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To Drive or not to Drive?

Topic: 

I'm 16 and soon i'll be allowed to drive. Since I have been seizure free for about 8 months I can have my drivers liscence. The question is...should I drive? I can't really speak to any of my friends or family about this because they don't understand completely. I would really like to have someone message me about this perdicament. I suppose the real fear is that I will hurt others. I know that even when I take my medicine there is a slight possibility that I could get a seizure and I'm not sure if I really want to drive under that fear. Does anyone drive here on this website? PLease message me.

Comments

Hi!  I'm new here...but I

Hi!  I'm new here...but I have had epilepsy for several years now.  I don't know what the rules are in your state, but in mine, if you have been seziure-free for at least 3 months you are allowed to drive.  I know it's scary to wonder if you will have one while driving, even if you haven't had any for a long time.  but you shouldn't let that stop you from living a normal life!  Lots of people with epilepsy drive.  I have had my liscence for 6 months now.  Though I hadn't had any seziures for over a year, I just had a few in a row this last month, which was weird, but hopefully they can adjust my meds.  Anyways, what I'm trying to say, is if you haven't had any seziures for you're state's set time, I think it's fine for you to drive.  Just pray you won't have one while driving!

God bless!  And I hope I helped! :)

~Heidi 

Re: Hi!  I'm new here...but I

Hey I'm also new and I have my license and recently had a seizure not while driving... and I personally have to wait six months and can't wait... Don't let this hold your life back

Re: To Drive or not to Drive?

If you feel unsafe, you are well within your rights to wait for a while until you feel safer. I would NOT give the advice that if your neurologist says it's okay or if you've waited out your state's waiting period it's okay. Neurologists are working off guesswork just like you are, and your own impressions of how safe/dangerous it is to drive are probably MORE accurate than your doctor's!

In making this decision, make a frank assessment of the risks. Yes, there are PLENTY of worst-case-scenarios on this site about people who seized while driving and hurt themselves and/or somebody else. That's scary as all get out, and something none of us want to go through.A t the same time, it's isn't healthy to be a prisoner to your condition if it is, indeed, under control. You need to make a frank and honest assessment of the risks involved and your level of comfort accepting those risks.

If your seizures are extremely brief or if they are very infrequent (especially if they're infrequent when they're untreated), it's fairly unlikely that they'll occur while you're driving.

If you have auras (which are not, themselves, incapacitating), you've got a safety net since you can expect a warning and have the chance to get to the side of the
road/stop/whatever.

If you don't think you've had enough time to know how frequent your seizures are now that you've been treated, then wait. No problem. You could always experiment by driving short distances in largely traffic-free, low speed, areas. (e.g. drive to the grocery store and back in the late evening or early morning) See how that works for you. That would help you determine whether driving (or the fear of driving) adds stress that lowers your seizure threshold.

As unpopular as this comment may be, you shouldn't act solely on the worst case scenario. MOST people with epilepsy have NOT had any problems driving. Their seizures occurred elsewhere, were treatable, and are no longer a concern. Driving, in and of itself, is risky even without epilepsy, and almost every American takes that risk daily.
Don't ignore the risk, but don't motivate yourself by fear alone. If your epilepsy is treatable, that's something to be grateful for, and you should expect to lead a happy and normal life. (And if it isn't treatable, your life may still be happy and largely normal!)

Re: To Drive or not to Drive?

david59     This subject has to be the most extreme out there, next to medications and their side effects. I have had only three seizures in my life(I know of) , all tonic/clonic, the first in Sept 06. While waiting for my neuro appointment six weeks later, Holloween morning I was driving to work, blacked out, drove six blocks, and destoyed my truck into a metal traffic light post. I woke up in the closest ER with someone holding each limb and a doctor holding my head asking me questions. I was in a dream, cussing and fighting. I did not believe him until I looked at my right wrist , which was hanging from my forearm. My existing life had changed forever. I thought I would have a warning sign and could just pull over. The paramedics and ER staff were angels to me, just doing their jobs, making miracles happen, it seems. They thought I was dead when they found me. When I came to on the ride to the ER they knew it was a siezure(I now wear a bracelet). This happened on a four lane road with no median during AM rush hour. fortunately I veered to the right instead of left into oncoming traffic. I think of this every day, and pass by the site several times a week, as I drive by in my new truck. Yes, I waited three months(here in KY), then couldnt stand the helpless feeling of depending on my friends(they are special) and my co-workers(being the boss,correcting them at times, then asking for a ride home) so I got in my new truck and became independant again. My neuro thinks this is good, to get "back to normal", and I wish it were so . The truth is, he doesnt know, I dont know, when another will come... like the one I had just two weeks after I began driving again. This time I was home, and only my wife had to endure the event. That was my last,so far. I waited three months, and resumed driving. I know I can say my job, my profession, depends on the flexibility that driving gives me, but I also know that my pride, my ability to determine my own future, seems to have been taken away. Driving is a three dimentional reality(watch where you and the other guy are going),but your well-being and sanity is what you must ultimately live with.     Thanks to all who share their lives here. I am glad to feel I am not alone with my questions.