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By cmonge On 2012.04.21 14:16
My spouse blew out a tire yesterday because he hit an island. He claims the dog jumped on his lap. However, a couple of weeks ago I noticed damage to the underside of my bumper and rim (new car too!) and he claims he doesn't remember hitting any curbs (he hits them often). He went through a red light, and almost went through another one in the same day. He was with his mom the day he blew out the tire and almost went through a stop sign. I told him after the tire blow out I didn't want him driving any more -if not for himself but for the safety of others. He is very angry and wants nothing to do with me. He honestly scares me when he drives and others have noticed it as well. He is not talking to me. Was I wrong to do this? I know it's hard but at what point do you call it a day with the driving privileges?

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.04.21 15:15
We've had a couple of threads on driving if you look back on this forum you can find others thoughts on this also along with those who will offer suggestions now.

Sorry I'm not referring you to back threads because I don't think this subject isn't relevant it certainly is. And it is a very touchy and important subject. I've been having trouble the past few days and typing is kind of rough right now, so I mentioned those threads to give you some thoughts and information for now until you get some responses. Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By jaxrock On 2012.04.22 08:24
Even before myhusband was diagnosed with PD, his driving became dangerous...he would zone out, swerve into other lanes, nearly go in ditches, etc. With the meds, in the beginning, he still drove - they helped with some of these problems...however, in 2008, after buying a new car, it became apparent he could no longer safely drive. It was hard for him, of course. It has taken him a long time to accept the fact that he no longer has the freedom of taking drives on his own. Thank goodness, tho, he realizes the danger he puts himself, me, and others in - in fact, that's how I got him to calm down about this issue. He's a very caring person, and just reiterating the facts of how he can injure or kill an innocent person - or even a dog - has stopped his insistence that he can drive. Also, I encouraged him to think of the "legal" and "financial" ramifications of an accident with him behind the wheel......since his neurologist and PC doctor have both put in their files that he no longer drives. And his medicines also have warnings re: driving.
I happily drive him when he wants to go out to run errands, or just "get out of the house".
It's a very difficult issue for both of you.........but, be strong.....

By moonswife On 2012.04.22 12:31
We are close to addressing this issue too. Started slowly by some accommodations.

He does not leave the zip code (six square miles), so fatigue is not the problem. He stopped driving the antiques, to. Too much to lose as his leg sometimes does not want to respond as quickly as necessary. Only automatic transmission.

He only drives when pills kick in, and will be "on" for a few hours. Can go to post office, store, donut shop with little granddaughter, etc.

Day is coming. I had first lesson in pulling trailer yesterday, hate to give up small day trips to beach, pulling our bathroom and bed to rest on.

Will make the necessary choice when feel others are in danger, its the right thing to do.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.04.22 15:20
One hard thing about driving is knowing when to stop. We think we can drive, heck I still think I am able to drive better than 90% of the People who are driving "out there". I stopped several years ago when I realized I was still driving when I shouldn't be my pills were unreliable as to how long they work and my reactions were slower. My wake up wasn't an accident or even a near one. It was fall, school had just started up and one afternoon I was going by a school as the children were getting out I saw some running down the lawn headed for some parked cars and started to apply my brakes. The children darted out into traffic and several cars slammed on their brakes no one was hit or harmed but I stopped much closer to the rear end of the car in front of me than I should have and decided that's it I'm done before I hit someone or something. Plus the week before one of our support group T-boned a car at an intersection because He couldn't stop fast enough.

The irony of these decisions is many come after a mishap. One of Our forum members posted one day She had taken Her husband to his (adult daycare) senior center because She had convinced Him to give up driving as He was unsafe.....well on Her way home as she crossed a bridge she was hit head on luckily no injuries but the car was totaled and She was very shaken up by it all. As they waited for the police to arrive talking with the other driver, She learned that the woman who hit her has Parkinson's too! As She related in Her post she got her husband to stop driving so she would be safer and then a Parkinson's patient winds up totaling her car!

It's hard to know when to pull the trigger and cease driving but driving is a privilege and not a right. Compare it to OUI or DWI how many tragedies have been caused by those four little words "I thought I could". Take care, best of luck and hang in there.

