The Journey to my First Car
Anyone that has been diagnosed with Epilepsy knows the struggles that come with driving. For some, driving is unfortunately out of the question, but for others, with proper medical intervention (medication/surgeries), they are able to drive safely. For the longest time, I was certain I would never be able to drive, but after years of trial and error, I just bought my first car! The requirements for driving vary state by state. Some states require you to be seizure-free for 6,3,9,12 months, and some have no “seizure free time” at all. Where I live, I had to be seizure-free for 6 months before I could drive. It took over 4 years of trying dozens of different medications, different dosages, etc., before my seizures were finally under control. I will never forget the day when I was 16, and I was celebrating the day I made it 6 months seizure-free, and during my celebration, I had a breakthrough seizure. Even though I had made it such a long time being stable my 6 month clock started all over again. I could’ve been 20 years seizure-free, and I still would’ve had to give up driving until I could go another 6 months without an episode. Anyways, I recently turned 18, and I have (finally) been over 6 months seizure-free, so my doctor cleared me to drive! The next step was an in-depth interview with the DMV, where they would ask about my condition and then would decide if I was allowed to drive. Yes, even if your doctor clears you, the DMV can veto their opinion! I was lucky enough to be cleared both by my doctor and the DMV, so I can now get my driver's license! My parents were so ecstatic that that they were nice enough to buy me my own car (the one in the picture)! Remember, even though it’s tempting to just get in the car and drive when you’re not cleared, it is never worth it. You could hurt yourself and others, and if you accidentally kill someone in a crash while you had a seizure (knowing that you were not cleared to drive), you can be charged with 2nd-degree murder/manslaughter. It’s never worth the risk! Remember to be safe and always consult with your doctor about your driving concerns!