Today was my maiden voyage with my newly restored driver's license. I took myself to the therapy gym (about twenty miles away). It's been over a year since I got behind the wheel to take myself anywhere. Getting used to a new way of controlling the car is strange enough but add to that the novelty of a car I'm not yet accustomed to, and the result: I was a little bit nervous. But giddy, too.
I keep catching myself giggling over the realization that I don't need to rely on cabs and buses anymore, I don't need to plan my day around what I can do in the immediate vicinity. I can go to a store and buy more than three things and bring them home. I just hope that I'm not aiming too high here.
I remember when I first got the go-ahead from my physical therapist to start venturing out on walks on my own, about a year ago. My head was filled with all the things I suddenly could do outside the apartment during the day. I imagined myself walking down to the shops, sitting in cafes with the laptop, ranging all over the East Bay on public transportation. The reality turned out to be a bit disappointing: I didn't have the strength to carry groceries, didn't have the "sitting tolerance" to enjoy a leisurely afternoon at the cafe, it hurt my back to carry a 5 pound computer and I needed to return home to lie down before I could cover much territory.
Things are much better these days but I still have my limits. Now, with the ability to drive, the next few weeks are going to be about testing and finding those limits again.
All this comes at a good time for me since I've got a little more energy lately and am devoting myself to stepping up my independent workouts-- cycling, Pilates , and now aquatic therapy. I started that yesterday and have weekly appointments set for the next three months. Very exciting. Tomorrow, I'm taking the trike out for a ride along the bay. Very exciting.