Last year I learned that the DMV will suspend your license if you receive a diagnosis of dementia. You get a letter and are offered the chance to appeal their decision. Doctors are required by law to notify the DMV once the diagnosis is made, and so the letter may come as a surprise, depending on how aware a person is of their cognitive decline.
I learned this because it happened to my husband. Like anyone would be, he was devastated by the suspension. Against my protests, he launched a campaign to get his license back. I won’t go into the details of what he did and what happened next, but after one failure he passed the tests and got to drive again.
Earlier this year, another neurologist gave him some tests and confirmed the diagnosis: FTD. If you don’t know what this is and have never heard of it, I can assure you that it affects a person in a variety of unsettling and surprising ways. Should he have been allowed to keep driving? He thought so, and once again tried to get his license back. But this time, he would not be allowed to test. It is a degenerative disease and nobody wanted him to put himself or anyone else in danger down the line.
Last week, I sold his car. We were both sad about it, but he has now realized it was for the best and I did the right thing.
I’m actually grateful that the DMV won’t allow him to drive anymore. It’s a big change, but we have learned about a great service in our area for seniors that beats Uber and Lyft for cost and convenience.
The burden falls on me to manage just about everything these days. Getting rid of the car and the stress around his driving was only one small step on the long road ahead.
This was a hard one to write, and a belated response to an earlier prompt.