|Sunset as seen from the 206 Bridge (FL)|
Over the past year, I have felt ALS rob me of the pieces of my independence little by little and I have made adjustments and dealt with each change, each loss. However, making the decision to give up the very essence of my personal independence, driving, was not an easy one. In many ways, it was the hardest independence-related issue I've dealt with so far because it was a decision I had to make, I had to choose to give up the freedom that driving allowed me to have because I knew it was the right decision and delaying it would only be selfish and possibly dangerous. I thought about how so many elderly people ignore the signs that their driving days should be over because the idea of losing one's independence in such a drastic and absolute way is just completely life altering. After knowing such complete independence for so many years, having to depend on others for every trip to the market, hair salon, Redbox, library, Starbucks, doctor appointment, or social event is humbling to say the least, and that does not include all the little drives we take just because we can (to the shoe store, the movies, the mall, the beach, for an ice cream cone, to watch the sunset, whatever).
I am so lucky to have my husband by my side everyday, so fortunate he is home full-time with a willingness to take me wherever I need, or want, to go. Unfortunately, it doesn't really matter if you are relying on the person closest to you or a public transit system to drive you, the loss of independence just takes something out of you, away from you, and for most of us, we will never regain that piece of who we are (were).
Just one more piece in my ALS puzzle.