Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I just came across a story published in the Edmonton Journal(Canadian newspaper) by Jim Farell.
I and many others in the T1DM Community can relate to these events since it covers the horrible consequence of Hypoglycemia Unawareness that has again occurred to "One of Us."

Shaughn Butts/Canwest News Service: A semi truck and trailer lie in wreckage after crashing. The driver was killed after smashing into a guard rail on the overpass and crashing onto the railway tracks below.

EDMONTON -- Friends and relatives of the truck driver who died Monday in a fiery crash after a 20-kilometer, wrong-way drive down Yellowhead Trail believe his bizarre behavior was caused by diabetes, not anger or suicidal impulses.

"He has had Type 1 diabetes since he was young, and he has medically crashed many times after going into hypoglycemia," said Bill, a family friend of the 25-year-old driver. Bill is the uncle of the driver's girlfriend, whom he intended to marry.

Dr. James Shapiro, a prominent diabetes researcher from the University of Alberta, refused to comment about the specific aspects of the driver's death since he had never treated him, but he said that when a diabetic's blood sugar plunges below a certain point, bizarre behavior can result.
When blood sugar drops below a certain point, the brains of some people with diabetes can no longer function properly, Dr. Shapiro said. Results can range from sleepiness to unawareness and a mental disconnect with a person's surroundings. "It's certainly possible that a diabetes patient can be in a prolonged hypoglycemic state for minutes and hours," Dr. Shapiro said.

People tend to forget how complex of a Disease T1DM is. In spite of having "good numbers," there are hosts of other factors within the Body that can go awry because of the Diabetes.


Susan said...

Horrible and sad.

Scott said...

Too bad the medical establishment remains fixated on trying to control a largely uncontrollable illness, rather than eradicating it with a cure. Come to think of it, medicine hasn't cured much of anything in a very long time, suddenly everything has become a chronic illness.

Anonymous said...

how terrible.. stories like this make me so sad. And, though different, did you by any chance hear about the couple who's daughter died after going into DKA because they did not take her to a doctor, instead hoping to "pray away" the illness.. My friend told me about this, apparently they didn't know she had t1d, but it is still an incredibly sad story- especially knowing that things like this could have been avoided.

BetterCell said...

It is good to hear it from you Scott, how the Medical Establishment tries to *control* a largely uncontrollable Illness.
The Disease T1DM is a little like the analogy of the Indian Tale of the blind men who feel only one part of the large animal(Elephant) that they touch and are only able to give a description of said animal.
The description is thus fragmented, limited and not unified.
T1DM Research for me is often seen that way depending on economic interests as the predominant driving force.
It (T1DM) is too big and too complex of a Disease to just be able to focus in on one direction.
Even if a *Cure* is not on the Horizon, I still would be satisfied for a way to STOP all T1DM Complications(Autonomic, Peripheral, Micro and Macro Vascular) from developing.
As Marlon Brando said in *Apocolypse Now,*..........
"The Horror..The Horror."

BetterCell said...

Seonaid, I read about the case you mentioned. Also tragic and preventable.
The parents had no idea that their daughter had Diabetes and was going into DKA, eventhough her breathe must have been very fruity and could be smelled.
Law Enforcement has placed their other children with relatives.
Tragic and Unforgiven is this thing called Diabetes.
How does a person come to terms with an Illness that will inflict damage onto your Body despite so-called good management?
It is as Scott already said, "Diabetes is an Uncontrollable Illness."

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New York, New York, United States
I do not give up my Autonomy,especially to the Medical Profession. Passionate, Creative, Able to see Beauty within Simplicity, I Am Not A Diabetic, rather I have Diabetes (there is a big difference between the two on many levels).Type 1 Diabetes since 5 years of age. Belief in G-D