Do you think driving laws are fair with regards to epilepsy?

Are driving laws pertaining to epilepsy fair?

  • Yes

    Votes: 162 45.6%
  • No

    Votes: 121 34.1%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 72 20.3%

  • Total voters
    355

Cint

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Hi, I have type 2 diabetes. What did your doctor tell you a long time ago? It can be controlled by diet. Get yourself tested for Diabetes. It is a simple blood test.

I was tested during a hospital stay because of status epilepsy. They were surprised that I had diabetes. I did not have any of the warning signs.
Usually people with Type 2 don't have any of the warning signs. If it's pre-diabetes, then it can be controlled by diet. Type 2 isn't always controlled by diet, especially if one has it later in life. I know several people with Type 2 who do take insulin shots. The first idiot dr. I went to told me mine was Type 2, I guess just because I was in my early 50's when it started. But when the diet and meds could not get the glucose below 300, I decided to go to an endocrinologist to get things under control.

With Type 1, the warning signs are rapid weight loss, vision loss, extreme thirst, and feeling lightheaded. Like I said before, it was the optometrist that made the diagnosis for me. I thought I had a brain tumor or was going blind, the vision loss was that sudden.
 
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Just to make myself sound like a freak .... He he..

I work for a chiropractor and I do know how to do UAs to test for blood glucose levels and different things. I did my Own test a few months ago and it came back normal. There is your tmi for the day.
 

Ruth

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Usually people with Type 2 don't have any of the warning signs. If it's pre-diabetes, then it can be controlled by diet. Type 2 isn't always controlled by diet, especially if one has it later in life. I know several people with Type 2 who do take insulin shots. The first idiot dr. I went to told me mine was Type 2, I guess just because I was in my early 50's when it started. But when the diet and meds could not get the glucose below 300, I decided to go to an endocrinologist to get things under control.

With Type 1, the warning signs are rapid weight loss, vision loss, extreme thirst, and feeling lightheaded. Like I said before, it was the optometrist that made the diagnosis for me. I thought I had a brain tumor or was going blind, the vision loss was that sudden.
I have had insulin shots sometimes, when my diabetes goes out of control. When I stick to my diet, the numbers are between 90-140. When my numbers go out of control, I think about what new food I added or which of my foods I increased.

Then I adjust accordingly. I have not had status seizures since I was diagnosed. I do not remember how high my numbers were when I started. I was put on a very strict diet for two weeks. I stuck to it and my numbers were normal when I went back to the doctor.

They stay normal when I stay on my diet. The meds never worked for me. They just put the pounds on.
 
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When I first got my license I had to be medically cleared by my neuro, when it was time to renew WA State had changed the laws but didn't notify those affected. I freaked out cause I already had my appointment set to complete the paperwork. Finally called the DOL and was told about the change. Now I just have to renew like everyone else, I've lucked out and been controlled on my renewal years until this year.
Went into the local office and was convinced that I would have to give up my license and get a state id card. I explained my situation and the DOL employee told me to go to another office and answer the question that I was controled by medication to keep my license, that if I was willing to not drive and give up my license that I wasn't the driver they were worried about. Kind of terrifying honestly, still have hopes of driving again but not going to push it until I'm actually 6 months free. Not worth my life or anyone else's. Definitely sucks having to ask for rides everywhere.
 

Belinda5000

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I think driving laws are fair ppl with E there are a lot of idiots out there that drive and driving and not being controlled is dumb. I walk and a lot of the idiots almost hit me because I'm not fast enough or they go zooming through the cross walk when I'm in it.
cyclist are suppose ride on the road not the sidewalk.That's the law
 

BlueCat

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I think it depends on the state as far as "fair" - CA sucks. As far as staying controlled three or six months, should probably depend on the person's situation. I had my first visit with an epilepsologist (? - I can never spell that one) and her first words were "at least we didn't pull your license permanently". I've have 3 szs since diagnosis 12 years ago. She said that the rule of thumb is being sz free for twice as long as you were between the prior two sz. So if you're seizure free for 12 years you're suppose to wait 24??? That makes no sense. Here, after your six months are up and assuming you get cleared, you have to go to the same office that they interview DUIs, and retake your driving test. The last time I did that, multiple idiots did stuff in front of me and the tester (wrong turns, running red lights, all sorts of stuff) and she looked at me and said "you're the one who has to take the test???". My e'ologist was trying to site figures like most people have accidents within 10 miles of home and you can kill people. Most of those people don't have e. And I ride a Harley more than my car, which impacts me more than anyone else, but it would whether or not I had e. She had the nerve to tell me I'd be very unlikely to have another sz in my office (where I was for this last one) so not to worry about that, but then went on about the driving like I'm a ticking time bomb. Somewhere else in the forum someone made a great point - there is more likely to be accidents from people texting or talking on their cell than from someone having a sz. The laws just need to be sane.
 

notime

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For me I support regulation for those with epilepsy prohibiting those who are at high risk for seizures is fair. I don't think people who have epilepsy should be banned from driving for the rest of their life, as a lot of countries do. In my opinion it should be like this; should depend on the statistics such as how safe is it for number of people to drive if seizure free for x time? It should depend on seizure free, type of seizure, and what triggers it.

Perhaps if you have auras all the time during every seizure, perhaps it could be safe to drive. Say, if you only have nocturnal epilepsy perhaps so. I'm not a doctor, and I'm not an expert at statistics or any of this. This is just my opinion, but I really do wish I could drive. It's depressing watching people drive like it's nothing, they have freedom while I cannot... I understand why those laws are there though to protect us...

I suppose there is a chance to bypass driving with scientific progress. What if one day cars can have robotics that can drive you to any destination possible? I'd like to see something like this, which allowed people with epilepsy to get around and so forth. I'd love to see this, or perhaps one day even a cure! This is just my opinion.
 

Ruth

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I think it depends on the state as far as "fair" - CA sucks. As far as staying controlled three or six months, should probably depend on the person's situation. I've have 3 szs since diagnosis 12 years ago. She said that the rule of thumb is being sz free for twice as long as you were between the prior two sz. So if you're seizure free for 12 years you're suppose to wait 24???
Hi, you got a person in the DMV who has no knowledge of what she is talking about. You can probably find the info on the internet for CA.

If you want to drive, it is up to you. I chose not to drive, at the age of 16. At that time it was up to the person with epilepsy. I take public transit and my husband takes me around. I am 71 now. I have never driven. I have never regretted my decision. I made the right decision for me.

My sister, who has epilepsy, decided to drive. She had more accidents than I can count from epilepsy. She is 75, now. My father always bailed her out by paying the driver of the other car off. It never showed on her record.
 
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Oregon law is 6 months. My doctor never reported it to the DMV. It's basically on the honor system between us. Of course I'm not going to without his ok.
 

BlueCat

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Hi, you got a person in the DMV who has no knowledge of what she is talking about. You can probably find the info on the internet for CA.

If you want to drive, it is up to you. I chose not to drive, at the age of 16. At that time it was up to the person with epilepsy. I take public transit and my husband takes me around. I am 71 now. I have never driven. I have never regretted my decision. I made the right decision for me.
Actually Ruth, it is not up to me. There is a CME form the doctor submits which suspends your license for 6 months. It is mandatory after some piece of legislation that went through. There is no choice. If you drive while your license is suspended during that time, you are both driving illegally and without insurance (as they don't cover you if you're doing something illegal). This doesn't have to do with any one person at the DMV. It is written in the laws which are available on the DMV website.

Everyone's situation is different. I'm sorry your sister had so many problems and still chose to drive. Most of the people I know who have a lot of accidents (and this is born out by statistics as well) are purely human error. It is a tiny percentage that have anything to do with szs (and I mean hundredths of a percent). When my doc says the chances of my having another sz in my office are slim and none but talks about the idea of my driving as a ticking time bomb I have a little problem with the logic. My opinion (for what that's worth) is that as long as the doc signs off your license should be back in effect. What I object to more than anything is having to be treated like a criminal going to the office where they handle DUIs and being interviewed, and then having to actually take the driving portion of the test. It's not like I lost my mind. I still know how to drive. It's a waste of everyone's time and I find it degrading.
 

Ruth

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BlueCat, thank you for correcting me. I did not know that your doctor was submitting the form. I stand corrected.

As far as my sister is concerned, I know for a fact that she was having seizures with at least 3 of the accidents. It was the topic of conversation at our dinner table several times. I do not know how many accidents were due to her seizures other than the 3. Maybe none.
 

kirsten

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I personally can't make myself feel better about driving with active epilepsy by thinking other conditions or habits cause more accidents. It's enough for me that active epilepsy can cause accidents. There is no level of risk I am willing to take with other people's lives and well-being, even if others take greater risks at the wheel. Just because certain actions are supposedly more likely to cause accidents than seizures do, doesn't make driving with uncontrolled epilepsy morally acceptable to me. That thinking falls under the same category as thinking that there are better and worse ways of stealing, or committing fraud, and that some of those ways are morally acceptable. I'm of the sort who thinks that even if I steal a dollar from someone, it's unacceptable.

