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Does a seizure always mean losing your licence?

(39 Posts)
mummynoseynora Sun 20-May-12 19:30:14

I will try not to drip feed but not had the best day so might not explain myself well...

There is a bit of a backstory so better get that out of the way quickly! When I was 17 (or just before) I had a seizure, in the middle of a pub resteraunt.. not a huge one - but full on blackout / rigid / no memory, staid in my seat. Was with my family, mum panicked, sis was scared, dad dealt with me. Went to the docs the next day and got referred for testing for epilepsy... after 18 months of tests (CT scan / EEG / sleep deprived EEG) they decided that they couldn't decide if anything was wrong but as I hadn't had another I was probably fine hmm

roll forward umm.... 14 years. Nothing since, officially anyway - have had occasional moments where I have had tunnel vision if I have eaten a little too fast - but not progressed beyong that. Today we went out for breakfast, all going fine until,

suddenly I got a feeling like food was stuck in my throat- not choking, just wasn't going down - then felt tunnel vision / weird background noise in my ears that wasn't there previously (place was dead), next thing I know my DH is sat next to me with his arm around me

apparently my eyes had rolled back, hands rigid, and was starting to fall sideways. When he called my name apparently I snapped out of it and said 'what?' confused

Have had a stonking headache all day and been exhausted for a week (DD - ear infection = no sleep for mummy) so it may well be linked to that?

Am I going to lose my licence when I go to the docs?! - Any advice would be hugely appreciated

SauvignonBlanche Sun 20-May-12 19:38:39

Sorry to hear that, being over-tired lowers your seizure threshold, it has always been linked to my seizures.
Only your GP and the DVLA can tell you for sure but it does sound likely, sorry.

bogwobbit Sun 20-May-12 19:42:34

Even if you do lose your licence, it may not be forever. A colleague of mine had an epileptic fit and lost his licence for a year but got it back again because he didn't have any more seizures in that period. Definitely worth going to the doctors for your own sake.

hiveofbees Sun 20-May-12 19:43:08

It depends on what your doctor thinks happened. A loss of consciousness isnt always due to a seizure, there are other causes. The best thing you can do is to give as full a description of what happened to your GP as you can, and if your DH can go with you that would be helpful too.
Then you can get the appropriate advice and referral if needed. The GP will be able to advise you on driving too.

Yeahthatsnotgonnahappen Sun 20-May-12 19:48:39

I would say odds on yes. Sorry.

For a single, first, unprovoked seizure it's no driving for six months. I don't know if the one you had 14 years ago would count or not. If it does then it's one year from the date of the seizure. Your licence is returned if you've been seizure free (with or without meds) for one year.

It's your responsibility to inform the DVLA but I would talk to your GP (but get someone to do your driving). Please please don't avoid seeking medical help because you're worried about your licence. Your insurance is invalidated and if involved in an accident for whatever cause the DVLA will come down on you like a tonne of bricks.


mummynoseynora Sun 20-May-12 19:54:18

Thanks all,

don't worry I won't avoid getting medical attention - going to ring tomorrow, just trying to work out how much my life is going to be buggered because of this!

CoffeeAhorlickAnonymouse Sun 20-May-12 20:01:55

Please do be careful, inform DVLA and get to the doctor.

When epilepsy is treated and under control and you've been seizure free for the DVLA's recommended length of time, you'll be able to drive again.

Please think about the consequences of you having a seizure whilst driving sad It can be sorted.

Good luck.

hiveofbees Sun 20-May-12 20:19:26

We dont what happened to the OP, that why she need to see a GP for proper assessment and diagnosis. Its a bit early in the day to be talking about anti-convulsants.

dlady Sun 20-May-12 20:38:23

I have just got my licence back after a year due to a seizure. Long story short, I got flu just before Christmas 2010, my temp went up to 40 and I had a seizure, I was admitted to hospital and was given all sorts of tests Lumbar Puncture (to rule out meningitis) CAT and MRI, and epilepsy was more or less ruled out. An EEG 6 months later confirmed this. Flu was diagnosed and I spent 11 days in hospital recovering. When I was released I asked the ward doctor about driving, he wasn't too sure, so I wrote to the DVLA who told me my licence would be revoked for 6 months. Then after a visit to the Neurologist he told me as I was on anti-seizure tablets, I had to come off them gradually then could apply for my licence 6 months after taking the last tablet. Finally at the end of april I got my licence back (the DVLA don't believe in hurrying anything!!).

When it first happened, It felt like I had lost a limb, discovering I had to start walking wasn't good. But I did get used to it, luckily I work near my house, my hubby drives (and works from home occasionally) and my mum drives.

Have a look at the DVLA website, there is a bit about seizures and driving.

To the OP, best thing to do is to go to the GP, possibly be referred for tests, then write and tell the DVLA.

Good luck smile

fallingandlaughing Sun 20-May-12 20:56:59

thread hijack how long does the DVLA take to process applications to have licences returned? Finally seizure free and have been waiting a month already. Would love to get licence back before mat leave ends..

