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Thursday, 10 July 2014

Driving

My transplant has honestly changed my life in every aspect and simple things, like driving, have now become possible for me to do and I absolutely love the freedom that comes with all these trivial tasks.


Before I got very ill I was able to drive but I always found it very tiring. That said, it was far less draining than walking! I remember driving to the shops and trying to find a parking right outside the shops so that I didn't have to walk far. If I couldn't find a parking close by then I would drive to another shop. I know I should've used the disabled parking but because I looked so 'normal' I felt like people would think I am just being lazy!

One memory that stands out more than the rest is when I went to a show with a friend. We parked very far away from the entrance and for the rest of the group this just meant a brisk walk and more time to chat. Walking to the show, I felt so out of breath and I was so relieved when we finally got to where we were sitting. I remember thinking to myself during the duration of the show "How am I going to manage walking back".

When the show ended we started our walk back. My friend asked if I was ok and I said I was but I really wasn't. On the brink of tears at how hard it was becoming to breathe we finally got to the car and I couldn't wait to get home so that I could put on my oxygen.

It's taken me a long time to get over the anxiety that used to come with finding a parking. I have the lungs and the strength now to park as far away as I need to without any problem. But mentally it still stresses me out a little as my mind is so conditioned to thinking about doing things in a way that will put as little stress on my breathing as possible.

After transplant, it took me a while to gain the confidence to get back on the road again. My mom didn't help the situation as she too was very overwhelmed by all these 'new' things I could do and she didn't want time to go too fast. So it actually took me longer to convince my mom that I could manage than it took to convince myself. It's amazing how much confidence you lose when you haven't done something for a while. Little by little I drove further and further until driving became second nature once again.

I didn't have power steering on my car and being so physically weak from years of inactivity I really struggled with back pain when I drove. Eventually it got so bad that I ended up in agony and having to go to physio. I then decided to upgrade my little pink car to something with power steering. I now have power steering AND automatic transmission and driving is now an absolute PLEASURE!


Driving alone at night in the beautiful city of Joburg has become one of my favourite times to reflect on life and everything I have gone through to get to where I am today. I put my music on LOUD and I smile to myself as my achievements overwhelm and delight me =)

An example of a song that will most certainly make me smile and give me goosebumps is this amazing track from Swedish House Mafia. Remember, if it's not on LOUD then it doesn't count!



"Don't you worry, don't you worry, child.
See heaven's got a plan for you.
Don't you worry, don't you worry now."

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