Daily Prompt: Some things are not so simple

Me and car

Often things are not as simple as they seem. This photo was taken in 2015, when I was still young and lovely and all the things that happened since had not happened. I was still driving a car, but I was never really the born driver. Some enjoy driving, they have gas flowing through their body and not blood. I was one of those that preferred the natural state of the physical shape. My dad was employed by Ford Car manufacturs in London, as a factory worker. He could buy a Ford car with a special rebate: the problem being that dad never took a driving test because our family could not afford to run a car in any case. Living in London was no big problem, you had busses and subway trains and the roads were mostly congested in any case. What you do not have you do not miss.

Tempo passati and I had a family but could still not drive a car. We had a family car which Mr. Swiss drove, so I was dependent on Mr. Swiss as my chauffeur. One day I took the plunge, took the driving test (after about 90 driving lessons) and even passed first time which was something we were all suprised about. Driving did not come simple to me. I could change gears, drive backwards and forwards and even brake when necessary and even managed to park the car, although perhaps I needed longer than most people. Balance had always been a problem, even with walking,  and even my driving instructor found it was astonishing that I had problems with steering the car. Somehow the human body manages to compensate, but this was definitely the reason why I had over 90 driving lessons.

So I did it, I had a licence to kill drive and I drove for many years. I eventually progressed to automatic gear change which I found much easier. I was even driving a Volvo 960 for a few years. When I stopped working, I no longer drove so much and let Mr. Swiss get on with it.I still drove now and again if I had to go to town. As time progressed I drove less and less and last year things began to go downhill with me. I was having stupid accidents, kept falling and it was noticed that my walking was more to be compared to a candidate for the Ministry of Silly walks. Many hospital examinations later, the result arrived that I had MS and had probably had MS for many years, which was the reason for my blance problems. At the same time my father passed away, but I managed to make the journey to London on my own. Travelling with a cane as support helps. Today I know I could no longer do such a journey on my own. I manage OK at home, no problem but I need support when outdoors. However,being allowed to drive a car is always an advantage.

I should not be here at the moment, but at my doctors having a mental test to prove that I am still capable of driving a car at the age of 70 – it is law in Switzerland, but I am at home writing a blog all about it. Things change and now it seems the  neurologist must make the decision whether I can still drive. There have been a few bad accidents, involving drivers with MS. I now have to be examined by my nurologist and have his approval. I have an appointment in a couple of weeks. I do not enjoy driving, never really did and now I have to face the facts. Shall I give up my driving licence volumtarily or await the doctors opinion.

I will probably do both. After a talk with the specialist  I will hand in my driving licence in any case. Mr. Swiss has no driving problems. If we make long journeys, we  prefer taking the train. We have a very good system in Switzerland, so my driving days are now over in the foreseeable future. It was simple while it lasted.

Daily Prompt: Some things are not so simple

17 thoughts on “Daily Prompt: Some things are not so simple

    • Now you were one step ahead of me. Never heard the word “Buxi” before, but even that is explained in Internet – a bus taxi, those little vans with seats that do local trips if necessary. We do not have such a service in our village as we have the local road train that travels between Oesingen and Solothurn via Niederbipp and so do not need one. If really an urgent case I would have to order a taxi. We are also only kilometer from Solothurn, which is not so far, although I could not manage it so well now, but the train arrives every twenty minutes during the week.

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    • I have been living with MS at least 30-40 years but only now been diagnosed. Vertigo was also suggested some years ago and Menière but it was all down to MS, the signs on the scans are quite specific. My silly walk is now not so noticeable since I use my cane for support. My main problem is taking photos and using a cane. I have to work out what to do with the cane when using the camera, but where there is a will there is a way and I am finding my solutions.

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  1. Ron has M.S. as does his sister. He manages very well as long as he doesn’t get too hot. IF he gets too hot he loses strength and he can’t control his left side, he starts to drag his left foot. I am just the opposite of you, I loved driving and in fact I did all the driving until my spine went. Even with the total hip replacement and other problems I still drove, but when my spine started to fracture it became too much. I hated to admit it for the longest time. It simply is not safe with my medications and with the sudden bone and muscle issues. Ron like your husband takes me anywhere I want to go. Like you I have to have support, either my walker or a cane. On really bad days it is my wheelchair. I find for us it is the enjoyment of life, the quality of it that is important. We are happy, even with all the things going on at our age. Be well. Hugs

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    • Thanks for your comments. MS is never the same in two people with the disease but I find a few parallels in what you said to my case. I now feel better in the colder weather than on the hot summer days, although I can manage. If I walk longer than say half an hour I begin to drag my left foot. I still do my housework, and do not want to give up. I am adament that I still can clean windows, mop floors and vacuum, although I must say I have a good organisation. I use a cane when out, but nothing else up to now. I am injecting every second day with a drug that helps to stop the symptoms progressing and I notice that it helps. It seems that the car accident that occurred due to MS was because the driver had a sudden MS relapse and lost the control over her left leg. This could happen to any MS sufferer and I realise the dangers of me continuing to drive. I never enjoyed driving in any case. Keep well

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  2. One of my treasures is the hand control knob my dad used so he could turn the steering wheel on his car. He had levers near the steering wheel he could use to operate the gas and brake. He had severe spasticity in his legs, so using them to drive would have been insane. But finally he had to give up, mostly, I think, because he began having serious vision problems. Those days were so different with not a fraction of the medications that now exist to relieve the symptoms of MS.

    ANY-hoo after my last visit to CH, I don’t think I’ll rent a car on my next visit. It was expensive and while I’m OK driving there, it’s not really necessary. Obfelden WAS a little out of the way, though, with no train station. There was the post bus and if I hadn’t had the problem with my Achilles tendon, I could’ve walked to Affoltern am Albis to catch the train anywhere. Here, of course, a car is absolutely necessary as I’m in the back of beyond and there is no public transportation (because there’s no public!!!).

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    • I have a friend who has deformations with he hands (contergan child) but has a specially constructed car for driving and has been driving all her life. I have no problems with sitting and could probably mechanically drive a car. The problem is that MS developments cannot be predicted, and things can change within a few minutes. Up to now things are OK, I have not so good days, and better days. I feel capable of driving, but the risk is now too high at my age.

      Some places in Switzerland are well covered with public transport and others not. I am lucky to live in an area where I have a few choices. The basic problem in Switzerland is that public transport does not get cheaper. A single jouney to the local town by our train is a couple of francs, and that is only because I have a half price ticket everywhere that I have to pay for once a year.

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  3. It is hard to like this, Pat, because you have such a positive (sometimes even hilarious) take on MS. Last year when I was going through all my surgeries, my husband was the chief driver. I could not wait to finally get the OK from my doctor that I could drive. Although I still drive to/from work, I find that I so much prefer to be driven.

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    • Many people have MS and it is always something completely different. Others are in a lot worse condition than I am, and others seem to have no big problems. I am sure my driving days are now finished, especially with the laws we have in Switzerland. I would never get through the test I should take, and it would be every two years. My working days are now gone and Mr. Swiss drives everywhere. If he no longer drives, then I would have to depend on public transport, which is also a possibility.

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  4. If anyone has any kind of condition that might cause seizures or something similar, our motor vehicle department also requires a doctor’s note that the condition is controlled by medication or something similar. Technically, nothing that is wrong with me fall into any of the ‘no driving’ categories, but like you, i prefer not to drive. But i also want to retain the right because you never know when an emergency may arise and I will have to drive. The last time was after Garry got bitten by the spider and he couldn’t drive, so i did. That was a year ago. i don’t have to deal with this for another year, then I’ll have to do what you are doing. They don’t make it easy for us.

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    • The problem is that if I had an accident because of my condition, which is quite possible, the insurance would pay nothing and legally I would not have a chance. I am no longer so fit to drive because I often lose my balance and that is out of my control. At home it is OK, I feel safe, and there is always something to hold onto. If I am too slow to react driving a car, that is not so good. My only reason for driving would be the case you mentioned, if Mr. Swiss could not drive for some reason, but then I always have alternative possibilities that sitting behind a steering wheel myself. I now have to be careful.And MS is unpredictable, although I notice myself that since taking my drug things are not progressing so much. Last year a lot began to change for me.

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    • Yes, although he worked at Kesey Hayes, next to the main plant near Dagenham Dock, which was a subsidiary for making the wheels He retired in 1968. My dad was born in 1915, so your dad must have been almost the same age as mine.

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      • That’s what I was thinking, mine was born in January 1915. I don’t actually know what part of the plant he worked in or what he did. From something mum said I wonder if he was something like a storeman as I think he may have operated a forklift truck. I enjoyed the film “Made in Dagenham.” although it was set much later.

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