Thursday, March 24, 2011

Going My Way?

As I was saying yesterday, we drove out in the country and enjoyed the view.  I was a passenger.  I am always a passenger now.  I don’t drive anymore.  Not that I would not if it was an emergency, but I don’t, as a rule, drive now.
When my right leg started getting numb I had to begin watching carefully how I walk.  Sometimes it walks along OK and sometimes it just sits there.  I have to sling it to get it to follow along.
I was driving one day and nearly didn’t stop when the car in front of me did.  I had to quickly put my left foot on the brake because my right leg would not let me raise it.  The decision to quit driving came shortly thereafter. It was not an easy one to make. 
When mother had her last heart surgery, her doctor recommended that she quit driving.  He told her that if she had to turn the wheel quickly, she could tear some of her internal stitching and possibly bleed to death before being rescued.  At 82 years old, it takes a long time to heal internally.  It took a while to convince her to do so, but she finally gave up her car.
I know how she feels.  I probably feel it even more than she does as I am quite a bit younger than she is.  When I was young, getting a driver’s license was the biggest thing in our lives.  It gave us independence and the feeling that we were finally getting “of age”.  Thus, giving up driving is a hard thing to do.  It robs us of part of our independence and lets us know that we have reached that age, or in my case, that condition.
I think I’ve handled it pretty well so far.  My husband does not seem to mind taking me where I need or want to go and being the family chauffeur.  I try not to think about just jumping in the car and going where I want to go without having to ask someone to take me.
If you see me thumbing on the highway, please stop and give me a ride.  My usual driver may be busy or sick and I need to get someplace………I will be a good passenger………..I promise!

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