For the last seven years of being with my husband I haven’t needed to drive.
He has been more than willing to assume that responsibility and that hasn’t bothered me much. I have never felt less independent with him being the main driver, and he has never seemed bothered by this dynamic either. I used to drive, a lot, actually. Before diabetes, before children in the back seat, and with out a care in the world. I drove, with or with out a license, a real rebel. Then something in me became afraid. That confident spark went out. Maybe it was after diagnosis, maybe it was after having my daughter, but something made me step back and make the conscious decision to not drive. It didn’t help that when I met my husband he raced around in a 1977 Corvette and then every other car after that was a manual, something I had not been interested in learning to drive, so it didn’t matter if I wanted to be behind the wheel or not.
Side note: This all boils down to the fact that for most of my “diabetic life” I have not driven. So I have not had to worry about checking my sugar before operating a big, hulking piece of machinery.
After years of being the passenger I became content with this situation. Then I noticed that our schedules were only getting busier and busier and I really needed to get over whatever it was stopping me and start driving again. So recently my husband started letting me take the car out and run errands with our daughter.
The experience had been pleasant, not one hiccup, nothing.
Until the other day..
I had spoken with other driving diabetics who all said they made sure to check their blood sugars before operating a vehicle. Made sense, I mean if you’re too high or too low your reaction time is going to be off. Thankfully I haven’t been running very high these days but the lows have been more than I’d like. I checked before taking off and though I was on the low side I popped a few glucose tablets and the family and I were on our way. Then halfway through I started to feel shaky, dizzy, and very overwhelmed. I nearly ran a red light, and more importantly I took a turn that nearly sent us flying into another vehicle. Instead of pushing on the brake I slammed my foot into the gas and then had to instantly correct. I frantically pulled over to the side and cried. When I checked my sugar at home I was in the 50’s. It was the number one most scariest moment in my life. I had my five year old in the car, my husband next to me..we could have been hurt. Others could have been hurt..
I’m tearing up as I type this. I have been driving off and on here for months now with everything going smoothly and then this happens. Now, I don’t know if I ever want to drive again. That low, I felt, came out of left field. What if it happens again? I have gone over the whole thing in my head, over and over and over again. My sugar was 60, I had eaten dinner, I checked again and I was in the 100’s. Popped a glucose tablet. The next thing I know my sugar is in the 50’s? My husband assures me it wasn’t my fault, stuff like this happens and though he was concerned something like this might take place one day he was proud of me for reacting correctly. I, on the other hand, am not so proud of myself.
That fear is back and I don’t know if it’ll ever go away this time.