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When to Drive When to Drive

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Unread 06-02-2011, 09:41 AM
When to Drive

I am 11 days postop and am wondering when most of you started driving again. I don't feel ready so I know that I am not. The problem is I am feeling really nervous about the first time I will HAVE to drive. My doctor told me 10-14 days and that I will need to practice in a parked car. My family left yesterday so my daughter and I are on our own. We don't have to go any place for a few days, but nervous about THAT day when I will need to drive. Any tips?
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Unread 06-02-2011, 09:51 AM
Re: When to Drive

Hi zeta,

I drove first time on day 12 - just a short drive around the corner to store and back. It was fine - no problems. Doc said as long as I'm off narcotic pain meds and feel able to step hard on brakes if needed I was ok to drive. Did a few more local runs to stores the next couple days and drove yesterday over 1/2 hour to my post-op appt and that was fine too. Feels so good to not have to depend on others for that anymore.

Unread 06-02-2011, 09:56 AM
Re: When to Drive

Thank you. It is just my nerves, I guess. I am SUPERWOOOMAN! When I heard that this surgery would slow me down, I never guessed it would be this much. I was nervous about family leaving and all kinds of things that normally never bother me. Everyone keeps reminding me that it has barely been a week. Seems like I have been homebound for decades!
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Unread 06-02-2011, 12:50 PM
Re: When to Drive

Originally Posted by zetaforlife1971 View Post
Seems like I have been homebound for decades!
I hear ya! I'm having a hard time with all the restrictions too - it really does seem longer than it has been. I was nervous about driving the first time too but it was easier than I thought.
Unread 06-02-2011, 12:57 PM
Re: When to Drive

I drove on day 13 (was supposed to wait for 2 weeks, but I had to do it.)

I was nervous at first. Making wide turns I could feel the use of the abdominal muscles, so I made sure to use as much arm strength as I could. It was a short trip and all was fine.

I think 2 weeks is good. But try to stay local. And if you're having any pain, you probably just shouldn't drive until you feel better. :0)
Unread 06-02-2011, 01:14 PM
Re: When to Drive

My gyn allowed me to drive at 10 days - mainly because my husband is blind and she wanted to give us more options. She has also known me for over 20 years and knew that I wouldn't be stupid about it. There was still plenty of snow in MN in March! I made a couple of short trips in the neighborhood (under 2 miles on city streets, no traffic). I didn't have any problem, but I could tell that slamming on the brakes or swerving would not be a happy event. I was glad that there was a snowstorm the next day so that I would be tempted to push my luck. I felt much safer at 15 days.
Unread 06-02-2011, 01:46 PM
Re: When to Drive

You need to check with your insurance company.

You need to know that you can carry out an emergency stop, reason being if anything happens and you have an accident the police are entitled to prosecute you as being unfit to drive.

I know doctors say you can drive after so many days but they don't know without examining you or sitting in a vehicle with you how you can carry out the emergency stop procedure.

I found that when I started driving (which was 6 weeks) I had to recline the seat a little.
Unread 06-02-2011, 02:17 PM
Re: When to Drive

My discharge papers said no driving for 2 weeks but I didn't feel "ready" to drive until 3 weeks and a day. As stir crazy as I was, I couldn't push myself to drive until I was sure nothing would hurt if I slammed on the brakes. I'm 4+ weeks post op and am 100% back to my old driving routine. The transition back to driving was fairly easy and your doc is right - practice pushing the pedals first. If you can do that without pain, then you should be good. I also put a plush strap (usually goes on the shoulder) on the seat belt that hits right at my incision to have a little cushion there and I am still using it - works great. Good luck!
Unread 06-02-2011, 02:38 PM
Re: When to Drive

This is good to know. My hospital discharged papers said "2 weeks" but I wasn't sure if that was a general thing from the hospital or if the doctor was okay with it.

I have an appointment with the doctor on the 8th, which would be 20 days.
I plan to call her in advance and ask her if I can drive myself to my appointment.
I am getting sick of asking my friends to drive to places, epecially the doctors because then they have to take time off from their jobs to take me.

Unread 06-02-2011, 07:48 PM
Re: When to Drive

My hospital discharge papers said I could drive as soon as I was not taking pain meds. I wouldn't have done that though. I was a nervous wreck just riding with DH and kept a pillow on my lap between me and the seat belt coming home.

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