Armed Type I diabetic

Armed Type I diabetic

This is a discussion on Armed Type I diabetic within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have had my carry permit for about a year now and have been an insulin dependent, type I diabetic since 1965. I have been ...

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Thread: Armed Type I diabetic

  1. #1
    Member Array roadrat52's Avatar
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    Jan 2007

    Armed Type I diabetic

    I have had my carry permit for about a year now and have been an insulin dependent, type I diabetic since 1965. I have been wearing an insulin pump for about 4 years which really helps me with better control. The bad thing is that I am extremely hypoglycemic tolerant which means that I function well when my blood sugar is much, much, lower than normal.

    Lately, my wife has been showing concern for me when my blood sugar is low and I'm armed (a round in the pipe). If I have an episode at home, in bed, before fetching the orange juice, she closes the box that my loaded gun is in. I guess she's afraid that I am going to grab the gun and shoot someone, maybe even myself.

    I'm pretty convinnced that she is being overly paranoid because, during these episodes I am very aware of my surroundings and what is going on but, my motor skills are severely compromised (some of you know what I mean). I would never, knowing my blood sugar was low, reach for my gun. I've told her that but, she's pulled me out of some bad ones and it scares her.

    The reason for this post is to find out what other insulin dependent diabetics are out there (I know you are) and what your experieneces have taught you.

    My biggest fear would be to get pulled over by the law when I'm hypoglycemic and carrying. I wonder how the law would deal with that?

  2. #2
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    My two near life long old friends are both type 1 diabetics. I have over the years seen both have ''hypo's'' many times - more in early years but even since too. I am looking back some 50 years or more.

    Motor skills for sure diminish - and in that regard some people see this as like drunkeness. My take however would be that, while this occurring when driving is going to be potentially bad ... I cannot imagine either of these guys if carrying (not an issue as they are in UK) .... would be other than much less aware of surroundings (read perceived threat) as overall they seem to withdraw into a shell and become progressively more like in a sleep state .. no aggressive behavior or irrational actions as such.

    From my observations I'd just see a hypoglycemic event as rendering the sufferer incapable of good co-ordination but still retaining a rational mindset - and this is where I draw the divide between that and alcohol induced inpairment.

    Thus, I'd not expect a mishap while carrying to be at all likely - unless perhaps, outside chance that while gun cleaning for example, normal safety matters were overlooked.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array AKsrule's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    I have had several Diabetic relatives , and work with a couple of Diabetics.

    I'm no Dr. but I DO understand it is all about diet - timing- and medication.

    You should discuss this with your Physician - as perhaps there are newer
    Techniques or Technology you can use to regulate your condition.
    -SIG , it's What's for Dinner-

    know your rights!

    "If I walk in the woods, I feel much more comfortable carrying a gun. What if you meet a bear in the woods that's going to attack you? You shoot it."
    {Bernhard Goetz}

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  5. #4
    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Jun 2007
    Interesting that you bring this up roadrat...especially in light of a number of incidents were a person was shot for irrational behavior (a recent on-going thread for example).

    I am far far from being an expert on hypo...but I gather that your behavior could be suspect, and if you were driving...more so by a LEO. It does propose some difficult scenarios...pulled over for appearing DUI...trying to explain while hypo...carrying a weapon...etc etc...

    Apparently, some very difficult situations...apparently your wife has concerns...and I wonder why...locking up the weapons etc???


  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    I've run on about a gazzilion hypoglycemic diabetic patients. Some are a little loopy, or uncoordinated. If they are alert at all they are often/usually agitated and really don't like being poked to get the sugar. Sometime they get downright combative and it'll take 4 of us to control them enough to get the IV. I don't care how nice or gentle a guy you are, you don't have any idea whats going on when the sugar really drops and I gather that for lack of higher brain function, whats left of it is thinking that anything is a threat so you fight. I certainly don't think you need to give up your arms, but do be extra careful with yourself. Keep something sugary on your person at all times. Don't think "Food can wait until I just finish..." Just eat man. When your sugar is low you are impaired, no different than booze or whatever.
    Spend few minutes learning about my journey from Zero to Athlete in this
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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    I'd be careful discussing carrying a weapon with a doctor...he holds your fate in his hands. Many are quite liberal, and all it takes is a note from them that you're a danger to yourself or others, and your second amendment rights are gone!

