Driving or not ...


Posted by Moderator-JB , May 26,2001,13:16   Archive
Colleen's post regarding driving brought to mind the myriad of feelings that surface when we with BEB consider driving or not. Many of us do drive though in limited amounts.

Having been an insurance agent I can tell you that if you have an accident, whether you are the one at fault or not, you WILL be the one at fault. No insurance company that has knowledge of your BEB will insure you.

How does the above make me feel. Not good my friends, not good at all!

Just my thoughts,

Judy




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Driving or not ... --- Moderator-JB
Posted by M Chiasson , May 26,2001,15:15 Top of Thread Archive
Dear Judy:

As you are no doubt already aware, I started to drive again after a 5 year absence from the driver's seat because my Blepharospasm rendered me functionally blind. I notified my insurance and my wife became the principal driver which lowered the insurance premium. Then 3 years ago, my faith and a Myectomy operation in Ottawa by Dr. David Jordan gave me a new lease on life. Even though my eyes were staying open most of the time, I did not have the confidence I needed to drive and so I continued to be the passenger in the car. On March 12 of this year, my car needed to go to the garage in town so I drove it there giving me a sense of freedom. I still let my wife do most of the driving but knowing I can drive if I have to has made a big difference.

Where the operation and medication allow me to have the confidence to drive without causing any danger to myself or others, I cannot see that my insurance company would deny me insurance if I got into an accident.

I'd be curious on your views. I am hesitant to raise the matter again with my insurance company.

Marcellin Chiasson




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- M Chiasson
Posted by Moderator-JB , May 26,2001,15:59 Top of Thread Archive
Marcellin:

Let me see if I understand you correctly ...

1. You notified your insurance company originally that you could not see to drive.

2. They lowered your policy premium. (Which means they removed you an an insured driver.)

3. You are now driving.

4. You have not notified your insurance company that you had surgery and are now driving.

5. I would conclude that you are not currently insured. If you had an accident you would not be covered and damages would not be paid if you were at fault.

6. Do you have a current driver's license?

Please correct any of my statements that are incorrect.

Judy

--modified by Moderator-JB at Sat, May 26, 2001, 16:01:45




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Moderator-JB
Posted by M Chiasson , May 26,2001,17:54 Top of Thread Archive
Dear Judy:

My medication makes it difficult for me to remember exactly whatItold my insurance company but as best I can remember, I'll answer your questions as follows:
1 I think I told them that I was trying all sorts of treatments to see what was wrong with me and during this period, my wife would be the "principal" driver.
2. They lowered my premium because I was no longer using my car for work and my wife was the principal driver. I cannot remember at anytime that they removed me as a driver.
3. I amnow doing a bit of driving butmy wife is still the principal driver. It depends what kind of day I am having and how far we are going.
4. I personally know my agent and she is fully aware that I had the operation and that I am doing some driving. I did a lot of awareness on tv and with the newspapers. My agent also handles my house insurance, however, I cannot say that I wrote to them to tell them that the surgery helped and I am now doing more of the driving. Her defence would be that she cannot be expected to remember what is contained in each person's policy.
5. You are perhaps correct in your analysis as to whether I am covered, however, I would argue the point that I traded my car on April 4th, 2001 and discussed my situation with my agent at that time. I cannot remember the specific questions she asked. I gather you are telling me that I should make it plain to her what my condition is like. I think I should appear in person so that she can see me with my eyes open.
6. I do have a valid driver's license.

Would be interested in your reply. Thanks a million.

Marcellin Chiasson




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- M Chiasson
Posted by Moderator-JB , May 28,2001,06:39 Top of Thread Archive
Marcellin:

Better to know where you stand. Call and ask.

Judy




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Driving or not ... --- Moderator-JB
Posted by Delaine Inman , May 27,2001,10:46 Top of Thread Archive
This is certainly a question I think about often. I do not let anyone ride with me and my husband asked me if I thought more of others than myself? I tell myself it is because I need to focus and concentrate on driving with no distractions from passengers. However I still think about the passengers in other cars should I ever have an accident. Since I am on disabiltiy for BEB....in my heart I believe my goose would be cooked even if it weren't my fault. It is an ethical issue I wrestle with.....and I haven't discussed it with my insur. co. My lic. was renewed on a good day since I've had BEB and is good for several years. I only drive a 3 to 6 miles radius on good days....but it still makes me feel a bit selfish that I am trying to hold on to this little bit of independence at the possible expense and danger to others. I drove the conversion van again yesterday and I felt normal driving it, but we couldn't get the dealer to give me enough for my van and I didn't want a hugh payment so we walked away and ended up buying my husband a truck that has really dark tinted windows. This is certainly food for thought.



