'My on-air diabetes nightmare'
When BBC World Service presenter Alex Ritson's nightmare became a reality, he was glad his team recognised he was having a hypoglycemic attack as a result of his diabetes. Here he explains how you could help if one of your friends finds themselves in his position.
Most newsreaders I know have one thing in common: a recurring dream where everything starts going wrong a few minutes before the top of the hour and they only just make it into the studio on time.
When the pips finally sound, they look down and realise all their scripts are blank, and they end up spouting seemingly endless gibberish before finally waking up in a cold sweat, only to find they are safely in bed.
On 1 December, it happened to me, live on the BBC World Service and Radio 4 at 05:00.
But it wasn't a dream. This time, it was real.
The reason - as you'll know if you listened to the whole tape - was medical. I have type 1 diabetes and my on-air nightmare was caused by a severe hypoglycemic attack.
To put that simply - it's "low batteries". A lack of sugar, or fuel for all the cells in the body, most notably key bits of the brain.
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And it was terrifying. As I was trying to read the script, my eyes started operating independently of each other, creating two swirling pages of words, neither of which would stay still.
And I had a strange sensation which I can only describe as my subconscious, for reasons of survival, independently trying to wrestle my life controls away from my failing conscious m Continue reading