Ok, so what happens to reality when one’s blood sugar drops to 35? Now that is where my story begins today. Well, it doesn’t begin there as it began behind the wheel of my car several years ago.
My blood sugar was good all morning, and at noon it was 107 mg/dL. It’s now my lunch time at work about 1 pm. It was a beautiful sunny day in Long Beach, NY. I had left my lunch at home and was heading back to get it.
I made the turn onto the bridge to get out of Long Beach, NY. The bridge was a small draw bridge. I remember the sun shining on the metal surface of the small bridge. I don’t remember much after. I blacked out at the wheel. Next thing I remembered was waking up still driving just a couple of blocks from my house at the time.
So where is my house? I am thinking: Oh My God Someone stole my house. So I’m driving for a couple of blocks, and I hit the train tracks. I passed it a few blocks back and made a very dangerous U-turn, right before the tracks, and almost get hit. I drive for a few blocks and then I see it. I don’t have a driveway, so I parallel park on the street.
I get in the house and test my blood sugar. There it was, a Blood Glucose of 35. I now realize that I didn’t remember much of the trip but need to eat something asap. I do, and things start to come back to reality. My blood sugar had returned to normal a half hour later; I was on the mend. I headed out to my car and found that I had parked halfway on the curb. WOW!
So now I check my blood sugar before I get behind the wheel of a car or truck. I have had to wait before driving, but I remind myself each time that the alternative could have grave consequences.
Eliot LeBow, LCSW, CDE, is a diabetes-focused psychotherapist. His private practice, located in New York City and is also available via Skype. LeBow, who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 1977, treats the many diverse cognitive, behavioral, and emotional needs of people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.