When Epilepsy and Driving Determine Job Choice
Most of my blogs start off with a little background about me, of course it’s my blog so I guess they should, this blog is no different. And this blog is one I could write extensively about. The reason being is because it is about what to do when you lose your driver’s license.
I started having seizures at sixteen and had already been driving for a year. My dad was a single parent with four teenagers who needed to be independent of each other so, we all had vehicles. We lived in an area that had no public transportation and our schools were located far apart, I played sports, worked, and it didn’t hurt that being able to drive and owning a truck put me in the upper echelon of cool on our side of town.
When my seizures began they were nocturnal seizures, seizures during ones sleep, and in 1978, in Texas, it was my understanding that if your seizures were classified as nocturnal you could keep you driver’s license. Also, I was sixteen and bullet proof so I felt I could overcome any dangers the world threw at me.
Fast forward nine years later and my sense of personal responsibility was heightened greatly as was my sense of social responsibility. I was working in the credit approval department of a local bank training to be credit analyst, working my way through my freshman and sophomore years of college, and working toward establishing myself as a productive member of society.
I was very careful about taking my anti-seizure medication before I left the house and sitting down behind the wheel in my truck to make my way to work. However the morning of the fateful day I’m about to tell you about I did not take my medication before I left for work because I was only going to go to the cleaners to get my shirts and come back and get dressed to go to work. What WAS I thinking!?
I jumped in my truck, without taking my meds and drove to the cleaners and about halfway back to the house I had a seizure which led to a head on crash with who else but a friend of my older brother’s from school.
When my doctor visited me at the hospital and I explained what happened I told him that I would not drive until I could get my seizures under control. The State of Texas learned about the cause of my accident and decided to fortify my decision and suspended my driving privileges until my doctor gave them an affirmative that it was safe for me and others to be on the road again.
What Happens When the State Takes Your Driver’s License Away
For me, and I think for most people, the grief process took over almost immediately. The first step being denial. Then anger, heading into bargaining which leads to depression then acceptance. Those are the general steps but are not stops on some linear timeline in the grief process. Not everyone goes through all of them or in a prescribed order. Some never make it to the acceptance step because there is no acceptance. That was me when I lost my driver’s license or later in life when I lost my daughter.
On a side note – when it comes to seizures. I have learned that the grieving process occurs after every seizure. And learning how to navigate through it quicker will help you overcome having one.
Legally, most laws, rules, and restrictions are written and enforced by each state with some coming from a national level. Also, when it comes to Mandatory Medical Reporting Laws those can differ from doctor to doctor.
Here is a good resource to start with https://www.epilepsy.com/driving-laws/2008871 when it comes to determining what your specific state’s laws are.
How Do You Get Your Driver’s License Back
It’s a process that will differ from person to person, state to state, and with no set time frame of when it will be returned. There are no absolutes other than the self imposed restrictions you determine there to be.
I’ll repeat that – There are no absolutes other than the self imposed restrictions you determine there to be.
My self imposed restriction was that I would not drive until I felt that I was in control of my vehicle at all times and was not an endangerment to others riding with me or those on the on the road around me. I had no idea that it would be a 10 year waiting period. The ten years of not having my license and what I went through to regain it was the stuff movies are made of. I know that sounds – well – I don’t know but it was a wild ride.
I told myself when I started writing this that I wouldn’t be long winded but when I came to this subject I chuckled a bit because there is so much to write about it boggles my mind. I have had three brain surgeries, have volunteered for multiple drug studies to have drugs approved by the FDA for public use, I volunteered for the initial testing to have the VNS approved by the FDA for use by the general public and tried several procedures that would not have been approved by the FDA.
Beyond what I was doing medically I was living life while not driving. I became very active in church and involved in a jail ministry, I enrolled in a four year university and lived off campus so I could ride my bike to classes. After earning my BBA, a friend who did not discriminate against a person with epilepsy, hired me so I was able to ride a bus to and from the office.
If your driver’s license has been suspended, OR, if you’ve just been diagnosed with epilepsy, what I learned on how to deal with it I wrote a short e-Book about, How to Win the War with Epilepsy – One Battle at a Time
I’ll put my email down at the bottom and you can contact me and I’ll send you a copy. I’m in the process of a rewrite because there is much more to the story now.
For all the legal details on how to get your driver’s license back here’s a good resource https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/driving-and-transportation
Options to Earn Income When You Don’t Have a Driver’s License
Preferably I’m sure all of us would like to be independently wealthy and not have to worry if we had a driver’s license or not but I don’t fit in that category and as much as I hope you do, if you’re reading this I’m guessing you don’t either.
Everything I am about to tell you or give you suggestions for I have either dealt with personally or helped with directly.
When I was single I had 2 fiscal concerns both of equal weight. Income and insurance. So, I could either work for a company that had a blanket policy for all it’s employees that would not exclude me because of my epilepsy or make enough money from my home based business that I could afford to buy an independent policy that would cover me.
If you are a single and on SSID this may not be a problem for you. SSID and Medicare are a totally different subject and a much more complex issue so I will not get into that.
All that to say – if you need health insurance – odds are you need to find conventional employment. So, if you have a job – can you move closer to your job? Can you car-pool? If you can’t drive pay for gas and bring breakfast. Or is it a job that can be accomplished via telecommute?
Does the area you live in have public, or paid, transportation? Maybe you can’t move closer to work but how about closer to a bus stop. Make a monthly contract with a transportation service. It would be less than a car payment.
Are you close enough that you can ride a bike to work? Of course, I rode a bike when I was having seizures and had several seizure related near death accidents so that may not be the beast idea.
If you have insurance either with a spouse, parents, or medicare and are able to develop the discipline it takes to work from home it is a far better option than working outside of the home if you’re dealing with active epilepsy and all that comes with it.
All of the above information was given with the idea that you are still able to do the same job you were doing before you lost your license. If you cannot do the same job please see below
The least expensive, easiest to get started, and one that I would recommend is what you’re reading now – my blog. Although it’s not just a blog. It’s a part of marketing system called Affiliate Marketing – the company is called Wealthy Affiliate – Click Here to Learn More Now
Here is a quick diagram of how affiliate marketing works. Basically, you choose a niche – find something you want to sell – we help you with that. Develop a website to advertise what it is you choose to sell – we help you with that. Get your customers to that site – we show you how to do that. You make money. You know what to do with that.
Beyond Affiliate Marketing the options that are available are much more capital intensive and require more consulting on my part than what I can properly detail in this blog.
The email to contact me for a copy of my book is email@example.com. Put in the Subject Line – Please send me a copy of
How to Win the War with Epilepsy – One Battle at a Time
If you want to talk further about the different options beyond Affiliate Marketing you can email at firstname.lastname@example.org
and put Lets Talk Business in the Subject Line or leave me a comment below that you want to talk and we can set a time to talk.
Your Success is Important!