Wednesday, 9 January 2013
Facing a Fear
I don't make New Year resolutions any more - so badly have I failed to keep them in the past. I feel very badly about these failures because normally I am a person of my word. If I say something, I mean it and if I say I will do something, I am obliged to do it. Thus you may imagine correctly, that I think very carefully before I speak. That is until a slip of the tongue last week. I have had a driving phobia re highways or long, straight roads since our bad accident when I fell asleep at the wheel sixteen years ago and my daughter was badly injured. I went twice to a therapist for several sessions over a couple of years and although he helped me over my guilt and once (brave man) even rode in my car with me as I ventured out for about 300 yards on a dual carriageway. However, I have not repeated the experience alone and the phobia has remained. Over the Christmas period we have been up and down to our holiday house five times; it's about an hour's drive on a busy road house to house. My husband always drives. Lately, he's been suffering from vertigo in varying degrees but on a daily basis. He is OK when driving and is just affected when bending or moving his head up or down. We are still trying to find the cause - there are so many when you are over sixty. About 30% Americans suffer from dizziness periodically after this age. I guess it's like everything else, things wear out, even your inner ear. We've established that it's not low blood pressure. Anyway, we had to travel for the sixth time at my request - I wanted to do some gardening at the holiday house. My husband was reluctant to drive yet again, and I felt so sorry for him (his foot still gives trouble as well) that I heard myself say, "Would you like me to drive?" His ecstatic response and look of relief was my reward and so, trying not to think about it, I took a deep breath and got behind the wheel. I must have had a guardian angel that day: the road was quiet, not even one truck, and the car in front of me elected to drive almost half the way at only 60 m.p.h. so I stuck at a polite distance behind him until he turned off. Many of our main roads are only single lanes in this country but you can pull over the yellow line to let things pass, so that's what I did. After that I was fine. Doesn't mean that I can yet drive on a swift National road. Baby steps. The down side is that I shall now be asked to drive that route often and that I have to say, will be a shocking waste of knitting time.