When I look at the trials some are citing, they don't offer objective data. Looking at how many accidents are currently caused by seizures is not an objective study for two reasons:
a) people with uncontrolled epilepsy are already legally barred from driving so of course there are fewer accidents caused by seizures.
b) when we rely on legal reporting of how accidents went down, it is unlikely that epilepsy sufferers are going to be honest about whether or not they had a seizure. Their licences would be taken away and they might be held accountable for the damage they have caused.

There are more objective studies, one showing that as many as a quarter of epilepsy sufferers have had car accidents as a result of seizures. None of those were due to tonic clonic seizures--all were partials, which puts paid to the excuse that 'I can drive because I don't have tonic clonics.'

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1762211


"(1) Fifty-seven percent were caused by complex partial seizure without an aura in which consciousness was immediately impaired at onset, while about 10% were attributed to simple partial seizure in which the conscious state was not altered. No accident was caused by a first seizure; (2) Fifty-one percent occurred on an empty road with little pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic; (3) In about half the accidents, the driver's vehicle collided against an immovable object, and only 20% involved crashing into another car; (4) Most accidents caused damage to only the driver's car and/or mild physical injury; and (5) Fifty-four percent of the accidents were not reported to the police, and many that were reported were ascribed to driving while asleep, to careless driving or to similar behavior."
The issue is this:

"adherence to a 12-month seizure-free interval was estimated to prevent about 80% of all crashes associated with seizures, but it also would prohibit driving for about 50% of all those with epilepsy who would not crash. "
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2673400/

If not driving for 12 months cuts my chance of a crash that could hurt of kill someone by 80%, I don't think catching the train is much of a burden to pay, comparatively speaking.
 
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I'm probably crazy because I've had accidents in car, motorcycle or bicycle, but this is such a car-obsessed society and there are so many places you can't go, I choose to get somewhere beyond the local area, I love to go to hiking spots and away from civilization. I usually take back roads, major highways stress me out. And, yes, I lie through my teeth after an accident, hiding it as best as I can. My first reaction is usually to veer right, so I'm the one who winds up getting hurt. Another factor I am completely alone, no family or friends willing to take me where I want to do.
 

joan

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In NJ you must wait 6 months to be seizure free. My Daughter drives and does well. I have no issue with her. My son, should never drive. As of now, it a non issue and he cant get 6 months seizure free. He did have 2 car accidents, hurt no one but him and the car but as his Mom, I do not want him driving, until things change.

joan* xo
 

George__

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6 months here

Which would be fine EXCEPT it's very difficult to multitask relying on a public transportation here.
 

Belinda5000

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It's 6 month here.
I get by fine on public transporation not to many places though.

George I guess you think I'm an idiot though because I take subway I seize and I take bus hardly ever.

I get things done before I leave home .50% don't take my cell.:agree:
 

George__

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^
Not all all, there's only BUS or TAXI or WALK here so it is just like driving but takes so much longer, there's no special bus lanes or anything.

Where I live the bus schedules change every few months, buses follow a weekday and weekend schedule & minimal bus service late into the night. So for folk who want to spend a super late night out (past 12 AM) but live in suburbs / rural areas, you require a taxi or stay in a hotel.

Basically, it's less stressful and far more convenient to drive a car.
 
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joan

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S*cks here in NJ too. No car is the worst! I keep telling my son, he needs to live in a city so he can get around.

joan* xo
 

George__

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S*cks here in NJ too. No car is the worst! I keep telling my son, he needs to live in a city so he can get around.

joan* xo
One of my goals eventually.. Got to get past being freaked out being in a busy environment first
 
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I am mixed on this topic still.

On a fairness note:

Perhaps we should yank the licenses of everyone over the average life expectancy age because they could suddenly "drop dead" while driving and have an accident, possibly killing someone...

Or how about those drivers out there that drive so crazy and dangerously that they scare the crap out of me and everyone else and nearly, or do, cause accidents?

Or how about the people who have had a heart attack or stroke? Never know when they might have another one! (A-Fib anyone?)

Or how about people who are Bi-Polar or are other wise clinically depressed? Never know when one might "suicide by car", or go on a rampage... (NOTE: I AM NOT picking on people with Bi-Polar Disorder nor who are depressed! This is just an example)

Or how about people all hopped up on prescription pain medications? Yes, those people... That stuff really alters ones perception and response times, can even make someone fall asleep at the wheel...

Or how about...

End Rant...

NOTE: I AM ONLY citing examples, not picking on people and their problems to illustrate why it is so unbalanced that WE, as a group, are so singled out within the Law.
 
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