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Driving and hypo;s need advice please

Discussion in 'Driving and DVLA' started by arniemouse, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. arniemouse

    arniemouse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I find myself in a somewhat unusual situation regards driving. I am a Type 2 so I can discount any Type 1 rules. However I take no medication at the moment so it seems that I can also leave the type 2 rules as well. BUT and here is my problem a combination of two other medical problems means that I have a lot of hypo's some at night others in the day BUT (again) almost exclusively when I do any sort of exercise. So walking the dog, going to supermarket, cleaning bathroom can all cause my blood sugar to drop below 4. At present my consultant has imposed his own rules - no driving unless BS above 5 and I have to stop every half an hour to check BS.
    The problem is that when I swim (and its slow, I only have two speeds, slow and stop) I have had hypo's that require assistance the last one was a week or so ago and before that in November. Plus I have no warning that it is going to happen so I swim along quite happily and literally bang - my brain goes to mush, I can't talk and I start shaking. The life guards (bless them) feed me some sweets and I get out of it.
    I know if I mention this to DVLA it will be take licence ask questions later!! Plus as my consultant has not told me I have to tell them, and he does know as I emailed him about latest hypo, can I just carry on as I do now?
    I don't want to be fined or penalised but am loath to report it as well. I would be grateful for any help, thanks.
     
  2. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    I think you need to ask your consultant/G.P. if it is safe for you to drive before you take to the road again.
    There are a list of conditions that may require you to inform the DVLA.
    https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving
    The hypos requiring assistance are the worry for you and it seems as though your driving could be impaired at any time. Two hypos requiring assistance within a year means that you have to inform the DVLA.
    http://iddt.org/about/living-with-d...lycaemia-what-are-doctors-being-advised-to-do
     
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  3. philchap1

    philchap1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't think you should be driving if your having hypos that you have no warning about and as you say you have needed assistance twice in the last few months, you should stop driving immediately until the cause of your hypos are known, you need to keep yourself and other motorists and pedestrians safe.
     
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  4. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

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    As I understand the situation, you are required by law to inform DVLA of any illness or disability that 'affects your ability to drive.'

    Personally I would say that having sudden hypo's qualifies but exercise your own judgement.

    Your consultant has advised you not to drive under certain conditions so if you're involved in an accident, your medical history could be investigated. You might also find your insurance invalidated under such circumstances.
     
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  5. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    You will probably find your insurance is void. You are supposed to inform insurers of this condition.
     
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  6. arniemouse

    arniemouse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Thanks for reply. My consultant is still happy for me to drive so that at least is a positive and I am guessing that would have a lot of influence at the DVLA.
    Philchap1 Unfortunately I know why they happen and at the present time my consultant says that there is little that can be done to stop them.
    But the worst ones are only with exerercise. I am trying to get my BS higher before I swim so that might help.
    My car is my lifeline as I find walking any distance is difficult. I really do not want to put anyone in danger at all. I use my car to drive the 3 miles to the pool or the park or into town and back and rarely go anywhere else. Its hard to know what to do for the best.
     
  7. jackois

    jackois Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I think you know the answer.

    All I would add to the previous comments is to think about what it may be to spend the rest of your life remembering that you may have caused hurt or even killed should you hypo whilst driving.
     
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  8. urbanracer

    urbanracer Type 1 · Moderator
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    ..........assuming he doesn't kill himself of course!
     
  9. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    It is easy what to do for the best really. You have to consider other road users and whilst it might be a setback for you not to be able to drive, it will mean that you and other people will be safer.
    Your Consultant does not make the rules at DVLA and the regulations are clear.
     
