Living with epilepsy and driving

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Does anyone here with controlled or simple seizures avoid driving altogether?

The fear of a crash is forever in the back of my mind ..even though anyone can get into a crash seizures or not.. I still feel worried if I ever had a grand mal out of nowhere ..
 

Porkette

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Hi Mcooper007,

Welcome to the forum! I've never driven in my life and according to my neurosurgeon each state is different when it comes to driving.
I live in NY and a person has to be seizure free for 1 yr. and have a Drs. written statement that it's safe for them to drive. If I could drive
I wouldn't for fear of having a seizure and injuring someone if not myself. I would rather play it safe and take a Bus to where I need to go.
You are playing it smart not driving in my opinion. I wish you the best of luck and May God Bless You!

Sue
 

valeriedl

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Different states have different time lines that you have to go seize free. For example they might be 6 months, a year or something to that sort. As Porkette said you always need your written statement saying it's saying that it is safe for you to drive.

I don't know if it's legally ok for you drive but if you don't feel like you shouldn't be driving because having a seizure is a worry that you have then don't drive.

It's nice to meet you!
 
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Hello! Nice to meet you too. To clarify .. Simple partial seizures here with no affected alertness and they’ve been controlled for years after surgery . But the thought of possibilities still sits with me :/
 

Fedup

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It's not an easy question to answer sounds simple I know. The obvious answer is No but that is not always the case, it really is up to the individual to decide, it does not matter what type of epilepsy, I use to drive but then my medication was changed and I had to sit back and think was I willing to live with killing or injuring somebody, if its my myself Yes but somebody else, absolutely NOT. When I think about it I do not want to injure myself.

So that fear is there and I have seen the effects of stupidly driving and to be honest looking back I am probably one of those stupid people. So you see it really is up to the individual.
 

Nakamova

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I drive, but only because my seizures have been controlled by meds for a while now. After my initial [tonic-clonic] seizures, I waited 6 months (required by the law in my state) and a bit longer, until I had a good sense of how the meds were working.
 
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It's not an easy question to answer sounds simple I know. The obvious answer is No but that is not always the case, it really is up to the individual to decide, it does not matter what type of epilepsy, I use to drive but then my medication was changed and I had to sit back and think was I willing to live with killing or injuring somebody, if its my myself Yes but somebody else, absolutely NOT. When I think about it I do not want to injure myself.

So that fear is there and I have seen the effects of stupidly driving and to be honest looking back I am probably one of those stupid people. So you see it really is up to the individual.
I 100% get this. I think what bugs me the most is the other people who drive who really shouldn’t be. Cuz there are those with epilepsy who willingly take themselves off the road ,even with controlled seizures . Yet there are plenty or others with health issues or mentally unstable to drive, yet no stigma alarming authorities or telling them not to. Even if it’s clearly not safe for them to drive. How do you deal with that. Does it not bother you? It sounds juvenile as well; but the unfairness of it all really eats at me ... I really don’t want to risk my life’s or others either. Even if seizures have been gone for years ..
 

Fedup

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I 100% get this. I think what bugs me the most is the other people who drive who really shouldn’t be. Cuz there are those with epilepsy who willingly take themselves off the road ,even with controlled seizures . Yet there are plenty or others with health issues or mentally unstable to drive, yet no stigma alarming authorities or telling them not to. Even if it’s clearly not safe for them to drive. How do you deal with that. Does it not bother you? It sounds juvenile as well; but the unfairness of it all really eats at me ... I really don’t want to risk my life’s or others either. Even if seizures have been gone for years ..
There in lies the problem, a question that is not possible to answer unless you are willing to offend but you are quit correct in what you say. The only consolation for you and I is we have no say in what others do, thankfully. That stigma and the insecurity others have towards epilepsy has and will be there for a while yet and yes there are those with other problems who should not be driving and there is the stupid ones who think it does not apply to them and its ok for them to drive when its not. There is an old saying in the west " What others do I do not do" in other words if you stand in front of a speeding car that does not mean I am going to do the same thing. Does it bother me, absolutely, what can I do about it, zero. Do I wish I could change it, yes, but I am no politician.
 

