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Johnnie M

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About Johnnie M

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  • Birthday 14/06/1960

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    SE London
  • Interests
    Driving and travelling. Happily the driving thing can now happen as I had my licence returned to me on 24th May 2018 (at 4.36 pm, approximately! ;-)

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  1. Tania Vincent is right that you should keep your hopes up for an improvement in your husbands vision. When you mentioned Hemianopia I remembered that the govt website has a lot of information that can help with understanding the accepted levels of eyesight that are necessary to have a driving licence. Here's a link.... https://www.gov.uk/guidance/visual-disorders-assessing-fitness-to-drive It may be that you have already found this but it is the go to place for information and I think it would be fair to say that Hemianopia (being 'blindness over half the field of vision) is one of those visual defects which might preclude him from getting his licence back. This does not mean that his vision wont improve but it is worth bearing in mind that the DVLA's starting position is that Hemianopia is not acceptable. With a little searching you will find (I think on the quadrantanopia thread here) attachments to my comments that show the esterman test results I had at Specsavers and with a consultant opthalmologist at my local hospital. The results show the areas where I had no vision and these were described as homonymous quadrantanopia. If you have quadrantanopia where the centre of vision seems reasonable then I think this is one condition where they will consider the 'exceptional circumstance' rules, of which I wrote earlier. A little research will help manage expectations and perhaps give you some comfort that things can move forward but if he has only half his vision then I think some improvement is required before moving forward. I hope the second test goes well next month. Keep us informed! Johnnie.
  2. To be honest Tania, I don't have a definitive answer as the only people that can make that decision is the DVLA. They must be advised when someone has a stroke as there is a requirement not to drive for a certain period (I think it may be three months). Once advised they will send him for a field of vision (Esterman) test at a chosen opticians (most people go to their local Specsavers). The DVLA pay for the test and you will not get a decision until they have received the test results from the optician. The optician will not give you an answer as to whether the result if a positive one as it is not their call. Once the DVLA have the test results they will write to you (this may take several weeks but I got mine very quickly asking for my licence to be sent to them and confirmation that I couldn't drive for a minimum of one year but they did suggest that I could get my licence back if I passed all criteria in the 'exceptional circumstances' rules (see my earlier post in this thread). I feel for your husband. Driving is my passion and I love my car. I now enjoy it again and travel abroad often to enjoy the mountain passes all over Europe. I stayed confident, once I had that letter from the DVLA but depending on the Esterman test results it is not a 'given' that he will be considered for a further review unless he can show his eyesight has significantly improved. I don't know what results he got but If he has been told by an medical expert that he must not drive then he must not drive. Please come back when you have dealt with the DVLA and let us know how he gets on. We may be able to shed more light then. Call them and explain your situation. They are very helpful. All the best and stay positive. It was what kept me going! JM
  3. Hi Tania So sorry to hear about your husband. It's always a bit of a shock when we lose our freedom to drive. It's not the end of the story though so please try to hold on to some hope. We need to know a lot more yet so perhaps you could tell us why he went for the field of vision test. Was it requested by the DVLA? If it was then the optician (presumably Specsavers or some such company?) will send their findings to DVLA and they will then write to him with what happens next. The first thing they'll do is to ask for his licence back but they could also tell him that he could be considered under 'exceptoinal circumstances' to regain his licence. There are copies of these letters in this thread (see my post of 29th August 2019 above). If he gets this letter, there is a good chance that he will be fine but it will definitely take some time. It took me 20 months to get mine back. Let us know what happens and we can offer more advice as the process unfolds. I must caution you that if the DVLA say his eyesight (visual defect) is too severe, then there is a chance he will not get his licence back. There is nothing that can be done about this. It is the way it is. I wish him good luck. Make sure you keep us up to date. JM
  4. Vincent. You seem way ahead of where I would have expected you to be but this may be a lack of knowledge of your situation and the processes you have been through. There is likely to be a delay from the part of the DVLA but this is normal (just perhaps more profound under current circs!). The assessments will be at a full stop until social distancing is no longer required. Come back here when you have a date and we can outline what to expect on the assessment day. Enjoy the weekend.
