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Johnnie M

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Everything posted by Johnnie M

  1. Jenni So sorry to hear of your plight. So many emotions when this happens and especially hard for you as a Mum caring for little ones. As others have said already, there is hope for you and you are in the right hands. I also had a brain hemorrhage in 2016. It was just a headache at the back of my head (I was on my way to work on the train). It was a little strange as I don't really get headaches and it didn't seem that bad. Anyway, whilst emailing at my desk I noted that I couldn't see the right hand side of my screen without moving my head that way. Long story short, visit to Chiropractor didnt sort it. Visit to Moorfields Eye Hospital confirmed it wasn't an eye defect and they sent me in a cab straight to a stroke unit in London. That was a shock! No-one expects a stroke do they! I am recovered as I think I will be but still have the loss of vision. I do, however, have my driving licence back (woo hoo!) although it did take 20 months! We are all here for you and we all have our own stories and coping mechanisms. Come back here whenever you feel alone or unable to understand the issues you are facing. Be kind to yourself and keep hydrated!
  2. Sorry to hear of your troubles. In this instance I have to admit that I don't really know what the issue is as I have absolutely no idea what an 'optic disc drusen' is and how it affects your sight. Keep trying and hopefully you'll have a result after a while. DVLA take their time for sure and they are very behind with their paperwork, as you may have seen reported in the press! Good luck! JM
  3. Amazing news Kerry! I love this site and the fact that there really is help out there. It kept me going during the long wait to get my licence back. That you should never give up hope is the real point we try to get across. Another success story helps strengthen that view. I hope the little one arrives without trauma and that your partner maintains good health. There are some amazing drives in Scotland. The NC500 comes to mind (although I suspect it is pretty busy just now, what with all the 'staycationing' going on). Up hill and down dale but always happy to drive anywhere. I remember the day I got my first sports car - TVR - My wife asked me to pop out for some milk. 50 miles and 90 minutes later I got back. 'Appy as Larry, as we say down south. Onwards and upwards!
  4. Tony Welcome to BGT. I am sorry to hear of your nervousness but you should take great comfort in the fact that you are way ahead of most 'licence losers' that come here for advice. Many/most of us have had our licences revoked rather than taking the (purely personal) decision to hand them in. I would suggest that you focus positively on the test you have to take at Specsavers (we all had to do it!) and tell yourself that it will be a positive outcome. In the 18 odd months it took me to get my licence back I never lost the idea that I would get my licence back at some point. And eventually I did. You have the support of a consultant and you have already passed a test so why do you think you wont pass this one? Nervousness doesn't affect the eyes. Just do the test, focus on the spot in the middle and press the button when you see a light dot. Easy! Good luck fella and let us know how you get on. JM
  5. John It seems that progress is being made and from prima facie evidence (albeit verbal) you seem to have quite good results. I'm afraid that you are experiencing the sort of delays we all experience with the DVLA so there's no surprises there. They aren’t picking on you, it is merely the way things are there, compounded by the Covid shambles of course! Expect to wait for some time but don't be afraid to call every other day just to find out how the review is going. I had, eventually, to make a formal complaint as I was told I was a priority case yet heard nothing for weeks. The complaint will take around three weeks for them to deal with but once it has been received (don't rant in your letter, just put the facts down) then you will have a case officer and a case reference so that you can push forward. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the test results with prove favourable and that you will either get your licence back or get sent for a driving assessment. Good luck
  6. Kerry Thanks for posting the results. I don't think this will be acceptable to the DVLA and in normal circumstances the licence will be revoked as there are too many 'unseen' spots close to the central field of vision. The 'spin' on your case is that the 'event' which caused the loss of vision allegedly happened more than 12 months ago. I say allegedly as I am not sure how definite the medical experts can be on when the event happened and whether DVLA start the 12 month timeline from the date they were informed (if a definitive date cannot be confirmed. I imagine you found my posts explaining what each of the 'exceptional case' rules are and that this is the information you wish to send to DVLA? I think that this is the best thing for you to do. Cover all of the requirements in full (as best you can) and see what their response is. If your doctors can be specific about exactly when the event caused the loss of vision then all the better. All the information you send should be reviewed by medical professionals at DVLA but the corollary will be that your partner is likely to be asked to take a driving assessment. If that happens then come back to let us know and we can go through the likely content of the assessment (it isn't like a first driving test!). If you have any queries about the exceptional case rules then let me/us know. JM
