I have read on previous posts that some forum members have had some difficulty with driving. My neuro on my first visit asked me if i had gotten lost yet? At that time I had not. The other day I did. I got in the wrong lane to cross the road. I have crossed the road here hundreds if not thousands of times. I know what lane to get in, but that day I got in the wrong one. When the light changed and the green arrow came on I couldn't figure out what I was supposed to do. There was a school bus behind me, the driver started blowing his/her horn. That only made it worse. I finally just turned left then pulled off until I could get it together. Also with my attention deficients I have to concentrate to ????? I lost the thought......do any of you have it? If you do please post it.
I'm still driving, but not very much, and very, very carefully....hahaha
I've had the, "where am I moments", but luckily they only lasted for a flash.
My problem is sometimes when I get home, I can't remember the drive I just made. This concerns me. I sometimes feel like I'm kinda in that hazy realm when I drive and have to really make myself pay attention.
I usually only drive to the grocery on Mondays, and have a back roads way to get there. It's only about 5 mins from home so I do okay.
Problem I had just this past Monday, was I went Christmas shopping and walked way too much. I had trouble with my leg working on the way home, and numbness in my pedal foot.
My eyes are a big concern too. They had been better, but the last couple of weeks haven't been good.
I don't like to think of not being able to drive, but I have started to wonder if it is the safe thing for me to be doing.
I guess it is a personal decision, and one many of us have to think about.
So it was you who found my thought..lol...thanks for posting it. It was the hazy realm and paying attention. Sometimes I find I can't remember passing a particular place....kinda of like I have been on auto pilot. I too only go short distances from home. When Honey took me to get my neuropsych eval it was dark when we traveled home. I couldn't find the road and kept getting confused as to where we were. Thank goodness he was driving because I don't think I would have gotten home. I do not drive after dark now. The thought of not being able to drive terrifies me and I think it is coming to that.
I am not driving much at all, I used to drive to the city all the time, about 3 hrs one way. But slowly it got worse, I have always got lost, that is not new but I was falling asleep all the time. Not knowing why, i got provigil from my Dr. and that helped for awhile but a couple momths ago i had to stop. I can drive to to places about 20 min from me. And I dont do that very often. I was so independent all my life and always just work thru things and I am not one to give up easily.
My driving has gotten better since I've been on Aricept, but I still have problems concentrating on what I'm doing. I don't drive unless it's to work or the grocery store - less than fifteen minute trips.
I have been very careful driving since my neurological symptoms started in Feb. '08. Not that I wasn't careful before! :o)
I've definitely decided that I cannot speak on my cell phone, even hands-free. I was in the wrong lane one day, missed my exit, and ended up on the other side of the river and had to work my way back on surface streets. Luckily I had another friend (that never gets lost) that I could call for the best route back to where i needed to be.
I've found that when I'm fatigued I have to be extremely careful, and only drive short distances, like to physical therapy or the store, each less than 5 miles away.
I had PT two days in a row, and on the second day, I took 100 mg. of Provigil. I noticed that my vision was blurry so that it was difficult to read signs until I got fairly close (I know that route by heart, thank heavens). Then I realized that the day before, when I was so fatigued and dizzy, I didn't remember seeing signs at all! I stopped in all the right places, but it was kind of freaky to have such a lack of memory.
I just took the street car down to my pharmacy; walked a block, waited a few minutes, rode a while, got off a block from the pharmacy. I picked up my Rx for Provigil, crossed the street, and the next street car showed up and took me a block from home. I love mass transit, especially when it's snowing like it is today, with a chance of freezing rain later today!
Hi there. I don't drive much at all anymore, between my very bad memory and the possible seizures. I only drive up the parkway with is 2 or 3 minutes here and I've even frozen and not known where I was there. I just kept going until something was familiar and then I pulled off.
