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Kerryb

Quadrantanopia

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Hi all! I’ve just read all the posts above with great interest, I was 31 when I had my stroke in December 2016 and haven’t driven since. The doctors believe it was due to the dissection of the artery in the back of my neck, and were content it was likely to be a ‘fluke’. 

 

One year passed since since my stroke in Dec 2017 and I’m desperate for my licence back. The DVLA have sent me a letter asking for a medical profession to confirm that my stroke was a one off, I have no other visual defects etc and, the most difficult thing to prove, that my eyes had compensated for the small gap in my vision. I initially had Hemianopia (please forgive the spelling!), and it then quickly became quadrantanopia.

 

Since then my vision has improved to the point where I have missed 6 points grouped together on a visual field test. I feel like my vision has improved so much since I had my stroke and feel confident to drive, but how on earth did anyone get a letter from a professional saying my eyes have compensated for the defect? No one wants to do it for me? What did your letters say that led to the DVLA returning your licence?

 

The DVLA took my licence so I cannot go for a practical driving assessment to prove my vision is better until I have a temporary licence granted, and they won’t do this without the letter above. I’m in a catch 22.

 

I read above about someone getting a letter saying that their consultant couldn’t confirm that their eyes compensated for the defect, but that they could confirm they were back playing sports, at work etc. Did this work?

 

Id be very grateful for any help as I’m 16 months post stroke and still miles away from getting my licence back.

 

Thanks everyone, Ally x

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Well Ally, firstly welcome to the fold and secondly, you are definitely in the right place to get help with your licence and find out what’s required.  A number of us already have got it back or, like me, are on their way. 

 

I strongly suggest you read the whole thread and ask specific questions if you don’t find all the answers. 

 

Have you you had a test at Specsavers? The DVLA usually ask you to get an Esterman test (see my results in this thread!) done first before they revoke the licence but maybe you have not done this yet due to the initial loss of vision being worse than it is now. With only 6 spots loss I feel that you have a really good chance of getting it back immediately but it will depend on where the spots  are.

 

Maybe you should send the test results you have direct to them and ask if they could confirm you should attend for their own test at your local specsavers? They will undoubtedly still need confirmation that your stroke event was a one-off so just get that letter sent as soon as possible. Your stroke consultant will do it for you. 

 

I am now at the stage where the DVLA have written to tell me to arrange a formal driving assessment. Following that they will make a final decision. I only heard this today as I have been calling them every day for about four weeks. It can take a long time for them to even respond to information that they ask for and you send. A bit of a nightmare so patience is required. I eventually complained and, funnily enough, a day or two later the case had been reviewed and a decision made! Be persistent but not rude.  

 

Driving is my passion and it has been 18 months of looking at my car wishing I could get behind the wheel. I am sure you’ll be fine. I am happy for you to pm me rather than clog up the thread here but fret ye not, help is at hand. There are experts here who have been through exactly the same as you. It’s not rocket science but you need to follow the rules of being an ‘exceptional case’. We are all exceptional here!!

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Thank you so much for your response. It sounds like you’re within touching distance of your licence! I bet you can’t wait!

 

I have had loads of visual field tests at ophthalmology at the hospital and at Specsavers. As the six dots are grouped together, I failed the Esterman test and my licence was taken from me, frustratingly. However, as it’s now been over a year since my stroke I’m going down the ‘exceptional circumstance’ route. It just seems like no one is willing to write me a letter saying my eyes are compensating for the defect in my visual field!

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Gotcha. Then you just need to send the information to DVLA as soon as you can and say you are applying for your licence back under the ‘exceptional case’ rules. You can apply eight weeks before the end of the year so you can get on with it immediately. Call DVLA and speak to them. They are helpful and will tell you which forms you need to fill in (2 forms I think, plus all the information detailed in the letter you received when they revoked your licence). 

 

As as soon as they have the application forms, the forms declaring your general health details and visual information, the statement from the stroke consultant that it was a one off and another statement from a physician that you have fully adapated to the vision loss, they will probably ask you to go for another appointment with an ophthalmic optician, of their choice, local to you.  It took over Three months for me to get an appointment with the one they chose for me!

 

Once that report is issued to the DVLA, it is then a further few weeks to get any decision from them as to what the next steps are. Either a flat NO, (unlikely in your case), or a provisional licence for three months before you then take an assessment (others here have had that) or go straight to assessment, as in my case. I think I would prefer to have a prov licence but for some reason that wasn’t offered. I might call them to see if they would allow it. 

 

By by the way, it is not your eyes making adjustments, it’s your brain. You do have the loss of vision but your brain tells you your field of vision is full. It isn’t. 

 

Good luck and keep us updated. Patience will be a virtue!

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It’s the letter saying my eyes have adapted that I am struggling with! I just wondered what sort of thing the letter should say, as I’m going to be referred back to ophthalmology for them to help.