  7. Hi Kerry If DVLA are happy to accept private tests from Specsavers then that is great and it will certainly give you a head start. I presume that the test results will be sent by you to DVLA? Explain that your partner has been driving for more than 12 months since the stroke/defect appeared (with no driving incidents presumably?). This may be taken as mitigating circumstances if he is on the cusp or revocation of the licence due to the confirmed visual defect. Just because there is some defect doesnt mean the licence will be revoked as it very much depends on the extent of the visual field loss and where the blind spots are. Whether or not he has to wait 12 months and use the exceptional circumstances rule is up to the DVLA but when you send the results in, use that chance to send a doctors report detailing when the defect occurred and why. Also get a report from Doctor/employer/professional occupational therapist that he is capable of carrying out all normal day to day activities such as dressing, crossing the road, shopping etc etc so that they already have that information when they make their decision. It might also be sensible to get the doctor to confirm that there has been no recurrence of the stroke event that caused the visual defect. I hope that all goes well for you. He will get his licence back so long as the defect is not too severe or centred around the middle of his vision. I am not a doctor and only have experience of dealing with this exact problem. I am happily driving around but it took 22 months to get there! Another thing re his work. Could he partner with another engineer? Does his employer have 'unfit to work' insurance. It's worth asking the employer now exactly where he stands. Take away the conjecture and you take away worry where worry is pointless. Good luck!
  8. Kerry AB, Firstly I am so sorry to hear about your partner's experience (tinged with the being happy that you have a little one on the way!) but depending on the results of the Esterman field test (if the DVLA ask you to take one) you may well find that he is able to keep his licence, espcially as he has been driving for some months, despite the field of vision defect. May I suggest that you come back here once you have heard from the DVLA. You can then appraise us of what their advice is and we can advise as to what the way forward may be for you. The DVLA took 2 days to revoke my licence when they received the results of my Esterman test,. Your partner's results may well be better than mine (I had blind spots near to the middle of my vision) and he may be lucky and retain his licence. If this is not the case then we may be able to help. A word of warning, whatever the DVLA decides is exactly what you have to put up with. I think there is an appeal process and there is certainly a, 'exceptional case' process so please don't give up. Be positive and try not to fret. We will help at whatever stage your partner finds himself. Finally, read the threads in this section. There has been much success in people getting their licences back when they have been revoked (me included). You'll find some really helpful threads here. Johnniem
  9. What a nightmare for you. I was sorry to read all that. I looked up the Goldman test and it is done to establish your peripheral vision. I did a similar thing at my driving assessment and it was very much focussed on reaction times. I sat in a test bed that was like sitting in a car drivers seat, with a matrix of lights in front of me. The idea was to press the brake as soon as possible when you see a red light. It means you need to move your head around. However, the Goldman test may well involve fixing your gaze on one spot and seeing how much you can see with the peripheral vision (similar to the Esterman Test you did at Specsavers. So in summary, I don't really know but google helped a little bit! Good luck and let us know how things turn out. It would be good to have your summary of what a Goldman test is too!
  10. Wow! I have just seen the great news from Mrs K. Excellent. Of course, when you've been through the process yourself the worry and doubt is all too evident but this is really great news. I hope he has a blast out there on the roads Mrs K. Wish him all the (safe) best from us. Being without my wheels would be like having my arms cut off! I often say to my (very understanding) wife..."just off for a drive darling". She would say, "OK. Where are you driving to?" I'd respond "No idea yet, it's just about the driving." I do usually find a fun road or two though! All the best to you both.