  8. #7
    Member Array snakatack's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    There is also a wrist watch on the market that uses an electronic sensor mounted on the back to monitor the skin moisture of diabetics.

    Going hypoglycemic usually causes wet skin signs and these watches will detect the moisture changes then sound an alarm to let the patient know his sugar is getting low before it becomes a problem.

  9. #8
    Senior Member Array vic2367's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    hey roadrat i have type 1 diabetes for over 25 years now,,my sugar also fluctates up and down,,,hard being us,,but please just try and carry an orange with you or a container of milk,,maybe a snickers bar,,i always carry a snickers bar with me in my edc bag,,some times some cookies,,but i dont think you should be worried about the diabetes and the guns,,also please dont tell the doctor about yor carring of a gun,,,example : we diabetes suffer from neourophy if i spelled that right,,its a nerve disorder,,now docs are prescribing a medince called cymbalta to help alleviated the pain ,,be it in your foot or hands...but the cymbalta is originally a depression med,,see where im going with this ? just whatever you do try and check your blood sugar before going out carrying,,if its too low ,,eat something,,or take something along with you,,crackers,orange,snickers bar,,anything,,

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array NCHornet's Avatar
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    I posted to this yesterday but don't see it so here we go again. I too am a type 1 Diabetic. I am a brittle diabetic and usually take between 4-5 shots per day. This has not kept me from CC. In the begining of the disease you are very aware when your sugar drops, but you loose this as time goes on, but I am sure you know this. Make sure you educate those around you the most, tell them what to look for in your behavior and actions and most important what to do. Also where identification that clearly states your condition. I wear a necklace with the medical alert symbol on it and on the reverse side it states I am a type 1 diabetic. If you are on the pump most of them have a audible alert that will sound if your sugar drops to low, at least my buddies has this feature. However the most important thing you can do is be responsible for your condition, sometimes this may mean eating when your not hungry, just to keep your glucose levels up where they should be. I will usually eat a piece of bread with PB on it, PB is a great glucose stabilizer. You should also "check your blood sugar and check it often" I sound like that dude on TV but it is true. The Nuralgia ( type of Nurophthy) is extremely painful. I have had it in the tissue on my skull, took 5 docs and 3 trips to the ER to properly diagnose it. I take Nurotin (spelling?) for it and it seems to help.
    Take Care
    When Seconds Count, The Cops Are Just Minutes Away!!
    Carry On!

  11. #10
    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    May 2006
    My Uncle is a type 1 diabetic since I can remember back to the early 60's. He was in law enforcement his whole life been Chief in 3 different departments and has never let his diabeties get him down. I do know like other type 1's that he did carry a candy bar with him in his patrol car just in case his sugar level dropped. He is now retired and doing well at 79. I can only hope to do as well.
    Politicians are like diapers, they should be changed often and for the same reason. ~ Robin Williams ~

  12. #11
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
    I am type 2 myself , but they are starting to talk about insulin regulation. I have a couple of friends who are type1 that do have ccws.
    With the " qualifications " out of the way ill get on my soapbox for a bit .

    Your Wife is RIGHT .

    When you have an episode , tho you feel clear headed and in control remembering everything you are not . Emotionally you are the equivalent of Rosie Odonnal with pms . When you couple that with depressed thinking speed ( that " muzzy " trouble concentrating feeling ) you are not making normal , rational choices .
    The only answer i have is to better balance your sugar levels . Its hard as hell to do but listen to your body and recognize the early signs . Many will be emotional or mental. If your feeling " irritated " check the sugar , if you cant concentrate then check the sugar . In fact if you feel anything less than 100% in any way ... check the sugar .

    I am not saying dont carry , I am not saying your unsafe . I am saying that you have a disease that is both chronic and insidious. It takes the same attention as a newborn and either you will run it or it will run you . We as ccw holders have a greater responsibility than non packers in the sense that we must avoid minor confrontations ect.. We as Armed Diabetics have an additional burden, We must treat our blood sugar as we would a loaded firearm . At the least if you have problems you can become incapacitated and if you cannot take care of yourself how the heck are you going to secure a loaded firearm ?

