Almost a year after my accident and learning to live with the injuries, I have finally started to learn how to drive again. Different from how I learned when I was fifteen, I am now learning with hand controls. I am so excited to gain some independence and freedom back into my life. One of the hardest parts of my accident has been the feeling of dependency on others for everything. This is a big step towards getting away from that feeling. Even though this is such a positive step in the right direction for me, it hasn’t been an easy process to get to where I am.
I have had 6 driving lessons so far, and it’s begun to feel pretty natural. Thankfully, I am not completely starting from scratch on driving. I’ve had to learn to switch my reflexes to the hand control system. It’s difficult at times to realize that even though I will regain my ability to do something, it will have to be done in a way that I never would have expected. I’ve had these same mixed emotions while learning to walk again. The excitement is mixed with sadness knowing that it will never feel the same. These feelings of sadness come but are very quickly replaced with feelings of excitement and accomplishment.
Learning to drive again comes with another challenge, like learning how to get in and out of the car – something that people without injuries like mine don’t think twice about. I always have some form of medical equipment with me, either the walker or the wheelchair. If there’s a day that I can’t wear my prosthetic legs, this part will be especially challenging. Thankfully equipment can be installed in the car to help with this process.
Despite the difficulties that come with getting back to basics, I am so excited to finally be gaining this part of my life back. I am nervous to be back on the road, outside of a driving lesson, but when I think about it, there are so many places I am excited to go to. I’m not sure where I will choose to go on my first drive alone, but most times I find myself imagining a warmer day where I can put my puppy, Oliver, in the car with me and bring him somewhere outdoors, where he can run around and play for the day. I can’t wait to find new roads with my pup and continue to explore this beautiful life.
#StefFindsNewRoads #StefStrong #NorthCountryChevyDealers
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