Monday, December 19, 2011

Driving and I

I'm currently not driving.
Because of my brain injury, my driving insurer, SGI, requires my physician to fill out a questionnaire regarding my abilities. Namely, whether she recommends that I complete the written driving test, or just the driving assessment, or both, or that I should, or shouldn't drive, or what.
They sent the form back in the spring of 2010. One of my occupational therapists advised not to get it completed till I was psychologically ready to drive. I'm not.  
I still get anxiety in vehicles. Not as bad as before, thanks to counselling, but I still sometimes close my eyes at busy intersections.

I may have mentioned this before, and if I have, forgive me, my memory isn't great.
Troy was driving me to Metro Pet Market that Saturday morning for work. I hadn't had time to renew my driver's license(yes, I was that busy!), and we just had the Echo, and Troy's Harley, for motorized transportation. This was December 5 in Saskatchewan, we don't ride in the winter. Well, some do, I've seen them, but we don't. Troy needed the car that day, and I was working all day. Troy was driving me to work.
The collision happened in a quiet, residential intersection, 2 blocks from our house. How fucked is that?! 

We had a yield sign.
We yielded. Like we do at every yield sign, especially where we live. We have seen far too many people ignore them, with terrible results! We live near two high schools and we've seen how those kids drive. Damn rights, we yielded!
Now, I don't remember any of this. This is what Troy tells me, and I truly believe him. I really do. It wouldn't surprise me if Stand By Your Man, started to play in your mind. That's fine.
I would be lying, if I said I never wondered, even for a moment, if that was the case, but I really do trust Troy's driving. I still feel remarkably safe with him.
We yielded, and looked, and Troy says there was no vehicle coming to his left, he checked right, started to go across the intersection, and there was a Dodge Durango very close to his left window. We were t-boned.
We spun up the road, past the church and four houses, jumped the curb, through a hedge, hit a tree, and then slammed into the front porch of a house.
The Durango, I'm not completely clear what path it took, but my general understanding is that it jumped a curb, and took out a tree. The people in the other vehicle fled the scene. There was open liquor in the Durango, but they weren't caught till later that day, so couldn't be tested for drunk driving.

So that explains my anxiety about intersections.

I take cabs to whichever appointment I have. SGI pays the cab company for these trips. I have a file number.
As well, for picking up groceries if Troy and I can't go together. Those trips are at my cost. Luckily, I only have a 20 minute walk Extra Foods. Although, there's a lot of stuff they don't carry, like kale. But they do sell Daiya! I walk most places. I live in the perfect neighbourhood, with close access to most things.

I worked on the driving simulator at Wascana Rehab. The other vehicles in this simulator were driven by crazy drivers! Totally realistic in that way that real driving can be! No . . . this simulator doesn't use people to be drivers, the other vehicles were controlled by the computer.

I do get crazy anxious when in a vehicle for an extended period of time. For example, in the summer, we drove from Regina, Saskatchewan to Vancouver, British Columbia to visit friends and family. It was a great drive. Troy and I rocked out to LMFAO and Lonely Island, and listened many episodes of  Vegetarian Food For Thought for the 20 hour drive. I wasn't feeling overtly anxious. Nothing note-worthy. Other than sweating like a pig!
Which is a totally inaccurate idiom. Pigs don't sweat. This is why they're shown as dirty and muddy. Like elephants, they roll in the mud to cool themselves, keep bugs away, and protect their skin from sun damage. Sweating like a human, would be much more accurate. They also don't like to defecate where they sleep. Very clean non-humans!
Anyway! I was sweating badly, and for no real reason. I mean, it was hot out, but our current car(Matrix) has AC. I was also washing off my stinky armpits and reapplying pit stick at every bathroom break. Didn't seem to matter, I was a stinky mess. We had even packed some camping gear, so we could stop and camp on our way to Van. I stank so badly, that we stayed at a hotel in Castlegar, so I could shower and start over. Apparently, this was anxious sweating. It still happens. Hopefully, not for too terribly long.
I have been healing quite well and quick. Next summer, maybe I won't be sweating terribly.
It's nice to dream.

***update~Defeating My Driving Anxiety***

1 comment:

  1. I think only time will heal your anxiousness about driving. I know I'm still anxious when someone comes up to fast behind my vehicle, as I've been rear ended several times.
    As for the sweating I understand totally, when I get nervous my hands literally drip. Definitely not fun, but at least you understand why it's happening, and that puts you one step closer to healing.