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Diabetes and Disabled Badges...

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Pheebs, Feb 18, 2011.

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  1. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    After doing much reading and scrolling through the forum I came across a thread called "Am I disabled?". It's always been something I have wondered about and myself like many other on here have always ticked "no" in the disability boxes. However, with all the new restrictions from the DVLA regarding having a hypo at the wheel and the various things you have to do such as pull over, throw your keys in the passenger side doorwell, move over to the passenger seat if possible and wait for at least an hour after correcting a hypo making sure your blood sugar is above 5mmol/l (i think, don't quote me on that one), it got me to thinking, shouldn't we really be entitled to a disabled badge? What would happen if we had to pull over on a double yellow...?
     
  2. ewan

    ewan · Well-Known Member

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    I doubt it very much, i think there gven on mobility grounds (lack of), if have probs with feet/legs.
    I think also its down to gp as well.

    take care
     
  3. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    Yeah that's understandable, but what I mean is that a bad hypo can affect mobility, not that they are a common occurrence for me but I am aware of how debilitating they can be. Also, for instance you have a few hypos on a long journey and haven't got enough supplies with you to correct it, you may need to go to a shop promptly and park on double yellows to do so. Just a thought.
     
  4. Snodger

    Snodger · Well-Known Member

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    I think this is a really interesting question. I once went to apply for a job ages ago and they had a thing saying that they would automatically give a interview to anyone who ticked 'disabled' on the application form. They were doing it in order to get more disabled people in their workforce. In the small print it said "disabilities include.... blah blah blah AND DIABETES" and for the first time I thought, I could legitimately tick this box, I would definitely get an advantage over other applicants... do I do it? But I don't feel 'disabled'!
    In the end I didn't tick the box and in fact it threw me so much that I didn't even finish the application! I just felt like they were being sorry for me and my whole self-image kind of went off kilter. I had only recently been diagnosed at that point and to be honest I wasn't really sure what my self image was at that point... :?
    when it comes to disabled badges, i think you have a really good point, although I doubt they'd ever give you a badge. But yes, if we are told we must take all these precautions to drive then we should be allowed to do what we need to to be safe.
    having said all that about not feeling disabled... (sorry to rant on)....I was reading a book the other day that said diabetes isn't a disability because it can be 'treated easily with insulin' just like someone with short sight can just put on a pair of glasses. That annoyed me! Not sure it's *quite* as easy as that...
     
  5. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Personally, I think the quicker they bring in laws for persons that have wheelchairs to have blue badges only, the better.

    Despite being type 1 for 25 years, I have never thought of having any need for a disability badge. If you are in a car driving as a type 1 you should ALWAYS have something in the car to deal with the hypo....ALWAYS.....so why should we have to have a disability badge for that????

    The rest of the talk about pulling over on double yellow lines etc doesn't really wear with me either....if you are just pulling over to treat a hypo and sitting in apassenger seat etc, then any person surely would listen to what you said to them and to take this into account before parking tickets etc.....

    I personally could not see any reason for having a mobility badge unless there was a permanent disablement physically, not a hypo.....

    Having had a lot of trouble with hypo/dvla etc last Julyu I still could not see any reason for a hypo to warrant a disblility badge at all.
     
  6. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    As an ex-Traffic cop your argument doesn't wash I'm afraid ! At all times you should be in proper control of your vehicle and in a fit state to drive. You should always have something with you in your vehicle to treat a hypo. Glucotabs is a simple easily taken remedy to lift your levels until you can stop and have a small carby snack. You should also not start driving if your level is that low that you are likely to hypo whilst driving. Your responsibility.

    I have driven long distances and felt my Bg levels dropping so immediately would look for a safe place to stop and do something BEFORE it becomes a hypo. Hence the reason why we stress that you should retain good hypo awareness at all times. Stopping on double Yellow lines is not a safe place to stop unless in an emergency. What you have mentioned is NOT an emergency. It is preventable.

    We had a discussion about this on the forum a while back and one member thought he could stop on a Motorway hard shoulder and have a sleep if he felt tired because of his Diabetes !!! Not a wise move as a hard shoulder of a Motorway is statistically one of the most dangerous places on the highway.......

    You can be prosecuted for such actions, there MAY be a case for mitigation but you could have to defend your actions in a Court of Law.

    Diabetes is/can be classed as a Disability but you need more than the fact that you have Diabetes to claim a Blue Badge. In any case having a Blue Badge does not allow you to park anywhere, only when allowed by local regulations. Double Yellow lines mean no parking for anybody unless there is a specific exemption.....contrary to popular opinion. I have removed illegally parked vehicles from Double Yellow lines where they were causing an Obstruction to other vehicles. That included vehicles displaying a Blue Badge.
     
