I'm feeling more confident about my driving now, but still I haven't done much highway driving. I've done a few three- or four-minute trips, but I wanted to go further.
Specifically, I wanted to drive to Lincoln, a town that's about 15 minutes west from my house. I can imagine Robert Frost composing poetry while strolling through the woods and the small, rolling orchards of Lincoln (although I'm guessing that he--like me--wouldn't be able to afford a house there). The landscape is beautiful, but the bigger draw for me is chance to visit farm animals there. I used to take the kids to see the cows, pigs, and sheep at a community farm, but I confess: it was mostly a good excuse to do something that I wanted to do myself anyways.
So I drove in Lincoln and back on Tuesday. Unfortunately, I knew that the driving would be very tiring, so I didn't actually do anything there--I pulled over in a parking lot, rolled down the windows, and breathed deeply for about 5 minutes. And then I turned around and drove home. I'm looking forward to driving there again, and getting out to visit with the animals.
3 days ago
Hi Grace. I started back to work 6 months after my stroke and my work involves travel, so I had to start driving again. At first it was stressful and tiring because it was no longer an automatic and unconscious activity, it required a great deal of conscious concentration. But I kept at it, and now 18 months post, I'm back to listening to the radio and zoning out just like before. Luckily I drive a lot on interstates and parkways. So buckle down and grip that steering wheel now, and a year from now you'll be leaning back and listening to NPR. Or maybe oldies.ReplyDelete
I agree with your first commentator--a lot of the fatigue comes from the stress of doing something "new"! Once it's familiar, it won't be half as tiring. So get right back in that driver's seat! Love, MumReplyDelete
Breaking a new challenge into steps is exactly what I do too. For me it's a proven path to success. A task aways goes better the second time I try it. Keep truckin'.ReplyDelete
Hey, anonymous again, the first commenter. My stroke was on the right, so I had significant (but not what I would call severe) left neglect. This caused me a great deal of concern about driving, and caused my wife even more. But because I was very aware of it, I made it a point of emphasis to conciously look to the left, then look again, and again. Now, though, I do it without thinking. The brain is remarkably resilient.ReplyDelete
Hi, Anonymous, thanks for reading. Driving has been scary but very good therapy--my thinking in general has gotten much faster in part because I have to react quickly on the road.Delete
Hey Grace. April 11 I drove 2 hours - to Westborough! And back in the same day.ReplyDelete
Wow! That's fantastic.Delete
Grace, I caught up again here and am amazed with your resilience, stamina, and resourcefulness. I like the balance you write about with the good parts and those that continue to strain. You are a power of example. Thank you. Trish HoganReplyDelete
Thanks for the kind words, Trish.Delete
Me again, Grace, Anonymous no longer. I've started my own blog. I call it Working with Stroke at workingwithstroke.blogspot.com Stop by and take a look if you would. It isn't much yet, but I intend to keep working at it.Delete
I look forward to reading it!Delete