Yesterday’s landmark achievement was putting on sneakers. You know, with laces. Up to now, it’s been slip on shoes, since I haven’t been able to bend over or reach around in front of me to tie a shoe.
Today’s landmark was driving. I decided to make a trial run, driving myself to Whole Foods, about ten blocks away from home. Driving doesn’t involve reaching for anything over my head or lifting anything heavy, two actions that are still out of my range. Pulling and pushing with any force to speak of are also physically out of bounds and it wasn’t until I got behind the wheel of the car that I realized how much pulling is involved when driving a car.
I decided to go for it anyway. I kept my hands low on the steering wheel and took the turns slowly, turning the steering wheel in short bits, shuffling my hands back and forth on the bottom half of the steering wheel. I felt like the little old lady from Pasadena, slowly inching around corners. Just like nervous drivers who try to get where they’re going by never having to make a left-hand turn, I momentarily thought if there was some way I could get to the post office and the store without ever having to make a turn.
I made it there and back without incident. I’m happy to report that, outside of the occasional monster pothole, the regular bumps of the road are no longer terribly painful. There were a number of mindless actions in the course of shopping that reminded me of my limitations and one item I had to make a substitution for because it was on a shelf over my head and there wasn’t anyone nearby to ask for help.
So, my first personally propelled outing was a success. I’m good right now for very short trips but I won’t be hitting the highway for a while yet.