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Rep. Bill Janklow of South Dakota was convicted of manslaughter today for a collision that killed a motorcyclist, the Associated Press reports. I bring this up because his defense was that his actions were impaired by his diabetes at the time of the accident.

Fuskie
Wondering if this is a rejection of the man or the condition...
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Considering Janklows prior driving history I'm sure it was a rejection of the man.
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I bring this up because his defense was that his actions were impaired by his diabetes at the time of the accident.

I believe he said that his low blood sugar problem was masked by some drug he was taking and also said that he hadn't eaten at all that day. This last statement would not allow any "sympathy" toward him on my part. All diabetics should know that they must eat regularly. As far as I'm concerned not eating properly is irresponsible behavior that causes consequences.

I am a non insulin taking diabetic and I can get into low blood sugar trouble if I don't eat regularly. Low blood sugar problems are not limited only to the insulin users.

I believe that some states require diabetics to have something to raise blood sugar to be within arms reach when driving.

Ted
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IMAO, Rep. Bill Janklow of South Dakota selected the wrong disease for his defense. His previous driving record indicates an arrogant and arrant disregard for human life, and an arrogant and arrant disregard for the law of the road [speed limits, stop signs]. He also shows an arrogant and arrant disregard for the reputation of diabetics as a group by claiming a diabetic reaction made him repeat a well-established pattern of behaviour, despite the availablilty of the best diabetic care available [he was a former Governor and a Congressman, after all]. Though it is his unquestioned right to attempt to evade responsibility for his actions in our adversarial system of jurisprudence, i think he selected the wrong defense. The Congressman appears to be insane; he appears to think that he is a demigod, above the law and of much greater intrinsic value than other humans who might be near a highway when the Congressman is in a self-diagnosed hurry.

Note: The one hypoglycemic episode i remember would have literally, not figuratively, driven my car thru a stop sign had i been on the road and had the stop sign not been on the road. Dizziness and mini-nap syndrome interfere with steering. Fortunately, i was at home. i now drive with a bottle of full-sugar full-caffeine cola within arm's reach [plus some safe sugar-free beverages for hydration].

cassandra

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cassandra: Dizziness and mini-nap syndrome

What is mini-nap syndrome? Is this actually falling asleep due to low blood sugar or ???

T.I.A. Ted
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Mini-nap syndrome is my term for those brief head-nodding, eye-closing lapses of attention that occur when driving, usually after several hours. They may be related to highway hypnosis. i don't know if they are low-blood-sugar-related, because they can [often do] occur after meals [my term: post-prandial nap syndrome??]. Full-sugar full-caffeine soda helps. Better still: pulling over immediately, resting with eyes closed for a while, a large slug of water, and some full-sugar full-caffeine soda.

The AAA mentioned the phenomenon as an indicator that falling asleep -- really falling asleep -- at the wheel may be imminent. The AAA says these lapses may actually be true sleep of duration 1-3 seconds.

Does this clarify the matter?

cassandra

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Does this clarify the matter?

cassandra


Yes, thanks. Since I do a fair amount of driving I carry my meter in the car when I travel. I've taken my blood sugar after feeling sleepy and not found it to be due to low blood sugar. I've been taking my blood sugar any time I've felt "odd" and have learned, at least to some degree, what odd feelings are low blood sugar. Feelings of anxiety or irritability, getting frustrated easily, rapid heart beat, slight nausea, etc. Of course everybody is a bit different. I have diabetic friends who have other symptoms when their blood sugar is low.

I've seen the mini-nap turn into a sleep episode just as you were relating. A couple of years ago, I noticed that the woman in front of me was driving erratically. I could see her head droop forward and snap back. I honked my horn at her but she did not notice. While I was trying to decide what to do next, she went off the road. Fortunately she went into a flat field and did no damage to herself or her car. She, of course, was fully awake at that point. I gave her a coca-cola and followed her to a motel in the next town which was only 5 miles away. We had a happy ending in that case, but what if it had been a mountain road?

Ted
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