ADA/Their Diabetic Card/Communications

By markjohn1 Latest Reply 2015-07-19 14:08:10 -0500
Started 2009-03-06 01:51:14 -0600

The other day I met with the local rep for the ADA here in Fresno. She was a great person and full of information that has been helpful to me in building the communities. Also the information has been great material for the radio shows I host during the week discussing diabetes and diabetics and anything else relating to diabetes that comes up.
It seems there is never a dull moment on the sho so far and the hour goes by fast whether I am talking for the full hour, which is easy for me or answering question from listeners.

Well this week I was speaking about some of the material she gave me and one thing stood out and gave me ammunition for the weeks to come or until I get something going here.

She gave me one of the cards that the ADA suggest that all diabetics carry on them at all time for the info it contains. Well on the front of the card in BIg Red Letter it says I HAVE DIABETES. Well that's good for a start. It then goes on to say "I may be having a low blood sugar reaction to insulin or a diabetes pill. If I cannot be awakened or cannot swallow, do not try to give me anything to drink. Dial 911. Okay good so far right?
Next. If I 'm awake but acting strangely give me some regular soft drink, juice, milk, hard candy, or some sugar. If I do not get better in 15 minutes call 911 or get me to a hospital.
This is all well and good, but, if you live in an area like I do, someone seeing a person acting strangely is ground for a person to usually call the cops not an ambulance. Then when the cops get there, if I am still acting strangely, they may not be able to get to the card in my poket and may thing I am drunk or a little crazy and if I in anyway show aggression they may use a taser or worse. Now to me this seems a bit nuts and I can see something like this happening to me. I also have a heart condition and everyone knows when you have a heart attack you grab your chest or your arm. Plus they show it on TV all the time. When have they ever shown a person having a low blood sugar attack? When have you ever seem a 15 or 30 second spot about that during prime time or any time that someone is up. I mean maybe at 3 in the morning it's on but I don't think it is even on then.
I have never seen this and all I can think of is what is a cop going to do in this day and age. What is a person driving by going to do? You may get shot by a drive by because of the way you are acting. The cops may arrest you till they find the card or worse they me beat you because of your aggression till they find the card. In my case if they taser me with a bad heart, that might just kill me.
So this really bothers me. My thought is this.
There should be a commercial or psa about this shown at prime time or during the today show or sometime when the public can see it and understand it.
I am going to start work on this by posting videos on You Tube and my sites to get people to watch. I am then going to send these videos to TV stations and approach the networks. \
No one else will try so I wil. I haven't seen anyone do this or try it. I will.
I would like to hear what you guys have to say.
Even if you think I am nuts tell me I can take it.
Heck I am DIABETARIFFIC. I can take anything.

20 replies

Kalisiin 2015-07-19 13:57:44 -0500 Report

Three cheers to you!! You are taking the words of Gandhi to heart here: Be the change you wish to create in the world!

You are owning this thing and I think that is terrific. I, too, worry about this sort of thing…even with my medical alert ID bracelet, will they see it?

I think there should be PSA's on diabetics to wear a Medical Alert ID…on the symptoms of a high/low blood sugar event…for diabetics and non-diabetics…so that help can be gotten…and I think there needs to be training of law-enforcement officers to recognize the situation for what it is, instead of for something it isn't!

Likewise, some training in large corporations where many of us that our co-workers will know how to respond if they observe us exhibiting symptoms _ even if only to call the nearest First Aid Trained Person in your department/floor where you work…most large corporations have such individuals. And your co-workers ought to know the signs that you may need the assistance of such a person, and be able to get them quickly.

There is much education to be done!

rbergman 2009-03-06 15:44:01 -0600 Report

I too agree there needs to be more public involvement and a commercial about experiencing lows or even extreme highs is a good idea.
I also believe however, that if a diabetic wears a medical ID, necklace or bracelet, police and other people in general would be more apt to look for the card once they see the medical ID, just my opinion.
I also notice of the diabetes commercials that are on television, they are 99% about Type 1 diabetics, not Type 2, I wish more people were aware that Type 2 can be as deadly as Type 1 and feel that BOTH types should be talked about equally.
Just today the kids and I went to a Dr. Suess/Diabetes awareness day camp sponsored by one of the local tribes here, there were 27 diabetic children in attendance and our daughter was the only Type 2 there, they were not prepared for a Type 2 and all the information and such was directed at Type 1. I realize my daughter isn't in the "norm" for being a child with diabetes but there needs to be as much awareness for Type 2 in children as there is for Type 1 in children. I spoke with the coordinator about this and apparently there aren't any educator's of Type 2 in the surrounding area, not for children that is and she thought maybe now that it was brought to her attention that something should be done about it.
I know it is not easy for a child to deal with Type 1, but it isn't any easier for a child to deal with Type 2 either, especially when the resources just aren't there.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-06 13:01:33 -0600 Report

