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Topic I know driving again Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By olpilot On 2014.07.09 23:40
This has taken a while for me to write because it really isn't about Parkinson's per se but it has a great deal to do with living with pd. We had a neighbor named Bob whose wife was trying g to get him to stop driving for several years. Bob had very bad arthritis in his neck, could barely turn his head. It's hard to explain exactly what he did but over the course o about 5 years as a neighbor he had gone of the road into snow on either side of the driveway having to be pulled out. He has driven through our yard several time because he could not see or with the snow could not make out our little driveway/road.
He had a very frightening habit of when he needed to make a left turn out of our drive onto the 2 lane highway in front of the house. He would pull to the road turn right on the shoulder look in his rear view mirrors then turn hard left and do a u-turn to go up the road. A truck driver across the road and myself a former truck driver knew he would someday really hurt or kill someone. June 13 it happened.
My wife had just turned into the drive a Bob pulled out. I was inside waiting for her to get home. I heard the crash , ran to the window and at first just saw my wifes car. I was terrified then looked and saw another car in the front yard. He had been t-boned right in the drivers door. I didn't see the other car till I got out side found my wife was ok. The car in the yard was Bob's. My wife called 911 and we all headed over to Bob. He was still concious but hurting very bad. He had to be cut out of his car. We were all out there directing traffic and doing what we could till help arrived. The other driver was hurt pretty bad, didn't have his seat belt on and his head hit the windshield and was nearly scalped. Bob has caused 4 or 5 other accidents doing this same thing.
Bob was taken to the local hospital then med flighted to the university of Wisconsin Madison. He had broken his neck in 2 places. They did 11 and a half hours of surgery but he was paralyzed from his chest down. There was nothing more they could do. He died 2 days later.
I know this wasn't pd related by it was mobility related, just like the stiffness we all feel. My point with this story is that his wife had tried for years to get him to stop driving. I know how hard it is to stop, I still drive some but when my wife says stop I let her take over. I drive short distances alone but anything else only when she is with me. When she sees I'm stiff can't move or just not good to drive I don't. When our loved ones tell us to stop we need to listen. If we wonder if we should stop we should have already.
So many times here someone will ask about driving when you ask please think about Bob and stop. Don't put your life or others at risk. If someone you Love says stop PLEASE STOP. Don't be Bob or a possible victim.

By HangingOn On 2014.07.10 08:13
Thank you so much for posting this story. I tried for quite sometime to get my PWP to let me do the driving. I finally had to say how devastated they would be if they hurt someone. Every now and then on long trips he will ask if I need him to drive, I politely decline. Your story supports the need to think of others not just our desire to drive. Thank you

By LOHENGR1N On 2014.07.10 08:35
Steve, Another very powerful cautionary testament about driving impaired. Thanks for sharing it. Something else many don't take into consideration is We are on medication, powerful medication ..... many of Us will hallucinate not full blown elephants dancing on the lawn hallucinations but the seeing something out of the corner of the eye only to have it be something completely different kind of hallucinations and shouldn't be behind the wheel of a vehicle. Yet many hop in because they are only going to the store down the street, end up killing others (a story in Upstate N.Y. a Woman with P.D. was going to the store down the street a short distance and ended up plowing into a group of senior citizens tour group on the side walk killing 3, I noted and followed it here on the forum) Yet We like the alcoholic, like the drug abuser will think nothing of hopping in the car and driving?!?! We see on TV read in newsprint of people walking into eateries, schools, movies and opening up with weapons killing innocent men, women and children. We say how can this happen? Outraged we call for gun control and testing for mental problems. We're frustrated, angry and wonder how this can happen, yet stand by while a mentally impaired (from medication's) loved one climbs into the car to drive to the store for the news paper or a pack of gum?!?! We kiss them and say be careful and have a good time? We can't stop random shootings but You can stop random killing by stopping driving! As Jim Morrison sang with The Doors, There's a killer on the road, his brain is squirming like a toad......

By carman96 On 2014.07.10 08:57
Steve, I'm so glad your wife wasn't involved! Must have been scary with her being out on the road just seconds before.
Sorry about your neighbor. His poor family must be thinking that "if only" they had forced him not to drive. A cautionary tale indeed.
My husband still gets mad that I hide the keys to all the vehicles. He thankfully got his license taken away two years ago. Sometimes it's a fight but no way is he going to get a hold of any keys. He still thinks he should be able to drive!

By JulieB On 2014.07.10 09:33
This was such a tragic story, but it needed telling. Thank you. About three years ago my husband's neurologist, a compassionate yet outspoken woman, said some things I'll never forget. Michael had gone through some testing again, and they asked him to draw the face of a clock with a certain time. Plus a couple of other intersecting shapes, of which I'm sure you're all familiar with. These drawings of Michael's demonstrated how impaired he is with visuo-spatial perceptions. When Dr. Nance saw how he did she said, "Please tell me you're not still driving?" And he still was at times, as Al said, just to the store and back, that kind of thing. I had been wanting Michael to relinquish driving altogether even though I did most of the driving, because I knew his responses were slower, but he was reluctant. And we all understand how hard it is to give up so much to PD and then have to give up driving too. Dr. Nance said, "I am going to be bold and almost demand that you stop driving. Please don't make your last act as a driver be killing someone. I've seen it happen too many times." Yikes. At his next driver's license renewal, Michael did not pass the written test (which is held on a touch computer screen) and was quite grieved about it, but I knew it was a mercy of sorts. I'm very glad your wife was not involved, but feel bad for this family. xoxo

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