Yesterday started out like any other typical “It is an important day today!” —
Let’s just throw out the fact that it was a Monday.
Yep, the day in which I was to complete part two of my driving evaluation tests could not have started out with any better of the typical important day fashion: sleeping past my alarm and Mom waking me up fifteen minutes before we had to leave. Her ever-calm assurance in these situations met my panic mode as I stumbled out of bed and started going through my morning list of important things I had to do (let alone getting somewhat presentable for the day): feed Muffy, take medicines, etc. “And I need coffee.” Mom said she would make sure Muffy is fed and start some coffee.
Only a few minutes past when we had to leave–with fresh coffee and an apple for breakfast–I get in the car and feel like I can finally catch my breath and looked forward to getting the test over and done! It amazes me that something like this can consume your mind. I do not have a problem with my driving–and yet when doctors first ordered the evaluation back in August, all of a sudden the restriction caused me to doubt my driving–so much that I was having dreams of being in accidents. After the first evaluation September 19th (even though I passed), I still had restrictions until I took this second part. I was able to practice in empty parking lots, which boosted confidence, but it is not a main road.
Feeling confident, I sign in and a few minutes later head out the door with the PT to the Student Driver car. I have only driven one of these official cars once for Driver’s Ed class…that was ten years ago. My instructor (who was also my history/government teacher) must have trusted his students as for our actual driving license test, we could choose between the Student Driver car or one that we had that we were more comfortable driving. I chose the latter of the two options…nothing compares to our family’s 1987 Honda Accord. It is like an heirloom. It witnessed at least thirteen years of high school drama from the parking lot between me and my sisters. Pretty classy!
Anyway, I would have felt more comfortable in my own car (logically), but since it was not a possibility in this situation, I tried my best to adjust to the Student Driver car even though there were many things very different from my car. I found my biggest frustrations being their steering wheel having these huge box-like attachments right above the “9” and “3” area..which is usually where I place my hands. (Note that this test was caused by the concern of my hand function in the first place, so the scenario didn’t suit well.) I also had a problem with the side view mirrors not having the small blind-view mirrors. (Those have saved me from numerous episodes of changing lane woes and proved so when I was doing some reverse exercises with cones in the parking lot.)
We finally get to driving around in a very pretty residential area–being fully determined not to mess with my chances of the evaluation, I kept my focus. Once we determined that the motion for “keep going straight” involved two hands (better clarification), I meandered, slowly, through the neighborhood. When we finished and headed back, the PT asked me how I felt about the driving and I told her my honest opinion (seeing no problems). Never assume a professional PT sees your driving the same way. As we met to discuss the results with my Mom, the PT explains her two things that she sees as a concern (which I do not see in context of the driving experience how they fit in properly to what I thought was the main concern : the grip and strength of my hands!) As soon as I figure out that I still do not have the official okay to drive and that I must return one more time, I bluntly express my point of view in one short sentence. I set up my next drive for the 21st and cry in the elevator–expressing my frustrations to my Mom. There are some things I just do not understand and what they want to see in these evaluations from me is what I do not understand.
There was good in the morning though…I can drive normally in my car as long as one of my parents is with me. Talk about feeling like being back in high school, but I am very thankful for this outcome (even if it is still an inconvenience to our schedules.) By driving the roads, I can now get back to feeling like a normal driver and hope I spend less time dreaming doubts and trusting that God can use this time to help me gain more confidence as yesterday was my first time “on the road” since August.
But yesterday I also felt my conscience tug at my heart over my attitude at the PT right before we left. I did not mean to bluntly express my opinion, but it came out. And I feel bad for it; I hope I did not ruin her day. I am sure it was just as awkward and maybe frustrating for her to navigate a deaf person around a neighborhood and through cones in a parking lot. In my childish actions in response to the PT’s professional opinion, I see how wrong I was and asked God to forgive me. Taking my driving evaluation as a lesson: These are events that I cannot go back and change, but instead, learn from it and set out focusing on doing better next time.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” ~Ephesians 4:29