Driving Miss Covert
Last updated: June 2018
Prior to being diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis, I loved driving. I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted when I wanted. In the beginning of my chronic life, the length of time I was able to drive decreased. I wasn’t able to drive as far as I used to. At first, this wasn’t much of an issue and I resolved it by adding extra travel days. Later it began to affect how often I was able to withstand shorter trips. A trip to the grocery store, nail salon, or church became impossible when experiencing a higher than average pain level. To remedy this dilemma I had to accept that there would be times that I had to rely on others - mainly my husband - to do the driving. However, it wasn’t until I couldn’t drive at all that I was able accept my place in the passenger seat.
I preferred being the driver
Prior to not being able to drive, I preferred being the driver. I chose which route to take, I chose where to park, I chose what time to leave, and more. Yes I have some control issues and giving them up hasn’t been easy. The reason I had to give up driving was because of my tailbone. It was so inflamed that I couldn’t sit for more than 5 minutes without screaming from the pain. For a year I rode in the back seat while lying on my side. During that time everything my doctors tried to reduce my pain only made it worse. I finally experienced relief after I began a new treatment plan. I was finally able to sit in the passenger seat and a year later I was able to drive short distances myself. While the distance I am able to drive continues to increase, my destination determines whether or not I need someone else to drive or not. A driver is a necessity if my outing is going to entail being out for most of the day or is physically tasking. If I need to medicate throughout the day, I need a driver. Driving is physically exhausting. The pressure the seat puts on my spine, hips, and tailbone is often horrific. Pain also distracts me from remembering where to turn or I may want to speed in order to reach my destination faster.
I've learned to enjoy being a passenger
I have since learned to enjoy being a passenger and am thankful that my husband never complains about having to chauffer me around. You may think that the reason for this change of attitude is because I am once again able to drive short distances and haven’t fully lost my ability to drive. But you would be wrong because I adopted this attitude during the year that I couldn’t drive and didn’t have hope of ever driving again. Being able to drive a short distances again is just icing on the cake.
Has psoriatic arthritis forced you to decrease how long and far you drive?
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