Driving again

Hi All. I am a 79 year old male, living in Glasgow. Exactly a year ago I collapsed with a stroke whilst out with my wife for a curry… Fortunately an ambulance came quickly and an hour later I was in a hospital bed receiving treatment. I spent one month in the QE and was released early because the entire ward and OT’s all caught Covid. I was sent home to a “safer environment” and was cared for 24/7 by my wife. Due to left hand side weakness I was totally dependent on her for getting undressed, in and out of bed and getting dressed again in the morning. She also coped with all the washing ironing, cooking and general housework. It was a total and unexpected shock to me when she died four weeks later, a few days before Christmas, from a major bleed on the brain. I was totally devastated after 54 years of marriage. Fortunately my son and daughter are very close and came to my rescue with funeral arrangements and general help. My neighbours have also been most helpful over the last year. I felt trapped and lonely for a good while. After six months I began to feel a bit better, but still missed the freedom of being able to drive. Despite having seen four GP’s, I had never been told not to drive. I attended the eye apartment at a local hospital and undertook the official eye tests. I also had an eye test at my optician, who stated that there was no objections me driving again, so I notified my insurance company and applied to dvla for my license renewal as it was about to expire. In May of this year I successfully started driving my manual Honda CRV on short journeys. In mid August, after having changed my car to a smaller automatic Honda, I received a long delayed telephone consultation from my stroke consultant. To my dismay he stated that I should not be driving until I had undergone a recognized dvla driving assessment. In Scotland there are only two organizations who provide this service, the NHS in Edinburgh and Driveability Scotland in Glasgow. . Booked up right away, but there was a three month waiting list and a £150 fee. Fortunately last month I got a last minute cancellation in Glasgow and undertook a two hour driving assessment. The first hour was a general OT assessment with all types of questions and awareness tests. The second hour as a general driving road test around the east end of Glasgow… pleased to say that after 62 years driving experience, I passed all tests with flying colours and that I have now regained my freedom to officially drive once again. A great moral booster. Although I still have a slight weakness down my left hand side, I feel totally confident driving. I have fitted a steering wheel swivel. Which is a great help when parking or doing a three point turn.
Best wishes to all fellow stroke recoverers.

4 Likes

@brianr24743 so, so sorry to hear about your wife, my heartfelt condolences on your loss.

Fantastic news about the driving, it must be wonderful to have your independence back.

Best wishes, take care

@brianr24743 hi Brian sorry about your stroke but my deepest sympathy I’m sending to you and a hug for the loss of your wife of 54 years.

I actually cried for you reading your thread.

Great to hear you got a car and passed all tests for driving again well done.

It’s nice to hear you have a close family. Look forward to hearing from you my kindest thoughts and wishes Loraine

Hi Loraine. Many thanks for your kind comments. It is great to have my independence once again. Things in general are improving as each month passes. My main problem now is the loss of one to one company and the ability to give and receive affection, discuss day to day events etc. Best wishes
Brian

Hi Brian welcome to this forum. So sorry to hear your sad news regarding the loss of your wife.

Returning to driving again is a massive achievement and I’m sure this will play a significant role in your recovery from your stroke and the devastating loss of your wife. Pleased to hear that you have your family close by.

Thinking of you.

Regards Sue

So sorry for the loss of your wife but be reassured she’d be so proud of what you have accomplished. Getting back driving for most people enables them to regain their independence . I also undertook a driving assessment with the NHS Northwest driving assessment team and thankfully mine was free. My main issue was that ‘due to covid’ it took the DVLA over 6 months to provide me with a new licence. My licence was returned 10 days after i initiated a formal complaint. I now drive an automatic car fitted with a lollipop to the steering wheel due to left sided weakness. Once i was back driving i felt like i was getting my life back on track, it felt so good not having to rely on other people or taxis to take me out or to appointments. It’s so inspiring at your age to be still driving after a stroke and I’m sure it’ll motivate others. Take care and enjoy time on the road

Hi Sue, many thanks for your kind comments. Passing my driving assessment definitely boosted my moral and general recovery The assessment was stress free, with no Highway Code questions evolved. I would strongly advise other stroke victims who want to get back driving to safeguard themselves by undertaking this assessment.

Kindest regards

Brian

Hi Joe. I had the option of going to Edinburgh NHS assessment Centre , but was advised that it would be much quicker to go to the charity run Driveability Centre in Glasgow
. Even that was a three month wait, but I was lucky to get a cancellation after two months… like you, I am now driving an automatic and have fitted a swivel unit to the steering wheel which makes maneuvering at slow speed much easier. Kindest regards

Brian

Welcome Brian. So sad to lose your wife, but getting back behind the wheel is a great achievement. I hope you have happier times ahead.

@brianr24743 so orry to hear you lost your wife & so soon after your stroke too. Must have been a really difficult time gor you. My heartfelt condolences to you.

Well done on getting back to driving again too. That’s a massive thing & one i’ve still yet to try…shopping for automatic car ongoing.

Sending my very best wishes.

Ann

Hello @brianr24743. Well done for sticking at it. You’ve had such a difficult time with huge life changes. How you’ve managed to carry on after the loss of your wife on top of everything thing else is remarkable. I’m so sorry. I started driving again after a year following an assessment at the local neurorehab hospital (Walkergate in Newcastle) and whilst not easy or without some anxiety the assessment gave me the confidence to know that I was considered safe. The boost to my independence has been huge and am grateful that these services are free on the NHS in England. I self referred and was also lucky to get a cancellation. Enjoy your new found freedom, Julia

Hi John, Many thanks for your kind wishes.

Best regards

Brian

Hi Julia, Many thanks for your kind comments. I think that the NHS assessment in Scotland is also free, but with a very long wait. As you state it gives us a huge boost to confidence and freedom of movement as and when required. Take care and kind regards

Brian

1 Like

Many condolences for your loss, on the driving front, it seems you have found a way to provide some sought after independence. Wishing you many pleasant day trips.

Hi Rups, many thanks for your kind comments. Passing the driving assessment, which was relatively stress free, did give me a major boost.

Best regards

Brian

1 Like