  7. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

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    Sorry donnellysdogs but I do not agree with the above. I have known and know people now who have multiple sclerosis, severe back/leg pain and conditions such as ME who are unable to walk more than a few yards but don't use a wheelchair, by parking as close to their destination they are able to remain independent and lead a near-normal life as possible without relying on others. Often disabilities are invisible to the naked eye and it would be wrong to assume anyone other than wheelchair users are not disabled and unworthy of a blue badge.

    Nigel
     
  8. Dippy3103

    Dippy3103 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think diabetes alone should be a reason for a blue badge. The complications arising from diabetes may justify one. If a persons diabetes is so unstable that they may need to pull over at any moment then perhaps they should not be driving.
    If extenuating circumstances conspire to cause a driver to get a fixed penalty notice then they can elect to have mitigation heard by magistrates.
     
  9. donnellysdogs

    donnellysdogs Type 1 · Master

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    Good points Nigel....think it would be nice if persons with wheelchairs could have enough disabled car parking spaces...I used to look after a vulnerable adult with a wheelchair, and I know I could never get a disabled space in say supermarkets. My neighbour who is partially sighted but a good walker without a white stick had a disabled badge, and to be quite honest it would annoy me that I could not get a space when my neighbour was parked in it. I looked after a chap with huge physical problems and could not even transfer in to a vehicle for 12 years to go out who also had mental limitations as well, and yet I could not get a space.

    Perhaps there should be 'red marked disabled spaces' and 'yellow marked disabled' spaces, and have similarly coded 'disablement badges'.

    I do appreciate people with severe problems, as I am actually one of them myself, I do myself have difficulties walking now, but just try to park in spaces as close as I can. I have not applied for a blue badge as having had this vulnerable adult staying with me previously, I believe he needs a space more than I do...

    More the point, I do not think "hypo's" are a valid reason......
     
  10. Dippy3103

    Dippy3103 · Well-Known Member

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    I think parking will allways be a contentious issue. Bit like parent and child spaces - is it an all encompassing thing, or is there a cut off? It annoys me when I can't get a space because someone with a child that doesn't need help with carseats is in them...
     
  11. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    To cugila - It's not about my argument washing, I don't think it's a necessity for Type 1 Diabetics to have a disabled badge at all, I have never had a hypo at the wheel and always check my blood sugar before I drive and several times if I'm on a long journey. We all know that hypos can happen at any time, and even the most responsible person can let something slip through the net now and again. I'm not suggesting we should all have a badge, in fact I think too many are handed out. My ex partner's father for example walked with a limp due to an accident with a rotavator, but he was also a retired policeman working as a full-time gardener and had no problems getting about. Does he really qualify when he spends most of his day walking around for a living with ease? I do think the DVLA's restrictions on type 1 Diabetics driving has become a little drastic, it most certainly doesn't take me an hour to recover from a hypo of 3.2 say. And why, if we are able to explain to a Police Officer that we have pulled over due to a hypo (which in itself would be the most responsible thing to do) should we have to explain why we are still sat in the drivers seat trying to correct it? I'm all for safe driving, but things like that and my insurance rates doesn't help my opinion that we are persecuted against. If an epileptic person has an attack at the wheel they lose their license. Is that something that can be avoided? All I'm saying is that sometimes, whether you have good warning symptoms or not, hypos happen. It's unlucky that it could occur at the wheel, but a little help and appreciation for that wouldn't go amiss. Obviously it would open a can of worms in that some people would take advantage, but my argument is more toward fairer treatment and a shake up of the whole system.
    In response to having something in the car to treat a hypo, I completely agree. BUT, what happens if you begin feeling hypo and the only place to pull over to treat it with what you have is somewhere deemed illegal?
     
  12. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    There is no argument as far as I am concerned about the issue of Blue Badges, for too long they have been issued to people who really do not need them. Let's hope the proposed 'crackdown' roots out the ones who have them unjustly because a GP is too 'soft' to say no to somebody who really is able bodied. Leave the issue of them to those who need them....who demonstrably are NOT able bodied.

    Being a Diabetic of ANY type is no reason to have a Blue Badge.......I think most of us are agreed on that. Just the people who actually need one. Being labelled Disabled because you are Diabetic is another matter and is designed to stop somebody who is Diabetic being discriminated against in the workplace and elsewhere. That I believe is correct and sensible.

    I don't believe that as Diabetic's we are treated badly by the DVLA etc........just my opinion. I've had this discussion on here before and know that there are those with differing opinions. Their choice.

    If you have been forced to pull over somewhere because you have had a hypo then any sensible Copper will deal with it sensitively, when I was in the job, me included. Safety is the word here that is all important.

    However there should have been warning signs prior to this, that is when a prudent person would look for a safe place to stop and take action, not when the levels are so low they need time to recover. I am on hypo inducing drugs and had a few too. I have never been placed in that position where I got too low and had to stop.......as I said carry something in your car and deal with the signs before that happens. It doesn't happen instantaneously.......

    As for an Epileptic that's another subject altogether which again I have discussed on here.

