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Dr. Bill's Commentaries

Was I low?   (March 29, 2007)

I have a question for the reader about something that happened to me, which I haven’t heard about previously, and would appreciate your feedback if you have had any similar experience.

This evening, as I was planning to leave from the office and drive home, I checked my blood glucose, and found it was 70; I had no symptoms. I ate my usual carb “snack” to bring the BG back up, and about 15 minutes later, left to drive home.

About 30 minutes of driving, I pulled into my local pharmacy’s parking lot to pick up some pills, and noticed in the rear-view mirror the ominous flashing of a police car’s emergency lights. And yes, he wanted to talk to me. He told me that I had run a red light a few blocks back, and added that two other vehicles had also passed the red light (and hence I was the third in line to go through the red light, and the easiest to pick off!). He readily admitted that he should have gotten the other two but couldn’t get all three.

Trouble is, I have absolutely no recollection of running a signal light (either green, yellow, or red) at the intersection at which he stated this had happened. I told him this, and that I was diabetic, and had a recent low BG, and that I thought I was fine, and offered to show him the documentation of the numbers. In return, he merely told me (twice) that if I needed emergency help, he’d call for it for me. I said no.

While he was writing up the inevitable ticket, I had checked my BG: it was then 119. After he left, I went into the pharmacy, picked up the pills, then at the car, again checked, and again it was 119 (yes, exactly the same number about 10 minutes apart!).

Questions for the reader: Was the reason I have no recollection of running the red light some lingering brain malfunction from the low sugar 45 minutes earlier? And if so, should I fight the ticket?

Thanks for your feedback!

Update May 13, 2007:

I chose to pay the ticket.

I must add that I was surprised that so many readers commented that I was wrong to drive because my BG was low -- I never said it was low while driving; in fact, it was 119 after being stopped (perhaps up a bit due to stress), but I had been low before, and ate appropriately before driving. Oh well.

Thanks for reading, and for writing.

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Dr. Bill Quick began writing at HealthCentral's diabetes website in November, 2006. These essays are reproduced at D-is-for-Diabetes with the permission of HealthCentral.

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