  The tighter we manage our diabetes, the more likely we are to have lows. And what do we know about lows? They compromise the one thing we need to get through it safely – our brain.

What more can I do besides wear appropriate medical id? And is that even enough? What if the officers don’t see it?  What if I’m combative?

In 2009 I saw a news blurb about this type of thing and started searching for ways to keep me safe. I wear a medical id bracelet AND necklace, and frankly, what good do those do me in a situation like this? I found a “Diabetic Driver” sticker and put them on my vehicle. But that’s a dicey decision too, right? Not everyone is comfortable telling the world about their diabetes.

However, telling the world about my diabetes is exactly what I need if I’m so low that my brain isn’t working right.

The possibility of this situation scares the crap out of me.

There are more thoughts and discussion on an older post here.

11 Responses to Rolling With the D (hat tip to Scott E.)

  1. Scott E says:

    I’m not so comfortable advertising that I have diabetes with a big decal on my car (I don’t want to be targeted), but the other half of that picture, with a tag on a keychain, isn’t a bad idea. If I’m slumped over the wheel of my car (or worse, ejected from it), chances are someone will want to turn the ignition off. Then, hopefully, they’ll know. I may need to look into that possibility.

    Thanks for the idea, and for the link back to my original post.

  2. Zazzy says:

    Why does no one ever talk about driving with high blood sugar? I fall asleep – including at the wheel – if I’m high. I absolutely can’t get in the car in that state. Lows are clearly dangerous but should we really be driving with high sugar either?

  3. Great point, Zazzy, and great question!

  4. I’m liking the keychain idea (this from a non-driver who is at the mercy of the subway). Good looking out Scott!

  5. Kelly says:

    Why not have a medical alert sticker on the steering wheel center? Maybe on the bottom of the drivers window, like where the car alarm stickers are often seen? There seems to be so many options we could use!

  6. felix says:

    In my experience (40 yrs old, type 1 for 7 years) going low enough to pass out while driving is not really an issue. I can feel when I’m getting that low (sweating + feeling faint) and I just keep a load of rice crispy treats + powerade in the glove box. I guess others do not get the warning symptoms? My only worry about going low is when sleeping.

  7. shannon says:

    my kid is gonna be driving in the next couple of years so these are things that are definitely in my future. thanks for sharing!

  8. Scott E says:

    Felix, after a longer period of time with T1D (I’ve had it for over 30), hypoglycemic-unawareness begins to set in. For me, personally, sometimes I don’t “feel it” until my blood sugar is in the 50s. By then, I’d need some FAST acting carbs – certainly faster than a Rice Krispies Treat would act (although it does sound delicious!)

  9. Lisa Y says:

    Very timely post for me as my teen son with T1D and I are talking about his permit in the very near future. Would love to have more information for him to be aware of so I can chill and not “drive” him crazy!

  10. Karen says:

    I agree, this scares the crap out of me too. And I feel like it’s one of those things that I can try hard to avoid, but it also depends a lot on luck. Because there have been times when I tested in range, but dropped quickly while in the car and ended up low by the time I got where I was going. Scary stuff.

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