By parkinit On 2012.04.22 19:56
This IS a tough one when spouses PWP aren't willing to admit it is a problem. Lo, you seem to be amazingly astute and aware of your own disease, but many are not.

My spouse was spitting mad about losing his license. It was done through a local agency (they sent the letter for me), but in the end, he found out it was done at my request (to have his license taken away). We even had an "intervention" where his daughters said they were afraid to ride with him. He still thought he was okay to drive. That was why I had to take the step with the DMV to have them remove his license. He wasn't willing to do it voluntarily. He seems to be doing okay now, but he does still bring it up from time to time and says, "I'm still mad about that," but I tell him what I believe:
"I did the right thing. Even though you don't like it, it was the right thing to do!"

By cmonge On 2012.04.22 20:24
Thank you so much for all your support. It's been a long 3 days. My husband has not talked to me and so mad and wants nothing to do with me. I really don't know what to do. It's an awful living situation. I suppose at some point he will talk to me but right now he says he doesn't want to talk or be with me.

By LOHENGR1N On 2012.04.23 00:36
parkinit, Thanks, I have to be aware of the Disease and how it and My medication effect Me. I live alone with My Service Dog! As I've always told My Neurologist when discussing drugs and adjustments.....If I start seeing and talking to things that aren't there I'm in BIG trouble! I'm alone and have no one to ask Me who I'm talking to or tell Me that nothing is there. So if I don't have a handle on what is going on with myself I'd be up the creek without a paddle.

By jaxrock On 2012.04.23 12:07
cmonge...........if I were you, I'd contact your husband's neurologist and tell him what's going on....
or, at least, his primary care physician.

By cmonge On 2012.04.24 09:46
I did tell him that we could go see the neurologist and let him decide if he was okay to drive. He said no one was going to decide but him. He is still not talking to me. I am going to my therapist today and I am going to contact his therapist today also. I can't go on like this much longer although I am sure this is just the first of many fights along the Parkinson's path.

By parkinit On 2012.04.24 10:29
cmonge - You are correct.

Lo, you don't talk to things that aren't there, etc., but some of our PWP do from time to time and as our home health nurse said, "Hallucinations and delusions are fairly common in PWP." Delusions can include thinking they are perfectly capable of driving when they have run off the road, continue to go over the yellow line, speed through areas that are unsafe to do so, etc. I could go on and on. A doctor told my PWP that he would not want his wife and kids on the road with my PWP driving. My spouse was so mad, I thought he was going to get violent in the doctor's office. This has to be one of the most difficult things to do as a spouse as it does cause a rift in the relationship - how can it not if they think they can still drive - again, a delusion!

I think it is good cm has someone to talk with and if you have children that could reinforce what you did, that would be somewhat helpful, too. Does he have friends that would support you in your position? The more people that support you in your stance and communicate their concerns, perhaps the more he will come to terms with it.

By cmonge On 2012.04.24 22:10
Fortunately everyone supports me in my decision. However, my spouse has become a changed man over the last few days. He is also bipolar and I am not sure if I set off some sort of reaction or what. The bottom line is he refuses to talk to me about it and told me to move out today. I have an eighteen year old daughter who is in her senior year and I refuse to ruin these last few weeks for her. So if I have to find another place to live to get through the next few weeks I will. I refuse to live and be treated like this or put my daughter through this.

By parkinit On 2012.04.25 22:35
CM -

You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Keep us posted.

Hugs -

By LindaRhea On 2012.05.01 20:27
My husband, although undiagnosed, has Parkinson's and his driving is not good. He is sure he can still drive, but I have convinced him that he has driven us for many years and now it's my turn. I tell him how much I enjoy driving (I've even learned to drive the motorhome) and I am always eager to drive anywhere!

He certainly doesn't make things easy, but I'm holding my ground. I've told him he can drive by himself if he really thinks it's right, but I won't ride with him. He has been angry with me, but it's better than the alternative.

Do what you know is right, and don't let him endanger you or others. Good luck, and know that you are not alone!

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