Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Driving and Diabetes

The only high school class I ever took was Driver's Ed. (that being a class one can't exactly "pass" w/out the proper certifications)
It was the Summer of '98, and my mom decided it might as well be gotten over with. That, and the fact that the school system didn't allow homeschooled students to take it during the school year. Homeschooled students are the scum of the earth(in the eyes of the public schools).
So she enrolled me and my next younger brother in Classroom Driver's Ed.
That first day, we showed up (on time), nervous as heck about everything. (and intent on never, ever, ever revealing that we were weirdos from another planet).
This strategy backfired though(as it quickly became apparent no one else was intent on learning the stuff). Keep in mind that this was a summer class, for the previous semester's Flunkees. It was also a dual Gym class for the 9th grade students.(we didn't have to take that part)
As I couldn't let my younger brother beat me out, it was a battle to see who could get the most straight 100's. Our teacher must have thought she'd won the lottery,I recall her being extrordinarily nice to us. We both got A's (not a number grade), so the competition was kind of pointless, but still fun.

I got diabetes in that school.

There were the symptoms- thirst, hunger, frequent urination. To this day, I recall the location of every single water fountain, restroom, and drink machine on each of the school's three floors.
It was a six week class, sometime during those first couple of weeks those symptoms began.

And got worse.

August, September, October, November, December. I lost 30 lbs, great chunks of my hair fell out, my eyesight went blurry, among other things. If there was ever a weird symptom of the Great Undiagnosed D, I had it. In the interest of this being a Family Friendly Blog, I won't describe the rest of the symptoms.

Thanksgiving, 1998. After a huge dinner, my heart started doing weird palpatations + I didn't feel like going out to play the annual family Football slug-a-thon. Lay on the couch and wished I didn't feel so crummy.

That day in December, hooked to tubes/IV's/moniters. Realizing my life had just changed in practically every area, including driving. And the pediatric Endocrinologist, drilling the rules of good D care (as it pertains to being a responsible driver) into my thick head..

I got a new chapter in Driver's Ed that day, one that my brother + the other kids didn't have to take.

Don't drive if your blood sugar is under 90, pull over to the side of the road, eat, and recheck
in 15 minutes.

ALWAYS have a source of sugar on your person, and in your car..

Wear your medical indentification!

Check your blood sugar before driving, every 2 hours WHILE driving, and whenever you
think you may be low..

Don't drive when you're high,(over 600) that affects your thinking abilities as well.

Didn't have a choice about those either, my parents/ doctor saw to it that I walked the line.
But maybe it was for the best, at least it was drilled into my head along w/ everything else (driving related) + now its second nature. Maybe I did get diabetes at just the right time (earlier, and I'd have been a preteen self conscious disaster; later, and I've been out on my own w/out health insurance)


Scott K. Johnson said...

It is such a scary thing - to think about what might happen if you have a reaction while driving.

That vehicle turns into a lethal weapon! As if we need any other "threats" in our D-life right?!

type1emt said...

Yeah, true-people have gotten charged with manslaughter from stuff like that.(having a reaction, wrecking, and killing someone else)