I remember the day I passed my driving test as clearly as if it happened yesterday, and it was fifteen years ago. As I struggle to recall what I had for lunch that is some feat. I drove back to the test centre, parked perfectly, and the examiner announced that I had passed, I asked her if she was sure, she laughed and told me that she was, and I was ecstatic. My mum added me to the insurance of her vehicle that day, and that evening I went and picked my younger brother up from work in our then shared car.
Driving opened up my world, it gave me so much freedom and independence. I didn’t have to rely on my parents’ schedules, I could go out whenever I wanted, wherever I wanted. It was amazing.
Over the years I had weeks and/or months when I couldn’t drive due to ill health because of my chronic conditions but this past year I was unable to drive for almost a year and it was incredibly difficult. Not only because I had to rely on other people but because I felt like I was losing the only part of me that I could truly do unaided. I require help with getting dressed, washing, preparing food, and many other aspects of my life, but driving is something I do alone.
My health became unmanageable and unpredictable. I was referred to a neurologist and was sent for multiple tests that either came back negative or inconclusive. During that time my symptoms were getting worse and more frequent. I began to worry that not only would I never drive again, but that I would never go outside alone again.
Finally, I saw an amazing new doctor who set me on a new treatment plan, and I started noticing changes. My doctor approved of me getting back behind the wheel, and I can’t explain how elated I was. I had sat in the passenger seat far too long!
I wasn’t worried to get back behind the wheel, I thought I would be after so long, but I’d missed it so was more excited than anxious. I did a short eight-minute trip to the local retail and leisure park, Rushden Lakes, with my boyfriend and two dogs. And I was fine, my boyfriend must have asked me ten times how I was feeling, and I was honestly good, I’d never felt better. I had my freedom back. I had my independence back. I was empowered.
I only travel within twenty-minutes of my house as my health is still poor, and I have flare-ups but leaving the house at least once a week if I can is really important to me, even if it is just driving to the next village to take the dogs on a different walk.
Driving has always been extremely important to me, it has been such a big lifeline, and the thought of not being able to do it is so scary. I am so glad I am back behind the wheel, even if I’m not driving that far or that often, I’m happy that I’m able to do it.
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If you are eligible for the scheme, Motability represents one of the best ways to enhance your personal autonomy, with superb value for money and specialist support for customers. No matter what your requirements may be, our team of experts are on hand to help answer any questions you have. Some of the great benefits include: