Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Bird Is Free


The State of New Jersey has finally given up its state secrets on drivers with disabilities, and I am behind the wheel once more.

After undergoing a formal assessment from a state-licensed driver evaluator who are housed in occupational therapy facilities in major hospitals, and who are rare as hen's teeth by the way,  I was declared medically disabled but able enough to receive a prescription for adaptive equipment for my car.

Having lost the use of my left hand, my only option is to drive one-handed.  As a result I was unable to operate the indicator doovelacky on the left side, although the use of indicators seem to be optional for most NJ drivers anyway, she says with tongue firmly in cheek.

So now, as you can see from the photo, there is a metal contraption that attaches to the indicator on the left side, which then crosses over the back of the steering wheel, allowing me to operate it with my right hand.

The steering wheel was also fitted with a turning knob so that it's much easier for me to steer with one hand.  It takes a little getting used to but no major accidents yet so it's all good.

It's taken a long time to get this little bit of freedom back and it feels great, although I'm sure I'll be sick of driving again in no time.  MIL's pretty happy too that she's no longer Driving Miss Daisy.

Now all I need to work on is being able to flip the bird with my spare gimp hand.  A must-have skill for for handling the extraordinarily polite New Jersey drivers.

16 comments:

  1. Haha! Rachel.....

    That finger is the single most important driving element in NJ and definitely in and around Manhattan! I am THRILLED you have your wheels back. Good for YOU!!! Another step in a better direction.

    xoxox
    AnneMarie

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  2. Brilliant news, and astonished to hear of your medical system providing you with a prescription for anything! Maybe you could go back to them and ask them for another piece of equipment, a sort of false arm that swings out when you open the left window, and 'signals' to your fellow drivers. Sort of like an old-style stick out indicator. I'm sure Sarah could help. She's a whizz at model-making.

    Ronnie xx

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  3. Love your attitude. I like to give three fingers and let them read between the lines. May you driving adventures be safe and wonderful.

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  4. YAY FOR FREEDOM!!!!!

    (I'll be looking in my rear view mirror for ya.)

    Katie

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  5. Yay! I'm made up for you, actually I'm fucking delighted! That you can drive, that you are full of snark and finger signals. Remember, Liverpool is only 3,500 miles away if you feel like driving that far. x

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  6. This post made me laugh. Thank you! Congrats on getting back behind the wheel. Look out N.J.

    -Renn

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  7. Yipee for you, and hooray for freedom! Maybe you can hold the steering wheel between your knees when you need to flip someone the bird. Go get 'em girl.

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  8. Rachel,

    I'm THRILLED you will be driving all over the place!! Good for you! And if I know you, you will manage to flip the bird everywhere you go.

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  9. Yay, fantastic news. Well, not for NJ drivers, but for you. I'm glad a bit of your freedom has been restored. Enjoy your wheels and watch out for those chrome domes. They're ruthless.

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  10. Reading this made my day!! I'm thrilled for you, I really am. And now, I must head out on the road myself to do a bit of shopping and you can bet I'll be thinking about you (and smiling) as I drive down Interstate 94!

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  11. So glad you are back in the saddle again. I remember the first day(s) of driving after surgery, I felt so free and independent again. And what a wonderful Christmas present for you!!

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  12. Glad you got your wheels back. I only wish I lived in NJ--I would be glad to be your designated flipper offerer.....

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  13. Brilliant! I hope your OT realizes that flipping the bird is an essential functional skill & will include it as part of your remaining rehab goals. Also essential for driving in Rhode Island.

    xoxo, Kathi

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  14. I believe your last point ties in very well with your January 2012 post on the new year... I think it is a completely valid new years resolution... a must-attain type skill... bungi jumping and going to gym everyday is over rated anyway!

    I am glad to hear you are feeling a bit better... long may it last!!

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  15. That was an interesting read. I loved it. You are really amazing with that kind of a style. 'The bird is free'.
    Nice posting. keep writing.

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