What to do about driving

Buffheart

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My neurologist appointment isn't until September 7 so until then I just have to wait. Back in May I saw my GP and was describing to him that when I drive I sometimes feel like I am going to pass out (somebody said it might be due to the sunlight and flickering lights), so he told me not to drive which is fine by me. I told my parents that my doctor told me I am not supposed to drive but they keep asking me to drive. I keep telling my mother that I am not supposed to drive, but she keeps saying "Oh the store is only 2 minutes down the road. You will be fine." It's really annoying me because I have been told not to drive, yet they don't seem to believe me. And sometimes when I did drive I was fine, so I don't know what to do. I don't like driving and I don't like feeling like I am going to pass out, but yet my parents keep nagging me to drive to the store and such. Any suggestions or advice?

P.S. I haven't driven in several weeks.
 
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RobinN

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Perhaps your parents need to see some situations where a person has had a seizure and killed another human being. Very sad, and many times it could have been avoided.

My daughter is 19, and has yet to have a drivers license. She could have, because here in the state of CA the waiting period is 6 months. I have asked her to wait 12 months. She was seizure free for 8 months, and then had a seizure. So I feel best to ask her to wait. It only takes one instance...

If you are over 18, it is your responsibility to continue to do the right thing and NOT drive until you have been given a clean bill of health from your doctor. You are the one that will have to live with the consequences for the rest of your life, if you were to have an accident and cause injury to someone else.

I understand the urge to ask a child to go run an errand, but my daughter walks or takes the bus or metro. If I need something... I go get it (or I do without). Nothing is that important to take a chance. IMO
 

Buffheart

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I have been taking the buses around if I need to go to the doctor.
 
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RobinN is right , they need to know that it's not okay even if it is only two minutes down the road you could still have a seizure and injure someone.

I don't know if it's the same where you are but, in Australia if you have an accident and they find out you have Epilepsy and have not being cleared to drive your insurance is void.
 
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I ran my car off the road back in December having a complex partial seizure. I was lucky though. I did not yet realize that these occasional 'I-feel-like-I'm-going-to-pass-out' episodes were seizures, and they were usually pretty short (the ones I was aware of anyway, occuring in the daytime), so i just continued to drive. I didn't recognize the severity of this symptom, though I did begin to really push for answers when they became more frequent last fall. I began losing memory ('forgetting' to pay my rent, for example)...began waking up disoriented/confused...began recalling the number of times I'd been running red lights in recent years or having to suddenly slam on my brakes to avoid hitting the car in front of me as if I'd been 'zoning', or sitting in the left lane waiting to make a left turn, cars beeping behind me, and it was clearly marked 'no left turn'. It took me a while to realize 'why' they were beeping at me, too. I'd been a very careful driver, so this all concerned me.

Just realize that this didn't all materialize right away...that they were just brief episodes in the beginning...maybe 5 seconds long initially. But there was no warning whatsoever as to when they would begin to last long enough that I could no longer 'react' in time to avoid a potential accident. I was lucky...a storm drain caught the front wheels of my car and prevented me from crashing into a pole maybe 5 or 6 feet away. No injuries to me, the passenger, or anybody else. But I'd never chance driving with this symptom ever again, even if you don't have an 'official' diagnosis yet.

So your parents are very wrong. Don't drive. Don't do it.
 

epileric

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Buffheart, Sorry to hear you have to live with such nagging.

Show your parents this article (especially the 2nd paragraph). It's from a medical website and written by an MD so hopefully it will hold weight in your parents eyes. The risk of fatal car crashes in people with epilepsy

Also, according to the UK vehicle insurance company, epileptic seizures are the most common medically attributed cause of accidents. No reason statistics in North America should be any different. http://www.youclaim.co.uk/car/car-accident-claims-and-how-the-dvla-view-seizures.htm

Even Wikipedia talks about putting people at risk when driving with an active seizures disorder http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epilepsy_and_driving

There are also numerous examples of people who had accidents due to seizures:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/11/15/1100384498797.html?from=storylhs

http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-national/haleigh-cummings-mom-car-accident-after-seizure

http://insured411.com/2011/04/seizure-prompts-car-accident-en-route-to-hospital/

If these articles don't change their minds & your parents insist that not many accidents occur because of epileptic seizures. Remind them that it's probably because it's illegal to drive with active seizures as is defined by your state/provincial laws.
 
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agree with what everyone is saying , your parents probably dont realize how serious this can be , but like someone else said YOU would have to live with it if something happens , so hopefully giving them more info will help ( and your not alone on this , im grown & married and i still have family that cant understand why i dont drive ) good luck ! arm yourself with knowledge
 

Buffheart

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Ugh. I just got off the phone with my mother and I asked her to pick up some dinner and she told me that I can drive, so I should drive down to the store. I think part of their stubbornness is ignorance. They, like most of the public, think that the only kind of seizures are TC's, so since I am not falling to the floor convulsing they probably think I am using this as a ruse to stop driving and just be lazy. Oh well, I'll just stick to my guns and hope that somebody cancels their appointment to see the neuro so that maybe I can get in faster.
 
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hey buffheart ,


Are there any other neuro's in your area that could get you in sooner ? even if theyre not your top pick just to get you diagnosed at least that way you would have at least something to go off of .... i ask because i see that you joined here in Feb and your post said your appt wasnt till september .... thats a mighty long time to wait , anyhow i hope you get things worked out with a doctor ( and your parents ) soon !
 

Buffheart

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There are other neuros, and I have been to see two of them, but they basically told me nothing was wrong and not to see them again. One of them implied that because I wasn't having TC's I wasn't having seizures at all. Oddly enough I went home from that appointment, took a nap because I was exhausted, and I woke up smelling an awful smell for several hours. Even when I covered my nose I could smell it. When I asked my mother the next day if she smelled it she said "no" so I think it was brought on by stress. So I want to go to a place that specializes in Epilepsy because they may know more about it than your average run-of-the-mill neuro. At least I hope so.
 
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There are other neuros, and I have been to see two of them, but they basically told me nothing was wrong and not to see them again. One of them implied that because I wasn't having TC's I wasn't having seizures at all. Oddly enough I went home from that appointment, took a nap because I was exhausted, and I woke up smelling an awful smell for several hours. Even when I covered my nose I could smell it. When I asked my mother the next day if she smelled it she said "no" so I think it was brought on by stress. So I want to go to a place that specializes in Epilepsy because they may know more about it than your average run-of-the-mill neuro. At least I hope so.
gotcha ! yeah it's amazing how little some of theese "specialists" know sometimes , well i reallllly hope this one works out for you , i know where your coming from see my thread "i hateeeeee doctors " and you'll know what i mean , fingers crossed !
 

Buffheart

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It's just what I suspected, my parents think I am using my doctor as an excuse to get out of driving. I tried again today to explain that my doctor told me I am not supposed to drive, and my mother said "oh he probably just meant you aren't supposed to drive long distances. You will be find driving two minutes down the road to get some groceries." Then she went on about how I need to be more independent (despite the fact that I do nearly everything on my own) and to be more independent I need to be able to drive myself to the store. She told me that when I move out I won't be able to call her to drive me around. She knows I catch buses as well, so I don't see why she is making a big deal of this. Honestly my parents can be so clueless and I'm really getting annoyed by their constant lecturing and how they make me feel like I can't do anything right. Any suggestions on what to do, or should I just not do anything?
 

Endless

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Buffheart,

My thought is to do all of the following and prepare it all before having the conversation with your mom. Go armed with info.

Do you live in the United States? If so, here's a link where you can print out the driving LAWS for your state

1. Look up the law.
http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/living/wellness/transportation/drivinglaws.cfm
I'm sure similar sites exist for other countries.

2. Point out to her that because of the law, your driver's license is no longer valid.

3. Then get a copy of your auto insurance. Highlight the line that says the driver must hold a valid driver's license. Point out to her you now have no auto insurance.

4. Last, print out these articles on jail terms for people who drove against the law and killed or maimed someone, and of the ones who killed themselves:

http://www.khou.com/home/Epileptic-man-faces-felony-charges-in-fatal-crash-112946784.html

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/topstory/7649808.html

http://mydeathspace.com/article/2011/04/26/Danielle_Heggarty_(21)_died_when_she_apparently_suffered_an_epileptic_fit_while_driving

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/3725044/Epileptic-warned-not-to-drive-jailed-for-eight-years-for-killing-woman-in-car-crash.html

http://www.wellsphere.com/epilepsy-seizures-article/epileptic-driver-who-had-seizure/722485

If she says that's just a few, tell her there are over 2 million similar articles that pop up in Google.

5. Last, print out your seizure journal, just in case she says, "it doesn't happen that often." Remind her that it only takes ONCE. Then ask her if she'd like you to drive her on a road trip. Look real serious.

If after that your mom remains stubborn about it, it has nothing to do with the facts, and it's unlikely you'll change her mind. Instead figure out a way to live with her nagging. Either ignore it, treat it with humor, or try something else. But don't let yourself get crazy about it.
 

Buffheart

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Thanks for all the info. When I see the neuro, depending on what she says, I may have her talk to my mother as well. Maybe my mother would listen to a doctor. What I think is the problem is that my mother thinks I'm not independent despite the fact that I do pretty much everything on my own. More than she would know. And I do take the buses sometimes, but they are so expensive and inconvenient. There is a bus that goes door-to-door, but I don't qualify as of yet.
 
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Endless

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It IS hard, Buffheart. The hardest part of taking the bus for me is getting from my house to the main transit station. It can take over two hours by bus including walking between and waiting at the bus stops, with many connections. It's a 20 minute drive by car.

I think you've got a GREAT idea. Take your mom along to your doctor's appointment. Maybe her viewpoint will change.
 

Buffheart

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Alright well I have another dilemma. I currently have three cats, two of whom are sick. They usually go see the vet at least once a month, sometimes more. One of them needs to go in for a check-up next week, but I don't know how to get her there. I can't take her on the bus (they don't allow animals), I don't have any friends to take me, and my parents can't take me either. But she really needs to go. So how do I get her there?
 
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try calling your vet & explaining the situation , sometimes vets will make house calls , and depending on the situation they may not even charge you for a house call , it might work
 
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