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Nightshift HGV

Discussion in 'Jobs and Employment' started by Nathancarterfan84, Mar 7, 2020.

  1. Nathancarterfan84

    Nathancarterfan84 · Member

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    Morning i Everyone

    Tonight I start back at work as a HGV driver. for the first time since being insulin dependent. Does anyone have any advice on how to keep my sugar levels normal? Are there any specific rules around hgv driving while on insulin, for example I was told by another driver I wouldnt be allowed less than 11 daily rest.

    Thanks
    Martin
     
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  2. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    I don’t drive HGV but I do have a class 2 truck licence for ambulance driving. I also work shifts. I have to blood test two hours before driving and every two hours (at least), as per DVLA rules, even though I use a Dexcom CGM (I’m just a student paramedic so not yet blue light trained, but I’m doing the blood tests as if I am driving). We have to have 11.5 hours rest between shifts, but we don’t use a tacho, as the crews alternate driving and attending a patient - also there’s an exemption for emergency services.

    As for nightshift blood sugars, I wonder what insulin regime you’re on? I’m assuming injections if you’ve just started insulin? I’m pumping with a DIY artificial pancreas system, so it handles things for me pretty well, I have an override setting for work which runs me a little higher than if I were at home; I aim to keep in the 5-6s rather than the 4-5s I do on rest days. I usually take 80-90% of my normal doses on a nightshift. I eat a low carb meal (usually some roasted veggies and some tofu or egg for protein) when we get a meal break, as I don’t need to take extra insulin for it, so I don’t have loads sloshing about when we go back out. And of course I carry dextrose tablets in the pockets of my trousers and jacket just in case. I set the low alarm on my watch (it’s all integrated in my pretend pancreas cyborg system) slightly higher to 5mmol, so I can head off even a marginal low before it happens. It’s usually set at 4.3mmol.

    If you can get Libre sensors they’d help a lot - with a little add on transmitter you can turn into a constant glucose monitoring system complete with high & low alarms on your phone and even a smartwatch. DVLA don’t accept them for driving so you’d still have to test every two hours, but it would alert you to an issue before it becomes a problem.

    Good luck with your first day back x
     
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  3. Nathancarterfan84

    Nathancarterfan84 · Member

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    Thank you for the long and detailed reply. I am only on injections at the moment. Might look into the pumps in the future and the libre.

    Hopefully being on nightshift doesn't alter my readings too much x
     
  4. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    I’m not finding too much of a difference - my pump settings are the same pattern over the course of 24 hours. But I only do 2-3 nights max on the trot, we alternate days, lates and nights on a roughly four on/four off cycle. The most I have is three nights together. It’s usually two days, a late then a night.
     
  5. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I drive adr.. in artic mostly at night

    There are no additions to hgv regulations above what any other hgv driver has

    The only thing you have to do is ensure you test as detailed by the dvla when they reissue your license.. minimum 2 tests a day even on days off and every 2 hours when driving

    I assume you told them you are on insulin and passed all the dvla medical check??
     
  6. Nathancarterfan84

    Nathancarterfan84 · Member

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    Yes Searley I got the thumbs up this week and know about the testing. Does working nights make your sugar levels and different to normal?
     
  7. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    No not really.. my only fear has been hypos so I've tended to allow my levels to run a little higher as hypos and hgv licenses don't mix well and the fact that I carry extremely hazardous chemicals

    I'm 10 days into using a dexcom g6 cgm which allows me to happily run with lower glucose levels and I can keep a closer eye on them

    Until 4 months ago a was doing days driving gas tankers and I've not see much difference between days and nights

    I still happily work a 14 to 15 hour shift. 70/80 hours a week

    I make sure I have dextrose tabs along with enough food incase..

    I also carry some breakfast bars in my bag just incase I have a more active day than expected..

    I've ensured my bosses are well aware of my medical status
     
  8. Nathancarterfan84

    Nathancarterfan84 · Member

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    Searley thats good to know there isn't much difference. Maybe i'm worrying more than I need to , its just all new to me so still an unknown. Plus as you say, you don't want to be getting too low.

    Thanks for all your help
     
  9. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Dvla should write to your gp to ensure you are given enough test strips to cover your driving

    Also make sure you have a meter that will store 3 months worth if tests... if it doesn't you'll lose your license... also prior to next years medical be very careful not to miss a test.. if you do no renewal...

    I use the contour next one meter as this store about 1000 readings certainly enough for 3 months... i get issues 150 stripe at a time but can order more than once a month
     
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  10. Nathancarterfan84

    Nathancarterfan84 · Member

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    I did ask my doctor last time I was down to double my strips.

    I use the Glucoman Areo 2K which seems to store a lot. I was told to have a separate meter for the truck, but I think I will just use the same one for all my testing. It stores a good amount of readings, more than 3 months I think.

    Do you need to take time off work when it comes to renewal time . Or do they let you know in advance and you can just do it on a day off?
     
  11. GAZZA2012

    GAZZA2012 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Hey Martin if I was you going back to hgv driving I'd ask your gp to get you onto the libre freestyle system for testing far more accurate and carry lucozade and couple of carbs in your cab case you get stuck in traffic and remember if you feel hypo or low pull over remove keys and move to passengers seat ! I know couple other diabetics who have suffered through DVLA by penalising them etc apart keep trucking my pals a driver for Tesco's and loves it gets to see loads of different roads and parts of the country the cab is your oyster awe the best xx
     
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  12. GAZZA2012

    GAZZA2012 Type 1 · Newbie

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    Oh and basically eat regularly little and often take yer breaks and keep plenty food stuffs and lucozade in yer truck and might take a wee while once you get back for your bloods to settle since you've been away from it etc but would definitely get signed up for the freestyle libre system DVLA like that because it's alot to test more accurate plus you can share your results with your doctor, endocrinologist and gp far easier I speak from experience that my old skool glucometer might had read 5.9 mmol and freestyle libre system had it at 4.1 mmol and that could have been the difference between hypo or not XX good luck and happy trucking good buddy ten four lol Sheriff Gazza T justice xx
     
  13. Nathancarterfan84

    Nathancarterfan84 · Member

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    Hi Gazza

    Thanks for all the advice. I shall definately look into the libre system. I've got a good wee meter but if the libre is more accurate i might try that instead . But I am only getting back so that will need to be done over time unfortunately.

    I have a few bits and pieces in my bag like lucozade and food stuff. Time will tell, as you say it will settle after a while.

    Keep er lit lol
     
  14. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    Libre tends to read low - a glucometer is still the gold standard for knowing what your glucose level is. That's why DVLA don't accept Libre for larger vehicles. Libre is not more accurate than blood; it lags behind by about 15 minutes because it measures the fluid between your cells rather than blood.
     
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  15. searley

    searley Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    The exact number is a little irrelevant so long as its in the right ballpark.. its useful as you can see the trend which is more important... you still need to do the blood tests aswell


    If you get the libre consider one of the bluetooth transmitters so you can use it like a cgm. If used with xdrip you can calibrate it to be more accurate

    I use the dexcom g6 cgm for the allerts
     
  16. LooperCat

    LooperCat Type 1 · Expert

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    Not as far as DVLA are concerned. If you drop below 4mmol on blood, saying you had a Libre reading above that is irrelevant. That’s why they insist on 2-hourly blood for driving large vehicles. We can use sensors for guidance and early warnings, but blood is the only acceptable measure for lorries and buses.
     
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