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Driving and hypo;s need advice please

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

  1. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    If you have Addison's disease then surely you take extra steroid before you exercise? If your bloods are low like that then it would indicate you are not on enough steroid. (I have Addison's as well as diabetes) If your cortisol levels are causing the low sugars then glucose will not rise your blood sugars.

    Back to your licence you are not allowed to drive if you are hypoglycaemic and have needed help twice within 12 month also if you are unaware of the hypos then it's a def no no for driving. Your licence as is your ins is invalid. It's not up to the consultant or anyone else to tell you to inform the dvla it's down to you.
    Hope you sort yourself out soon.
     
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  2. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    Thats true today, but if our present government gets its way, then soon your doctors etc will be forced by law to snitch on you to DVLA.
     
  3. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    They can already do so if GP or consultant has told you to stop driving and you don't then they tell you they have a duty of care to inform the DVLA.
     
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  4. arniemouse

    arniemouse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Just called DVLA after hypo following visit to Sainsbury's this morning! They were really not interested because I take no medication. Said that the rules about hypo's do not really apply to me. They are going to send me a questionnaire but basically said if I followed my consultants advice then I can still drive. Guess I don't fit into the boxes they have so will just carry on and try to be as careful as I can. But feel better that at least I have done it now.
     
  5. philchap1

    philchap1 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I don't agree with the decision, if you are having hypos as you say with no warning and you need help during them then to anyone with an ounce of sense would stop you driving, if you had any thought for other road users you wouldn't drive.
     
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  6. intelligenteating

    intelligenteating Don't have diabetes · Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, from the very posting of this question you are admitting an issue - and of course, should something awful happen, you can be your insurance company will find this thread. It's a definite question to your gp.
     
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  7. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I find that a tad unbelievable, if you told them the same information you've posted here. I've been T2 for a long time and after recent issues with my insulin, I've had more hypos in the last month than the last quarter century. I only get a few seconds warning, if at all, I just fall over or black out these days. I was coming downstairs with a pile of laundry the other night and landed in a heap at the bottom with it all around me, I couldn't even manage the last 4 stairs under my own steam, so that wouldn't be long enough to safely pull a car to a stop. I don't drive, so it's not an issue, but I do handle a blow torch and hot kiln and I don't do either of those without testing my BG first, because I don't fancy melting my face off or burning down the house.

    So I would strongly urge you to give yourself a self-enforced ban until you have a handle on your particular circumstances, or suitable treatment in place. Regardless of what the DVLA said that you feel has given you a green light to continue, I think you have a moral obligation to yourself and society to take the higher ground, inconvenient though that might be to yourself in the short term.

    I used to be a school governor and one of my responsibilities was writing school policies - I was once given very good advice by an education adviser, that's served me well several times since: "what would you say to a coroner?"
     
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  8. CarbsRok

    CarbsRok Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    So basically it's ok for you to black out at the wheel of a car from a hypo and it's ok because you aint diabetic?
     
  9. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    I'm sorry, but driving, knowing this an happen is irresponsible and I doubt your Consultant would've of much help if you ended up in a court of law, following a catastrophic event.

    You know what is happening and why, but consciously continue to replicate the circumstances and drive.

    I can appreciate how awful surrendering you ices we could be but perhaps a couple of options would be:

    Not to drive to or from your swimming sessions
    Desist from swimming until the issue can be addressed

    Many moons ago, my father had a early morning car accident which befouled not explain. He went to the Doc asking it to be investigated. It was, with nothing untoward found, but his license was suspended, I medical grounds, immediately.

    My father was not diabetic. No other vehicles or persons were involved in the accident. His car and country hedge were dented.

    I find the benign approach by both your medics and the DVLA somewhat surprising.
     
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  10. Maggieshauna

    Maggieshauna Type 1 · Active Member

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    I am newly diagnosed just a few days and hadn't given driving a thought yet...I am on Lantus daily and Humalog before each meal which has brought my glucose levels down from 24.5 to 12.6... I won't be driving for the next few days but how do they work out in the early days when your safe to drive? I will be asking my nurse on Friday but just interested in other people's experiences but I do realise we're all individual with diabetes. I won't drive before being told it's safe as I've been a bit spaced out though much better already!
     
  11. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    You have to examine your conscience. You are having hypos that mean you could experience one whilst driving. If you kill or maim someone then how will you feel having to attend court and the verdict may result in a prison sentence for you? If I knew where you lived I would make sure that this was brought to light publicly, be it newspaper or radio or local TV.
    My husband was killed by someone like you who thought they mattered more than the rest of the public. You need to re-read your first post and then tell me that you are safe to drive when you are experiencing those side effects of a hypo.
     
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  12. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I'm T2 on insulin, so possibly slightly different. I was asked about driving and the DVLA when it was first prescribed and told at the time that the basic rules to follow were "4s the floor, 5 to drive." Recently she said that NICE were upping their numbers a little and considered 5 to be low enough without correction and to try and be 6 before driving - and to test at frequent intervals. I would suggest that this is a discussion you need to have with your HCPs to get a routine that works for you and the treatment you're on.

    Also be aware that if you've just started treatment and your BGs are dropping significantly, you can experience vision issues as everything settles and your body acclimatises to the new lower levels (the fluid in your eye needs time to adjust and vision can be blurry for a short while) and you can experience false hypos as your body panics a little if you get lower numbers than its got used to. ironically, I found that I got considerably more warning and hypo symptoms with false hypos than real ones.
     