  5. Well well Vincent! That seems to have taken a major step forward!! I wasn't expecting that news but what a great update! Sounds like you'll be back on those B roads before you know it. Be prepared for the interminable wait for that notification to arrange a driving assessment but don't feel embarrassed to call the DVLA often for news on how it's coming along. They are usually very understanding. Keep us updated and let us know when you get an assessment. Also, when you are told to arrange an assessment, call the driving centre and arrange the date, then apply for a cancellation. I got my assessment within three weeks. Let joy be unconfined! Good luck! JM
  6. Thanks for the clarification Vincent. I now see where you are in the process. If I might take each requirements in order, bearing in mind that you have a failed another Esterman test; ie, your vision has not got better and therefore you still need to show that '.....you meet ALL the exceptional case criteria', as detailed in your letter from DVLA. Also, the letter you received from DVLA detailing the criteria is the ONLY document you need to focus on now. 1) 'The visual field defect needs to have been present for at least 12 months'. - This seems to be the case. You can write to DVLA to reapply for your licence and state the exact dates of the revocation of the licence, when you had esterman tests etc etc. 2) 'The visual field defect must have been caused by an isolated event or a non-progressive condition'. This is quite obvious but you need to be able to confirm that you have had no further SAH's or any other 'events' that might have caused the visual defect to worsen. The review by the Opthalmologist (arranged by the DVLA) should do the trick. They will re-test your eyes and send a report to DVLA but I think the DVLA will only arrange this when you apply for the licence back. 3) 'There must be no other condition or pathology present which is regarded as progressive and likely to be affecting the visual fields'. See my comment in item 2 above. This will be covered by the report from the Opthalmologist arranged by the DVLA (you can choose the hospital you go to so long as they have a consultant Opthalmologist - DVLA choose one usually based on where you live). 4) 'There must be sight in both eyes'. No comment required here. 5) 'There must be no uncontrolled diplopia'. This will also be covered by the comment in item 2 above. Google the word - it's not scary! 6) 'There must be no other impairment of visual function, including glare sensitivity, contrast sensitivity or impairment of twilight vision'. Also covered by comment in item 2 above! 7) 'There must be clinical confirmation of full function adaptation to the defect (this is likely to have occurred if scanning movements of the head and eyes are such that everyday activities are not impaired)' - I find this a bit ambiguously written but basically it means that you need someone (an 'expert') to write a letter confirming that you are well able to cope with everyday life - shopping, getting dressed, crossing the road, travelling to and from work, walking amongst crowds (obv not now!!) etc etc. I got my doctor to write a 'the whom it may concern' letter but I note that your doctor doesn't know you that well. Nor did mine but he can surely do some pretty basic tests in order to confirm that you are doing well? Your 'Orthoptician's' letter may also help. If push comes to shove then pay an occupational therapist to do some tests with you and produce a report. I got a quote for this (it's quite expensive but I was prepared to pay almost anything!) but didn't need it in the end. My view is that you should first call the DVLA on the telephone number detailed in your letter and explain that you want to re-apply for your licence but are yet to have an appointment with a consultant Opthalmologist. They will explain how that works and tell you what you need to do. They may email or write (I forget now) but they should help you proceed in accordance with their own requirements. Once you have ALL the information they require and the Opthalmologist's report has been received and reviewed by them, along with the remaining information, they will (eventually) ask you to arrange a driving assessment. This is the beginning of the end of the process. Once you get to that point come back here and tell us all about it. We can give you the full SP on what to expect. Finally, be pushy but polite with the people at the DVLA. The system can be pathetically slow and rather frustrating at times. The people you will speak to are not in control of what goes on in the background (as the decisions are all made by their Doctors, not their telephonists) but will be sympathetic to your cause and treat you with respect. If they do not reach their required response times (it's something like 3 weeks but you will need to check) then issue a simple complaint letter (I can supply a copy of mine if needed). This should speed things up a bit and enable you to progress quicker than perhaps you otherwise would. Having said that, you should expect the complaint to take up to three weeks for them to deal with. 🤣 Focus now on contacting the DVLA and speaking to someone about your case. Ask them what the next step is and move forward that way. Good luck and keep in touch.
