Saturday, March 31, 2012

Driving With Fibromyalgia

Driving with Fibromyalgia can be quite painful as we know, from uncomfortable seats, staying in one position for too long, and just the plain stress of driving.  I just read an article which is posted and quoted below about driving with Fibromyalgia.  It was part of an article about 4 common things that are easy for most, but not for us.  As a mom of 3 very active boys, doing some contracting work for a dental equipment repair business, and a direct sales consultant I do spend a lot of time in our van.

One day out visiting dental offices or running the boys from one field to another with a possibility of another town thrown in really can make me hurt.  It hurts to sit too long, especially behind the wheel when you can't even wiggle around some.  Then having your arms up to hold the wheel cause neck, arm and upper back pain.  Then the stress of people cutting you off, getting behind schedule because of a tractor (We live in the country.), now major construction project through our small town, not to count the issues of visiting the larger towns around when needed.  I have just read something I never thought of Fibromyalgia to cause.

As you will see in excerpt from below it is talking about Fibro Fog and driving.  Forgetting where you are going, forgetting how to get somewhere, in bad cases disorientation.  Fortunately I am not to the point where I feel I am an unsafe driver, but I do sometimes find myself not paying attention maybe as well as I should whether the boys are with me or not.  I sometimes forget the area I just drove through and think "wow, how did I get here?".  Those kind of  things are scary to say the least.  I never related it to my Fibromyalgia, but it made so much sense to me as I was reading.  Even medications we take can make us a bit out of it and affect our driving.

Now I have realized this I feel it will make me a stronger driver.  I will make sure I am more aware, not drive as much if possible when having a bad day physically because that will affect how we react, pay attention, and just driving in general.  I haul very precious cargo many times that I am driving called Nicholas, Jacob, and Caleb.  Edward too.  Nothing would be worse then hurting them or someone else because I was out of it.  I am pledging to look at myself more seriously as a Fibro Driver and hope you do as well.  Read the clip below for full information I read and I hope it helps you be safe and protect those around you.

Brain fog can be a major problem when you're behind the wheel. Some of us periodically forget where we're going or how to get there. Even worse, we may become disoriented and not know where we are.
It's scary when this happens and can lead to an anxiety attack, which makes the situation even worse and can increase other symptoms.
Some of us also have trouble paying attention to the myriad things that we need to while driving. We may not be able to process all the necessary information to be safe on the road.
A small fraction of people with these illnesses stops driving completely. Some may have to limit their driving to familiar places, while others are okay most of the time but choose not to drive on especially bad days. It's a personal decision, but one that we need to be aware of to protect ourselves and others.

As you evaluate your driving ability, it may help to get input from friends and family members who've ridden with you, as they may have noticed things you didn't.

A few tips I think would be helpful for us are driving only when rested.  Also if you have a long drive, stop frequently, get out and stretch.  One thing on my van I never had before is heated seats.  This is great in the cold or on a painful day that I have to be out.  Also in cold warm your vehicle up, in the hot weather start it with the air on so you don't have extreme temperatures that will make you hurt.  Keep distractions to a minimum (good for all people), turn off cell or ignore it even with a headset, keep radio low or off especially if you have others in the car.  I know too much noise driving or riding in a car makes me really irritable..  Irritability causes road rage and stress.  We don't need that.  Just a little input from me to keep us safe.  Please comment if you have a safe or comfortable driving tip.

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