The road rage minded people at the Daily Post division of Word Press chose the word “Drive” for us to craft our works of art around.
Don’t Drive Any More
Started driving on our farm’s private property when I was only 12 and could barely reach the pedals for both the gas and brakes. Was driving on public roads by the time I turned 14 (local state trooper knew all about it!). His view on my driving was I probably was the only sober driver on the roads back then in southern Illinois! Was not wearing glasses at the time.
The summer before I left the state to attend college received my first decent eye exam discovering the fact I needed to start wearing glasses to help me in my studies. Freshman were not allowed to have cars on campus, so I got a mountain bike to ride across campus and to the grocery store. My first three day weekend there, I wreaked the bike since I was not used to the concept of changing from street level to side walk height. Did major damage to my two front teeth! Kinda broke my lower jaw too. Years down the road would uncover that I had also caused myself to have a deviated septum.
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Once I entered my sophomore year I was given my parents old car. This way I could actually start looking for a job! Had to learn how to fill the gas at a gas station, since we had private gas tanks on the farm at home. At least gas prices back then were not as high as they are today! Only $0.93 a gallon. I miss those days.
After I graduated ended up finding out that I had a disease called multiple sclerosis. This explained many of the coordination problems I had experienced in my life! My husband and I would travel all over the country due to our various employers.
Drove shakily through our short stint (18 months) in the Chicago metro area. People there are nuts! On the toll ways there the posted speed limit was 75 MPH. Traffic normally drove at over 110+ on a slow day! Was driving a different car due to the transmission failing before we left for the area. Right before we left the state my engine started smoking.
Pulled over at in a parking lot and opened the hood release. Flames shot out at me! Would not ever be driving that car again! My husband came to rescue me in his truck. He took me to our apartment, then caught a ride to where I had left the car. He babied the car all the way back. He agreed we had to get a different vehicle before we left for Colorado in a few days. He came upon a used Jeep Grand Cherokee for me to drive.
Went with him to get the paperwork signed on my first big vehicle. Ended up loving that SUV! He got the SUV gassed up for my last week at work there. Could not figure out why the vehicle kept reading “E” as I drove to work. So I called him to ask if he was sure he had gotten gas in it! “E” was the direction I was driving! Paid attention to what the directions read on the way back home. Turns out it was very accurate. Was looking forward to when we headed out west in a few days!
It was in Colorado, that I first met a decent neurologist. He got me started on a disease modifying medicine that would help my body adapt to living with MS. Lived in that state for 7 glorious years. Driving there was easier for me, since I no longer got confused by directions! Had nothing to do with the SUV. Look up and the mountains where always to the west! Loved driving off the beaten trail while we lived there. Had excellent vision care there as well.
We left CO begrudgingly on my part to follow his dream of owning a bar. Two former alcoholics really should not pursue that sort of dream. Only lasted around 8 months there. Had absolutely no access to my medicines. My MS was driving me nuts.
Retreated back to where I had grown up. Not a good situation. Really had trouble driving due to my vision problems from MS. My husband found work that got us back on our feet financially. Started having a company called Allsup who specialized in helping people get their disability claims filed help me with my case. They eventually succeeded in getting me full coverage since I had been paying social security taxes since I was 12 years old.
We relocated back to where we met and I had went to college. He was able to transfer within the company he was working so he had a job there waiting for him. My disability checks started coming in monthly, which helped a whole lot! Still was unable to drive due to MS problems. We lasted only around a year before he got a position in a different state entirely. In 2008 we packed up and used a U Haul truck to transport all our stuff to an apartment complex that was supposed to be handicap accessible (it WASN’T).
My neurologist in this state informed me on April Fool’s Day in 2011 that I could no longer drive. I busted out laughing and told him I hadn’t driven since before moving into this state. Explained I didn’t want to accidentally injure or kill someone due to my driving!
Started wearing bifocals to help me see better. Unfortunately, they tend to be expensive. My vision was changing, getting worse by the month it seemed like, but could only get new glasses once a year.
Spent about 7 years living in HELL until we managed to find a home that could be converted for us so my wheelchair could easily come and go in it. We signed on the house one Friday in August, and moved in 5 days later! I hadn’t really ever unpacked since leaving CO.
Will never drive again, but the local transportation for the disabled allows me to go where ever I need to! At least I will have no more speeding tickets or road rage problems like I used to get in trouble with the law over!
Please Help Fight Evil Disease
The medicine my neurologist prescribed for me to treat my multiple sclerosis is called Tysabri. Trying to find the actual cost on the internet is basically nearly impossible. I remember when I first started on the drug the amount the facility tried charging me was well over $2500. There was no way my husband and I could afford that then or every 28 days! Biogen (the company that manufactures the drug) has been helping us with some of the cost of the drug, but will not continue helping indefinitely.