Monday, 28 November 2011

Licence to drive?

Things are getting better - I feel less weak and I'm starting to feel back to normal. In fact today, I woke in a fab mood. The baby had slept through the night (well virtually) and today was the first day I was going to be flying solo without my husband babysitting me and the baby since I came out of hospital.
And then the post arrived.
Along with the usual brown envelopes that seem to land on the doormat every morning was one from the DVLA.
On diagnoses in June, my neurologist had told me the only people I had to tell was the DVLA. "It's very unlikely they will take away your licence," he said. "You just have to let them know."
So I duly did that and it has taken until this morning to hear the outcome. Thankfully it hasn't taken away my licence.
But what it has done is issue me with a new licence which will expire in three years when my health will have be assessed again by its officials before it will issue me with another temporary licence.
It's made me feel a bit sorry for myself again. Okay, I can still drive legally at the moment. But will the DVLA officials have a different set of health problems to consider in three years time when it comes to the decision to renew my temporary licence? Will MS behave itself in the next 36 months so I'll still be considered fit to drive?
Driving has always been something I've seen as my freedom. Brought up in a small rural village, with a bus service that ran hourly and not at all on Sundays, driving was a lifeline as a youngster. Everybody booked their first driving lesson on their 17th birthday and it was a race to learn how to make your feet and hands work independently to control your mum's clapped out Ford Fiesta.
And then when that magical day happened and you passed your test, suddenly the world became your oyster. As long as you could win the argument with your siblings over who was going to have the car, scrape together enough cash to put some fuel in the tank (in those good ole days 55p a litre of petrol - yes that's right, you did read that right, 55p!!) then you were free.
The date of expiry on the licence that was issued to me shortly after passing my test all those years ago was the year 2047 and I always thought that date would be the day I'd have to hang my keys up for good.
I don't have and never have had a speeding ticket and I've only had one minor bump in the 17 years I've been on the road - doing anything which could jeopardise being able to drive is just something I never contemplated.
But yet again, my old friend MS has taken control and it is in the lap of the MS gods in three years time whether or not my licence will be approved again or not.
I am pinning all my hopes once again on the Big A treatment saving me from a driving-free future.

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