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  13. Maggieshauna

    Maggieshauna Type 1 · Active Member

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    BooJewels thanks for your reply I will ask my nurse on Friday and now will know to mention any of those symptoms to her. I've got a lot to learn! Only got diagnosed 6 days ago but have a number I can ring and have been contacted a lot by the diabetic nurse so in good hands.
     
  14. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    i think that if I had been the DVLA person, I would have said. You want me to believe you are safe to drive, then PROVE IT. By having 2 assisted hypo events in one year , you have already proven that you should NOT drive

    How sure are you that it is only exercise induced? What if you get stuck in a traffic jam, and you are late for an appointment. Would stress trigger an event? What will it be like on a hot day? What if you find bonus carbing works, but then one day you forget or don't have time? What if you are in the swimming pool, and some lowlife nicks your handbag with your meter and carb snack in it - what then? What if you find you have to go somewhere that has stairs that you have to climb in a hurry? Are you really safe under all forseeable circumstances? There is a well known natural law named after Professor Soad, which states If sh**t can happen it will.
     
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  15. arniemouse

    arniemouse Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you to those of you who have taken time to reply. I have found some of the replies somewhat upsetting. I almost had to force the man I spoke to at the DVLA to send me a questionnaire and he went away to consult with a colleague first. I agree that he should have been far more concerned but that is not my fault!
    I have driven with this condition now for 3 years and I am not going to bore you with how I manage it to stay safe. There is no solution, no cure, no answer to solve it I truly wish there was as it causes so many problems and not just with driving.
    My car (from motability) represents my only chance to have some independence in my life so without it I would be trapped at home. I never drive on motorways, I never drive in the dark, I never drive in peak times and I do about 2-3 6 mile journeys within the town I live a day.
    I will just have to see what happens when I get the questionnaire and send it back.
     
  16. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

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    It's good that you pushed the DVLA to send a questionnaire @arniemouse :)

    Hopefully, that will give you a chance to explain how your condition affects you, then, as you say, you can see what they come back with. .
     
  17. BooJewels

    BooJewels Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    @arniemouse I'm sorry that you have found the replies you've received upsetting, but on the basis of the information you've posted, I think people feel pretty strongly that you really should not be driving until you have a better handle on your condition, suitable meds or whatever, to prevent you potentially having a hypo at the wheel. Surely you must understand that a potential hypo whilst driving is incredibly dangerous, so this is for your own protection as well as other road users and pedestrians.

    I've had a few hypos without warning and have seemingly lost my hypo awareness - my DN advised me to keep glucose upstairs as well as down, as she didn't even want me trying to negotiate the stairs if I went too low. So if I'm not fit to manage a flight of stairs, I certainly wouldn't be fit to propel over a ton of metal at speed. Thankfully, I'm not a driver, as I simply can't afford to drive, so I am trapped at home. The DN also checked that I'm not a driver as she said I shouldn't drive until my BGLs are stable again.

    By your own admission:
    That in itself is a DVLA condition not to drive, so I'm surprised the DVLA advised you as they did (and your consultant for that matter) - if you told them what you've told us;
    So when you get the forms, please complete them honestly and examine your conscience if the course of action you've decided on, is truly the safest one.

    [Edited later for a typo]
     
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    #37 BooJewels, Feb 12, 2016 at 2:11 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2016
  18. Notorious

    Notorious Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    BooJewels I had this as a newly-diagnosed type 1. I stayed off driving for a month till my eyes were back to normal.

    About the main thread - I experienced a disconcerting loss of hypo warning symptoms while on steroids. I had to check blood glucose much more frequently, I would suggest the OP does too and stops driving until the situation is resolved.
     
  19. Notorious

    Notorious Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    People aren't saying this to upset you, they are trying to get you to see that you may hurt yourself or someone else. 2-3 6-mile journeys each day is a lot of driving, more on average than I do each day and I work, pick up children, go to nightschool, exercise classes etc. I'm sure it would be a terrible blow to give up your independence but it sounds like you have little choice at the moment.
     
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  20. Oldvatr

    Oldvatr Other · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @arniemouse I am sorry if you found the stance I took on this to be upsetting. i am the only driver in our household now, so I empathise absolutely with what you are dealing with.
    I am T2 and so far have not had any event that would cross the DVLA line. # But i am on hypoglycaemic tablets, and so I have to take the same steps as per the advisory from them. I test as required.

    Earlier this week, I wanted to attend a rehearsal for my band's upcoming performance at the local Arts Centre. My wife had run out of baccy, and my daughter needed a dad taxi urgently. I had to postpone these activities because I tested 4.7 which is below my cutoff of 5.7. I waited till my bgl rose, then I was able to do the necessary. I felt fine, but although i am generally hypo aware, there is going to be an occasion one day when I am not, and I have to take responsibility for this. i endeavour to practice what I preach.

    As Boojewels said above, it was your owning up to having no warning that was the red light for me. I was actually driving when ~I had my first stroke, but was luckily able to control the car and bring it to a stop ok. Then I had a year of no driving, and was lucky I had a sympathetic employer. But that year was difficult to get through. #i recovered sufficiently to start commuting again, so kept my job. But it did open my eyes as to how easily I could lose control at the wheel.

    I now have a shopping buggy which I use for town use. It has a range of 20 miles so I can do a couple of supermarkets in one journey. i still drive the car, but use it less now I am retired. I also have my bus pass to get me to hospital appointments.
     
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