I know that if I'd drive any further than that I wouldn't be safe becuase I have those times where I just lose it and everything goes blank memory wise even though a second before I knew where I was and I don't remember anything and nothing is familiar and I get soooo lost. I quit driving longer distances after getting lost, arriving strange places without knowing how I got there, or having friends who were with me yell at me for going the opposite direction of correct.
This was difficult, and I'm still working on accepting this.
I've had the getting lost problem for many years as other have had. In fact when I lived in Florida I picked where I lived so that I didn't have to travel more the a few blocks to get to any stores just so I would not get lost. But that didn't solve the getting lost problem completely as my PCP was over 1 hour away. In order to solve that I got a notebook computer and GPS/map software.
I still use this now as it speaks to me about turns that are coming up and also automatically adjusts the route if I do miss a turn to get me headed in the right direction again. I think it also helps me save gas as when I am going to several places it adjusts the order of the stops to minimize the total distance that I drive.
Hmmm, my problem driving is purely physical. I can no longer lift my right foot to the brake and half to use my hand to help lift my leg. I know...poor reflex time, lol.
So, right after the holidays I'm going to get hand brakes put on the car.
But, we all should remember that even with all of our adjustments, there are studies out there showing that people with MS and cognitive problems have delayed reaction times. We may be poorer drivers and many with this problem don't see it.
Thanks you guys. Have any of you mentioned this to your GP or neuro. I am afraid to. I am afraid the records will get in the wrong hands and I will lose my license. That sounds crazy but I still feel that way.
I try to be very careful...not driving far or very much and never after dark. My longest drive is to the neuro's office...22 miles one way. It is however a straight shot once I reach the four lane. Even if I never drive again I don't want to lose my license.
Every symptom I have ever had and plenty that I have never had has shown itself this year. It seems like in the last year I have gone from being a very active outdoor person to this person who stumbles and falls and gets week after a few minutes of activity. In July I was cutting grass, weed eating, raising a garden, etc. I was having symptoms though, I just didn't know that was what they were. I can't even imagine I will be able to do this next summer. So much for ranting.
And Dennis the GPS is a thought.
Wishing you peace, joy and love for the Holidays and the strength to endure.
A few weeks ago on NPR I heard a report on drivers and how they zone out and suddenly realize they have reached their destination and worry if they had run red lights or done anything wrong on the trip. The story talked about it being normal - as a new driver when we are young we become attuned to every movement while driving. The brain then learns through repitition how to handle the task of driving. Eventually driving becomes second nature.
I think the story was on The Infinite Mind - a great weekly show on all sorts of things pertaining to the brain. If you can't get a NPR station (like in Canada) they have the broadcasts available on line as well.
My point to this is perhaps we are overly concerned about some of our driving questions - that it is really not a deficit but something all drivers experience?
So I'm surprised - I went to find the webpage for The Infinite Mind to post here and read that after 10 years the program is off the air. The host was discovered to have a conflict of interest, violating his contract agreement to not take money from pharmaceutical companies. ouch!!! This was an award winning program.
The archives of the program are here but I don't know how long they will stay available
I'm still driving. Though, I do have to be extra careful, as I have had big issues in the past. Specifically reaction times. And, even though I do get those where am I at and going bits, the confidence that my foot will press on the brake as it should is far worse to deal with for me. I try never to drive tired.
I know that, how'd i get here feeling, im still driveing but will not drive if anyone else want to come with me, i.e my Preggers Girlfriend will drive if we need to go anywhere, my new symptoms are making me think its time to maybe hang up my driving gloves (i dont wear gloves hehe) When i get the tingles i start to look for laybys and slow down... or in other words somewhere soft to crash hehe.......
Since dx I drive very little , to doctors or grocery store but never with my kids in the car. My problem is my vision, with all being blurry 3/4 of the time and not knowing when I'll have another TIA. Went to Soc. Sec. doctore yesterday and he asked me if I drove myself and told him yes and he didn't like that at all-told possible time to give them up???
