Category Archives: News

Hypo behind the wheel, the sequel

Today, the Star-Ledger published a follow-up article to the one I discussed in Monday’s post. For those of you paying close attention, the new article is published online here.

State officials are calling for an investigation of the training procedures.  Not of the incident, but of the existing training procedures.  This sounds like more bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo to me.  Why investigate the training they currently have?  Just adopt a training program that has already been accepted and applauded in a different jurisdiction. They’re out there. The rules of misbehaving pancreaii don’t change when we drive across the state-line.

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Hypo behind the wheel

There it was. On the front page of the Sunday Star-Ledger. An all-too-familiar headline:

The article continued on Page 4.  And on Page 5. Clearly, this was a big story. And it’s a story we’ve heard before. A man is found in his car slumped over steering wheel. When confronted by police, he responds incoherently. Police beat the man into oblivion. Medics arrive and check his blood sugar: 26 mg/dL.

I don’t need to tell the story, you’ve probably heard it before. Perhaps you’ve lived it, though I pray to God that you haven’t and that you never will. This man, ironically, had developed a training program for the Philadelphia Police Department on spotting and handling the symptoms of hypoglycemia a few years earlier, but the New Jersey State Police, who were on the scene at this particular time, had never had such a program.

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Don’t keep them guessing

Just in case....

We try as hard as we can to avoid it, but sometimes our blood sugars take a nose-dive and we lapse into behaviors that are unusual. We appear inattentive, distracted, unfocused, erratic, violent… the list goes on, and I don’t need to complete it. I know the symptoms of hypoglycemia all too well; if you’re reading this, you probably do, too. But many people don’t.

Yesterday, Mike Hoskins, usually blogging at The Diabetics Corner Booth, guest-posted on Diabetes Mine with an article about Police Training on Diabetes. He notes how many police can’t spot the symptoms of hypoglycemia, and therefore don’t respond appropriately. Too often, these people are assumed to be drunk, high, or just plain rebellious, and police use force in trying to restrain and subdue them and do nothing to treat the situation.

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National gov’t: let them pump insulin!

The Scottish government is setting aside a nice chunk of change to provide insulin pumps “for all eligible under 18s with type 1 diabetes”.

That’s awfully nice of them. It’s yet another indication of how woefully inadequate the United States has become when it comes to taking care of its own people.

I’m not going to get political here. But it must be nice to be a Scot….. oh, wait.

A stick-tap to athletes with diabetes

This is me, bottom row, third from the right, following a game in 2001 at the (then) First Union Center in Philadelphia,

I’m generally not a fan of professional bowling. But after reading an article about my favorite hockey team in the sports section of today’s paper, another headline caught my eye.

Shafer doesn’t let diabetes spare his game

The article is about Ryan Shafer, bowler extraordinaire, whose achievements at the lanes has netted him much fame (and prize money!) throughout his professional career. He also has Type 1 diabetes and, according to the PBA website, he’s also a spokesperson for Animas.

I admire professional athletes who play at the top of their game with diabetes. Heck, I admire any athlete, even at the recreational level, who doesn’t allow the disease to stand in their way. But I’ll be honest, when I think of sports where diabetes poses a challenge, bowling is not at the top of my list. It’s not physically taxing, there is sufficient “time-out” to attend to needs, and no linebacker is going to plow you into the ball-return and unknowingly rip out a cannula. But diabetes, and the ways it manifests itself, is not all physical. As Shafer describes, “when your blood sugar gets a little low, you get a little shaky, you’re not steady on your feet. Then after you eat, you want to make up for it and you feel that spike and all of a sudden you feel lethargic and you’re going from one feeling to another.”

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