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Not driving is driving me crazy

C keeps asking me "When will you be able to drive?" As if it will be some nameable date. I've finally admitted I won't be able to drive for a while. Many other things have to happen first. Like I have to able to go grocery shopping without pain. A miserable failure today. I was stupid to even try.

I'm applying for a disabled transit card and Paratransit. I can use public transportation okay by myself. Well it would hurt to hold on, but I prolly wouldn't damage anyone else in the process. I can't take public transportation with Little T. Sure Special K could walk there just fine. However I can't push Little T in a stroller. Little T can't walk that far and I can't lift him onto a bus or train without a lot of pain and I honestly don't know if the pain wouldn't get so bad I might fall over. It's happened before. Hell I can't even put him into a car seat.

So there you have the naked truth, which I write not so you can feel sorry for me, but because I tend to conveniently forget and try things I shouldn't.

And because my inability to drive makes me feel socially isolated. And disabled. Okay I have a disability. But I don't feel disabled most of the time. I've adapted. I live my life. I feel fortunate that on the scale of problems I could have including my son's lot, I've been dealt a pretty good hand. But this is just a big roadblock to me. Fortunately it's one that's amenable to spending money on and I'm fortunate to have money to throw at the problem. And friends to help me. But still it's a freedom I've lost. I mourned it a little already, but now I'm mourning it more. I was feeling bad about mourning it, but I realised I need to mourn it to move on. I can't pretend I'm happy about not driving, that it doesn't matter to me. There's nothing that makes up for the loss unless I become rich enough to get my own personal chauffeur.

I thought about locking this post. I wanted to badly. There's still a lot of discrimination and prejudice against people with disabilities. But my ability to drive has nothing to do with my current job skills, which include an MBA and years of management. And I thought about macski and others who may stumble across my LJ and find it helpful. I do believe I'll drive again. But the next person who asks me when will get a wrench of the wrist.

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Comments

( 5 notes — Leave a note )
gconnor
Oct. 21st, 2006 08:58 am (UTC)
I thought about the driving issue a little since last time you posted about it. I admit I don't understand your condition well enough to ask questions without perhaps missing something obvious, but I figure asking is probably better than wondering and you can choose not to answer if you don't care to talk about it.

That said, I was wondering if some modifications to the car would help. I remember you said that when you drove before, you would have to grip tightly and keep your wrists locked the whole time. What if there were some modification to the wheel to make it stay in any position when you let go, rather than naturally going back to the middle, so that you don't have to grip it the whole time? Can you make minor course corrections with your knee to keep from touching the wheel constantly?

If you have better control of your feet than your wrists and hands, you may be interested in car modifications designed for those without use of their arms (such as steering with your left foot).

Anyway, I also wanted to let you know that I'm still available to give rides once in a while... if I may help at some point please ask.

Hang in there.
waterowl
Oct. 23rd, 2006 07:51 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the offer of the rides! I'll definitely let you know. It was very helpful to get Sephi to the vet.

Thanks Greg! You inspired to try once again to call Santa Clara Adaptive Driving. I had a really bad experience when I talked to them last time. I think I scared them off last time, because I was scared. I talked a lot about jerking. But actually jerking isn't my problem. I don't jerk on the highway. I torque my body and wrists in weird ways aka dystonia. And that's what kills my wrists. This time I talked to a different person who was much nicer. I'll see how it goes. I'm slowly accepting that I'm disabled when it comes to driving and I need help.
charlottesmom
Oct. 23rd, 2006 12:43 am (UTC)
Thida,
I'm glad you did not lock the post and I'm especially glad that you talked about locking the post and why/why not. Your disability is part of who you are and why you are. It informs your writing, your parenting, your friendships. Not having a disability, I can't understand what it is to live with one unless you speak up and I can listen. Letting us all read about it in turn informs our lives and, hopefully, allows us to all "be more human" (which by the way is one of many lessons to take out of this week's Torah reading--the creation story in Genesis).

Many, many thanks.

Sending good healing thoughts to you, as always,
Ilene
waterowl
Oct. 23rd, 2006 08:25 pm (UTC)
I really appreciated your reply, Ilene! It's given me something to think about. Healing vibes to Charlotte too!
macski
Oct. 24th, 2006 01:53 am (UTC)
You have definitely helped me realize that I am not the only person in the world with this condition because I have never talked to anyone with this disability before so I am looking forward to reading your post daily. I have never had trouble yet in terms of physical pain from m.d. but sometimes I fear that I am on so much medication that it is affecting my memory, concentration, etc., which is definitely affecting my driving skills. When possible, I leave the driving to someone or else always try to be as alert as possible. Don't know much about adaptive driving but at least it sounds like you live somewhere where public transportation is readily available.
( 5 notes — Leave a note )