Good luck to you with this
Another thing that using the GPS is good for is allowing me to concentrate more on the traffic around me as I don't need to keep track of street signs any more. Also since the GPS is vocie activated is that if I need to get somewhere while driving (ie a bathroom etc) I can just tell it to find the nearest gas station and it will reroute the directions to it. Again since it is now directing me to the new place I don't have to worry about street signs and can concentrate on the traffic.
The summer before last I drove from my home to Or. and back without any problems using the GPS. I used the voice command feature to find nearby places to rest when ever I needed to take a break.
My lack of peripheral vision is what makes driving tricky for me. My opthamologist has suggested in the past that I seriously think about not driving. I avoid driving at night like the plague, because my depth perception isn't so hot either, and a long line of stop lights can look like they are all on the same plane - not good! I have always had these vision problems, but aging makes them a little more pronounced. I suspect I will bite the bullet one day or he will say "that's it, lady!". I don't drive very far, either. Familiar routes are best. Haven't had the cog probs driving, thankfully. Yet. So far. Much. Hmmm...
Just a quick note here for everyone - I realize giving up driving is another bit of independence we reliquish BUT if you are saying you won't drive with your children or grandchildren in the car with you because of the risk, it is time to give it up. You may have an accident where you hit and injure someone else's child who is not in your car. If your driving is not good enough for your own family it's not good enough for anyone else's family members either. Please rethink this for the safety of all.
Dreading the day I have to make this choice too,
Thank you Laura, for saying the tough thing. None of us want to hear it and many of us rationalize that we are okay. We sound just like the elderly who fight giving up driving. The needs and the problems are the same.
For me it is easier because my sister's full-time job (with lousy pay, I might add) is errands and stuff for me and our parents.
Very true! Although I will say that they've done some studies on this, and they've found that if the people with MS know they're having problems when they drive, they're more aware of it, and therefore a little safer.
I work full time and drive to and from work Monday-Friday--it's only about 10 miles and a fairly straight shot. I also drive pretty much where and when I want to, but I am starting to avoid driving at night. I drive a small pickup truck with manual transmission and think that having to deal with shifting gears helps me concentrate on my driving.
I have at times gotten that 'how did I get here' feeling. Whether MS or 'normal', it's unsettling.
I used to drive a stick. I would be terrified to try it now. My legs don't work like the used to and if one goes out while driving a stick, you just don't have an extra one. Not like the automatic where you can stop using say your left foot. I did so love driving a standard and I will never get to again.
One more thing I have to give up. However I an still grateful to be alive and glad it wasn't a nasty brain tumor that showed up on the MRI
Count me as one who is still driving. No problems thus far. Driving at night, especially in the rain, is nerve-wracking for me and it never used to be. However, I doubt that this has anything to do with MS.
I'm still driving, but now only during the day. I rarely drive after dark and when I did this past Wednesday, I realized that I really had a hard time and was scared. It is mainly the glare from the lights disorienting me. I only had to drive 2 miles each way and it was the longest drive of my life with my dd in the car. When I got home I informed my dh that he was now the 'official' night time driver for our family, that I can no longer drive safely at night. I would feel horrible if I hurt someone. It is not worth it to me.
Thanks for bumping this up! Especially since to qualify for company disability this is one of the factors. On days I feel unable to drive I work remotely, which all of a sudden is taboo, even though others in the office so it on a regular basis. I do believe it's a gentle push out the door but we'll see.
This thread was an excellent read and drove him many points.
Six plus months since we did this conversation and I'm wondering if any of you have given up driving since then?
I have not reached that point yet, but do enjoy driving on long road trips with my DH's garmin GPS. Our recent vacation had me behind the wheel for eight hours once day, with about a 1.5 hour lunch/casino break. I was tired but had no problems and didn't get lost once!
Only on a very good day do I drive now, & it has to be a" have to" case. At first it was my eyes & now the last time I drove myself to church I couldn't pick my foot up off the gas & do find myself "zoning " out. I for the most part have given up driving now. I also noticed something going on with my perpheral (spelling?) vision, it looks like mailboxes, ect on the side of the road are jumping out at me! Has anyone else experienced this? I'm also quite jumpy but I guess this could be from being nervous about driving.
