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3 tips for taking back your independence without a drivers license

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Let’s be honest, epilepsy can feel pretty isolating. Add to that, if your seizures aren’t under control (or you just plain don’t feel safe) then driving is off the table. Thankfully this is where the Internet of Things comes to the rescue. No license, no problem. Here we share 3 easy ways to help you take back your independence.

Life with no driver’s license

Has epilepsy ever prevented you from doing the things you love? Or prevented you from doing the simple everyday tasks that all human beings are expected to do? It sure has for me! I felt helpless and confined to my home. Even worse, I was totally dependent on others to do anything that required leaving the house.  Thankfully these days there are companies that can help.


Uber has not only changed the lives of people in the tech industry, it has changed the lives for people that can’t drive and need an on-demand, reliable service. Remember those days when you called a taxi and an hour later they showed up!? Or sometimes they didn’t show up at all despite you calling 50 times! People of certain age (anyone over 30) remember those days and thank goodness they are behind us! With the Uber app, I can order my “taxi” through my phone and be connected with a driver. I can even see the drivers location on my phone. Uber is one not the only company in this industry, but being a global company it has been the best for me.

One night my flight was delayed and I arrived to Lyon, France very late. The taxi line was empty, all shuttle services were closed, and the airport was deserted. I opened my uber app and within 10 minutes a person was there to take me to my hotel. He didn’t speak English and I don’t speak French, but all I had to do was enter my hotel address in the app and it showed him where to go. Uber officially broke the language barrier and brought me safely to my hotel.

There are several other apps similar to Uber. A few of these are Lyft, Curb, Mytaxi, Flywheel, Gett, and EasyTaxi. Be sure to check to see which app is used most frequently in your area.

What's your Epilepsy Transportation story?

Grocery Delivery

Instacart is a grocery delivery service. You can search your favorites grocery stores inventory and add items to your virtual shopping cart. Once you place your order you have the ability to chat with your shopper – a live human being that is handpicking your order! You can add those last minute items you forgot (ice cream!) and provide more details on the items you are ordering, such as wanting overripe bananas. Instacart has even partnered with Costco, Whole Foods, Safeway, Sprouts, Bevmo, Petco, and other local shops in your neighborhood.

My instacart story. Family Thanksgiving was moved last minute to my home. I literally had nothing to prepare a meal. There was no way I was going to push my way through a frenzy of last minute shoppers without my anxiety kicking in. I signed into Instacart and simply added everything I would need. Being a popular shopping week, there were many items that were sold out. My shopper was so patient and helpful by suggesting alternative replacements. My groceries arrived that afternoon and I pulled off my family Thanksgiving!


Shop for everyday items

Amazon. Ok, if you haven’t heard of Amazon you must be living on mars. But, have you used it? If shopping is stressful for you, stop doing it.  Amazon has everything you need. Books, clothes, household products, diapers, baby gear, and even furniture. They have everything. Amazon has changed lives for those unable to leave their home. People can now order their essentials from the comfort of their own home. If you haven’t checked out Amazon you need to! It is seriously a lifesaver when you aren’t able to drive to a shop.

You can even get your prescriptions through Amazon now. Amazon acquired PillPack, an online pharmacy that will deliver all your meds packaged into little packs for each day. The team that developed the service is amazing and it can definitely save the trouble of going to the pharmacy!

Another alternative is Bookshop.org. It’s a way to support your local indie bookstore AND have your books delivered straight to your house!


Shop for unique items

Etsy. Same goes. Etsy is a great place to find all those unique boutique items that used to require traveling to a new city and going store to store. But now you can just open your computer and find jewelry, home decor, masks, bags, scarves, gifts and more.

What's your online shopping story?


Your turn

I want to hear from you. How are you taking back your independence? Comment here

Follow Maureen Knorr:
I’m Maureen, and I have epilepsy. You’re probably reading this because either you have epilepsy, or you love someone that has epilepsy. Whatever sparked your curiosity, I am happy to be sharing my experiences with you. From having seizures in foreign countries to begging pharmacists that don’t speak English for medication, I can definitely say that it's been an interesting journey. Hopefully reading about my ups and downs, and my everyday and not so everyday adventures will inspire you too! Welcome to my life of living well with epilepsy!

  1. Melissa Carroll
    | Reply

    I LOVE this article. Despite my epilepsy I am staunchly independent and It’s taken me nearly 25 years with it to completely understand it. I find housing and work near to public transportation if possible (as Uber and Lyft can be pricey and hard to count on at times), and the most important lesson I’ve learned is how to ask for help when I need it. For years I hated asking for rides from friends and family despite knowing they were asking out of love. Now I realize, it’s okay as long as I don’t take them for granted and return the love they are giving me!

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