When you’re a teenager, your biggest goal in life is to get your driver’s license. It is a teenager’s first taste of independence from their parents and other relatives. Well, being diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy, getting my driver’s license was a HUGE deal for me. It made me feel like I had accomplished something in my life. It was REALLY important to me. When I was a teenager, my father took me out of the house so I can learn how to drive a car. We usually went to a deserted parking lot. It was good enough for me. At least I was able to get my feet wet a bit before I dove into the ocean. When I was 20 years old, my father told me that he would allow me to take driving lessons with his friend who is a driver’s education instructor. When I heard those words come out of his mouth, I had a huge smile on my face. I was really, really happy. No words will ever be able to describe how I felt at that moment. The time came for me to take my first driving lesson, and to my surprise, I broke down and cried. I was overcome with emotion. When I was living in Chicago, I was told that I would never be able to drive a car with my Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy. So, I kind of believed that.
After being able to drive for a while, I finally went to go take my driver’s exam on March 3, 2011. I had to take the driver’s exam with a left gas accelerator, steering knob, and automatic transmission because of my Cerebral Palsy. Guess what? I passed the exam the first time. Yay!!!! I proved everyone wrong that told me that I would not be able to drive. They would have to bite their tongues the next time they doubt my capabilities. You know? I took the picture for my driver’s license, I flashed my pearly whites, and received my medical restriction card for my license due to my Epilepsy and left the BMV. I told everyone how I got my driver’s license and they were very excited for me. I was also excited for myself.
That same year in May, I was scheduled to go into the hospital for a video EEG monitoring for my Epilepsy to see where in my brain my seizures were starting from. Before I went into the hospital, a piece of mail came about my medical restriction card stating that I needed my doctor to fill out a form by the end of the month in order to renew it. I got a ride from a family member to drop off the forms to my doctor and I received those exact same papers in the mail. I told my mother that I needed her to drop them off to the BMV before the end of the month. I didn’t have any car modifications or a car for that matter to drive to the BMV to drop them off.
I went into the hospital the last week of May and that same day, my mother told me she dropped them off too late and as a result, the BMV suspended my driver’s license. “Dang. I knew I should have asked someone else to do that errand for me.” My heart broke into a million pieces. Every emotion you can think of I felt it at that moment. Mad. Hurt. Sad. Frustrated. Annoyed. Irritated. Everything. My dreams of driving right now are shattered. Driving a car was something that was SUPER important to me. Oh my gosh!!!! But it is not my fault that I was born this way. I just have to get my seizures under control for six months to a year before I can get my license back.
As of right now, I am dependent upon my family and public transportation to take me to the places where I want to go. I hate taking public transportation and I hate asking my family for rides but I have to do it. Every time I hear someone getting their driver’s license, I tend to get envious of them. I wish I had that independence, but I don’t right now. I have to wait. Every time someone tells me that I have to get my driver’s license, I always go back to this situation and it makes me sad. I really don’t like to bring up why I don’t have my driver’s license at 22 years old. I leave the situation where it is, in the past. I want to keep moving forward and pursue my dreams, wants, and needs in life. And they will happen.
Sooner or later, I am going to get my driver’s license back and be back on the road to independence.