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November 11, 2007

Hypoglycemia, Other

Question from Wisconsin, USA:

I'm in need of any information regarding diabetic blackouts or memory loss because I am being charged with a crime, yet have no memory of what happened. I believe that I may have taken the wrong insulin at the wrong time by mistake, but I'm not sure. The last thing I recall is that I was mowing my mother's lawn on a hot day. My mother's boyfriend came home and found me just sitting on the lawnmower. He says he thought I was drunk. He said that he would finish and told me to go inside. Then, I left, but there is substantial evidence that I broke into a dwelling and caused damage. After many hours, he became worried and found me in this house. That's the next thing I remember. I have blacked out before, but usually find myself in bed or the couch, never anything like this. Has this ever happened to anyone else? Any information I could share with the court could be helpful. I'm no criminal and would never do anything like this with intent.

Answer:

If you became alert without eating anything, it is unlikely that you were low (you might have eaten without remembering). You might have also had a seizure unrelated to your blood sugar.

Unless you can prove that your blood sugar was low at the time by showing a low value in your meter memory, I don’t think any doctor can say for certain you were low at the time, though this can definitely happen. If you had a similar episode in the past with a documented low blood sugar, this might help get a more lenient judgment. If you weren’t low, you might have had a form of seizure without shaking. You might want to see a neurologist who could perform an EEG to look for signs of seizures (that could be related to low blood sugars or unrelated to your blood sugar).

If you think you are having memory lapses due to low blood sugars, you need to work closely with your doctor to avoid these lows. You could get into a car accident or commit more crimes.

Of course, you need to speak to a good lawyer as soon as possible, but if you think you were low, you will have to work with your doctor closely both for your own health, the safety of others, and to convince a judge you are responsible. It might help to do continuous glucose monitoring to document if you are having lows without being aware.

TGL