 

I hadn’t realised I needed a separate letter from the consultant saying it was a one off, I will get onto that, thanks!

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You need one that says your eyes are better and you are fit to drive. I have done forms for some patients. Many are elderly. Sometimes they just want to be safe. They ask for history of stroke, seizures, eye issues, alcoholism, insulin/ oxygen/ crutches dependent etc. 

 

When i m not comfortable clearing, I just say I need more time to reassess or I say it depends on neurologists blessing etc. 

Your letter needs to be specific and sometimes they might have their own specialist check you, not sure.

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Hi Ally,

 

If you read back over old posts, you should see details of how I got my driving licence back.

 

For me, my consultants referred me to see the Neuro psychology (NP) team and they did some psychology testing which showed I had strong observational skills, no issues with my memory etc and that NP team wrote an extensive report which I submitted to the DVLA (it also mentioned that my job involved a lot of observational skills and that given I'd returned to work successfully, that suggested I'd compensated for my vision).

 

Based on all of that, my Neurology and Ophthalmologist wrote statements confirming that they supported my application to regain my driving licence which I submitted to the DVLA. They then sent me a temporary driving licence only valid for one day so that I could undertake a driving assessment (I haven't personally known anyone that was given a 'provisional' licence). I had the assesment, and the examiners were happy and recommended to the DVLA that I be reinstated, and thankfully they agreed!

 

Good luck with it all. I'm afraid I don't come on here much any more as I have a toddler to chase after! However, if you look back at all my posts on here it should give you some ideas of the hoops I jumped through to get it back.

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Me again Ally,

 

I am attaching a relevant (to you) part of the letter I received from the DVLA when my licence was revoked. I would assume you got exactly the same? I have added notes which I hope might be helpful as I am not really sure what reports and tests you may have already had. It may be that you are almost there and don't know it yet!

 

Further to what Hoofbeat (Hi!) mentioned above about getting a provisional licence, I know of one other person who actually was given a provision licence that enabled them to practice for three months before taking the assessment. This sounds ideal to me but it may only be a few weeks before I get an assessment anyway.  I have asked the question of the DVLA but if I did get a provisional to do some practice it would mean that I could only drive with someone else with me who had a clean licence for three years.

 

Good luck and check out other replies above. 

 

scan_20180409150722.pdf

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On 08/04/2018 at 11:47, Catwoman23 said:

You need one that says your eyes are better and you are fit to drive. I have done forms for some patients. Many are elderly. Sometimes they just want to be safe. They ask for history of stroke, seizures, eye issues, alcoholism, insulin/ oxygen/ crutches dependent etc. 

 

When i m not comfortable clearing, I just say I need more time to reassess or I say it depends on neurologists blessing etc. 

Your letter needs to be specific and sometimes they might have their own specialist check you, not sure.

 

Hi Catwoman,

 

I note that you are in Maryland USA. Things are probably very different here in the UK. Our rules appear to me (when I researched it on line I found articles from both USA and Australia) to be far more stringent than yours in the US.

 

I am looking forward to my next driving trip to the USA. I have driven across the States from NY to LA and it a complete blast! That was in 1981 mind, when I was young and strong! Haha

 

All the best from across the pond.  We are all watching Trump with interest and occasional gasps! 

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Well, I got a provisional licence which allows me to practice before I have my assessment in May (or even earlier if I manage to get a cancellation!).

 

I was out on the roads last night with my wife and a set of L Plates! 40 years driving this year and back on L Plates! It cause much laughter in Halfords!
 

It was great to be out there again and it felt like I had never stopped driving. However, I am very conscious of the areas of my loss of vision. This is a good thing as it makes me more careful to make sure that I am compensating for that loss. 

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Great news Johnnie :thumbsup: wishing you all the best for your assessment in May or hopefully earlier :) 

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Thanks Tina. Very early May now as I have managed to bag a cancelled spot. DVLA were also very nice about the delay that occurred in the review of my case and have promised that they will make sure the matter is dealt with quickly once the driving assessors have submitted their report. It is certainly a long road to get the licence back but now I am back behind the wheel I am relishing being the chauffeur to my wife again. She loves it too! 

 

I shall be back to let you all know if my full licence gets approved. There is plenty of proof here that it is possible to get the licence back. There should be a separate section in the main menu to enable people to get advice on this. I had a contact here who has been truly marvellous (I speak of you Kelly!) and so supportive.

 

She has profoundly reinforced my own view that I would get my licence back. She has been a little angel. And Hoofbeat was a great source of information too. We can all help newbies if there is a central place for them to post their concerns and queries. What about it then? Happy to assist!
 

JM

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At last I’ve got in. I have been having trouble logging in. 

 

Thankyou Johnnie for the wonderful words they are hugely appreciated. 

