Friday, June 29, 2007

To drive, or not to drive?

Today has been a very long, very bumpy day. I must admit I am glad the sun is down and I can finally retreat to my bed.

The morning started off ok. I picked up my parents from their hotel, grabbed a few groceries for breakfast, and came back to the Fisher House. I ran upstairs into our room and pounced on J.R. It's my favorite way to wake him up. He doesn't particularly enjoy it, but the look on his face when I fly into the bed and tackle him is priceless. He rolled out of bed just in time to eat a bowl of cereal and run out the door for PT. After PT the priceless fun began.

We've been butting heads about the whole driving situation. He would love nothing more than to be able to lead a normal life. And a huge part of that is being able to drive himself. I can't blame him for being anxious. It can't be fun to have your wife drive you every time you want to go pick up a tool at Home Depot or a book at Borders. And even though I will gladly drive him to where he needs to be, it's not always fun for me either. I would love to be able to kiss him goodbye and watch him pull out of the parking lot and not return for hours. Unfortunately, the last time he drove he was in Iraq, driving a Humvee, and had all of his limbs. We are learning a whole new ballgame and some practice is desperately needed.

He has driven three times now. Nothing big. Small trips right around the Silver Spring area on roads he has been on many, many times. He has done very well, but I would really like to see him get a bit more comfortable behind the wheel before we head out to the beltways with tons of traffic. I just want him to be safe. Call me paranoid, but I almost lost him once and I'm not going through that again. Slowly he'll get all of his independence back... it's just going to take a bit longer.

After we made it through the yelling match we managed to have a nice evening. The parents and I grilled salmon on the grill. J.R. wasn't a fan of the golden beets we had with dinner. We really need to work on expanding his taste in veggies. If left to him, dinner would be the same thing every night and it would probably come out of a box. He claims he can cook but he has yet to truly share his expertise in the kitchen with me. Someday I'll return home to a full home cooked meal waiting on the table. Hey, a girl can dream right?

We got the dishes picked up and then we ran out the door to see Evan Almighty. It was surprisingly great. A really nice family movie with plenty of laughs. Even J.R. was laughing. His laughter made it worth the forty bucks to take us all out. Tomorrow we are hoping to get down to the Folk Life Festival for at least a few hours. Depending on how long we are downtown we might also hit up Arlington/Georgetown and show the parents around a bit. It should be a nice lazy Saturday. Well, lazy after the hour in the gym.

I skipped on the gym today so I have to wake up early to run tomorrow. My legs were jello after yesterday. I do not recommend two miles in twenty minutes with the resistance on ten and crossramp on six. Your body will hate you for it later, but your mind will be thankful for the release. Two more weeks on the elliptical and then I'm heading to the treadmill. I've never been a great runner, but now is a great time to change that. J.R.'s original physical therapist is returning next week after spending a few months on leave. Thank god. I'm hoping I can get her to spend a few hours in the gym with me to show me some new exercises. The woman is amazing. She has an exercise for everything and does them in perfect form. One can learn a lot from her.

For now it's time to stop pretending I'm Lee Ann Womack and head to bed. I'm sure J.R. will be thankful I'm going to sleep. Something tells me he doesn't like how I sing with my headphones on. He's already informed me I look like a nerd when I sing into my hairbrush. What fun is he?


Anonymous said...

Josie, there really is no need for a debate with JR. Until he is off of all pain meds he has no business behind the wheel. He isn't the only one on the road and other people may not appreciate him thinking his independence is more important than the risk he can be to them, driving while under the influence. I don't think JR is the type of man who could live with the knowledge he injured another person and that it was preventable. Are there any back roads with no traffic when you go fishing?? That would be a good place to start.

Butterfly Wife said...

I laughed (pouncing on JR to wake him up). I cried (his laugh was worth the 40 bucks to take us all out). Thanks for sharing your story.

liberal army wife said...

Josie, I have to agree w/anon.. There are so many reasons for him not to drive right now, not the least is his nodding off! We all understand that need to be independant. So I'll bet there are some back roads he could drive on. But I KNOW the highways in DC (make 694 look like a walk in the park) and that's not the place for someone who is on meds that cause drowsiness. And every cop in the country will tell you the same! Would he get behind the wheel if he'd had a sixpack? same diff.

as for you singing.... honey, just sing. as much as you want. As for the hairbrush (I hope it's one of those round ones). go for it!

cooking.. my kid says he can cook, his wife begs to differ HIS idea of cooking, open a can of Ragu cook some noodles... voila. salad??? veggies?? ha! Now they have the cutest child in the universe... and she gets veggies. But... I gotta agree w/JR> Beets.... ewwwwwwww. asparagus? broccoli, chinese cabbage, spinach. now, if you were to grill the golden beets.. hmmm. that could be good.

You take really good care of each other. and of yourselves.


Anonymous said...

I hope this question does not come out insensitively, but I don't know the specific details of JR's injuries, or even how to ask this question in a non-awkward way. Does JR have the fingers required to hold the steering wheel steady, or does he already have the prosthetics or tools he needs to do so? He'll need a lot of steering wheel control on the Beltway in case another driver accidentally taps his vehicle--DC area drivers can be crazy. I saw a news story recently about all the cool tools they have available these days to help injured veterans drive safely despite lost fingers, so I am absolutely sure JR will be able to drive at some point. I bet it will feel great when he can have that sort of normalcy back in his life.

Anonymous said...


I can't offer any advice on driving. Just trust to your own judgement, and you should be okay.

From reading your husband's blog from way back, he claims to be an avid baker. If the two of you are interested, I can send some recipes down your way.

By the way, in the post about the blanket, I'm the guy who told the story about the knives.

Soldiers Angels, NYC

Tracy said...

Sounds like a crazy day. I'm glad you had fun with the movie and dinner!!

My husband's idea of eating veggies is corn and lettuce with cheese and croutons on it! LOL