Friday, July 23, 2010

Me, the dog, and driving school



































I have begun taking driving lessons at Walter Reed. Most of it has involved testing my eyes and brain power to see if I'm safe behind the wheel. My damaged right foot, which I thought was my biggest obstacle, isn't so much of a concern to the instructor. She is more worried about my anxiety.

She tests me with all sorts of roadblocks. Today, she put the car radio on, talked to me, and had me drive around the simulated town all at the same time. Another test involves lights on a board you must hit within a second of them flashing. At the same time, you must count up numbers that pop up on a screen in front of you.

It is taxing but T knows her stuff. She is one of the only Army specialists who teach vets to drive. She reads our faces for signs of panic. She keeps detailed notes of our medical progress. She knows everything about cars and hand controls (should you need them). Most importantly, she cares very deeply about our emotional well-being.

Maybe its my PTSD but all of the vehicles on the simulator look like Humvees or MRAPS. I know I've seen an insurgent behind at least one building. And twice I've been hit by other cars and I swear they did it on purpose.

But if you feel overwhelmed, Raleigh (the resident assist-dog flunky), will jump in the passenger seat and ride with you. IF you have a pretzel to spare...

5 comments:

Oldfool said...

Looks like my dog Suzy. She will sit and adore me even when I smell bad and without a treat. She almost always gets a treat.

GatorGirl said...

How cool...

Tamsin said...

fantastic, great to hear that you are back in the driving seat again. I bet you would find lots of willing passengers if you bribe them with doughnuts.

Emmy said...

Good to hear things are prgressing :) And could you give Rolly a pretzel for me? :P

Marianne said...

Everyone should have a Rolly!