Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Trouble With Diabetes

I've been an insulin dependant diabetic for over 30 years now and I can tell you firsthand that extremely low blood sugar, or high blood sugar, can make you do some crazy things. Mix a case of severe hypoglycemia, with 20 + years in the martial arts, and you can have a potentially dangerous situation.

Doug Burns, the reigning Mr. Universe, who is also a diabetic, ran into this situation.

"Police wrestle, mace, arrest Mr. Universe"

For Burns, though, the fact is he doesn’t recall much between feeling his blood sugar dropping in the Cinemark theater and regaining coherence in the San Mateo Medical Center with mace on his shirt and glucose paste down the side of his face. The time in between are snapshots, he said, of being on the sidewalk in front of the theater unable to speak, hearing officers theorize he was on PCP and hoping somebody noticed either the Medic Alert bracelet on his wrist or a card in his wallet identifying him as the director of diabetes and obesity education for a medical research institute.

Note to all diabetics: Burns was wearing his Medic Alert bracelet. This may save him later. The only downside? He should've been carrying glucose tablets, especially since he just changed insulin regimen. And yes, I have been guilty of this, too.

Two weeks ago, I had a serious morning low. After gaining consciousness, I realized that my wife was speaking softly and feeding me graham crackers. She said I had already drank a large glass of orange juice, but I had no recollection of it. I was weak for the rest of the day.

Sound familiar?
Ah, the trouble with diabetes.


misawa said...

If Burns was being combative, then the police have to do what they have to do to keep the public, themselves, and him safe. However, from what it sounds like from the eyewitnesses, he didn't start struggling until they started poking him with sticks(!!), which is absolutely wrong. Hopefully the DA will see that Burns wasn't "himself" and will dismiss charges - and recommend a little more training for their officers.

Mark said...

I'm sure a lot of diabetics and law enforcement will look at this case carefully.

There have been cases where diabetics have broken the law when they were in a hypoglycemic state. That said, punishment must be given.

However, no law was initially broken here. A security guard made a very bad choice and now people are hurt because of it.

Angie said...

Cassie went low at school more than once, but on one occasion was trying to take her shirt off, walked like egor. Poor thing. And one other time possibly had a seizure at a choir performance in a doctors office! Guess when I found out? when she got home from school at the end of the day! Sheesh!