    As a Diabetic I don't feel persecuted, that's a 'victim' mentality and I am no victim, just a person with a condition that has to be treated and means sometimes I might have to be treated differently. If that means I am classed as having a Disability.........so be it.
     
  13. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    In many people's eyes it does mean a disability. I wouldn't class it that way at all. I appreciate that you would've dealt with the situation accordingly had you stopped to talk to someone, but can you also appreciate that for some Policemen and women this isn't the case?
    Most of the time there are warning symptoms, I know almost immediately that I'm having a hypo. BUT having said that, it is common knowledge that people with very very good control often lose their warning symptoms. So, in that case, on one hand they are praised for their excellent hba1c levels and recognised as a healthy diabetic, but in the case of having a hypo at the wheel, even if they had all of the tools to correct it in the car, they could, realistically, be persecuted?! Can't win!
    I think feeling persecuted is a massive difference in opinion for us all. I don't feel persecuted by people in general most of the time, but there are some comments which would make me feel otherwise. And some insurance companies that definitely suggest otherwise.
     
  14. MegaMan

    MegaMan Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I Agree. I know many people on the transplant list waiting for lung transplant and they use a blue badge but do not use a wheelchair. Just because people don’t look disabled does not mean they are not. Diabetes does not warrant a blue badge unless it is affecting your ability to walk on a day to day basis.
     
  15. cugila

    cugila · Master

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    Don't get me wrong I agree with you mostly, I too don't feel disabled and certainly not persecuted. There is no way at present I would wish for a Blue Badge (Disabled) but I never look at other people who have them and think that they shouldn't have one, why haven't I got one.......I don't know enough about them to make a judgement about that.

    Hope we can agree to disagree in some aspects of this, my honest opinion I have given and I respect your views.......
     
  16. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    That's fair enough, but in my opinion prosecuted means persecuted in this matter... Tight control means you are as normal as someone without Diabetes, control that is not tight means you are at risk of complications that are going to cost the tax-payer in NHS expenses. Where does it stop? I can see exactly where you are coming from but in my opinion and from my experience it isn't as black and white as you are suggesting.
     
  17. Dippy3103

    Dippy3103 · Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, I am not about to make myself very popular.
    Whilst I totally agree that people with any form of disabilaty should be discriminated against, I do believe there are times when the safety of others has to have greater consideration.
    Road safety has to be one of them. Anyone who has an illness that is likely to render them unable to have enough warning to take time to pull over (including off of a motorway in normal traffic) before they become acutely unwell and a danger probably should not be driving. I accept that even those with normally great control can be caught unware, but those are exceptional cases.
    Every road user has a responsibilaty to others. In the same way I have to make sure my glasses are on so that I am safe, a t1 has to ensure they are safe to drive.
     
  18. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    This seems to be the point that many are missing. I agree with what you are saying, and I believe most of us who drive are responsible. Again, we can all be caught unaware, what I want to know is that if this happens, we won't be persecuted against. I'm pretty sure that for those who disagree with what i'm saying, if you were subjected to a penalty on your license because you'd pulled over being caught unaware to treat a hypo your opinion would soon change. No matter how much lucozade or glucose tablets you had in the car. What i'm saying is things happen, I just feel we carry a heavier penalty than what we should. Every circumstance should be looked in to individually and for the most part, it's not.
     
  19. sugar2

    sugar2 · Well-Known Member

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    YOu are right. If I got prosecuted, becasue O had stopped to treat a hypo...and has to park on a double yellow...assuming it was not a completely down right dangerous place to stop...and got prosecuted...I would moan, rant and complain about it...but I don't think I would feel eprsecuted... I don't think the police go out looking for diabetics to book! I supposie at worst, all that would happen is that I woudl get a ticket for parking on a double yellow....but there is no way they could do me for not being in charge of the vehicle. I hope that common snese would prevail...at least if it went to appeal etc.

    I have never had to find out. I do feel for that person who was done for being dangerous when they had stopped to treat a hypo, but were still sat in teh drivers seat...that is wrong in my opinion...but I still don't think it is persecution....a silly decision...absolutely! No idea why you link this with disabled badges though? If you have to drive to the shop to get sugar...you are in the wrong. You should have stopped when you first felt hypo.....call for help if you need to, but do not endanger anybody else driving that last half mile to the shop.

    Driving is a privaledge, not a right.
     
  20. Pheebs

    Pheebs · Member

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    Exactly. I'm not suggesting we should all have badges, it's something I put out there to see what opinions arose. I have in my short Diabetic life met people who think it's a right we should have. I am swayed both ways. Obviously if you know you're hypo you wouldn't drive to the shop. I drive to Edinburgh regularly to visit a friend and drive up the a1. If I have a hypo there i can be waiting 15 miles before I cab stop in a safe place. Should I continue driving until I can stop and use my lucozade or stop on a hard shoulder to combat it...?
     
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