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Driving Miss Covert

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?

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Psoriatic-Arthritis.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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