Monday, December 31, 2012

Monday Mailbox~ Nope

It's Monday and time for a visit to Tilda the Mailbox. Nope. Not Really. My mailbox has pretty much empty for the past two weeks except for spams.

So what do I talk about instead???

Oh, Happy New Years Eve y'all! Have any big plans? Painting the town red or sitting at home snuggling the one you love? I'm opting for the last one. Usually we go on the gambling ship. We've known the owners since before they brought their ship to town. Over the years we still help them out with customer service issues.

I hear y'all now. "But Jo! You're a minister!" Yep, I am. I might have one glass of champagne to toast with my loved ones and friends. "But there's gambling on that boat!" Yep there is. I usually only take what I can honestly afford to lose, and leave my ATM and credit cards at home. It's relatively free entertainment for us. We don't pay the fare, all our drinks are complimentary, and food is provided. I can go out to dinner at the local Olive Garden for more than it costs me on the ship for four hours of music, dancing, and being with other people.

This year will be different. Not because I can't climb the stairs, I can. Not because I can't climb steep ramps, I can. Not because I had a stroke, there are plenty on board ship to help me if I wanted to go. Not because I can't spare the fifty dollars, I have it in book sales alone last month. Not because I can't get dolled up to the nines, I can. I just don't want to go.

I'm basically a home body. Or at least have become one since my stroke. It's not that I don't want to go out, I do three times a week whether I want to or not. I've had years of going hither and yon, and I'm thoroughly enjoying my time at home. I've never really had a choice before. I might have some physical limitations before, but I never let it stop me from doing. Now I do because I want to.

I went to my cardiologist last week. No worries it was just routine. One major glitch was one of my muscle relaxers was also lowering my blood pressure. Imagine that! After years on blood pressure meds, I actually had the opposite problem. After a thirty-minute long conversation about alternatives, we hit on a solution. Problem solved. The complications of being elderly with a complex medical history is always a juggle.

My cardiologist asked me if I was driving yet. This kind of threw me for a loop. Although driving again was one of my major goals, I hadn't given it much thought. I kind of enjoyed not being the chauffeur these past seven months. It gave my children a chance to be helpful and boosted my husband's ego to be allowed to drive again. Although with my DH (darling hubby), it was a case of with holding certain medicines like morphine for him to be able to get behind the wheel. DUIs are not just for alcohol you know.

So one day I asked him if I could drive. I know I still have to go through the PT/OT eval. But what could it hurt to drive short distances? I had to try. Well, foot positioning was an issue because my right foot is in an immobilizing brace. I got behind the wheel. I was only going two blocks to another doctor's office. That couldn't be hard. It was only two right turns and I could creep along if I wanted to.

I've only been driving for over 40 years. Simple, right?  Wrong. I kept wanting to put my right foot on the gas pedal. The gear shift and ignition key were on the wrong side. With a bit of juggling...sliding the seat all the way back, moving my leg passed the center console (I have a minivan), moving the seat forward again, reaching through the steering wheel to turn on the ignition, and then over the steering wheel to put the car in gear all the time pressing the brake with my left foot.

The car was like smooth putty in my hands. She was an old friend getting together with another after a long absence. Sweet, I thought as I took my foot off the brake. It was at that point while backing out of the parking space that I realized how much my right side was involved in driving. I missed it terribly. No, I didn't back into another car or scape the cars either side of me. <So there! You only thought you knew the punch line :oP> I was backing up to the right one handed. I was spinning the steering wheel and fighting my right foot thumping against the center console wanting to join in the fun. The problem was the wheel wouldn't stay spun without the other hand supporting it. My hand and arm were moving like mad and I instinctively jammed my foot down on the brake. We made the two blocks in five minutes

Needless to say, I've had more practice since Christmas and have gained more confidence in my ability to drive. My DH bought me a steering knob for Christmas. It makes turning a whole lot easier. Thank God for the power steering, anti-lock brakes, and automatic transmissions.

Keep writing and loving the Lord.

2 comments:

Zan Marie said...

Happy New Year!
I let my DH drive just because I don't like to. Take care, Jo!

J.L. Murphey said...

Zan Marie,
Our situations are different. For the past 12 years I've been the chief bottle washer, chef and chauffeur in the house. That's been how long the doctors told me that it was ill advisable for my husband to drive.