Suspended license due to seizure

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flyingnurse
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Suspended license due to seizure

Unread post by flyingnurse on

Hi everyone,

I am 24 years old and had my first ever seizure a bit over 2 years ago during nighttime for which the ambulance was called but I felt okay to not go to the hospital. Now, just 2 weeks ago I had another seizure once again during my sleep but this time due to the headache I went to the ER. The doctor in ER did a CT scan, and blood work but was not able to find the cause. He did say that he would further this to the neurologist at the hospital and I had to wait for them to contact me in regards to when I can see him/her.

He informed me that due to the seizure he had to report it to the Ministry of Transportation and said that more then likely my license will get suspended. I received the official notice today saying that my license is suspended as of March 15.

I also received the notice from the neurology department about a week ago stating that the neurologist would like to do an EEG sleep deprivation test on me in 2 weeks from now. I even noticed that he circled sleep deprivation as a probable cause. This made me a little bit more comfortable thinking that since my seizures have happened during sleep I would not lose my license but I did..

I have looked over the epilepsy Ontario pages regarding this and am a bit fearful that no license for 6 months or greater is going to effect a lot of aspects of my life such as school and work.

I have a couple questions for anyone that has been through the process or knows it well:

1- I am fairly certain that the EEG will reveal no abnormal electrical activity and so would that be enough for the neurologist to believe I am fine? and forward it to MTO.

2- What are the chances that MTO will side with the neurologist on this? I don't think I should lose my license because many things get taken into consideration such as time of seizure (for me it is during my sleep) and my last one was 2 years ago also during sleep. I have never taken any drugs and all the tests done on me so far have yielded normal results including a neurology assessment done on me by my family doctor.

3- when I went to see my family doc after this seizure he gave me a prescription for Dilantin 100 mg x 3/day. I am a bit weary about taking this drug due to some of the side effects but more so because I would like to wait until a neurologist can give me a definitive answer as to a diagnosis of epilepsy. Is this fair on me part? or should I just suck it up and take this drug because I also know that MTO would like to see me taking my pills which I only want to do as a last resort.

4- Lets say my EEG goes well, does anyone have a waiting time ? I know it can take 30 days or so because it is first come first serve. but has anyone gone through the process and give me a real time?

And finally, how else can I prove to them that I am fine? I am a good safe driver, I never had a seizure in day light, never in a car, and I know the main goal is to protect the public but it just feels a bit strict to lose my license just like this.

Thank-you


bend
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Unread post by bend on

There's a FAQ here that will answer a lot of your questions.


flyingnurse
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Unread post by flyingnurse on

Okay yes I have seen that but was hoping that someone here has gone through the process and can shed some light on it.

thanks


epileptic_driver
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Unread post by epileptic_driver on

I've gone through the process and I'm currently driving.

You will not be able to drive until your neurologist gives you medical clearance and advises the MTO. Although I was seizure free for quite some time, it took over five years for my neurologist to finally give me clearance. A regular EEG comes back as normal for me however a sleep deprived EEG comes back as abnormal. Sleep deprivation is the only known trigger for my seizures.

Your license was probably suspended as a precautionary measure based on the paperwork the Dr submitted as they do not know whether or not your seizures are uncontrolled. If your neurologist is willing to sign off on the fact that your seizures are well controlled and only occur during your sleep you should be able to drive fairly soon. If you're not compliant with medication (the dilantin) they'll probably be hesitant. If you're worried about the dilantin, your neurologist should be able to find a better drug for you with a better side effect profile. I'm on keppra now although I started off with valproic acid. There probably isn't much harm overall by waiting to start the dilantin other than the increased risk of seizure and your neurologist might interpret it as non-compliance. Speaking from experience, titrating off drugs can be a bit of a fickle experience so I understand your hesitation with starting.

As I only had my g2 license at the time my license was medically suspended, I had to restart the graduated license process and there was a section of the form on the road tests you had to initial stating that you had epilepsy. My insurance rates sky rocketed for a time due to the lapse in insurance and being a "new driver" (I had 1 yr of g1 experience and 3.5 years of g2 experience prior to my suspension with a clean abstract).

After I was "cleared" by my doctor, I waited to reapply for my g1 until I received the MTO letter in the mail - it took approximately 2 weeks. I brought the paperwork along with me to the DriveTest centre although they didn't ask to see it.

I would say that you have epilepsy as you've had at least two uncontrolled seizures. Your license probably should have been suspended two years ago and it probably would have been if you went to the hospital.

Overall, the MTO has very little to do with the process - it's in the hand of your neurologist.


flyingnurse
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Unread post by flyingnurse on

Okay thanks for your help in the matter I really appreciate getting the view from someone who has gone through the process. I have my sleep deprived EEG next week and so I will see what happens, I truly do not think I have abnormal activity during sleep but we will see. I am hopeful the neurologist understands that I just want to wait and get his opinion on the drug mainly because of side effects and like you, I have heard that getting off them can be a bit of a challenge. But, if the neurologist tells me to start the drug then I will.

In regards to the first seizure, I did not go because I felt fine and not because i knew of these mandatory reporting business. In my 2 years of driving I have done fine but of course because it is of unknown origin it would have made sense for me to stop driving 2 years ago.

Are you able to tell me whether all your sleep deprived EEG's came back as abnormal and that was the cause for the neurologist to not give you clearance?

thanks


epileptic_driver
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Unread post by epileptic_driver on

flyingnurse wrote: Are you able to tell me whether all your sleep deprived EEG's came back as abnormal and that was the cause for the neurologist to not give you clearance?
Every sleep deprived EEG I have had has come back as abnormal. Including the ones I have had done after I resumed driving. Remember that an abnormal EEG doesn't necessarily reflect active seizure activity but can also reflect the potential for seizures. In my case, I had neurologist who had an over abundance of caution which resulted in me having to wait an additional four years before driving (five years total without a seizure). I probably could have fought it or gone to a different doctor to be able to drive earlier but I'd rather be overly cautious due to the potential risks to myself and others.


flyingnurse
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Unread post by flyingnurse on

Sorry for super late reply.

Thanks for sharing your story. I understand its better to be cautious due to harming myself or others.

Currently I have a normal ECG, normal sleep deprived EEG, normal blood work, normal CT, and a normal holter monitor ECG.

I am trying to book an appointment with a neurologist because school is almost done and hoping to go to Quebec City with GF. I know the MOT website says 30 days to get temp license but did anyone get it sooner?

I am hopeful that I will be see the neurologist next week and having all those tests normal would mean he submits my application for license reinstatement.






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