  7. Welcome Vincent. I am sorry to hear your story but you are in the right place to get advice. Many here (inc me) have successfully got their licence back after an SAH. I know it may take some time but I suggest you look further than this thread alone to get to the nub of the advice. Perhaps in the thread called 'quadrantanopia' is a good start. Massive amount of information there. The top standard table tennis could come into play if you get to the stage of providing a report that you are adapting to life with the loss of vision (one of the criteria that needs to be passed in order to get exceptional case standard and get your licence back. It sounds like you have taken an Esterman Test. Is that the case? Have you received the letter from the DVLA about the seven conditions? By the sound of it you have but you stated 'I HAD the seven conditions....' rather than I PASSED the seven conditions. Your post is a little unclear in exactly where you stand at the moment. If you let us know what the DVLA have told you (perhaps even post a scanned copy of the letter you received - without address of course!) we will be in a much better place to advise. It say that you had to wait one year to get a field of vision test (presumably for the first time?). This wasn't the way they treated me so there is clearly some difference between cases. I had an Esterman test at Optical Express (paid for by the DVLA) soon after they revoked my licence. Because I didnt pass that they DVLA assessed my loss of vision and deemed me eligible to be an exceptional case but this still meant I had to wait one year to reapply, have no other visual diplopia; have no other event in the following year, have a further field of vision test towards the end of the year to make sure there was no deterioration etc etc etc. All hoops have to be jumped through and the DVLA can take their time too! Sometimes frustrating. Come back here and give us an accurate history of the dealings with the DVLA. We cannot comment on the results of the visual tests as we are not doctors or optometrists but we can certainly offer advice about the process of reapplication. Just read the letter from the DVLA carefully and do all it says you need to do. It is usually quite clear but some people need it to be interpreted as it isn't always obvious what is meant by each of the requirements. It tool me 20 months from start to finish to get my licence back. Let joy be unconfined on that day....full story in another thread right here! Good luck! JohnnieM
  8. Fantastic news GC! It took me 20 months to get mine back but I wasn't as patient as you, I must confess. Take care out there but enjoy every minute of your new found freedom. JM
  9. The field of vision test (esterman test) at Specsavers seems, in this case, to be a formality Bri, unless you have experienced a loss of vision since your 'event'? It's quite a simple test and involves pressing a button when you see a light come up. You focus on the centre of the screen and it checks your periphery vision to see if there are any missing sections. I had loss of vision after my stroke and it shows up on the test. If you have been shown to have 20 20 vision then it sounds like you'll be fine but please be aware that being able to see letters on a board does not mean you don't have loss of periphery vision. Having said that, I suspect you would know about such a loss already, if it had occurred. This is what makes me think they are jut trying to cover all bases. Specsavers will get the results to the DVLA within a couple of days and if it is all clear then, hopefully, the DVLA should decide quickly. It is unlikely that Specsavers will give you the test results or even discuss them with you. I am sure it will be fine. Good luck.