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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Delaine Inman
Posted by Sally - in - Idaho , May 27,2001,15:52 Top of Thread Archive
Delaine, I can empathize with most of what you are saying. It is so wrenching to give up this last bit of independence and say "I will not drive." Like you, I try to avoid any situation where others are riding with me. Alone, I can do quite well by focusing solely on my driving, singing, talking, and only going to places where the route is the proverbial "I could drive that blindfolded" type. There are some days when I know that my driving would be unsafe, and I cancel appointments.

I do worry about insurance coverage. I wonder if it would be benficial to have a letter or something from our doctor stating that we have the ability to drive ... or if they would even give us such. I have a disability tag that states I have a permanent neurological disability. That was given to me, however, after I became disoriented in the sunlight in a huge parking lot.

Anymore comments or advice, Judy? My mother also used to be an insurance agent, but I've not asked her.

Sally in North Idaho where the sun worshipers are happy and I am trapped in my cave!




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by Shirley-Arkansas-USA , May 27,2001,16:25 Top of Thread Archive
Sally, You didn't ask me, but, I don't think that any doctor is going to write a letter or give you a note saying that it is safe for you to drive if they know anything about BEB. Possibly if you were entirely symptom free for months after your botox but that would be rare.
A letter or note stating such would also make them liable. Ain't gonna happen. Sorry.

Shirley in AR.




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Shirley-Arkansas-USA
Posted by Delaine Inman , May 27,2001,16:50 Top of Thread Archive
I agree Shirley. It would be more likely that they would write the opposite note. Due to BEB, may not be able to drive. My disability letter states that as a symptom. That at times I am unable to drive due to BEB.



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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Delaine Inman
Posted by Sally - in - Idaho , May 27,2001,21:19 Top of Thread Archive
How would we have any hope of proving that "this is a time when I felt fully capable of driving?" Probably wouldn't happen, either, huh???

Sally in North Idaho where we just had a sudden downpour as I was headed out to water my teensy-tiny garden.




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by Delaine Inman , May 27,2001,22:16 Top of Thread Archive
You got that right girl friend! If we have an accident and involve other people and they find out we have BEB....our butt is in a sling...our goose is cooked....I can just hear the cross examine now ...and how can you tell when it is safe to drive? Do your eyes ever close when you want them to be open?.....OH me...what a can of worms.



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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Delaine Inman
Posted by Shirley-Arkansas-USA , May 28,2001,09:55 Top of Thread Archive
We'd never even see the cross-exam coming. I might hear him or her but I'd be shut down tighter-n-a-drum. Can we all say "stress"? Judge and jury staring at me. My eyes would only open when I was talking to "defend" myself. Goose cooked is right.

Shirley in AR.




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Delaine Inman
Posted by Sally - in - Idaho , May 28,2001,22:27 Top of Thread Archive
You all are depressing me something terrible!! But I know you're right, little sisters.

Sally in North Idaho whose mother called late this afternoon wanting me to drive to Spokane to pick up her and two others because the person they had ridden with was too tired to bring them home. And this on one of the worst holiday driving eves! I felt terrible about having to ask my sons to go on this errand when they came in from the field tonight. I had attempted doing it myself, got two blocks from home and had a flat tire. Was that a message? My sons told me to call her up and tell her she was there for a slumber party. But they went anyway.




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Re: It is depressing..

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by Shirley-Arkansas-USA , May 29,2001,10:52 Top of Thread Archive
Sorry Sally, I don't mean to depress you, although it is depressing. I hate the fact that I can't drive. I used to have an occasional good eye day and would make a quick trip somewhere close (1 mile to grocery store) in the early morning but it isn't even a possibility for me at this time. I know that it would be totally unsafe for me and others if I got out there and drove. I am hopeful that when the side-effects from the surgery go away that my eyes might improve enough for me to drive very short distances at certain times of the day. Only time will tell. I may never be able to drive again. It is a totally depressing thought and one that makes me dependant on others for many things. I hate that feeling. I struggle with the independence issue on a daily basis and then I have to listen to my father who is 86 complain that he can no longer jump in the car and go where ever he pleases as he can barely walk to the car without getting short of breath and he can't turn his head due to arthritis and also has vision problems with floaters that at times completely obstruct his vision. But, he still wants to drive. I mention my problem and he just tells me that I have my whole life ahead of me. That really makes me feel better.

Now, I have depressed myself. I'll get over it.
Shirley in AR.




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Re: It is depressing..

Re : Re: It is depressing.. --- Shirley-Arkansas-USA
Posted by Sally - in - Idaho , May 29,2001,20:04 Top of Thread Archive
It's a day later, I just returned from driving myself to Spokane and back, and now I read this stuff and get depressed all over again!!!!