    Ok off the soap box. I hope that in my own blunt and inarticulate manner i provoked thought .

    Best to all

    Bob .
    Make sure you get full value out of today , Do something worthwhile, because what you do today will cost you one day off the rest of your life .
    We only begin to understand folks after we stop and think .

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  13. #12
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    During periods of inability to control blood sugar levels, inability to safely handle a weapon could be rightly equated to "being under the influence." That inability would be presumed and, based on the "reasonable man" standard and the facts of the condition, it would be hard to refute if a situation arose where insuffucient control over the firearm resulted in injury or death to an innocent. That would be hard to explain away.

    Something else to think about: you've now got your acknowledgement of this problem and the risks in writing, in public, here in this thread. That's a minor tangle to consider.

    You've got a problem.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: Why the Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).

  14. #13
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    Array Betty's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    I am not diabetic, but I am a whopping 100-pound hypoglycemic. If I don't eat every 3 hours or so, or eat the right foods, I am not a pleasant person to be around.

    If I don't eat, I get the dizziness, mind fogginess, clamminess, über-crankiness, depression, inability to pronounce words or put together sentences properly, extreme nightmares when I sleep, etc., and I will pass out (which I haven't done in years, thank goodness).

    I'll pass on driving or wait until after I eat to drive. If I'm a passenger, I eat one of my snacks and close my eyes and try to save energy until we get some food.

    So I make sure I always carry with me an assortment of jerky, nuts, and power bars to eat in between meals, and try to avoid the food I'm supposed to (high carb, chocolate , etc.).

    You just have to be vigilant. You have to prevent it in the first place, learn how to recognize the signs of it coming on, and NEVER get comfortable thinking "I'm fine now" and go off schedule.

    I'm good at recognizing what's hypoglycemia and what's "actually" making me upset, but it's best to prevent it all in the first place.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    May 2005
    roadrat, I'm Type I by 35 years, and pump-using for about 6. You'll have to define "hypoglycemic" a bit more distinctly- if you normally run 160-180, then 80 can be problematic. If you normally run 80-100, then 40-50 is more likely where you're starting to "feel something."

    Combativeness is a personal thing, and not guaranteed with hypoglycemia. Some experience "the shakes" and double vision, some are "happy drunks," some are combative.

    Honestly, this is not like being drunk- if you are aware and alert at 50 or so, its time for a snack, but you aren't "impeded."(Providing your glucose normally runs in that 80-100 range.

    Something else to consider- carry glucose tablets as part of your kit. If you ever needed to draw, whether it went farther or not, the adrenaline would give you a drop in BS.

    Shoot me a PM if you want, I'm in the area...

  16. #15
    Member Array Geezer58's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Kansas (USA)
    RoadRat, I was diagnosed as Type 1 around 1960, so have been dealing with the condition for not quite fifty years. Always carry a couple of granola bars (sweetened with honey) with me in the car, and am not shy about using them if I feel the least bit "shocky". Should my meter show a high sugar rebound later due to overindulgence, I can always do a set or two of 100 Hindu squats to bring it down quickly. Bottom line: while packing, I'd rather be running a little high than too low.

    SnakAtack, that watch-like glucose monitor (GlucoWatch Biographer) appears to have been taken off the market (GlucoWatch). Guess they're working on a better version for future release. I like to use a Freestyle or similar monitor that doesn't require finger-sticks for the sample. My fingers hurt too much after numerous punctures.

    Any of you Type 1's suffering with the beginnings of peripheral neuropathy? What works for me is supplementing with a combination of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (brand name Tonalin) and Boswellia (an anti-inflammatory herb). You need to get between 4.5/6.0 grams of CLA (on an empty stomach) and 800/1000 mg of Boswellia (with meals) per day in divided doses. I've been using this combo for about eight years with good success - so side effects.

    NCHornet, I used peanut butter for years to moderate blood sugar swings - then I had a heart attack (minor, thank goodness). Many of the major brand peanut butters contain hydrogenated oils (trans-fats) and are sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup - both of which have significant negative potential from a health aspect. Much preferable is to switch to natural cashew or almond butter, carried in some supermarkets and almost all health food stores.

    Good luck, all!

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