Oooops! Low blood sugar today during a very long, gridlocked commute home. I was almost home when my vision got blurry and then I believe I went almost completely blind. Hit a car or two. No injuries, but it sure did shake me up. Never felt a hypo coming on. I quit wearing my Dex a couple weeks ago in an effort to lower costs. That was apparently not a great idea. Think they will suspend my license? I really didn’t see something like this coming and this has never happened before to me. Unsettling.
So very, very glad you are ok! It is so sad to have to test every time one drives but that is the rule in our house. I can’t drive without a test first. Even with the Dexcom always on.
I don’t know what your state is like but here in CA, it’s tough. I did have a low while driving and my license was pulled. It took a call to the local ADA for a lawyer who could help. And a lot of phone calls & visits with my endo. My license was pulled for 6 months, and when I got it back I could have no moving violations for 3 years and must test every time I drive and the level must be 120. I am long past my 3 years but I still have the rule to test before driving but I now must be 100 or above.
Everyone is different and every state is different. I hope you don’t have to go through what I did. Good luck and so glad you’re ok!
Also glad you are ok and had a wake-up call without doing anything but property damage. Always test and make sure that have something on hand in case you get blurry … a little high is better than too low (I said a LITTLE, 300 plus can have vision implications as well). We have rules (after I killed the garage door) testing before, no driving under 100 or over 200 and after an hour … pull over and test… I also keep lifesavers (I think it’s funny) in the car for lows…
Many years ago I nearly passed out while driving. I was extremely lucky - the police officer who found me immediately realized I was diabetic (his mother was on insulin) and he didn’t report me. I went on a pump shortly afterwards, which really helped improve my numbers, but I ALWAYS test before driving (unless I’ve just eaten a meal) and I ALWAYS have treatment with me, wherever I am. I keep hard candies in a little baggie in my purse. If I’m driving a long distance (like over an hour) I take the baggie out of my purse and put it on the seat where I can easily reach it, just in case.
One of the body’s natural responses to a hypo is to release adrenaline. The release of adrenaline normally causes “fight of flight” but when you’re already driving it just focuses your brain on “drive more”, it’s a dangerous feedback loop and it takes a lot of really conscious effort to break it.
I’ve had a couple hypos where my vision got messed up. Once my eyes couldn’t point in the same direction. A more common symptom is something like a “blind spot” but I’m not really blind. I just can’t consciously process what’s in some parts of my field of vision. I don’t think these are actual eye problems, it’s the hypo causing parts of the brains vision processing to go haywire.
Yes they probably will and probably should!
You could have caused serious heartache to innocent people in other cars.
It’s common sense that you should be testing before and during long journeys, you should always have a glucose stash at hand to deal with these situations.
Not much damage to vehicle. Better than expected. I was going slow because I couldn’t see. But, I did get that adrenaline response. I think I got out of the car and ran…although not very far and not very fast.
The strange thing is my BS was 45. I have never had such a severe reaction to 45 before. My only thoughts are that either: 1.) It dropped very rapidly and that produced more severe symptoms; or, 2.) My sugars have been super stable and that has decreased my ability to cope with lows; or, 3.) I have been running low and have some hypo unawareness; 4.) I might have lost ten pounds and not noticed. But, I would expect lows across the board if that was true. There is some possibility that a mild low produced a minor seizure. I have definitely been noticing lows around 6pm over the last week.Might have too much insulin on board that has built up over those morning periods.
I was unaware at the time. My brain was so broken that I couldn’t problem solve. I knew my brain was broken, but didn’t know why. Forgot I was diabetic. Data, after the fact, shows perfect daytime, but lows starting in the afternoon through the evening (which is when I decrease my basals). Overnights are ok. Here’s the data.
Accident was around 5pm.
I have been completely unconscious at 45 with paramedics administering glucagon. And I have also been conscioius (if less than fully functional) at 45. And I have been having kind-of limb seizures (arm and leg spasms even though I can kind of overall control them) at 45 too. So 45 is a point where any of these can happen in the same person.
Have you had ‘limb seizures’ at normal BG?
