Even though I have been exceptionally quiet on social media the last couple of months, I have still been doing several Ms Wheelchair Tennessee appearances. I will be doing brief updates of them so you will be all caught up.
I must admit I've been preoccupied with several personal matters. It seems as though every few years I go through an adjustment period. There are changes in my life that I must deal with, some are pleasant and others are not. Regardless, changes must be made so I can continue to move forward with my life.
The most important personal matter I have been dealing with was planning my daughter's second birthday. It amazes me at how quickly time has past since she was born. I spent the better part of September reflecting on the memories of the past year and just how much my baby has grown, not only in size but also in her abilities. As bittersweet as watching your baby grow is, I promise this was the more pleasant change I was referring to.
One of the other personal matters I was referring to was my ability to drive. Driving has always been an important part of my life. I must admit I inherited the love of cars and I couldn’t wait to drive. I was at the DVM the day I turned 15 to get my learner’s permit and the day I turned 16 to get my driver’s license. Being able to drive has always been a large piece of my independence. I love being able to come and go as I please.
Since 2010 I have been driving a Yukon XL with an adaptive driver’s seat and a wheelchair lift in the back. The front seat would turn, come out of the car and lower to 18 inches off the ground. I was able to transfer from my wheelchair to the front seat and then remotely drive my wheelchair back to the lift. It was AMAZING (and not a minivan)….when it worked. On Thursday May 23, there was a malfunction with the seat. I was unable to drive until the seat could be repaired. Unfortunately, this repair was not complete until August.
After almost three months of not driving I wondered if I would still have the strength I needed to safely operate a vehicle. I drove to work and back twice after the seat was fixed. It felt wonderful to be behind the wheel of a car again. I had really missed not being able to drive!! Those two short trips to work and back allowed me to realize something else, if someone were to slam on their brakes in front of me, I wasn’t 100% sure that I would be able to keep from hitting them.
The time had come that I needed to look into driving with hand controls. Since August, I have been consumed with regaining by ability to drive. I am now one step closer to (but still several weeks away) being behind the wheel again.
I will do my best to fill you in on everything that has been going on during the last couple of months. Thanks for hanging in there with me.