I just can’t help it. I don’t know if it’s the wimp in me, or maybe I’m just simply puzzled by the boldness? I heard a story this week…about someone who was diagnosed with Epilepsy several years ago, has recurring seizures, and continues to drive. In fact, he drove himself right into a major accident this past summer, flipping his car. He survived, thankfully, and he didn’t hit anyone on the road, nor was anyone in the car with him. But he’s just not ready to give up driving.
“I can feel them coming, usually,” he said to me when I questioned the safety of him getting behind the wheel again. And this guy has three children. Still, I’m not one to judge. He claims his world would ‘fall apart’ if he hangs up his keys. ‘There are worse drivers out there than me,’ he told me. That was the line that stuck in my mind.
I’m not a fool, trust me…I know first-hand how life can be such a drag when you can’t drive. There are days when I force myself to take pride in the fact that I have given up my car due to my illness, realizing the safety issues for me, those I love and everyone else on the road. But, many days, it irritates the hell out of me! I’ve spent more hours waiting to be picked up or dropped off, either by my husband, mother, babysitter or friends who help me out. I always use this line: “Oh, I don’t mind waiting…I have so much I can do from reading my book, to checking my email on my blackberry. So, don’t worry, I’m fine!”
Do you know how much ice cream has melted in my shopping bag while waiting for Andrew and Hayden to ‘run to the car wash’ while I do my grocery shopping on a Saturday morning? Then, the car wash trip turns into a trip to the bookstore and the hardware store…”We thought you could use the extra time!” They say when they pull up and get a glimpse of my scowl!
Those of us who live in cities with crummy public transportation (I do still love you, Detroit), are especially challenged. I think it might take me about 90 minutes if I want to travel downtown for a meeting or a trip to a museum. But, I just can’t seem to get the image of someone with epilepsy, defying the law. It’s downright hurtful to those of us who abide by the rules.
The fact of the matter is, every state has a law that applies to drivers who have seizures. It’s up to our doctors to make sure we are abiding those laws, but it’s also up to those of us who live with Epilepsy to adhere to them. I asked a simple question on Facebook, I wanted to get people’s opinion on driving when you have seizures. There’s quite a difference of opinions. (My thanks to everyone who wrote on the wall)
“If you have ANY uncontrolled seizures you have NO business behind a wheel of an automobile period, no more than a person who is visually impaired. Use public transportation unless or until the seizures are controlled.”
“Just because you have seizures, doesn’t mean you never drive again, that’s living in fear. Someone who has had a heart attack drives again once they are stable. Yet, once you have a heart attack, you are likely to have another. Should that person never drive again in fear of having a heat attack while they drive?”
Obviously, it’s up to you, but is it worth risking your life and the lives of those around you?