This issue sounds like another step, besides public service and advertising announcements needs to be accomplished, perferably at the state level. I suggest that we contact our local state representative and have them introduce a bill before the legislature outlining medical conditions that can affect driving, then issue a decal for car windows. Many will object as they do not want to point out their conditions and feel it's an invasion of privacy. But today I read that older epople do not realize that their reaction times are not as great as when they were younger.

Yes, we know we are to check our blood before we drive; we are to carry supplies for treating hypoglycemia; we are to be responsible citizens. But, should we pay for those who make decisions, either consciously or unconsciously, not to live as safely as we can?

This is serious, but I am reminded by a refrigerator magnet my daughter gave me. "Stop me before I volunteer again."

Kalisiin 2015-07-19 14:00:51 -0500 Report

I would agree with vehicle decals but ONLY if

A - they were voluntary
B- no bad mark was made on your DMV record just for having a decal.

I'd prefer it not be in my DMV record at all. The thing is…because the effects and symptoms of high/low bloodsugar often are mistaken for drunkenness, it would be a good idea to have these decals, so that cops know they could be dealing with something other than a drunk driver.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-06 14:02:40 -0600 Report

You're right about some not wanting to publicize that they are diabetic. You have to weigh the pros and cons, in my opinion. In that case it seems the pros win out. It could mean your life.

I wondered before, but never asked - when renewing your drivers' licenses, have any of you put down the fact that you were diabetic and had it cause your license not to be renewed? I know from years in the insurance business that medical forms are requested on older drivers (once they reach 70, generall). Have any of you been denied insurance because of your diabetes? Or because of another illness that could cause you to be a danger on the road?

There are many implications and things that come into play with medical conditions. As a driver, we have to think about others on the road and what their condition is and how much of a threat they might be. I know this happens, so just wondered if any of you have experienced it.

P.S. I was talking about auto insurance above, by the way.

Pauline B
Pauline B 2009-03-06 15:07:44 -0600 Report

I have not had aby personal experience because I am only 66, but my cousin had her license temporarily cancelled when she developed a seizure disorder. (She also had to stop working for CIA and can no longer SCUBA dive tho her driving license has been renewed). My old time gentleman friend of the 80s with the Type 1 also had a seizure disorder only had conculsions when his glucose levels got too low, and was on top of that. Never bothered to tell the DMV, and didn't have restrictions. Is still driving to this day. I drive fast, and whip in and out of traffic, but know my reflexes are slowing, so look twice before making lane changes. I wonder if I'll know when it's time to hand over the keys?

Kalisiin 2015-07-19 14:02:21 -0500 Report

They will pry my keys from my cold, dead fingers, LOL - of course, since I eventually plan to live on a houseboat anchored off-shore this won't be a huge issue for me, anyway.

I'll have a dinghy and a moped on board boat for when I need to get supplies.

markjohn1 2009-03-06 15:10:01 -0600 Report

I just want to clarify that when driving we have a chance to prove our problem which is good and if a person doesn't want anyone to know their problem then fine but if they don't mind great. But, what about walking down the street, or walking through the mall. These are the areas that are bothering me. Recently there was an incident where the Police thought a man was drunk in public only to find out after the fact that he was a diabetic, but by then the man's nose had been broken in a scuffle and had bruises and scrapes all over him.
Imagine if this happens to a young kid or a mother carrying her baby down the street and starts to have a low blood sugar moment and there is a problem. I am not saying this will happen but who knows.

Anyway my point is there needs to be more awareness on the Television and Radio pertaining to how a person will act in times like these. Even a video would help. I wonder if the police departments even train officers for events like this. How would they know?
So I don't know but writing to our politicians is a start but the need to go after the communications industry to allow awareness commercials at better hours than in the wee hours of the morning.
This of course is just my though.

Kalisiin 2015-07-19 14:04:36 -0500 Report

I agree. And in light of the "Shoot First, Ask Questions Later If Ever" modus operandi we are seeing in more and more police these days…this is an issue which should concern us all.