 

I have been thinking about this for a while and I would love to be able to help newbies going through the same situation as we have. 

 

It’s three years this Sunday since that horrific day and this year I really feel like I’ve achieved something amazing. 

 

Johnnie if you have any ideas how we could help people I would love to be involved. 

 

So show people they are not alone and to never give up 😊

 

kels. 

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Hey Kels! Lovely to see you back here! Tell the lovely ladies and gents what happened this year for you? Your experiences have helped me believe that anything was possible. Golly! I sound like the introduction to a Disney movie!

 

JM 

 

 

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On 18/04/2018 at 15:08, Johnnie M said:

There should be a separate section in the main menu to enable people to get advice on this. I had a contact here who has been truly marvellous (I speak of you Kelly!) and so supportive. She has profoundly reinforced my own view that I would get my licence back. She has been a little angel. And Hoofbeat was a great source of information too. We can all help newbies if there is a central place for them to post their concerns and queries. What about it then? Happy to assist!

 

Johnnie. Kelly.  The moderators will take a look at what Is possible to add and we will drop both of you a note to get your ideas on what we could include and how we incorporate some of this topic and all the other great threads with advice on driving. Maybe we list some tips  / links for UK, US and Australia if we have members who can help with that.  

 

If anyone else has ideas on what would be useful for this topic if we pull it out separately then please message myself and copy Macca as well rather than replying here so we can keep this thread on topic .

 

The challenge is we don’t have the answers but our shared experiences can help immensely I agree, having taken over 13 months to get back behind the wheel after mine and having a lot of ‘work’ to get consultants letters etc I think it’s something worth trying. 

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For information purposes and in an effort to manage the expectations of those of you who may be in the process of applying for your licences back under the 'exceptional case' route, I thought I'd update you on my current position in this regard. 

 

DVLA asked me to attend a driving assessment at a particular assessment centre in south London. Their service was excellent and I got a cancellation with three weeks of applying for the assessment.

 

I had been sent a provisional licence by the DVLA and was able to go out for practice drives with another qualified driver (who had had a clean licence for three years or more, in a car with L plates and not using motorways) and this was a great bonus for me. It also helped convince my wife that I was as confident as she was and could see as much as she could when behind the wheel.

 

I attended the centre on 2nd May and was very pleased with the results. The assessors then had to write their report and put the graphs and figures together to be issued to the DVLA. Their report had to be checked and then on to someone else to be signed. This process took two and a half weeks so please do not expect this to happen quickly!

 

The DVLA now have received the faxed report (they had asked me to ask the assessment centre to fax the report, to save time in it getting onto their system). It will take four days to get onto their system before the doctors will then look at it, in whatever time it takes them to do that! 

 

The time just drags and drags and is the worst part of the whole process. I am kind of hoping that by the end of next week I may have a positive response and can get back onto the road again; this time with a full licence, but I'm not holding my breath! I'll let you know when that happens.

 

JM

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Well, it happened. At last it happened! Last Thursday afternoon (it may have been around 4.36!) the DVLA called me to say that the medical team dealing with my case had approved me getting my licence back following all the information they had received from the various clinicians and lately from the driving assessment centre. I was allowed back on the roads from midnight on Friday 25th. 

 

I duly rose at 6.00 am on the Saturday and pretty much bashed out 300 miles over the weekend, in both my car and my wife's which I had never driven.

 

As I have stated on many occasions, it the waiting that is the biggest frustrations but if the matter is approached with commitment then there is no reason why some of us cannot get our licences back, subject to meeting the correct criteria required by the DVLA as is relevant to YOUR case.

 

Thanks goodness that's over!! 

 

JM

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Really pleased for you mate - freedom is a glorious feeling x

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Huge Congratulations to Johnnie. 

Having also received my freedom and independence back in Feb this year I can honestly say the wait is 100000% worth it. 

 

As Johnnie says. Follow the instructions set out by the DVLA. Provide all the information requested. Re-licensing is considered on a case by case situation. 

But I wish loads of luck to anyone taking this path. 

 

Kels. 

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I have my letters! One from the ophthalmologist and a letter of support from my GP. I sent it to the DVLA yesterday and am crossing my fingers it will be good enough for me to do a driving assessment.

 

huge congrats to those of you who are back on the road!! 

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Great news Ally. Come back here when you get told to arrange a driving assessment. We know all about those! haha.

 

Am off to the Goodwood Festival of Speed tomorrow and I shall be driving there myself. Yay!

 

JM

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Great News Ally. 

 

Having been through this my advice would be to please be patient with the dvla. It took exactly one year to get my licence back. Their backlog was rather large. 

 

Being back on the road is amazing. Words cannot describe. Also the feeling that I have not and will never allow a stroke to rule my life. 

 

Best of luck. 

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