Silent Killer Series, Part 3

"Are you on any type of medication Miss Harris?"

These were the words of a sheriff's deputy when he pulled over a female driver on Highway 45 outside Marion last week.

"Is there a reason you're not stopping for the officer?" he went on to say.

The driver was pulled over after appearing almost dazed and in a trance state while driving. She told authorities that she was a diabetic. One of the complications from diabetes is the threat of going into diabetic shock or into a blackout.

David Clarke, who is a diabetic, knows all too well about this. Currently, the district attorney for Madison and Rankin Counties, last month he blacked out while driving.

"I couldn't believe it because I knew absolutely nothing about any part of it!"

When it was all said and done Clark had crashed head on into another vehicle.

"I felt bad that there was a lady that was involved that was totally innocent and it was absolutely my fault."

To make matters worse, the other driver was pregnant. While the baby was not harmed, the mother did tear a ligament in her leg.

As for Clark, he was not hurt. However, since that time his life has changed.

"At this point I'm not able to drive at all because of the possibility of this reoccurring."

On the morning of the accident Clark says he did not take his prescribed insulin shot, something which in the past he would frequently skip.

For diabetics, experts in the field say following the rules is not an option, but instead a must.

"Diabetes affects your kidneys and your heart, your circulatory system, and it can cause amputations," says Patricia Boyd with the Diabetes Association of Mississippi.

And blindness. That's how Boyd and others in the field say it's so important for diabetics to monitor their health, a lesson which Clark says he was learned.

"People should realize that diabetes is a very serious disease. If you don't take care of yourself, you may not be around for a cure," says Boyd.

As Boyd stated, there still is not a cure for diabetes. That's why diabetics especially CANNOT afford not to follow the rules. Meanwhile, here are some of the warning signs for people who might have the disease and not know it: blurry vision, frequent thirst, urination or tingling in the hands and/or feet, persistent fatigue or drowsiness, difficulty in getting wounds to heal. Finally, healthcare officials say people who have a family history of the disease are also more likely to developing it.

Anyone who fits in any of the above categories is advised to contact a doctor as soon as possible and get tested! After all, studies have shown, the early you catch it, the better!


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