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  1. #1
    sleppydriver is offline Junior Member
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    Fell asleep at the wheel

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MN. Thank you very much for this site and hope someone can help me as I'd prefer to be honest with my sleep doctor. I fell asleep at the wheel on the highway about 20 miles south of town ad hit someone from behind and got thrown into the ditch at 75 taking out some signs along the way. Thank goodness myself and the lone occupant of the other vehicle weren't hurt at all. Of course the truth didn't come out at the accident scene as it was only me an the other driver and I had said I had taken my eyes off the road to watch for merging traffic and did so to long. My question is IF I am honest and tell my sleep doctor so they understand how severe my narcolepsy and sleep apnea is are they or is the doctor required to report me to the MN D.M.V. Cause I drive commercially for my job and would be devastated financially if I couldn't drive for a living. PLEASE HELP ME. Thanks, BAD sleepydriver.
  2. #2
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    so, you are simply going to wait until you kill somebody before you realize you should not be driving?

    Just so you know, since you are aware of your narcolepsy, that really escalates the crime that can be charged if anything happens to anybody.

    The fact you even asked what you have shows you have no intent of doing "the right thing" and finding another line of work where falling asleep while doing it can't result in somebody else dying shows you only want an answer to avoid doing the right thing. Sorry but I can't help you to kill somebody.
  3. #3
    sandyclaus is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sleppydriver View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MN. Thank you very much for this site and hope someone can help me as I'd prefer to be honest with my sleep doctor. I fell asleep at the wheel on the highway about 20 miles south of town ad hit someone from behind and got thrown into the ditch at 75 taking out some signs along the way. Thank goodness myself and the lone occupant of the other vehicle weren't hurt at all. Of course the truth didn't come out at the accident scene as it was only me an the other driver and I had said I had taken my eyes off the road to watch for merging traffic and did so to long. My question is IF I am honest and tell my sleep doctor so they understand how severe my narcolepsy and sleep apnea is are they or is the doctor required to report me to the MN D.M.V. Cause I drive commercially for my job and would be devastated financially if I couldn't drive for a living. PLEASE HELP ME. Thanks, BAD sleepydriver.
    The answer here is obvious. Of course your doctor would be required to report your condition to the DMV because you are a danger to everyone on the road. The law requiring the reporting was enacted to protect the other drivers out there from people such as yourself who are too selfish to think about other people's safety.

    While I understand that this is how you make your living, for GOD sakes, please find another line of work. I would hate to be on the road when your condition is flaring up. You are DAMN lucky that this time, neither you nor your passenger were hurt. Next time, you might not be that lucky. The fact that you even have to ask is just an example of how selfish you are. A paycheck is NOT worth taking someone's life.
  4. #4
    sleppydriver is offline Junior Member
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    You are all right and please understand that I have taken corrective measures on my side at this point, the last thing I would EVER want is to hurt someone EVER. I am no longer going out of the metro area which actually helps for the work is very fast paced when I am doing my job it's very good exercise and not very physically demanding but I break a sweat which in turn keeps me much more alert. I never drive now more than 20 minutes at a time and though I'm not morbidly obese I hve joined a gym and am walking the treadmill and I also have quit drinking soda. This accident was 3 weeks ago and since then I have dropped 18 pounds man how drinking water can change ones self. Again believe me I was devastated at what happened and am and will continue to keep going doing everything in my power to ensure it never EVER happens again. But back to my question about the doctor reporting me to the DMV, I am asking if they are obligated. I will tell them it's starting to affect my driving for sure but I just would like to know. I really am a caring and most non selfish man you could know and I truly am doing everything in my power to change my over the road and back to city driving but also know it was a small mini type van and not a semi. I know the type of vehicle doesn't matter but with what we do almost any vehicle from a truck with a topper to small minivan to full size E150 cargo van. Take it for what it's worth but at least I'm not a driver that will buy Vivarin or stay alert pills or do illegal drugs like so many drivers do who drive for a living, I'm 49 and am not into that for i would rather take corrective actions myself to ever avoid being in that type of situation again. With that said believe it when I say I'm sorry to all I have let down and hope I can be forgiven for what I have caused. I asked for forgiveness in church the past couple Sunday's and even Wednesday one time but just feel inside that it can't be forgiven even by not trying to correct being over the road versus in state only. Anyways, God Bless You and thank you for your harsh words though if you could only know how this has negatively impacted my life I may be slightly forgiven and a chance to prove and redeem myself.
  5. #5
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    You may only be suffering from sleep apnea and think you have the symptoms of narcolepsy. You can seek medical assistance for the apnea and get CPAP, which should enable you to sleep easier. Relating circumstances of your accident to the doctor is not needed. You simply need to convey the feeling of exhaustion you suffer daily and the fact that you snore.
  6. #6
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Your doctor will be the one to make the call whether it is safe for you to drive and/or hold a CDL. And he will probably want to see stability in your condition for some time before signing off on it. YOU should voluntarily take yourself off the road until your doctor says it's safe, before you kill yourself or someone else. FMLA would be appropriate if you MUST drive for your job, if you qualify for it.
  7. #7
    OHRoadwarrior is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Your doctor will be the one to make the call whether it is safe for you to drive and/or hold a CDL. And he will probably want to see stability in your condition for some time before signing off on it. YOU should voluntarily take yourself off the road until your doctor says it's safe, before you kill yourself or someone else. FMLA would be appropriate if you MUST drive for your job, if you qualify for it.
    Actually, rarely will a GP step in and make such a determination, unless they are prescribing medication for which they must certify capability to operate safely. The determination is made by the doctor giving the OP his DOT physical card.
  8. #8
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    He shouldn't be seeing a GP for narcolepsy anyway, he needs to see a neurologist.
  9. #9
    HighwayMan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    He shouldn't be seeing a GP for narcolepsy anyway, he needs to see a neurologist.
    He needs to see somebody - it sounds to me like the OP isn't sure WHAT his problem really is.
  10. #10
    commentator is online now Senior Member
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    Agree, I'm questioning the treatment options the OP is taking. It's pretty extreme for a person to say "I have sleep apnea AND narcolepsy" because the two aren't exactly co-conditions. And if sleep apnea is the problem, losing some weight and using a CPAP machine should produce a great deal of improvement fairly quickly.