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  10. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    I have images of a Glasgow bin lorry. Had that driver come clean about his condition when he applied for the job,,,,, the sad thing is that he knew he had that condition when he applied,
     
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  11. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    @arniemouse

    Most diabetics can drive more safely as long as they do a bg test before attempting to drive probably about 15mins. A good bg level to get is about 6-7mmol in my opinion but what a lot of diabetics probably dont do, is calculate how much insulin is still active from a previous bolus injection which could have the potential to lower bg levels below 6mmol and for some people their bg can drop to 3-4mmol literally within 30mins car journey if they havent eaten any food to use up any active insulin and could have the potential to bring on the low bg 'hypo' feeling causing concentration to change etc. As a safeguard, its esential to always have some sweets on the dashboard shelf that can be eaten quickly (some glucose tabs that are open and loose or some sugar coated pastilles) and as soon as concentration starts to slip, gobble a few sweets and look for somewhere safe to pull over into and then get out of car, switch ignition off and eat something carby like a biscuit and then wait for bg to go up again.

    If only more diabetics did this, an awful lot of the car accidents would never happen and drivers could get to their destination safe and sound
     
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  12. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    I believe the OP posted that he was not on diabetic medication. This problem is due to other factors.
     
  13. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    A bg test before driving and taking the necessary precautions as in my msg can ensure that people drive safely from A-B
     
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  14. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Until such times that your HCP's can find the cause of your sudden hypo's it would be best that you didn't drive, you have to think about your own safety and that of other road users.
     
  15. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    We do not know what is causing the problem, The advice you give applies to diabetics, but may not be applicable to this situation. Since he is not on any hypoglycemic medication then a sudden drop without any warning at any time may not be prevented in the way you advise. it appears to be similar to an epileptic fit in that the loss of control seems to be almost instantaneous and severe. This is a medical condition that we here do not understand,
     
  16. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    @arniemouse Do you have a friend or neighbour who can drive, and could use your car . May be worth adding them as a named driver on the policy.
    in my case i invested in a mobility scooter and a rainhood. I do my weekly shopping for the family on it, go to the bank, etc
     
  17. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    Tell the DVLA. It's always best to be honest, but in the case of driving when you have other people's lives in your hand it's absolutely crucial. The onus is on you to tell the DVLA, not your medical team.

    Let them know and see what they say.
     
  18. iHs

    iHs · Well-Known Member

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    @arniemouse

    Your consultant has advised you correctly but the DVLA guidance rules DIAB1 regarding driving safely also state that bg levels should be no lower than 5mmol and to test bg every 2hrs whereas your consultant has recommended every 30mins. I just stated that 6-7mmol might be a lot safer.

    If exercise of any type tends to lower your bg levels quickly, then can you not prevent them by eating some carby food about 30mins beforehand to make bg levels go up? I always make my bg levels go up a bit before attempting any activity that would make them drop to a level that might become dangerous to others. Its not hard to do, just takes a bit of thought and planning in advance. Whenever I went swimming as a teenager, I always had half a kitkat before getting in the pool and had my bg meter, glucose tabs, the other half of kitkat in a plastic bag wrapped up by my towel left on the benches at the edge of the pool. I never needed rescuing by an attendant.
     
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  19. arniemouse

    arniemouse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    I guess I asked because I know really that I am in a very grey area here and do know that I should tell the DVLA. By the way am a She not a He!!!
    My problem is adrenal failure (like Addisons Disease) which means I produce no cortisol so when my BS start to fall then I have times when they just continue to go down. Normally BS go down body produces cortisol and that triggers liver to mobilise glucose and BS goes up. I am an extreme case - just unlucky my consultant tells me that it can trigger hypo's.
    I am seeing him soon so will get a firm answer from him and get it in writing that I can drive with my current restrictions and then tell DVLA and see what happens.
    Also plan to try to increase BS before any exercise and see if that helps.
    Thanks for all your comments very helpful
     
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  20. mrspuddleduck

    mrspuddleduck · Guest

    Hi @arniemouse I have secondary adrenal failure as well as brittle diabetes. I am allowed to drive on a three year licence. BUT the reason I am posting is that recently I was changed from Pred to hydrocortisone. I had sudden severe hypos at least three to seven times every day for over two weeks so I really understand what you are describing. I removed myself from driving during that time as I knew I was not safe. Take it from someone who has been there, don't drive until you are stable. It just isnt worth the risk. Take care, Sue xx
     
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