  11. That's interesting to hear as it would be perfectly usual for the assessors to let him know their recommendations before he leaves the test centre. Did he ask? I don't want to be negative but it would be best for you to know that it may take a lot longer than two weeks for your husband to hear from DVLA. I hear that they have longer wait times at the moment due to covid restrictions on the numbers of people allowed, at any given time, in call centres. I hope he does hear within that timescale but if he hasn't heard after two weeks then please please call them, every day if necessary, to chase them up. The call centre staff at DVLA are really understanding in these situations so please don't worry about calling often. All the best and come back to tell us how he got on. JM
  12. So, how did your husband's assessment go Mrs K?
  13. Great news Mrs K! Wish him all the very best from us and report back when he has taken the test. I haven't any experience of someone here NOT passing so am fully expecting him to sail through. Make sure you ask them to email their report to the DVLA. It might take a few days for them to do the report but just be patient. Don't let him drive again until after he has received the go-ahead from DVLA as his temporary licence falls away after he has done the assessment. All the very best to him. JM
  14. Welcome Mrs Klopp. You will see a post on 18th June 2018 above, from Karl. His explanation is pretty full so is a good start to understanding what is required on the day. I also had an assessment in 2018 and there is very little to add to what Karl has related. Hopefully your husband has a provisional licence to use not just on the day of the assessment but right up until the assessment. If so, make sure he gets out with you (if you have a full clean driving licence) or someone else to get some practice in and make sure he is fully confident for his assessment. What Karl says is right; so long as your husband manages to follow road signs and keep within the speed limit (they may well take him through a 20 mph zone so he needs to keep his eyes peeled for that!). It is really all about what your husband notices, or more importantly, not notices, when he is out on the road. They asked me what a road sign meant. It was a national speed limit sign so I was lucky that I knew it was 60 mph on a single lane road (70 on a two lane road). The initial tests in the test centre are cognitive tests but they are very simple and are not particularly relevant to driving. They will check the strength in his feet and his ability to look over his shoulder (for obvious reasons). The second set of test will be on a driving machine set up and these will be tests to see his reaction times. When the red light comes on - press the brake etc. These reactions need to be achieved in a certain timescale. I managed to get within the time criteria so they were happy with what I achieved. When you have a visual defect, it means you cannot rely on field of vision to capture all that you should be seeing. This is the bit I found most challenging. I really wouldn't worry about it Mrs K! Your husband will be fine. Please come back and ask more question if there are any gaps. Let us know when he has had the test. They will tell him after the test if they are happy to recommend to the DVLA he gets the licence back. However, it is only the DVLA who can make the final decision so he will have to push them. Ask the test centre to email the DVLA so that the information gets to them sooner. They will still take ages to confirm their decision but your husband will at least be able to ask them if they have the information yet. Keep on at them too! I called every other day and they are fine with that. Happy driving times ahead!! JM
  15. John Sorry to hear of the trauma's you have been experiencing with the DVLA. It is not a surprise though as you will realise that the Covid pandemic has caused all sorts of problems. My understanding is that under the 'exceptional case' rules, you can get your licence back if you can show (by obtaining an Esterman Test - which you had at Specsavers) that your vision has improved and is no longer an issue. I imagine that if you have such evidence you should submit it now (as they say). It will still take some time for them to review it and get back to you but at least it will show them that your vision has improved. Whether or not it has improved enough, only DVLA can say. Their system, their rules I'm afraid. I posted much information about this in the thread here called 'Quadrantanopia' (which, it seems, is what you are suffering from - as was I). I feel that reading this and looking at my posts where I attached copies of letters and Esterman test results, could inform you a great deal more than trying to deal with the DVLA on the phone. If, eventually, DVLA decide that you must apply via the exceptional case rules then all the information is there and you should receive a letter much like the one I got in 2016. Since you are almost at the end of the year since you had your stroke (you need to go a full year without another 'event' to reapply, as well as jumping through other hoops - all detailed in the DVLA letter) it seems to me that you are within reach of making a reapplication anyway. Having said that, if the new tests show that you don't pass muster then the exceptional rule route requires you to have tests with opthalmic optician (of DVLA choice - local to you) and obtain reports etc about your eyesight and ability to cope without full vision. If it gets to that point we can obviously help guide you through it. Finally, I think that unless you are back to normal vision, the DVLA may well ask you to take a driving assessment. It is not like the original test that you took and involves more tests than just being on the road. Again, if this is the case, let us know and we can assist. Good luck and keep spirits up. You will get your licence back but it will take time. JM
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. 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
  21. 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.
  22. 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
  23. 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
  24. 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.
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