Wednesday, August 16, 2006

driven to distraction -- an update

Today Robb spoke with the occupational therapist who does the driving evaluations at his new (yay!) physical therapists' office.

This therapist, Steve, told him what Robb might expect at his upcoming hearing at the Department of Motor Vehicles. He thought that Robb would be interviewed, and that Robb wouldn't need to plead his case, and that furthermore the DMV wouldn't be interested in any information that a therapist evaluator might provide.

Steve asked Robb how all this came about, if Robb had requested the driving evaluation, or if the doctor had, or if this was being "driven" by the insurance company. In fact, Robb's physiatrist ordered this, at the request of the insurance company. The Worker's Compensation Insurance company is keenly interested in helping Robb become as independant as possible.

Robb feels that at this point, Steve didn't fully understand the nature of Robb's condition, and was perplexed as to why this evaluation was going to take place. Steve eventually spoke with Robb's doctor's secretary, who explained that the doctor ordered the driving evaluation because he was concerned about Robb's ability to use the foot pedals in a car.

At this point, Steve reversed his course, and Robb will have his preliminary driving evaluation on Friday. Then, on Tuesday, Robb will have his hearing with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

But will this begin the process of re-instating Robb's driver's license so that he may drive a car with hand-controlled pedals? We have no idea. This whole process has been a bit of a mystery.

Robb intends to tell the DMV that he has not, in fact, been driving during this time, and that furthermore he has no intention of driving any time soon. He only wants to get driving privileges back so that he can be trained on the use of an adaptive device.

Let's hope that good sense prevails, and that Robb isn't trapped in some bureaucratic vortex.

(I should note that I haven't been very involved in this particular part of Robb's life, and recently had to make Robb tell me why he was so keen to get his driver's license back. The fact is that we've now lived in California long enough that Robb had to renew his license, and honesty obliged him to check that little box informing the DMV that he had incurred an injury that affected his ability to drive, and action which lead to Robb's license being suspended. I thought Robb was merely gung-ho to start driving again. You can imagine that I had my reservations about allowing Robb, who has limited sensation and limited motor control of his feet, drive our car. In fact, he just wanted to unsnarl this mess so that he could begin the process of learning to drive a car with hand-controls.)

2 comments:

shiloh said...

It's a good form of ID even if you never drive. I would think the DMV would give this some consideration before just doing away with his DL.

Anonymous said...

Hey there-
Can't you guys come up with something, like say that Robb has to be able to drive by himself, if only as part of some religous requirement? If the DMV doesn't give him a lisence, you can press charges for religous descrimination. This is not as insane as it sounds.

Gary's nephew was waitlisted to enlist in the US Navy years ago because he listed his religion as wicca, and so he could not be called up for duty until the US Navy hired a wiccan priest in order to minister to his needs. If this religous requirement can have the US military act creatively, then I'm certain the California DMV can do the same, right?

Tell them Robb will call down the wrath of his god (make one up) if he doesn't get a liscence. If your god is a pacifist, I'm all out of ideas. Messing with a citizen is one thing, messing with a diety is a whole nother ball game, especially in California, right? Aren't earthquakes in Ca considered an "act of god". Maybe you can threaten the DMV with the "big one" if you feel like it.

- Annalisa

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