    Most sleep clinics refer to and operate with pulmonary specialists, breathing is the issue. Narcolepsy is something that is treated by a neurologist, related to seizures, sudden shutting down of areas of the brain. So which do you have? I don't think you are diagnosed right now. You need to ask your general doctor for a referral, it sounds to me like.

    You mention how this incident has already affected your life, so were you charged, are you in the legal system related to this situation where you went to sleep and rear ended this person? The way your posts are sounding, it seems you might profit from some good counseling, too. You're having a general melt down, obsessed with guilt and self blame. Frankly, you sound like you're running on something chemical to me.
    Last edited by commentator; 08-29-2012 at 08:24 AM.
  11. #11
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    And if sleep apnea is the problem, losing some weight and using a CPAP machine should produce a great deal of improvement fairly quickly.
    the weight issue does not provide benefit if it is central sleep apnea. The CPAP will help though. Central sleep apnea is a neurological disorder.

    Most sleep clinics refer to and operate with pulmonary specialists, breathing is the issue. Narcolepsy is something that is treated by a neurologist, related to seizures, sudden shutting down of areas of the brain. So which do you have? I don't think you are diagnosed right now. You need to ask your general doctor for a referral, it sounds to me like.


    OP did mention his "sleep doctor". I would suspect that refers to a doctor that specializes in sleep disorders.
  12. #12
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Losing weight, if the person is overweight, will most DEFINITELY improve things for a patient with obstructive sleep apnea (which is the most common type). They may still need the CPAP but losing weight definitely helps.

    I did question the dual diagnosis of narcolepsy AND sleep apnea, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility for someone to have both.
  13. #13
    justalayman is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Losing weight, if the person is overweight, will most DEFINITELY improve things for a patient with obstructive sleep apnea (which is the most common type). They may still need the CPAP but losing weight definitely helps.

    I did question the dual diagnosis of narcolepsy AND sleep apnea, but it is certainly within the realm of possibility for someone to have both.
    I specifically said CENTRAL sleep apnea. (and it was actually in response to 'tators post.)

    There are two kinds of sleep apnea: obstructive and central.

    Obstructive is the one where the weight loss is likely to help. That is not always true as some people simply have oddly formed throats, large uvula, large adenoids or other such issues that are not weight related that will also cause obstructive apnea.

    Then we have central sleep apnea. This is a neurological disorder. A CPAP does help simply because it forces air into a persons lungs. Pretty simple aid.

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