Monday, December 21, 2009

Driving Miss Michele

I remember watching "Driving Miss Daisy" several years ago, and thinking "When I get old and can no longer drive myself, I could never afford the luxury of a driver as Miss Daisy could, and if I couldn't drive myself then you might as well put me out to pasture."

My passion for driving began when I was very young and would go to the track and watch the Indy races with my father. He was also the one who taught me about cars and their engines (or ponies). We would go to car lots together, and look at the newest muscle car out on the market, and I loved every minute of it. When I'm in my car I have to be first and fast, even on my two minute drive to work. I'm sure I'm one of those people you shake your head at as I pass you by only to stop at a light a few seconds later. It doesn't matter, I got there first! Driving and driving fast are as much a part of me as my love for fashion. Recently on fb there was a "which cartoon character are you survey", my answer was "Speed Racer", Go speed Racer, Go Speed Racer, Go speed Racer, go!

I discovered a new limitation to my disease this Summer when I offered to pick up a friend from the airport, I hadn't done any long distance driving since my diagnosis with POTS, and a trip to the airport would be fun. As I was driving my arms began to become fatigued, and by the time I arrived at the airport they were so fatigued I could barely hold the steering wheel. That day I discovered that 25 minutes is my driving limit. At the time I took the news with a grain of salt, I think I was trying to deal with my heat intolerance issues, and I seem to only be able to handle one issue at a time.

Well, losing my long distance driving ability didn't really have an affect on my life until my father passed away this fall. My parents live five hours away, and getting to my mom on my own is an impossibility. I want to visit her and be by her side as much as possible. I want to help her get through this terrible time, and I can't be there for her. The old me would have made regular visits, now I'm at the mercy of my kids, who have very busy schedules. To be honest, it's frustrating, I'm suppose to be the driver, not "Miss Daisy"! Like in the movie, it's not about getting to the destination, but about the relationship built along the way.

I know I'm lucky I can still drive, many of my friends with this disease can no longer do so. So instead of whining, I'll cherrish my short distance trips, racing only to be stopped by the light, not by this disease. I can drive my own personal victory lap because, at least I got there first!

Since I first started these blogs, I've come to realize it's my way of putting a voice to the losses I come across because of dysautonomia. It's my way of mourning the loss of just one more thing. Thanks for the support many of you have been along the way.

Always inspired,