One of the most difficult challenges since my diagnosis with epilepsy is finding reliable means of transportation. Sure. I have my husband and members of family who extend their willingness to help me get to and from where I want and need to go, but in many cases, it’s on their time and schedule. Following my car accident, having had a grand mal seizure behind the wheel, my license was not revoked. It was only recommended that I don’t drive so long as I were having seizures. I completely agreed. I was so thankful to have survived and not have harmed anyone, I no longer wanted to drive. Also, my car had been severely damaged.
I found it to be an adjustment process filled with emotion and a sense of loss of independence after a period of time. I reflected on moments that instantly brought smiles to my face. Sunshiny days with the windows down, the wind blowing in my hair, my favorite songs playing and singing the lyrics completely wrong but who cared? I loved it! Even driving to the park and sitting on the hood of my car to watch the sun set.
These days are long gone for me; I made the decision to no longer drive, for my own safety and the safety of others, I was partially traumatized by my car accident, and my seizures were relentless (occurring several times a day). Without a doubt, this was a real game changer. However, even when faced with a situation like this, life can still be lived. Sidelining a drivers license calls for innovation, networking and advocating for yourself especially if you live in a community that doesn’t offer public transportation.
Try a “rideshare” service.
Uber and Lyft are available nationally (in most places). These services make a world of difference especially if you’re in a position where you’re unable to drive. Just open up the app, and within minutes in most cases, a driver will be at your service and ready to take you anywhere you need to go. If payment information is collected through the app, you don’t even need to exchange cash.
Uber has a fantastic program to help provide additional assistance for people with disabilities! Click here to check it out.
Use public transportation and paratransit.
If buses and trains are an option in your town, they may be extremely helpful when it comes to running errands, visiting doctors and meeting up with friends. You can even use an online map or an app to plan and schedule your route. Simply type in your address and the address of your destination and you’ll get directions that help you get from point A to B. If you’re not able to use public transportation, find out if you can use paratransit services. These are transportation options that help people with disabilities.
Ask around and find out if family, friends and neighbors are available to give you a ride from time to time. Even if you can’t drive and return the favor, there’s surely something you can offer in exchange, whether it’s watching kids, baking cookies or offering to help out in some other way.
Bring the outside world in via delivery.
Can’t make a trip to the store today? Depending on where you live, you may be able to order just about anything you need online and it’ll be delivered to your home in no time at all. From groceries, to restaurant meals, electronics and clothing — it’s all at your fingertips.
Find help within the community.
Places of worship, and community groups may have volunteer transportation programs that provide rides free of charge.
Bottom line, the ride doesn’t end here. I have a valid drivers license, I have the ability to drive, but I just won’t because I care too much about the safety of myself and others. At times, I miss that sliver of independence and I feel the breeze of emotions but I carry joy for the memories I had when I could drive and I acknowledge in confidence, my options of transportation that I do have.
If your license has been revoked, you’ve set aside driving on your own accord or you’ve never driven due to seizure activity, don’t be heavy-hearted. Be motivated to accomplish your goals and dreams and reach your destination without hesitation.