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Old 02-26-2012, 08:03 PM   #1
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Still Not Driving ??

Well its been 20 months since my stroke and I thought I would ask everyone for some help. I am still not driving, and I so want to drive. I have trouble multitasking and of course driving is a multitude of tasks. When I went driving with my husband he said every time a car was approaching I would take my foot off the gas. Then when the car passed I would put it back on the gas. It seemed as though I had to drop a task to pay attention to the car approaching. Now that seemed to be a problem for the fellow following me in the big truck because not knowing I was slowing down he was only a few inches from my bumper. All this causes some concerns if I was to approach a traffic light. So much is going on and so many cars doing so many things. Im not sure I would handle it. Also when I drive my drop foot comes back right foot and my right side gets weak. That comes as a big surprise too. Also the stroke left me with slight periferal vision problems. Black spots jump out infront of me once in awhile. It is so much less than it was but last time I drove my husband asked me "how are you doing?" And I said fine but an elephant just jumped out of the ditch did you see it. LOL You should have seen the look on his face. LOL The only thing he said was, "Please pull over"
I so miss my driving. I live in the Rural country side. When My life stoped with the stroke it seemed fine that I couldnt drive I didnt want to go anywhere anyway. But Oh I am now missing it. Asking people for a ride makes me feel so old. I have always hated to bother people and its a bother when you have to ask someone to drive you everywhere. I have adjusted to my new life and all the stroke brought with it, but the driving I have not adjusted to nor do I want to give up on it. So I thought I would put it out to the board and ask what everyone things about it.
God Bless Mulchie

 
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Old 02-27-2012, 05:19 AM   #2
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Sure you should get out there and drive away!. After my stroke my wife told me I drive GREAT! of course this was after she had 2 margaritas!. When I first started driving I just put a sign on the back window that said "Stroke survivor driving this car". The sign did its job as no car on the road wanted to be any where near me.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 05:57 AM   #3
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Thank you for the laugh first thing in the morning. My husband will love your idea of having a drink or two before taking me out LOL. It most certainly would help the nerves, his not mine. I seem quite relaxed driving, the elephants dont bother me. Maybe thats my problem Im too relaxed. I like the idea of the sign, that certainly would have kept that truck off my bumper. Thanks for the post much appreciated. God Bless Mulchie

 
Old 02-27-2012, 08:29 AM   #4
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

That is really funny! I know I would keep my distance...Mulchie, I have not really driven much since my strokes 9 years ago, so I know how you feel, Then I had this accident and the truck I drive is too hard for me to steer now, So I am stuick like you, waiting for someone to drive me, and it is not fun.

Why dont you just get out there with your husband for 20 minutes at a time, Much of driving is routine, and maybe you just need to have it become second nature again. If you are not in a very congested area, you should be able to drive without much traffic around to get used to it again. Where there is a will there is a way. You can always start with short trips to very common places. lke the store or the gas station, and grow from there.

I think you can find a way to do it safely, and confidence will rise dramatically when you get some time behind the wheel under your belt.

Love Janet

 
Old 02-27-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Yes Janet you might be right. Its just repeat repeat repeat. I should just keep going out and doing little trips Not involving street lights. Im so afraid I will freeze in the middle of a light because I can't compute what to do. But maybe if I get real good at everything else it wont seem so bad. Nothing else I have had to try and regain in recovery has been as high risk as driving. My darlin husband being the over protective shadowing caregiver that he is, says, "dont worry I will drive you". Yikes!! What I need is a beat up old pick up truck so if I hit a mail box he cant tell if there are any new sratches on it. But the car I am driving he takes to work every day and I think he will notice a mail box in the back seat.
I agree with ya I think maybe just practice and learning to deal with the elephants and maybe I will drive again. Oh that would make me very very happy.
Thanks for the post my dear friend
God Bless Mulchie

 
Old 02-27-2012, 11:49 AM   #6
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Hi Mulchie my friend,
I totally understand how you feel. I think we all stroke survivors have felt the same thing about driving. I now that I when I first had my stroke I did not even want to drive. I was scared But as I started feeling better and had a little more confidence in myself. I tried to drive. And I did the same thing you did. I took my wife and watch me with no traffic at first. You said that you live in a rural area. So it is perfect for you to try and drive yourself a little bit at a time. Make sure you have your cell phone with you and your husband is home at first. but as your confidence builds, before long, you will be able to drive, but like everything, as you know it all takes time. I am blessed where I live because our grocery is and gasoline is only 1 mile away. So I can drive in a little traffic, but not too much. I usually go in the morning when there in not too much people in there. And I will buy a few things and get out before the rush in the afternoon. But I have met some good friends there in the morning and they always have a smile for me in the moring. I told most of them I had a stroke, but that was a long time ago, I am sure they don't remember it, but that is o.k. I don't want to burden them with my problems.