I really have no one to ask to take me places, except in emergencies. There is no bus or trolley car or taxi or train or stage coach. What am I to do? I am out here in the sticks, 40 miles (minimum) from anything I need to (or want to) do. It is a real dilemma. I am not ready to completely stay at home and just wait to be called to the next life. I am not pitying myself, simply stating the facts and wondering how to handle the rest of my life.

Sally in North Idaho where it is cooler today. Thank you, Lord!!




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Re: It is depressing..

Re : Re: It is depressing.. --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by Mindy , May 29,2001,20:34 Top of Thread Archive
Sally,
Please try not to get too far ahead of yourself.
Been there, done that, not good. No one knows what tomorrow will bring.
I never thought I would be able to function "normally" again.
Meanwhile I can do everything. Twice I had big set backs,once for a year, once for 9 months. It is now 9months that I am better than I ever was since BEB began. Take each day one at a time. The more you worry the worse it is for your body. Trust that where ever you are at that moment, is where you are supposed to be. Pray Sally, ask God to send
a friend. If you're not able to drive today, thank God for keeping you home and keeping you safe. He'll let you know when you're ready.
Hugs,
Mindy



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Re: It is depressing..

Re : Re: It is depressing.. --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by MaryNY (Mary,MaryNY), May 29,2001,20:52 Top of Thread Archive
Sally - It really is depressing, and I "feel your pain". I am about 10 miles out of town, and can drive for about six weeks after my shots. Fortunately, my husband is retired and is agreeable to taking me any place I need ( I said NEED) to go. Under these conditions, aren't we fortunate to have the internet? The only people I have ever met with BEB have been on this bulletin board, and boy, do they make me feel better! Just to know that we're not alone at all is a great blessing. No matter what we tell each other, though, we know that we can only feel better about things if WE talk ourselves into it. I hope you can do that today...and tomorrow, and... Mary



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Re: It is depressing..

Re : Re: It is depressing.. --- MaryNY
Posted by Sally - in - Idaho , May 30,2001,23:22 Top of Thread Archive
Thanks, Mary and Mindy, for the encouragement. I do talk to God many times each day and try to take one hour at a time. We truly do have much for which we can give thanks. And this BB is right up near the top of the list. I am so grateful to my children for buying this computer for me and for paying my Internet fees. I do remember to thank them often, even though the gift was Christmas 1999! It's one of those wonderful gifts that keep on giving.

Sally in North Idaho, giving thanks for all of you!




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Sally - in - Idaho
Posted by Moderator-JB , May 27,2001,22:13 Top of Thread Archive
Sally:

I'm sure no doctor would issue a statement that you were able to drive safely.

Also, no insurance agent, if he were aware of our eye problems, would covee us with insurance.

Suggestions or advice? From an agent's standpoint, I would not insure myself to drive. From a Blephro's standpoint ~ I drive perhaps the 2 - 4 miles in my vicinity only on a rare occasion. Am I happy with that. No. I'm feeling less and less like taking the chance of having an accident.

Not an easy step.

Judy

--modified by Moderator-JB at Sun, May 27, 2001, 22:16:16




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- Moderator-JB
Posted by M Chiasson , May 28,2001,23:05 Top of Thread Archive
Hi folks:

I can sympatize with all your remarks. Since I started this tread, I thought I should let you know whereI stood. After reading your individual postings, I went to my agent and asked her to read what she had on my file.

She confirmed that I had notified her when I had to turn the wheel over to my wife because of my Blepharopsasm. I was left on the policy as an occasional driver but the truth was that I did not touch the wheel at all. You will remember that I had a Myectomy operation which opened my eyesbut it took almost three years before I was confident that my eyes would not close at any time while driving. I explained to her that the medication did not allow me to return to work to read fine print in legal contracts but did not pose a problem for driving. She had no problem with that and assured me I was fully covered. I also indicated that I had short term memory loss for searching titles at the Registry of Deeds but not for driving. Again, she assured me that I was fully covered. She explained to me that there are many instances where a person's vision may be impaired for doing tedious work but not for driving. I had also told my doctor last week that I was driving and likewise, he conifmed what the agent said today that the fact that I could drive safely did not necessarily mean that I could go back to my job as a Legal Assistant with a law firm because there, you CANNOT miss a word. I guess what separates me from other patients is that my Myectomy operation keeps my eyes open without botox. So for now, I have to rely on my doctor and my insurance agent.




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Re: Driving or not ...

Re : Re: Driving or not ... --- M Chiasson
Posted by Delaine Inman , May 29,2001,14:21 Top of Thread Archive
If your myectomy improved your eyes enough to drive safely...then no reason not to drive. But my myectomy did not help me to that point, so I can't truthfully say I can drive safely. Another example of everyone is different.....however in a court of law if someone with BEB causes an accident or is accused of being at fault it might be a sticky situation for anyone with BEB.



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