One of the topics that really spoke to me while completing the yourSAY survey was the issue of glucose monitoring before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
To be honest, having to go to a doctor every two years to have my “assessment to drive” completed is a bit demoralising. I don’t like having my “medical condition” branded on my drivers license. I don’t often ask for special considerations because of my diabetes, and I hate that I have to ask my doctor for it every two years in order to operate a vehicle.
I get that operating a vehicle, or machinery is a pretty serious responsibility. For anybody. With or without diabetes. I get that I have a condition that could potentially put others at risk on the road if not managed properly. But I also know that I am a responsible driver. A responsible driver of my own vehicle, and of my own diabetes management. Both of which I take very seriously.
I do not test every time that I am about to get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Not because it’s inconvenient, not because I don’t like to and not because I don’t carry my testing supplies on hand. I don’t test every time that I get behind the wheel simply because I don’t feel that it is necessary to do so.
I am the designated driver in the vehicle of my diabetes management. And it’s my right to make that decision of whether or not it will be necessary for me to test before getting behind the wheel today. It’s my ability to judge a hypo, or hyper coming on. They’re my blood sugar levels that I place the confidence in to remain stable while on the road. Not yours. Not the government’s. Not my doctor’s. And not anybody else’s.
Every day in the news we hear of drunk drivers, traffic offenders and criminals endangering our roads, and the individuals on them. I am not suggesting it is, but I would hate to think that mandatory glucose testing in a vehicle would somehow be legally enforced here in Australia ahead of these other more serious issues.
I realise that this is probably easier for me to say compared to someone who is not as confident with their diabetes management. But at the end of the day we must empower, and give this responsibility to the individual.