Ginetteb 2009-03-06 10:45:01 -0600 Report

It seems to me that the first thing to do to alert people is to wear a bracelet letting people know that we are diabetic, and to follow instructions per information card in your pocket/purse.
I never thought about the possibilities of being misdiagnosed as you mentioned, so I do not wear my bracelet and I do not have any instruction in my purse. This will change today.
Thanks for pointing out the consequences of not letting people know that you are diabetic and what they can do to help you if you can't.

markjohn1 2009-03-06 12:10:24 -0600 Report

THanks for all of you sharing and as you see it is scary. The ADA rep was surprised at how upset I was about this and said they can't do nothing about it because it isn't in their budget. So, being the great guy I am, asked if it was in their budget for me to file a law suit on them in the event of an accident occurring? She just giggled and said there is no possible way a judge would agree to that. RIGHT! She got me.

So here is my solution. Since I am not afraid of taking on Corporations since I did it years ago as an Investment Banker I am going to take on the communications industry as a whole and attack them as to what they are doing. I am making my own video which I am going to post on You Tube, my sites and a few other places and I just want people to let other know about my video so we can get people commenting and voting on it. So be watching for when I give you the word and just ask people to view it and be honest with their feelings. That is all I ask..
Thank you all for writing in and be listening for more.

BeckyJ 2009-03-06 10:26:37 -0600 Report

Dealt with this when I was newly diagnosed. I was having a low sugar epsiode and had to pull over to the side of the road. Thankfully I am from a VERY small town and when the police officer called me in as a possible drunk driver the dispatcher knew who I was and had the officer verify my meter that I was low. A little bit embarassing but at least I didn't go in the drunk tank. Well a few weeks ago our Police Department put out the announcement that they will be closing and the County Sheriff's office will be doing patrols now. They advised that I put a sticker on my vehicle stating that I am Diabetic and always have my med ID visible. They will be giving the Sheriff's office a list of people with "medical issues" just in case but it's scary what might happen if I have another episode with someone who is not aware of my condition. I definately think that more people should be informed on what a medical emergency looks like vs. drunk/impaired drivers. THANKS for bringing this to the forefront.

markjohn1 2009-03-06 12:26:11 -0600 Report

You're lucky you know some people. What would have happened to me. Especially if I was away from my car and in a store or something. No markings anywhere.
Well that's my point. So I will talking about it on the radio shows I host on the internet and I found a new site where I can have my own TV channel for free and I am going to post on You Tube and my other sites that I manage so everyone can see it.

LadyDi - 26259Miller
LadyDi - 26259Miller 2009-03-06 08:51:06 -0600 Report

I totally agree with you. The general public needs to be far more aware of what diabetics deal with and how it affects them…what to watch out for and recognize. I applaud you for taking this on and hope to see some good results from your efforts.

Did you discuss this with the ADA representative? If you did, what was her response? I would think this would be something they would want to take on and promote as part of what they do. Maybe we ought to all contact them about doing something like this.

Thanks you for your efforts. Good luck!

markjohn1 2009-03-06 12:24:09 -0600 Report

Hi Ladi Di,
We ll I wrote below their response so that is why I am taking it on myself. I host 4 radio shows where I will be talking about it on the web so let people know about the shows and what I am doing. I also found a site on the web where I can host my own TV show so I am going to do that. Plus I'll post on You Tube and y sites till I get noticed.

2009-03-06 05:41:52 -0600 Report

Good morning. I have this card in my purse but have often wondered who would take time to look for that. You're right, I've heard the horror stories of diabetics being detained or even arrested because the officer assumed they were drunk when this happened to them on the road. I have several arm bands I wear at all times that say "Type 1 Diabetic" and "Insulin Dependent." I hope this will catch their attention. I also have a sticker in the front window on the driver's side of my Jeep that says in bright red "Diabetic." The sad part is that unless you or a close family member are diabetic, 90% of the common public will not have a clue what is happening to you or what to do. Education would be great, if anybody that is non diabetic would listen. Take care! Angie

Kalisiin 2015-07-19 14:08:10 -0500 Report

I suggest a sticker like that on the driver's side window…where a cop is most likely to approach you from! Just make sure it does not block your vision!

markjohn1 2009-03-06 12:22:35 -0600 Report

Good Morning Angie,
I am talking about this tonight on the radio show. I couldn't believe it when I saw the card and started to think about the results. Even if you are wearing the bracelet. What if they don't see it till it is too late. What if you are walking in the Mall. They don't know from Adam who you are or what you are.
So I am going to fight this as best I can with the Radio and I found a place on the web where I can also host my own TV show. So I will be on that also. Plus You Tube and any other medium I can get too.

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