I Surrendered

A few months ago, I went to renew my drivers license. The renewal date wasn’t until September but Maureen was renewing hers so I figured I would renew mine while we were there.

As we were sitting there answering questions the clerk was asking, she asked me the following question … “Do you have any type of mental illness that may prevent you from driving a vehicle safely?” I knew I had to answer the question honestly, even though I did not want to for I knew what the consequences would be.

I told the clerk, “well, I have Alzheimer’s Disease and I’m not really sure if my reaction time would be like it was.”

She apologized and told me that she could not renew my drivers license without having me tested to see if I could pass the driving test. I knew if I got behind the wheel of a car, my reaction time was not going to be enough to pass the driving test. She said she would leave it open in case I wanted to get tested but she would have to flag my license.

Maureen and I had several discussions, weighing the pros and cons of getting tested. What ended up being the straw that broke the camels back was this. Maureen told me she had noticed the my Executive Functions (making decisions, diminished by my Vascular Dementia) had gone down hill. She gave me examples of conversations we had, some I remembered but the majority of the conversations I didn’t remember.

With my inability to make snap decisions, we came to the conclusion that renewing my license was not going to happen. I understood that, but it was a sad, sad time.

Yesterday, July 21st, I went back to get an ID. Once the process was over, I was no longer a licensed driver. It hit me hard once we got back into the car. As we were pulling out of the parking lot, I lost it. I had a drivers license since I was 17 or 18 years old. Now turning 60 years old in a little over a month and a half, I no longer have a drivers license.

It was so very hard to take although I knew what I was going in there for. I went in as a licensed driver and came out with a Florida ID. It still hit me very very hard. I felt like my Dementia once again took something away from me that I treasured, something that was mine.

I remembered a story my brother Wayne told us. He took my Dad’s car keys away for he was no longer able to drive safely. My Dad forgot a lot of things due to his Vascular Dementia but one day he and Wayne were having a conversation and my Dad was just staring at Wayne. He then said, “I know you! You’re the SOB that took my car keys!” or something along those lines.

It’s funny (not Ha Ha funny) how memories will come back to me at the strangest times. It’s usually not the big memories, but the smaller, memories.

I hate what Alzheimer’s has already taken from me. I have always said from the beginning that I was not going to allow Alzheimer’s to define who I am. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of that so far. Today was a big test. Over the past 6 years, I don’t know if it was Alzheimer’s or Vascular Dementia that took away some things that I treasured and things I had taken for granted for so many years.

Now, those things (friendships, memories, dreams) are gone. I haven’t driven a car or any other type of vehicle since I’ve been here in Largo. I knew that I should not be behind the wheel of a car but I still had my that little piece of plastic that said I still had the ability or I should say, the right, to drive a vehicle.

That is no more and I need to let it go.

Maureen said “the ability to drive is not the measure of a man. The true measure of a man is his care and concern about his fellow man. And you have shown yourself to be a giant by considering the safety of others in this decision. THANK You!”

She then said, “you know what is such a comfort to me? having you in the car with me. You’re my second set of eyes, my second set of ears. You keep me safe!”

So I guess now, I am a co-pilot!

Until Next Time . . .

PEACE!

B

17 thoughts on “I Surrendered

  1. Thank you!

    On Wed, Jul 22, 2020 at 9:58 AM We Are Dementia Strong wrote:

    > We Are Dementia Strong posted: ” A few months ago, I went to renew my > drivers license. The renewal date wasn’t until September but Maureen was > renewing hers so I figured I would renew mine while we were there. As we > were sitting there answering questions the clerk was asking, she ask” >

    Like

    1. My license renewal comes next year. I dread it, but by the same token, I know I’ll fail it. I applauded your courage and everyone who helped you through this trying time.

      Like

  2. A couple of things to add. First when backing up one day dad hit Mr Perry’s car and although he did realize it at the time he had forgotten and denied it later after he no longer could recall it.
    Second, it was actually, ” You are the S.O.B. that stole my car.
    I am proud of you for recognizing and being honest. Each day that dad got behind the wheel, it endangered lives. A real man realizes the danger and makes the correct descision to not endanger others. You are that real man!
    Besides you were never that good of a driver anyway…lol

    Like

    1. One more thing. The true test of a man’s character is what he does when he thinks no one is watching. In other words you were honest when others would have lied. Your integrity is A sign of who you are.

      Like

  3. My heart breaks for you Brian and for Maureen. Taking the keys from my wife was one of the hardest things we had to do. I felt I had betrayed Martha. But it was the right thing to do—she’d driven long past the point of being safe.

    It sounds like you have a wonderful care partner in Maureen.

    Carlen Maddux

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

  4. So very proud of you ❤️. I know it was a very brave decision. But you have the strength and support of your angel, Maureen. Love you.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s