I still drive locally. I haven't became "lost" since I first posted this thread. I still do not drive in heavy traffic, unfamiliar areas or at night (with exception of within a few miles of home).
Like Tammy, I do find myself zoning out and have to make a conscious effort to stay alert.
Thursday I will drive to speech therapy....62 miles one way. It is a straight road that I am familiar with. My mom will go with me to keep me alert and to back seat drive :) That used to be such a nuisance but now I appreciate it.
On days when the brain fog is heavy I don't drive and I arrange things so I will not be driving when I am tired.
Like Lu I wonder about the others. Are you still driving?
I'm now on medical leave and have not been driving. I had only been driving to work and back home but that was getting to be a problem. My reflexes are so hyper that when someone would blow their horn, I jerked real badly and that was getting very dangerous.
Also, I don't really know how to explain it but, movement was bothering me. it seemed like it was making me dizzy or something. It really bothered my vision.
I'm not sure how much driving I'll do in the future.
I want to thank truelove , mabey that why it looked like mailboxes , ect were jumping out at me! Deborah I also jump at loud noises! Wow, I go through these times that I feel so alone & am always amazed at how this site has helped me see I'm not the only one going through these bizarre happenings!
I didn't actually ever properly learn to drive as I have no car and live in the inner city of a city with comprehensive, (reasonably) safe public transport. Now I wonder if I should even bother learning should I ever move out to the suburbs! Family is always on my back to learn to drive but I don't think it's necessary for me. Then other times I wonder, if mobility should be a problem, then public transport may become more difficult to use.
I'm so glad someone is talking about this. I have to drive, I am single and I have to work and there is nobody near me that I can get a ride with. Somedays I really scare myself. My peripheral vision is not what it was and I notice I drift to the right. I have a standard (which kills my left leg on days, but I am stuck with it for another year) and I forget to shift. The engine is really quiet so I don't hear it whining when I am still in 3rd and should be in 4th. Fatigue has become a real problem and all my symptoms become furious when I am exhausted which of course is at the end of my work day so I forget where I am and where I am going alot on my way home. My cognitive skills are really suffering so I forget sometimes what I am suppose to do when I get in the car. Now today I am home from work because my vision is so bad I can't see to drive and if I don't have clear vision I am not getting behind the wheel. I know I will have to quit driving sooner than later and I don't know what I'm going to do. I live in a rural area of Nh with no public transportation except taxis and if I have to pay $90 per day for a taxi to get back and forth to work I may as not go.
I had a few "issues" in the month or so before my dx, but I didn't chalk them up to anything except myself being a brainfart, at least until now, when I do acknowledge that they could have been.
The strangest one was probably when I went to WallyWorld one time, and sure, it was busy... but it always is, and the parking lot is always the same size. I've never had a major problem finding my vehicle. I came out of the store, and I spent a good 45 minutes to an hour attempting to find my car. I nearly started to cry at the time, because I knew damn well my car was unlikely to have been removed from the parking lot and that it was my fault I couldn't find it. I probably even walked past it a few times as I was walking back and forth in the lot. When I found it and left, I was really upset, but didn't tell anyone.
I drive very cautiously now, especially after the local neuro dept let me drive with vision only out of the right eye during the optic neuritis (I'm sure if I got pulled over, the local law enforcement would have disagreed with their reasoning). Sometimes I feel I have better perspective than others.... and apparently I do.... the other night I tried to back my car into a parking spot, and wound up parking in between two spots. The car is a beetle.... needless to say, it made a strange statement. I was asked if I really didn't want anyone parking next to me.
Be sure to look into any sort of mobility transportation assistance that might be available in your area. If I had to give up driving, the local transit company offers door-to-door service for the mobility impaired to get to work, doctors and other places.
It may even be a taxi in your area, but paid for by some sort of agency. Please check it out thoroughly.
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