but all I need to do is drive once in awhile and get groceries or gas. And it is not far and fell safe doing it. Plus I feel like I am helping out the family, you know what I mean? I am not a drain to everybody. I still have my good positive attitdude and try not to complain (though I am sure I could) but I will not. I love the new life God have given me.

Anyway, you will drive again. Just like everything in our stroke recovery. Little steps are progress and before you know it, your goal will be reached.

God Bless Mulchie,
Tim

Last edited by Positive Cynic; 02-27-2012 at 04:18 PM.

 
Old 02-27-2012, 04:24 PM   #7
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Hi Tim
Thank you I know your right. I just need to build up my confidence and stamina I suppose. Hopefully the multitasking and the vision problems wont be the big deal I think they will be. I would LOVE to drive to the grocery store BY MY SELF. OH how you take things for granted. Before my stroke I didnt think it was a big deal. My stroke has given me insight into appreciating the little things. I think thats what we are suppose to do isnt it. You can never truly appreciate the big stuff until you have taken time to love and appreciate the small stuff. I sat today and just watched my grandson play. Yes and I was totally entertained.
Well I will let everyone know when I strike off driving. Hopefully I won't make the 6 o'clock news. I really thought everyone would say OH NO you better wait but everyone is so supportive and saying GET OUT THERE and try it. I guess because we have all been there.
Thank you my friend. Take care Tim and God Bless
Mulchie

 
Old 02-27-2012, 04:39 PM   #8
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulchie View Post
Hi Tim
Thank you I know your right. I just need to build up my confidence and stamina I suppose. Hopefully the multitasking and the vision problems wont be the big deal I think they will be. I would LOVE to drive to the grocery store BY MY SELF. OH how you take things for granted. Before my stroke I didn't think it was a big deal. My stroke has given me insight into appreciating the little things. I think that's what we are suppose to do isn't it. You can never truly appreciate the big stuff until you have taken time to love and appreciate the small stuff. I sat today and just watched my grandson play. Yes and I was totally entertained.
Well I will let everyone know when I strike off driving. Hopefully I won't make the 6 o'clock news. I really thought everyone would say OH NO you better wait but everyone is so supportive and saying GET OUT THERE and try it. I guess because we have all been there.
Thank you my friend. Take care Tim and God Bless
Mulchie
Its a good thing I signed the forum waver of responsibility! No one can blame me for telling you to drive!

Last edited by goldsworthy; 02-27-2012 at 04:40 PM.

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Mulchie,

I DO have that beat up old truck, and my biggest fear is the damage I could impose on these little cracker box cars out there on the road. My truck weighs almost 6,000 pounds and is made of cast iron and real metal.

You sure are right about our mantra though...keeping the little things so big in our lives. I love the chance to go to the store by myself every once in a while. When I first started going, I would forget half of the ingredients to anything I wanted to make. I like to see what looks good before I decide what I want to cook, so I end up trying to make a list after I get there, and still blow it. I am doing better now though.

My hubby is also very protective over me. He still thinks of me as partially crazy, and terribly forgetful, so he would rather go with me, drive me, walk with me, etc...Nine years later! But, I must admit, there have been lots of times I really needed him there with me. Bless the men and women in our lives watching over us.

I really think you can conquer this driving thing. We do loose the repetitive steps we need to take to start the car, to do the seat belt and all that, but after enough times, it will get to be old hat. Once you make it through the light 20 times without killing anyone, you will be good.

Perfect time to have one of those old drivers ed cars with the two steering wheels and brakes!

Love to you

 
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:41 AM   #10
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Ha Ha Janet,
That was funny for me for some reason. I just had flash back of my driver ed that had his brake on the passenger side. I remember the first time he used it on me is when I was at a light and it went green and I went left, but didn't know the right of way of the guy going straight. So he just grabbed his brakes and explained me what I did, cool as a cucumber and I was a mess at 16. So those driver ed's have mind of steel to sit there with 16 somethings and just go on and be so cool and not worry. ha ha.... Thanks for that memory.
Tim

 
Old 02-28-2012, 02:38 PM   #11
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

I know what you mean about the nerves of steel the drivers ed teachers must have had. Our school had a very nice drivers ed course that had stop lights, parking spaces, and a small freeway ramp to practice on,.,.my sister got a bee in her car and wrecked it into the only structure in the whole area, a light pole.

