Lights, Lug Nuts and a Low

| Oct 1, 1999

Welcome to this month's issue, and our feature story on driving.

I had an adrenaline-pumping experience recently while driving to a campground with my family. It took so long to finish up at work and pack the car that we got off to a late start. We were still driving to our destination at around 11 p.m. Still, there are advantages to driving at night. The kids, Miranda, age 4, and Spencer, age 6, were asleep in the back of the car, affording my wife Nadia and I the rare chance to talk without interruptions. I was testing, injecting and snacking while Nadia drove. Suddenly we heard a noise that sounded like a machine gun going off under our car! We had a flat tire. Luckily, we were able to pull over easily.

Then, the work began. We had to unload almost everything in the back of the station wagon to get to the spare tire. I had positioned the jack with some tension and was trying to get the lug nuts off when it hit me-I was getting a low blood sugar. I asked Nadia if she could take over while I got my glucose tablets. As I was munching my tablets, Miranda woke up and wanted me to hold her. Then, just as Nadia was jacking up the car, bright lights appeared behind us. A highway patrol car appeared, with its brightest spotlight on us and red lights flashing as well. I should have felt relief that help had arrived, but instead, the lights shook me up even more.

Making matters worse, the officer walked up and shined his flashlight right in my face, questioning us about what was going on, where we are from and where we were going.

I don't know exactly why I felt such a sense of panic. Low blood sugar can make stressful situations worse. I didn't want to have to explain to a stranger that I was in the throws of hypoglycemia. I also felt a sudden sense of shame for standing there eating while my wife was doing all the work. I was afraid of what this guy would think of me.

I've been hearing so much lately on diabetes and driving. These thoughts in my head, plus the fuzzy feeling of the low, made me feel like I might somehow be in trouble.

As I came out of the low and we talked some more, I realized he was a nice guy. He held his flashlight on the tire while Nadia got all the lug bolts in. I had recovered enough at that point to come with the lug wrench and tighten down the bolts.

He shared with us that drunks have been known to barrel into cars parked on the side of a highway, so parking behind us with flashing lights was meant to protect us. Finally, with our spare tire on, he guided us across the center divide to get us to the closest exit.

We ended up getting the last room in a smelly motel, but that's another story. We got the tire fixed in the morning and made it to the camp a day late.

You never know when something will go wrong while driving, whether it's mechanical or diabetes related. Please take note of our two articles on driving safely while under the influence of insulin. We have to face this issue armed with information.

More On This Issue

The three stories described on the cover don't even touch all of the great information we present inside.

On page 26 we answer that popular question, what's the latest in diabetes products? We offer pictures of devices planned for the future. And, don't miss Dr. Bernstein's amazing case study of reversing diabetic complications on page 29. If exercise is not yet part of your treatment, you must read this month's exercise column, on page 38. I promise you, it will make exercise clear and simple. Then, we give you some great tips on food choices for Halloween, on page 42.

Don't forget that you can order a free sample of DIABETES HEALTH for a friend. See our advertisement on page 33 or call our subscription house at (800) 488-8468 to request a sample issue over the phone.

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Categories: Blood Sugar, Diabetes, Food, Insulin, Low Blood Sugar, My Own Injection


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Oct 1, 1999

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