No, I have not had these weird limb seizures or “blind spot” vision problems when my BG’s were normal. This is very abnormal!
I will admit that I have been at 45 and not had those same symptoms as well.
Glad you are OK, and hope you get back to wearing your Dexcom if you have such bad hypo-unawareness.
I get central vision blindness when I’m in the low to mid 40’s. I often do yardwork when I know I’m low but hate stopping so often to take care of it, so after a while it progresses to those blind spots. That’s when I finally give in and go into the house to get some quick carbs. If I wake up from a severe low, that’s when the blindness is at it’s worst.
I have been “legless” when I was first considering going on pump about 17 yrs ago. I had just gotten divorced and kept having some decent hypo’s in the early morning right around wake up time. Spoke with doctor about pump and started soliciting info from companies. About 2 weeks after seeing doctor, woke up after throwing the covers off me and really moving around and waking up in a drenching sweat. Realized this was a good one and reached over to night stand and found a Halloween size milky-way. Could not even function enough to open it so I chewed it open. Lay back waiting for it to kick in and still felt like I was going down. Went to get up and go downstairs and eat some more and fell flat on ground just like legs were not there. Pulled myself up with arms but legs were like rubber. So scooted down the stairs like a little kid on my rear end, dragged myself into kitchen and luckily had not put a box of little Debbie cream cakes (bought for not such bad low) in the cabinet and I could reach the box from floor. sat there eating them for a 1/2 hr with my two greyhounds staring at me wondering why I would not let them out or share the snack. could finally stand after that. Was on the pump about a week later.
There reminds me of the time that I got really low when I was at work and at that point I was all alone. I managed to make it over to a desk that had a candy bar in it and I chomped right through the paper to get to the candy bar. I did all down while sitting on the cold concrete floor until I felt it was safe enough to get up.
Yeah, it is scary when you realize your body is shutting down your extremities, lol. I contacted Minimed and told them I was going with them a few days later and was on the pump about a week later. At my next endo appointment she asks if I took a look at the pump stuff she sent me home with last appointment. Lifted my shirt and said yep been on it for 2 months. She was pissed until I told her what happened and then was surprised I figured it all out on my own and with the nurse form minimed. Have not had a low like that since… knock on wood.
LOL! Too bad for her! My endo wanted me to go into the hospital for a couple of days to start my new pump. I said no way and proceeded to show him the spreadsheets I had created to figure out rates, etc, gleaned from reading Pumping Insulin and other books on the subject. He was sufficiently impressed to waive the then-requirement for new pumpers to start pumping in the hospital. Also, I reminded him how unlike real life, being in a hospital would be, with regards to eating, bolusing for REAL meals, and activity levels. My pump start was uneventful (other than being great)
Thanks for the info everybody. Lowered basal rates. This was a very unusual low for me. I suppose I’ll never know if there was a little seizure activity or not. The worst low blood sugars, for me, are when my body mostly works, but my brain is completely broken. I have no idea how to categorize this malfunction. All I know is I finally got one of the more irritable cops in town to break a smile and I was VERY late to dinner at my friends house. My dad told me we are fixing the car and I’m gonna keep driving it as punishment and then laughed really hard. It looks ridiculous. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2H5Se-9XAVE
We talk about “hypo awareness”. This is one kind that I’ve slowly grown to be able to recognize, often about the same time my bg is hitting 70. At that point my brain is still working good enough to “observe itself” and realize that it’s getting just a little loopy.
Sometimes I catch myself reading, for example, the same paragraph 5 times and not understanding any of it. That’s a sign that I’m already well below 70. There’s a level of frustration I reach and can recognize as a hypo too.
As to how hard it is to self-observe this - I think I was 20 years in before I ever had this kind of awareness.
That awareness of malfunction is something that either works or it doesn’t, for me, and I have never come up with any effective strategies for improving it. When I see lapses in other people’s ability to perceive symptoms of their own illness (for a variety of different illnesses), that’s when I really start to worry. I know that its one of the trickier things.
How typical!!! Endos that can’t imagine you can figure how to do anything without them. Glad you had a smooth start!