Hope things go well for you OP.

dlady Sun 20-May-12 21:08:36

Hi Fallingandlaughing, I applied for my licence at the end of November and got it back end of April, as I said the DVLA don't believe in hurrying themselves. What didn't help was that the Neurologist (they needed a medical report from him) was on holiday for all of January. Sorry if this is bad news for you sad

ToothbrushThief Sun 20-May-12 21:15:10

If you read the DVLA website carefully it suggests that if you voluntarily relinquished your licence ..... and have applied for your licence back you can start driving when the year is up.

falling - 3 months for me

I started driving as per above after discussing it with a policeman friend

ToothbrushThief Sun 20-May-12 21:18:00

Copied here:

Benefits of voluntary surrender
If in the future you wish to start driving again, you will have cover to drive under Section 88 of the Road Traffic Act, 1988. Your cover will start as soon as your application is received at DVLA, providing you meet the following criteria:
1)a valid application is held at the DVLA
2)you must have held a GB or Northern Ireland licence issued since 1 January 1976 or another exchangeable licence
3)you keep to any special conditions which may apply to you, and to your licence
4)you are not disqualified from driving
5)if you surrender your driving licence you will not be required to take another driving test
6)you are able to meet the medical standards of fitness to drive

Medical standards of fitness to drive are set down in 'At a glance guide to the current standards of fitness to drive'. All medical practitioners have access to this publication, therefore if you are in any doubt about your ability to meet these standards, you should check with your doctor before resuming driving.

ToothbrushThief Sun 20-May-12 21:18:32

Don't forget you get free bus travel if you lose your licence

ToothbrushThief Sun 20-May-12 21:20:48

Full link here

Eligibility for a free bus pass

If you have epilepsy, you would be eligible for a free bus pass if:

you would be refused a driving licence if you applied for one,

Ohyoubadbadkitten Sun 20-May-12 21:27:24

Try not to worry too much yet, it could be a faint of some sort rather than a seizure.

RoxyRobin Sun 20-May-12 21:30:47

DSis had a seizure a couple of years ago and was referred to a neurologist. She was sure she was going to have to give up her licence, but he said, after thorough investigation, she was fine to drive.

Presumably he was certain it was a one-off. It seems that it depends on the individual case.

Not that this is relevant to you, since you've had a second seizure.

I do sympathize - I can't drive at the moment because of a different medical problem, and though we've got excellent public transport I still feel as if my wings have been clipped!

wolvesdidit Sun 20-May-12 21:36:02

It usually has to be 2 seizures to get a diagnosis of epilepsy. I don't know if your other one would count as it was so long ago. People can have seizures for all sorts of reasons, not necessarily for epilepsy. Some heart conditions mimic seizures. You definitely need to get it checked out and I would not be driving in the meantime. There was a man on an epilepsy forum I used to go on who had killed his wife and daughter due to going into status whilst driving. In his case the seizure was due to a benign brain tumour.

bruffin Sun 20-May-12 21:39:33

I was wondering about something similar for Ds 16.
He had gefs+ which meant he had febrile convulsions past the normal age.
He had the last one at 13.5 so wondering what will happen if he applies for a licence when he is 17 ad it will be 3.5 years since last seizure. He had eegs which ruled out epilepsy. Wondered if it was better to wait until 18.5 so there will be 5 clear years.

welliesandpyjamas Sun 20-May-12 21:41:44

DH had two seizures and he was advised not to drive until it was investigated. And because of the nature of his job, work wouldn't allow him in either. It was suspected epilepsy but they did a series of tests and we spent a lot of time talking with the consultant, describing every little detail (well, me mainly, because of course DH wasn't with it!) and in the end they diagnosed that it was due to stress on one occasion and extreme food poisoning on the other. From start to finish it took about three months to get a diagnosis iirc but we did go private to speed it up. It cost about £200 about six years ago. I think it was worth it in terms of avoiding the inconvenience, difficulty, and cost of him not being able to drive, work, and help out.

youarekidding Sun 20-May-12 21:50:05

If it is seizure then yes you will have to surrender your license until it's under control.

However, from what you've described it could be a number of things and the tunnel vision has made me think possibly migraine?

I get flashing, tunnel vision, and muscle spasms with migraine (had a bout 5 in past 3 years), I can hear people around me but once I was unable to respond for a few seconds.
Strangely I have only had the 1 migraine that bad and haven't actually had one since and that was 18 months ago. confused

Also unless they're is 'brain activity' or a seizure when doing an EEG it won't necessarily show anything up. Some of the diagnosis is on your history.

I hope all works out for you.

youarekidding Sun 20-May-12 21:50:43

there is blush

sashh Mon 21-May-12 07:55:31

It doesn't mean you will lose your licence, I have a friend with epilepsy, she did lose her licence at one point because she had a daytime seisure, I think she had to go 18 months / 2 years without a daytime fit to get her licence back.

Talk to your GP, you probably want to get the tests repeated. Was their anything that could have triggered it? Lights / tired / angry? You metioned it was breakfast time and the first was in a pub - do you think food could be a trigger? Possibly for migraine rather than epilepsy.

mummynoseynora Mon 21-May-12 08:28:51

sashh - after doing a lot (too much) reading over night I think you have hit the nail on the head, I think its a food triggered migrane - not sure how, but that fits the bill,
after all if it WAS a full on seizure I wouldn't have come out of it because DH called my name... ho hum

calling docs today for an appt some point in the next millenia

Highlander Mon 21-May-12 22:17:27

Until it's fully investigated you absolutely should not drive, as you are endangering lives.

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