Friday, June 03, 2011

Mike just left to 1) fill the gas tank in the Dodge, 2) deposit a rent check, 3) pick up prescriptions at CVS, and 4) go to The Club at St. D for his work-out, and 5) get lunch at the nearby Subway. I'm at home with my feet propped up on the ottoman, the TV off, the AC on, and dogs asleep. That may not sound unusual in your house, but it's been 2 years, 5 months, and 13 days since I could do this. I have soooooo looked forward to this day.

I've been extremely nervous about turning the car keys over to him since his 12/21/08 accident, which severely damaged the vision in his left eye, affected his reflexes and coordination, and did further damage to a brain already injured by a 2004 stroke. But he has worked hard with physical therapy and occupational therapy to regain some of the functionality he lost. After he passed a vision test by his ophthalmologist and a thorough 4 hour driving test by Methodist Rehab, however, I realized my days as his chauffeur and personal assistant were coming to an end. His neuro-psychologist doesn't think his alcoholism will return because the part of his brain which houses cravings and habits of that sort was knocked out by his fall.

So he's on the road again, behind the wheel of a vehicle that could kill him and others if not driven safely. After the evaluation at Methodist Rehab, I had to ride with him for two weeks to make sure he was doing everything safely. What a test of faith that was! We encountered two situations that were potentially dangerous. I worried about his ability to merge into traffic on the left, but he turned his body around to check oncoming traffic with both eyes. Very good, I thought and sighed with relief. Then, in making a right turn one day, he swung too wide and was totally unaware of a woman coming from the opposite direction turning left, also swinging too wide. I shrieked, he jammed on the brakes, so did she, they narrowly missed a collision, and he admitted he had not seen her. Since then, he has been very careful to look in all directions before turning and doesn't take nearly so wide a turn. He still has trouble judging distances between the front of his car and whatever is in front of him, but he errs on the side of caution.

I cannot describe how free I feel having an uninterrupted day to do what I want to do and not having to worry about accommodating him. Please pray that he drives safely and does not injure himself or others. He is a licensed driver with insurance and a fierce will to be as independent as possible. And I'm all for it.

We've come a long way, Baby!

No comments: