Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Epilepsy Awareness Month Day 11: Driving and Epilepsy

Many people with epilepsy achieve good seizure control with medicine, surgery, diet, a medical device (such as the VNS) or some combination of any of these.  However, a third of people with epilepsy never get their seizures under control. 

'69 Chevy Chevelle: Other Brother and I learned to
drive in this kind of car which belonged to our mom.
Not your typical mom car! 
What is the impact of epilepsy on this group of people with epilepsy?

It is huge. Uncontrolled seizures affect all aspects of life: mobility, cognition, driving, employment, relationships, mental and physical health – the list is endless.

Robert has been talking this month about the impact intractable seizures (also called “refractory” or “uncontrolled”) has on his life and he is just one of many.

In the video today, Robert talks about not being able to drive. Robert has never been able to get his driver’s license since his seizures have never been controlled.  

That’s not to say he has never driven. (Apparently, our dad thought it was important to let Robert have a driving experience so allowed Robert behind the wheel at some point. Not the safest thing to do but not the most surprising thing our dad has ever done either.)

Laws about driving when a person has epilepsy vary from state to state but generally include a specific period of time the individual is seizure free and sometimes a certification from a doctor is required as well. The Epilepsy Foundation has a terrific interactive database of driving rules in each state which makes it very easy to figure out if getting a driver’s license is a possibility.

We ended the video today rather abruptly but picked up again after dinner and once Robert was in bed. Tomorrow, I will run part two in which we talk a little more about driving and also about epilepsy and employment.  

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