Seems like I’ve posted a bit more negativity lately, so since today I’m feeling a bit better, I thought I’d share.

I had trouble getting up today, needing a couple hours after actually waking up to just lay in bed, stretch, doze back off, stretch some more, and keep turning back and forth to let my neck pop some things back into place. I’m glad I did, too, because it got me well enough to drive! I had to go for a quick blood draw to make sure my kidneys are ok to handle the contrast for my hip MRI tomorrow, and I didn’t need hubby to drive me! I walked like a damn marionette the whole time, but not only did I make it to the lab, I was able to stop by a certain grocery store just up the road for a couple things only available at that particular store. I could feel my “max exertion” coming soon while driving from the lab to the store, signaled by “brain stabs” and needing to repeatedly pop my ears, but I got myself safely through the store and back home.

My ears are still full and needing constant popping, Mr. Migraine is settling in, my throat is feeling full, and my gut is throwing a fit, but overall, today is a “well enough” day – well enough to call this a good day. I think I’ll be soaking in the tub here in a bit since I can’t seem to get warm again, but I’m just so grateful for these days where everything is mild enough that I’m able to drive.

Losing the luxury of going for a drive whenever I want is one of the biggest sources of heartbreak for me with this illness. I’m a car girl, raised by a car guy from a car family. I love muscle cars, big trucks, the smell of exhaust, and the purr of a carbureted engine. These are comforts that live deep within my soul. One of my biggest stress relievers was jumping in the car, cranking the tunes to eleven, and driving fast and hard, getting myself lost and then finding my way back. I’m sure the loss of independence makes sense to anyone, but more than that, I lost part of my soul when I realized it was no longer safe for me to just jump in the car and take off. There’s a hole in me that closes just a little each time I’m ok to drive myself. Even if it’s just a couple miles down the road for a quick errand, I smile inside the whole time because I’m back behind the wheel again. I even try to find excuses to go places on “well enough” days just for the joy of driving. It’s always short-lived – just a couple of quick head turns, and my brain and neck start fighting me, but it’s always worth it.

Meet Ol’ Red, a rascally bastard I had to let go of a few years ago who remains one of my two favorite vehicles ever. #1 was a Chevy Blazer I had to sell when I couldn’t afford payments. This guy, a 1981 Ford F100 Explorer Series, was the first thing I ever had that was my money, my decision, my name on the title. He’s loud, mostly rust, and falling apart, but he was a wonderful and fun friend of mine for a while. He’s still going, too! He went to my Dad first, Dad handed him off to one of his brothers, and Uncle passed him along to the son of a woman he’s known for years, and last I checked, Red’s still an everyday vehicle for that guy. (I don’t normally dress like that – this was for Halloween, and I was a cowgirl.)