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Driving while feeling a hypo coming on

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by MissMJ73, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. MissMJ73

    MissMJ73 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Last night I was driving home from work and was about five minutes away when I felt the symptoms of a hypo. There was no where to stop safe and legally as double yellows or residents parking or too narrow streets or all three. So knowing I was so close to home I made the decision to carry on knowing as well when I got home I wouldn’t have to worry. Obviously if I had further to go or driving down a motorway I’d have stopped long before. I’d tested before I left work 20 mins earlier and was well above 5 so don’t know why it dropped suddenly.

    Just wondering what others would have done in that situation?
     
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  2. Antje77

    Antje77 LADA · Moderator
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    If there geuinely is no option to stop safely I would've stuffed my face with sweets until there was a safe spot, even if it was the grass beside a motorway.
    Double yellows or resident parking should be irrelevant, you can even stop on the sidewalk if needed.
     
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  3. Kim Possible

    Kim Possible Type 1 · Expert

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    I always ensure I have hypo treatment to hand when driving so if I feel a hypo coming on in the situation you describe, I can reach the GlucoTabs (or whatever you use) quickly.

    I also test before driving (and every 2 hours) and treat if under 5.
    Having a Libre is really useful before driving because it can show whether my BG is dropping so, if it says 5.5 and dropping, I treat it as if it was under 5 whereas if it says 5.0 and rising, I don't treat.
     
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  4. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    Hi @MissMJ73

    I would of pulled into the residents parking and necked some glucotabs as soon as it was safe to do so, I keep mine in my drivers door pocket for easy access, driving further means you could drop quickly and find yourself in a sticky situation. I find driving, particularly in busy areas and at night time quite draining on the glucose levels so I can drop quite quickly, so I try to make sure i'm above 6 for some leverage and no quick acting on board either, obviously it's important to pull over as soon as you can with hazards on if necessary to test and treat, or as I would do treat then test. How were your blood glucose levels ? and what do you set as your target before your drive ?
     
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  5. MissMJ73

    MissMJ73 Type 1 · Active Member

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    My levels were at 7.8 an hour before I set off so thought I was ok. Thank you for your comments.
     
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  6. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    @MissMJ73 Do you know what the reason for the sudden drop was ? Just so you're ok for this evening, glad you're ok btw, it is a scary experience when levels drop suddenly whether driving or not.
     
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  7. MissMJ73

    MissMJ73 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I don’t know. Maybe I injected more insulin then I needed to at lunch because my levels were up and didn’t take into account the side affect. They are all over the place at the mo. One minute high and next min dropping like anything!
     
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  8. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    You should have stopped as soon as you possibly could, NO exceptions. I don't wish to sound dramatic but what if you had run someone over? Double yellows and resident's parking?, so what, this was an emergency.
     
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  9. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    This happened to me yesterday, was about 10 minutes before I stopped outside a newsagent.....I did suspend the pump though....
     
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  10. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    Hi,

    What insulins are you prescribed? I also notice on your profile that you also take metformin.? This may also affect insulin sensitivity & retard liver dump.

    If you are struggling unusually with your BGs.. Possibly contact your diabetic team for a review?
    It's good that you have hypo awareness. (Just don't mention the car to em..)

    Edited to add, in answer to your question.? Stop the car. I've had a crack at computor simulations whilst low. & been low prior to having to drive. I just loose all confidence till I'm back in the "zone."

    It's just not worth the risks on any level...
     
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    #10 Jaylee, Oct 10, 2019 at 5:11 PM
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2019
  11. Circuspony

    Circuspony Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've got haribos right by the gear stick and if I think there's even the slightest chance I'm dropping low I'll have some until I can safely pull over.

    Although excessive coffee intake can also give me hypo feelings which has thrown me a couple of times.
     
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  12. MissMJ73

    MissMJ73 Type 1 · Active Member

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    I’m on Absaglar for long acting and Novorapid. I was put back on Metformin in a bid to try and control my weight as since being on insulin it has made me put weight on :(
     
  13. EllieM

    EllieM Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    My (sadly now deceased) T1 mother suggested that if you feel low on a motorway you should pull over on to the hard shoulder, chomp your carb, wait out the hypo, and tell any police that query this that you suspected the accelerator had stuck briefly.... (This advice was a decade or so ago, mind, and I can't now remember whether it was accelerator or brakes, but the point was that a car defect was making you pause for a while.) Luckily I've never had to try this out but my one experience of driving hypo (about twenty years ago) was extremely scary and I was very lucky that I didn't have an accident. I am now paranoid about vehicles and blood testing and haven't had any issues since.
     
  14. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    From what I know regarding emergency stopping a motorway (Hard shoulder.) for whatever reason..

    It is advised to put on hazard warning lights, turn the steering away from the carriageway. (This is to enable the vehicle to leave the road in the event if it should get "rear ended" out of the way of other fast moving traffic.)
    wear high viz, (passengers too.) & more inportantly don't stay in or with the vehicle. (In the possible event of the aformentioned "rear ending" by another vehicle at speed?)

    You probably more than likely going to be aproached by "highway agency" patrol to offer appropriate assistance. In the event of a breakdown, they will check you have cover & recomend the service does it's job? Then check back later to assure all is well..

    I had a blowout heading south on the M5 about 13 years ago.. They wouldn't even let me undertake changing the wheel.. :banghead:
    They were happy I took most of the other appropriate PP action at the time.
     
  15. KK123

    KK123 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ellie, I know this advice was a long time ago but these days any medical emergency is a reason for stopping on the hard shoulder (each would be determined individually). A hypo most definitely falls within this category, same as a person with symptoms of a heart attack coming on or dizziness or ANYTHING that could interfere with their driving. The PNC database will also have a record of the fact a person has an 'ailment', ie diabetes. x
     
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  16. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Anyway is allowed to stop and/or load on double yellows and resident's parking spaces. A parking enforcement officer must allow a few minutes before issuing a ticket.
     
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  17. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    It can tale a little longer than a "few minutes" (especially with active insulin on board.) for hypo treatment to register a BG increment signalling legal fitness to drive. In some cases a reading taken 5 to 10 minutes after the initial low can read possibly lower? Due to "lag." It's quit easy to panic thinking the treatment isn enough, then over treat.
    I normally give a second test at least half hour?
    That include the use of a Libre.. I'm currently fixing a 3.6er, ten later 3.2. Now I'm on the rise..

    ... & not behind the wheel of a car.
     
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  18. ringi

    ringi Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    If you are with the car the complete time, the parking enforcement officer would have to come back again to prove you were there for more then a few minutes and not loading. They also don't like setting themselfs up to loose on appeal.
     
  19. Copernicus

    Copernicus Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Its worth while remembering that if you have a hypo and have to stop, then move over into the passenger seat, remove the keys from the ignition and take your "treatment" This is so that if a Police Officer comes along and finds you, you cannot then be done for driving whilst unfit through drink or drugs and driving whilst unfit due to a hypo would fall into that classification.
     
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  20. Jaylee

    Jaylee Type 1 · Expert
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    @ringi , a traffic warden is also empowered to aske the motorist to move on, if causing an obstruction or hazard by obstructing & or obstruction of a pedestrian foot path..

    It is tricky in some cases, but the focus when low is to remove as much clear intention to operate a motor vehicle whilst "under the influence" as possible. Untill BGs are within safe limits. As @Copernicus has pointed out...
     
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