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Old 01-03-2010, 10:26 PM   #1
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Question Intro and question about driving

I am not diagnosed with MS. I have a brain injury from an accident 7 years ago, symptoms that are much like MS. Chronic pain, fatigue, dizzyness, numbness, stiffness, twitching, tingling, balance problems, double vision, brain fog, cognitive deficits ...
I walked with a cane for 4 years off and on, relearned a lot like a child. Recovery has been ongoing, in a baby step kind of way. Every now and then I get some sort of a relapse, not unusual because I overdue, then overload and then shut down. Some of the relapses didn't make sense however, but I was too exhausted to care.

Last summer my toes went 'numb', taking over both feet within a month, now above the knees. Feels like walking on traprock and legs feel like dipped in thick latex paint. This is totally new and I started to remember other unusual foot trouble that didn't make sense to me.
I joined a gym and work out like a nut because I want my feet back. Didn't have any effect, other that wild visual disturbance. No muscle weakness, getting pretty toned but my legs don't always listen to the signals from my brain. My foot doesn't always 'know' where it is, my knee doesn't just go without concentration. It seems I either walk like a bird, lifting my leg too high or trip over the tip of my shoes. I'm back to a clumsyness that is somehow different from the one that had me need a cane. Then I was unsteady because of vertigo.

I eventually went to my primary, had lots of lab tests, was refered to a neuro and just had MRIs of brain and Lspine. This is hard, I hope my neuro is willing to sort through this mess of overlapping and unrelated symptoms and conclude that I don't have MS.
Now to my question:
I realized that I can't quite feel the position of my foot on the gas or break pedal. I have to judge by the reaction of the car. Does anyone have problems driving?

 
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Old 01-04-2010, 04:03 AM   #2
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Re: Intro and question about driving

Wow. Thats a pretty scary thing to have to deal with! Scary, not only for you, but the person in front of you.

Im sorry to hear that you have these issues....and from a injury, no less is horrible....but to strictly answer the question you are asking, when any one of us starts having foot problems, we either give up driving or get hand controls.

Why dont you look into hand controls? Its easily adaptible for most cars and a simple test to take, then youll never put yourself or anyone else at risk because of numb foot syndrome.

Please dont drive and potentially hurt someone else....
Nikki
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Old 01-04-2010, 09:11 PM   #3
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Re: Intro and question about driving

I have been driving with hand controls since 2002. I learned early on that my feet and legs do not react safely to allow me to drive well. I took a driving course which included a certification for me to drive with hand controls. The limitation is that I cannot drive a manual transmission. There are significant benefits. I have found that in addition to being safer on the road, I have more energy because I am not using my legs to drive.

When I had seizures, I did not drive until 6 months after the last one. I also refrain from driving when I am having a bad day.

Some states require restrictions placed on your license. I have one here in Kansas and I also had to take a drive with the driving test officer to demonstrate I could drive with my hand controls.

I would highly recommend your getting a set installed ASAP!! If you do not have GPS, you might want to add this. If I ever get another vehicle, this will be an option I need. When the brain fog descends, it can be difficult to get home! Believe me, I have been there and "missed home" by many miles!

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Old 01-05-2010, 09:09 AM   #4
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Re: Intro and question about driving

Thank you for responding and advice. Of course you are all right. Believe me, I'm concerned about safety of not just myself. Lack of someone else's concern got me in this situation (I was hit by a Mack truck)
Driving course and certification, oh. Hand controls, OK. Good to hear that hand controls improved your energy.

I didn't drive for several years, mostly because of visual dysfunction, I could not make sense of where what is and movement confused me. Still have trouble translating what I see in mirrors, best to turn and look. My ability to react also deteriorates quicker, so I had to restrict driving to short distance, consider choice of alternate roads and time of day. I have simple partial seizures my docs didn't report to the DMV and trusted that I would know how to handle it. Silly! Seizures are now well controlled with meds. Generally everything improved until last summer, when my feet started to go.

I had to smile when I read that you missed home by miles, I can relate to that. I get lost a lot, no clue where I am or going. I have a GPS but when it gets that bad, I really have to stop right there and close my eyes for a while.

 
Old 01-05-2010, 10:44 AM   #5
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Re: Intro and question about driving

My hand control driving instructor taught how to judge distances, etc. I finished with 6 hours driving behind the wheel. (6 one hour lessons). The school was required where I live. If it is not required where you live, you should still enroll.

When you do drive with hand controls, they taught me to cross my feet at my ankles. This action is supposed to "tell the brain" that your legs are not working. This does help, especially when your legs want to work (but you must resist because they cannot be trusted!!).

I travel with my Service Dog all the time. He does not prevent me from going astray, but he makes good company when I do! Besides, he is addicted to riding.
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Old 01-09-2010, 09:09 PM   #6
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Re: Intro and question about driving

I checked into training requirement for transition to hand control in Massachusetts. I can't find any mention of it anywhere. When the time comes, I'll take your recommendation to heart to have lessons anyway.

I lost my service dog last year and miss him terribly, I think of him every day. The pain of losing him made me not ever want to have another. Service dogs very are special to the person they bonded to. Give you dog a hug from me?

 
Old 01-10-2010, 03:16 PM   #7
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Re: Intro and question about driving

Will do. He gets hugs every day. I know what you mean about losing a service dog. I will try to retire mine in two years and start training his replacement before he retires. It is tough to say good bye to a four-legged angel; they are indispensable in my opinion.

I am glad you checked-out the hand control rules because they do vary state to state. I wish you well in transitioning to hand controls.
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