1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2019 »
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Struggling with testing before driving

Discussion in 'Driving and DVLA' started by urbangiraffe, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. urbangiraffe

    urbangiraffe · Newbie

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Does anyone else struggle with the practical realities of testing before driving?

    I have a high pressure job and commitments outside of work that mean my life is one constant rush. I drive and test, but find the '5 before you drive' rule really impractical. I know it's important and the margins are set high to keep everyone safe, but I struggle with the effects.

    I function perfectly at 5 below, and good diabetes control means I am quite often below 5 without actually being hypo. I have excellent hypo awareness, and most of my journeys are less than 30 mins long.

    I test before I drive, but frequently find I am a bit below 5, so have to eat a snack that i do not want, often ultimately over-shooting my medical BG target of 5.9, pushing my HbA1c (and my weight) higher than it needs to be. My blood sugar can take quite a while to raise to the required lel, by which time I have missed my meeting, my health appointment, or other deadline. I am fed up of being so embarrassingly late for things.

    Has anyone got any good tips for how you streamline things to stop the testing rule from taking over your life?
     
  2. steve_p6

    steve_p6 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    290
    Trophy Points:
    123
    I think the actual DVLA advice between 4-5 is to have some carbs, but in your situation and job I would suggest you look at the freestyle Libre, its not officially recognised by DVLA, but in reality is far better. ie Dvla BG testing requirement says you were fine 2 hours before you get into car, Libre tells you that you are fine but dropping fast as you get into car, bit of a no brainer to my mind !
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,925
    Likes Received:
    5,923
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hello @urbangiraffe or should I say fellow giraffe !

    The Libre is great for managing your BG results, however it's not an accepted meter for use by the DVLA, you will still need to test on your regular meter before you drive. There is no easy answer to this, you need to test every 2 hours when driving and stay above 5, if you get pulled over and have tested below 5 then you could find yourself in hot water as 5 is the limit. It's really a case of making time to manage your type 1. I know how you feel though as I drive alot and can find myself sometimes forgetting to test within the required time frame, however I always keep jelly babies in the car so if I am falling it will pick me up quick. If below 5 then I pull over eat, wait, test and drive once back up, with hypo I wait 45 mins. Jelly babies really are the quickest way to get back up for me. In regards to managing this better can you leave earlier to start your day or give yourself more time throughout the day so plan your day to allow for this ?
     
    • Like Like x 3
  4. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    23,629
    Likes Received:
    19,625
    Trophy Points:
    278
    Welcome to the forum @urbangiraffe

    As Juicyj says you only need to test every two hours and snack if your under 5mmol/l, personally I don't have any issues with this as it's all about keeping people safe on the roads, an occasional small snack won't lead to weight gain but if your having to snack frequently to keep your bg levels above 5 then it's worth doing a basal check then looking at your I:C ratio's,
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. ArtemisBow

    ArtemisBow Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    178
    Likes Received:
    283
    Trophy Points:
    123
    I don't have anything to add other than to say I feel your pain. As I'm pregnant my fasting target on waking is below 5.3. As I need to drive to work fairly soon after I wake up, it's a very small window to hit, and often I am in the 4s on waking. I have my breakfast as soon as I wake but sometimes I'm sat there testing every 10 minutes waiting for it to bring the levels up enough. Very frustrating as I'm sure there are plenty of non diabetics driving round with BG levels of 4.5 etc, but those are the rules.

    I understand why they don't want you to hypo while driving, but having a reading of 5.2 which is dropping quickly is much more dangerous than a 4.5 when I've just eaten.
     
    • Like Like x 3
  6. h44

    h44 · Newbie

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    6
    Trophy Points:
    23
    I was 4.2 fasting several years before I was diagnosed
    I was allowed to drive then as I wasn't diabetic and wasn't on insulin, even though BG was below 5
     
  7. Diakat

    Diakat Type 1 · Moderator
    Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,520
    Likes Received:
    3,700
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Yes it is a pain. Yes I have been late for things. Yes I have awful screaming rows with my husband about it. But not having a licence would be worse. Killing someone would be far worse.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook