I passed my driving test in September 2013 - on my third attempt, and it's one of my greatest achievements to date. It was pretty soon after I passed my test that I started driving on the motorway. I had to drive on the motorway to college, and I could have taken another route, but the motorway saved so much time, and time in a morning was definitely something I valued! After my stroke, I was very keen to start driving again. Driving around my village is one thing, driving on the motorway is a very different story.
I was given the all clear to start driving again around October time I think. Considering I'd been so keen to get back behind the wheel it took me a long time to get my confidence back and I was still very hesitant. Once I got my job, I drove to work and that was about it. I began driving to my Art Club with the Stroke Association every Friday, that was almost the same route that I used to take to college, but I would set off earlier and avoid the motorway. I just didn't have the confidence.
I think it was around the middle of February that myself and my mum went shopping and she said 'right, we'll go on the motorway today'. And we did, and it wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be. I was seven months post stroke, and I'd finally driven on the motorway! Yay! My next hurdle was to do it by myself.
And I did...sort of. The motorway I use to get to my Art Club is quite a quiet one. It also starts at a roundabout in Scunthorpe, which means that on the way home I don't actually have to go down a slip road and join a motorway (my biggest fear!) and I can just drive onto it and keep going till I pull off. I was still avoiding the actual process of joining the motorway!
At the end of march I practiced with my Dad, and we joined the motorway. He said I was absolutely fine and my worries were all in my head! So...on Monday, I took the plunge and joined the motorway by myself! And I survived! I don't really know what I've been worrying about.
Since my adventures on Monday, I've driven on the M62! One of the busiest motorways in England! My best friend Robyn said, 'you've gone from being afraid of motorways, to driving on the busiest around us in a week!' Yep, that seems to be exactly what I have done.
Post stroke achievement of driving on my own on the motorway - tick!
See you next time!