Mulchie, you could always get a set of red cones and set up your own drivers training area, since you have such room there to do so. You could practice your parallel parking, some figure eights, ha ha...

We are having too much fun with you now..I am teasing a bit, not too much I hope..I cant wait to hear your first driving story!

 
Old 02-28-2012, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Janet A bee in the car???
No wonder she wrecked ha ha! Do you know that my last run at the grocery, when I opened the car, there was a spider on the seat. I tried to get him but he ran away. I don't know where he is, but he is in the car. He was just a little one. Our daughter Ashley just got her license and she is freaky afraid about spiders. I didn't tell her there is a spider in there. If she sees it, she will probably wreck too, ha ha. I hope he just dies or if I see him when she is not in the car I can get him. I don't want her to see that spider in the car while she is driving ha ha!!!!

Speaking of spiders, in Florida have a spider we just call a brown spider. It is not poisonous and it's body is not that big. But it's legs are so long and hairy. When you see one with it's resting, it is as big as your hand with it's legs. So this was years ago, but one day I was driving home in my old Jeep and at a stop light I looked right and there was one of those spiders on the passengers's door, just hanging out there. Do you think I did not have a nervous drive home? I kept looking at the thing making sure it would not move. Talk about hard to drive! But it didn't move and when I got home I opened the door slowly and got some bug spray and went back and and it was still there. I proabably sprayed that thing a gallon. There was no way I could drive again in that Jeep knowing that big spider was in there.

What a silly story huh? So Mulchie, drive but watch out for bees and spiders.
Tim

Last edited by Positive Cynic; 02-28-2012 at 03:35 PM.

 
Old 03-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #13
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Ok here it is my first driving story,
Well I went out and I managed to take off without my husband in the front seat. Im not sure if thats a good thing or not. I just went into town and traveled a few roads that were not busy. I think word got out because I only passed one other driver on the road and he must not have gotten the warning that I was on the road. (Small town word travels fast) I came home with out a scratch and no mail box in the back seat. I did however noticed that when I came home and as the night went on my drop foot returned and my hip pain and I was so drained from the experience. It always surprises me when symptoms re-appear . Its been 20 months you would think it would be ok with my brain if I pushed it a little but NOPE I suffer the conseqences and the symptoms come back. That still surprised me. Anyone else experience that after you drive or push yourself. I couldnt believe it when I climbed in bed and I have not had hip pain in months and there it was pulsating hip pain. Its like my body was screaming NOPE your not going to drive. Well it was a disappointment for sure and Im not sure what to do. Do I push it and push it or just try again in a few months. Would love everyones opinion. Oh and Tim there were no bugs or spiders thank goodness because I would for sure drive up a pole.
Janet I laughed when you said get the cones out and I have lots of room. My Dad would tell me when I was 16 get out and drive in that field but a field and a road are not quite the same. hehehehe!! Well I leave you baffeled confused and pondering my next move. If I would win the lottery I could just hire a driver and a car. But Im still waiting for my numbers to come in.
Well I must go, suffering a terrible cold worst winter I have put in for being sick.
God Bless Mulchie

Last edited by Mulchie; 03-04-2012 at 03:37 PM.

 
Old 03-04-2012, 03:36 PM   #14
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Exclamation Re: Still Not Driving ??

Keep on a pushing!!!!! No pain no gain!! (rocky1). Now that I got driving down pat I am starting a new hobby I am getting a quadcopter!. I will be putting a camera on it and taking video.

Last edited by goldsworthy; 03-04-2012 at 03:44 PM.

 
Old 03-04-2012, 04:24 PM   #15
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Re: Still Not Driving ??

Hey Mulchie,
I am sorry about that, but I would keep trying though. little steps at a time as we all know so well. I have the same thing, but not driving. I used to love working in the yard, but every time I try again, I get winded and have to sit down. But I can do work inside all day. It doesn't make any sense. Just like your driving. I think for some reason after a stroke, our brain doesn't like certain things anymore and it is different for every person. That just my 2 cents on it and that sure is not much these days ha ha!

God Bless,
Tim

Last edited by Positive Cynic; 03-04-2012 at 04:26 PM.

 
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