  10. Hey Bri. Sorry to hear of your DVLA traumas. It is not entirely surprising though! It took three weeks-ish for me to get my licence back after the information had been passed to the doctors. So long as they have the information they will eventually get to making a decision. They are not picking on you; it's just that they have to do this for many people and their workload is considerable. Also, it is a very serious decision to make to allow someone their licence back. I'm afraid, in this, and all cases with the DVLA, patience really is a virtue. Keep phoning them fella. They are always happy to let you know what progress there is, if any but the people answering the phone don't necessarily have the ability to call the doctors to ask how they are getting on with a particular case. Chin up. Hopefully you'll be fully mobile again before Christmas and you can give the Evo triangle a bit of a go! 😉
  11. Any update Maureen? Did your Husband get a letter to confirm what he has to do? We can be of help. JM
  12. Noted Maureen. Did your husband get the same letter as I did? (see attachment in my previous post) If so, that'll help when we need to advise further. JohnnieM
  13. Having re-read my earlier post I think it would be useful to add information about item 7 on the list in the letter from the DVLA as it has caused confusion in the past. Basically the DVLA just want to know that, despite your loss of vision, you have no trouble functioning in every day life. They want to have someone (such as a Doctor or Occupational Therapist) report that you can get bathed and dressed without aid, can do shopping by yourself, can cross the road, take a bus, etc etc. You know, all the normal stuff that life throws at you every day. I don't know where you live Maureen but I travel into London every day for my work and I have to admit that the visual loss, albeit peripheral, made crowds in the busy train and underground stations quite daunting. People coming from all directions, not being able to see people approaching from the right hand side. I got used to it very quickly and just moved my head to accommodate the need to see all the people on my right. Peripheral vision to the left took care of that side. It was hard at first but the only thing that was, to me, a challenge. It would be good to hear from you or your husband Maureen, if only to offer some comfort.
  14. I should also ask Maureen, has he been for an Esterman test (as requested by the DVLA? If so, he should have received a formal letter from them providing the results in graph form and what his next step is. I am hoping that the letter is per my letter as attached in my post above. JM
  15. Hey Maureen. You could have been writing about me in 2016! I believe that unless there is a visual loss that precludes your husband from ever getting his licence back, then he should hopefully be able to get it back, but he will have to be patient and will need to jump through some hoops. None of them are complicated but they are, nonetheless, important. I had peripheral loss of vision (IN BOTH EYES) and still do. I got my licence back 20 months after my stroke. Some take longer so don't give up! Please also be aware that there are those who drive with vision in only one eye. It is not, in the final analysis, about how much you can see but how well you can drive with the vision that you have. That sounds counter-intuitive but unless the loss of vision is profound and more central to the eyes then a small amount of visual loss on the periphery is perhaps not a biggie. Having said that, the DVLA have the final say on whether the licence is returned, even after all the doctors reports and the driving assessment. Some things to realise; there are many here who were in the same situation and are now happily back on the road, inc me. Once I received the letter from the DVLA revoking my licence but telling me that I could re-apply after a year (subject to certain criteria) I never ever felt that I wouldn't get my licence back. My wife was less sure than I but she is not a great fan of being behind the wheel. Chauffering is not her idea of a fun time and passengering is not mine! I presume, although you do not say, that he has received such a letter from DVLA and it states that he is able to re-apply after a year, so long as he has had no recurring 'stroke event'? See attached (part) letter that I received from DVLA on that fateful day when my licence was revoked. I have highlighted the parts he needs to focus on a tried to offer a little explanation for each 'hoop' that needs to be jumped through. Let us know where you are with the matter and what letters, if any, you have received and we will be able to help. In two weeks time I shall be going out to Spain to 'hoon' around in my car with other like minded pals. It is like a dream holiday for me as there were time when I had to resign myself to the fact that I may not drive again. I never gave up and pushed through till the glorious day when I was told I would get my licence back (May 24th 2017 at 4.36 if I remember rightly. 😀). I am also going to tell you to keep posting here and giving us updates. Better still, get your husband to post here. I am always happy to spend time keeping someone's spirits up! If your husband hasn't received the above letter, or some form like it, then you must let us know where he is with the DVLA at the moment and we can then, hopefully, guide you to dealing with it. You should get your husband to read this section (not just this thread) top to bottom. There is much here to give hope and information. All the very best to you and your hubby. Also, get your husband a bike and tell him to ride to the gym. 😉 DVLA Letter.pdf
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