Author Topic: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.  (Read 172 times)

Dave

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Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« on: September 11, 2017, 07:55:42 AM »
At 70, and every three years later, we Brits have to apply for a renewal of our driving license. Normally this is only a formality, you fill in the papers or the online form and the new licence appears a couple of weeks later. Maybe up to four if, like me, you have a serious medical condition that might affect your safe ability to drive and they decide to consult the specialist.

As often happens one's eyesight deteriorates with age. I have suffered slight distortion in my vision for years but it has not got worse. Retinal scans over the past two years have shown no significant changes. However I have noticed reduced resolution at distance and problems with bright sun and oncomjng lights at night. The standard test is to read a licence plate at 20 metres - managed that a few months ago.

In October last year my optician got into a panic over the possibility of macula degenerstion and referred me to an opthalmologist. Scans and tests indicated that I am in an early stage of cararacts, though I still passed the guidelines for driving. But he decided to list me for surgery in one eye.

In all this has lasted from that October until the final booked date for the op, 4th October, nearly a year. Trouble is I have to get my application for licence renewal in before my birthday - the 7th October . . . At the weekend I paced out the distance for the test, could not read the plate. Walking towards the target car I got to be able to just, in the right lighting coditions, read it at about 15 metres. I had been aware that my sight was gradually worsening but, as we fallible humans are wont, did not put it to the test. 95% of my journeys are to the store or the nearby surgeries and I know every bump and dodgy spot intimately. I have decided to give up driving voluntarily until after the op, when my vision will hopefully be up to the required standard.

Problem is if I do not apply for renewal in time and my licence lapses I may have to retake the test, and I will need lessons first in order to lose some sloppy habits!  So, probably stupidly, I decided to "come clean" to the licencing agency, saying that I have stopped drivjng until after the op and csn I pretty please "suspend" my application until after I know that the op has been successful.

I can only hope for clemency, that they respect my honesty. But, 'tis done, the email has been sent. I await their response with some trepidation. If they decide I have been knowingly driving whilst having inadequate eye sight I could be in trouble. I have all my documents, letters, etc  scanned in and ordered and my defence composed - just in case.

But, when it came to the crunch, I simply could not tick that "Yes" box to say that I could currently pass the sight test. There are "plastic" truths and "rigid" ones, this is of the latter category for me.
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 09:12:15 AM »
Do you think you can drive safely, when all is said and done?  I applaud your honesty, but I think the bottom line is if you can drive without harming others/self.

Dave

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 09:30:48 AM »
Do you think you can drive safely, when all is said and done?  I applaud your honesty, but I think the bottom line is if you can drive without harming others/self.

Yes, on the roads I know I am OK, I drive very carefully and conciously maintain road ettiquette . . . It's all the other idiots and boy racers!!

I have been putting off visiting a friend in Devon because I cannot now read route direction boards until it is too late. Yeah, my honesty only stretches so far. That and and it is a criminal offence to lie on the application, with a minimum £1000 fine, and my insurance will be invalid, potentially leading to a prison sentence in the event of an accident. Even if it was not my fault and they decided to check my eyes.
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Tank

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 11:49:26 AM »
Crappy situation to be in. As far as the operation is concerned it's a doddle. I had both my lenses swapped out for plastic ones ten years ago and never looked back.
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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 02:57:43 PM »
I think you did the right thing, some things just aren't worth lying about or bending the truth.
I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


xSilverPhinx

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 04:06:30 PM »
This popped up on my Facebook feed and I thought of you, Dave. :P

I'm just a student of the game that they taught me.


Dave

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 07:49:16 AM »
^
Maybe not exactly that but, especially with kids and the elderly (not including me of course) (or OG, Icarus, Hermes et al :D) small miscommunications or mistaken meanings can have dodgy outcomes. In my experience a lot of doctors don't seem to know how talk the patient into an accurate description of  their problem. Nor do all of them read the body language and hand gestures - I always ensure any description I make, "gripping", "point", "line" etc is accompanied by an appropriate and exaggerated hand gesture over the place of the pain.

Anyway, latest is that the "Drivers Medical Group" have asked me to surrender my licence, OK with that, and on re-asking the question my renewal application will be accepted even after my present one would have run out. That is a little different from how I read the rules, but they also say the new licence will arrive in one week . . . or two weeks . . . of online submission.
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hermes2015

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2017, 10:15:59 AM »
^
Maybe not exactly that but, especially with kids and the elderly (not including me of course) (or OG, Icarus, Hermes et al :D) small miscommunications or mistaken meanings can have dodgy outcomes. In my experience a lot of doctors don't seem to know how talk the patient into an accurate description of  their problem. Nor do all of them read the body language and hand gestures - I always ensure any description I make, "gripping", "point", "line" etc is accompanied by an appropriate and exaggerated hand gesture over the place of the pain.

Anyway, latest is that the "Drivers Medical Group" have asked me to surrender my licence, OK with that, and on re-asking the question my renewal application will be accepted even after my present one would have run out. That is a little different from how I read the rules, but they also say the new licence will arrive in one week . . . or two weeks . . . of online submission.

I wish you luck with the operation and hope that your licence will be reinstated speedily.

As far as communication with one's doctor, I am extremely lucky to have a brilliant one. BTW, she looks exactly like Claire Goose in The Coroner. She never talks down to me and always discusses whatever is relevant in a scientific manner, even showing me journal articles - perhaps because I am a chemist and she respects that. I guess this is not the norm, though.

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 01:06:22 PM »
I agree with the others - you did the right thing. Best not to risk it until after the op.
My dad had his lenses replaced and was very happy with his sight afterwards.
Best of luck!

Dave

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Re: Damned if I do - probably damned anyway.
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 01:55:40 PM »
I agree with the others - you did the right thing. Best not to risk it until after the op.
My dad had his lenses replaced and was very happy with his sight afterwards.
Best of luck!

Thanks, but the thought of the possible penalties if there was an accident and my eyesight was put into question (likely at my age) and I had lied on the form and my insurance was invalid (including legal fees and third party injury cover) and . . . Don't think they have WIFI in prisons.

Just not worth the risk for a bit if convenience. After the shocks from my cardiac implant I suffered a mandatory 6 months ban, I actually did not drive fir a whole year - we have an every 10 minute bus service to the supermarket and town. Admittedly I did not have a very painful foot condition then.

I have had a whole load of tinned, jarred and bottled stuff delivered today, enough for at least two weeks, but bread, fruit and fresh veg I usually buy two or three times a week. The deliveries cost at least £7 unless you spend £40, at least £1-50 if you do, can't stock that much fresh stuff all at once and no room to freeze a couple of loaves.

I have to go for a blood test tomorrow, good test to see how far and fast I can hobble on crutches without screaming! Have to make it to the post office as well so will go next door to the supermarket - they have electric scooters on loan!
Tomorrow is precious, don't ruin it by fouling up today.