April 29, 2009 at 12:17 am (By Amba)

And not only me, but the people I could’ve killed.

As tweeted lately, I came as close as I ever have to falling asleep at the wheel — on a routine, relatively low-speed 13-mile drive on local streets.  I was sure the drive was so short I’d be able to keep myself awake for the duration.  And I fought to do so, and almost failed.  One way or the other, I was never going to make that mistake again!

The tale in tweets (bottom up):

Lucky lucky lucky — me and the people coming at me. Fair warning!

It was as if I ceased to exist right at the wheel of a 3-ton hunk of steel going 35 or 45. It was as if I was raptured. Potential killer me!

Short trip, doesn’t matter, if that happens again I’m pulling into some mall parking lot and taking a nap. Doesn’t only happen on highway.

SOOO sleepy I pulled up in front of my apt. and immediately fell asleep before getting J out of the van. Amazing how the brain insists sleep

Lucky to be alive tonight. Driving home from swimming pool, only 13 mi., SOOO sleepy my consciousness began to dissolve several times.


  1. Rod said,

    Do you have hypoglycemia? Are you borderline narcoleptic? I sometimes get so drowsy I can’t drive. Usually a ten or fifteen minute nap picks me right up. Be careful.

  2. amba12 said,

    I’m pretty sure the answer to both those questions is no, except that after an hour helping J walk in the swimming pool I probably AM hypogylcemic. (Could it be in reaction to that that I just now ate an obscene amount of ice cream?) And I am chronically (and unnecessarily) sleep-deprived. But I’ve never been as violently sleepy as I was today. A short nap in some parking lot would’ve been just the thing.

  3. Donna B. said,

    That’s pretty scary, though I remember pulling over on my way home from work years ago. (I worked 5 pm to 7am… and drove 25 miles home.) Since that job, the only time I’ve that kind of sleepiness hit me is on 1000 mile drives.

    Low blood sugar, low blood pressure, low iron levels… plus probably 10 or 15 other things (and/or combinations thereof) might cause this. When was the last time YOU had a checkup and bloodwork drawn?

    I just had a conversation with my stepmom tonight about how she needs to take care of herself AT LEAST as well as she does my Dad. I grant that she and my Dad have more resources locally available to them than you do, but… well… crap. I don’t know what to say.

  4. PatHMV said,

    I fell asleep while driving once, in high school. Had been up all night finishing a yearbook section, and then had to go to work (about a 45 minute drive). Coming home at the end of the day, I hit a stretch of newly-laid pavement that was smooth as silk. Next thing I knew, I was bumping up and down driving in the drainage ditch on the side of the road, with somebody’s driveway crossing over the ditch fast approaching.

    Thank God there was nobody coming the other way when I drifted through the other lane.

    I’m very grateful you and J are ok.

  5. amba12 said,

    I do tend to have lowish blood pressure (generally a good thing), possibly exacerbated by dehydration from drinking too much coffee and not enough water.

    What fascinates me, in a grisly way, is how overriding the brain’s drive for sleep is. The lesson is, any time you feel sleepy while driving, no matter where or when, pull over and take a nap. Even for 15 minutes. Then have coffee and go on. Could save life.

  6. Randy said,

    Wow. Glad you’re ok. As you say, pull over and take a nap. (Remember to lock your doors, too ;-)

  7. Maxwell said,


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