Sabbo

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Hello. I was learning how to drive in high school--at that time I only had simple partials, which I can feel come on. Then, on the day of my final behind the wheel practice, I had a simple partial right before class. I decided right then & there that I wouldn't drive. Forget my life--I didn't want to take the chance of putting anyone else's life at risk. I faked having a stomach ache, & went to the nurse's office. Here in Illinois, a person only needs to be seizure free for 6 months before they can drive--& that's if they/their doctor inform the Dept. of Motor Vehicles of the seizures.
Now, I also have complex partials, which occur without warning. They have put me in dangerous situations & caused me injure myself many times, so I'm happy that I don't drive.
I do get frustrated, however, because I have to rely on my husband or my mother to take me anywhere I want/need to go. Doctors' appointments, for example, have to be taken for times they have open.
 
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Hello. I was learning how to drive in high school--at that time I only had simple partials, which I can feel come on. Then, on the day of my final behind the wheel practice, I had a simple partial right before class. I decided right then & there that I wouldn't drive. Forget my life--I didn't want to take the chance of putting anyone else's life at risk. I faked having a stomach ache, & went to the nurse's office. Here in Illinois, a person only needs to be seizure free for 6 months before they can drive--& that's if they/their doctor inform the Dept. of Motor Vehicles of the seizures.
Now, I also have complex partials, which occur without warning. They have put me in dangerous situations & caused me injure myself many times, so I'm happy that I don't drive.
I do get frustrated, however, because I have to rely on my husband or my mother to take me anywhere I want/need to go. Doctors' appointments, for example, have to be taken for times they have open.
Thank you for sharing . I really do appreciate hearing other people’s mindful decisions and actions . I think epilepsy truly strengthens a persons patience and resilience. Your choice inspires me .
 

CQ:)

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My seizures returned in 2002 at the age of 24 after being 21 years seizure free (I had epilepsy as a baby but seizures stopped at 3 1/2).
I never got my licence but that more out of choice and no interest in driving and not my epilepsy.

When my seizures returned when I was in my 20s they were simple / complex partials and I was put on restrictions including no driving.
From memory my neuro at the time had told me he didn’t want me to have any simple partials for at less 12 months before he’d consider signing me off for going for my licence. The longest I went with no seizures was a couple of months so that wasn’t an option.

I eventually had surgery in 2011 where I was lucky enough to go 2 years seizure free. After surgery my neuro where I go now and I discussed signing me of for my licence when I was 12 months seizure free but I want interested. My neuro was happy with my decision.

I started having partial seizures again in 2013, at the time they started were more simple but now they’re more complex and I don’t get warnings like I used to.
I’m back on restrictions which I’m not concerned about.

I live in an area where I can walk everywhere and where I can’t walk I can get the bus or taxi.
 

Sabbo

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I'm in the suburbs, so bus/train service is available, but extremely limited. It's cost & the stop/station locations make it unfit it for my once in while use. It's truly set up as a commuter system. I used it when I tried to work after completing my degree, but stopped working after 2 very scary experiences. Once, I nearly fell onto tracks during a complex partial. Another time, I had one as I left mt office and collapsed one sidewalk outside the downtown building.
 

CQ:)

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I'm in the suburbs, so bus/train service is available, but extremely limited. It's cost & the stop/station locations make it unfit it for my once in while use. It's truly set up as a commuter system. I used it when I tried to work after completing my degree, but stopped working after 2 very scary experiences. Once, I nearly fell onto tracks during a complex partial. Another time, I had one as I left mt office and collapsed one sidewalk outside the downtown building.
I have a bus stop across the road from me, the buses run regularly. I mainly get the bus to work in the morning because it’s 50 min walk each way (I walk home).
I don’t go to the other town to often and at the moment with covid it’s even harder because the borders are closed (I’m on the border of 2 states ) so to cross the 2 states you need a pass and there are only a few valid reasons on the pass.

I remember you mentioning the seizure, I had a seizure on a train in the city in 2009 when I was visiting my step uncle and tried to get off while the train was moving. My step uncle was with me and stopped me. He kept eye close on me for the rest of the rain ride and that day but I wouldn’t let a seizure ruin the day or my holiday
 
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