Feeling independent is such an important factor in my life and something about being able to drive has always made me feel that way. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to drive with my arm and hand being just shy of paralyzed. I can wiggle my fingers, but don’t misinterpret that as meaning I have use of them. I can’t grip anything and have trouble picking up the lightweight sponge pieces I exercise with in physical therapy! That’s with the aid of my other arm supporting the weight of its weaker sibling to guide my hand to the sponges then back to the prime target: a jar no farther than 1 ft. away. Basically, it’s a work in progress. So, if you’ll indulge me, I’m a bit impaired for the time being which forces me to come up with ingenuitive ways of doing random menial tasks like spreading peanut butter on bread (with a Dyson non slip mat and a spoon) and opening plastic produce bags at the grocery store (swallowing the taste of pride to ask for help when needed).

I was extremely concerned about my reaction time to turn the wheel in a wreck sans the use of an entire arm and hand. So, I had all but written my freedom of mobility off until sometime around when all of this PT builds my muscles and dexterity back. Due to the extensive surgical work done on EVERY nerve in my left arm, I’ve been told that should take 6 months to 1 year or more.

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Luckily, my Dad is from an era where they used what he called suicide knobs. What are suicide knobs? Yeah, I asked the same question. Apparently, where he grew up young men used these on their car wheels to look cool driving with one hand. It also served the purpose of making it easier to turn the wheel in a time where there was no power steering. They’re also known as disability wheel knob spinners. I purchased a basic one at Napa Auto Parts immediately, slapped it on my old girl Dusky Benz and drove her home for the first time in months! I can’t wait until the throwback to Jessica Rabbit I ordered online comes in for a flair of personal style.

Thank goodness for classic style and my generational ties to the past. Freedom and independence are flickering a ray of hope in my direction! Sure I may need a shopping buddy every once in a while, but it’s very satisfying to know I don’t have to be driven around like Miss Daisy to and from the many doctors appointments and various errands I run. It’s one thing to have a willing and reliable driver (usually for a fee). It’s quite another to depend on busy and sometimes reluctant transportation. So, being able to get some of that independence back for myself means less stress for everyone involved, especially yours truly.

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