Author Topic: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN  (Read 5897 times)

LeahRachel

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Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« on: September 24, 2015, 12:14:18 am »
My kids think I should not be driving because of balance problems caused by my AN.  Of course, like everyone, I think I drive just fine, but  I do not want to be driving if I am wrong.

Years ago, after an accident, and before AN, I requested a driving evaluation from the physical therapy department at a local hospital.    My eye doctor referred to them as the "Driving Natzis," and my husbsnd laughed at the PT report because it said I "dove to impulsively"  which he knew did not describe me at all.  Their testing was anything but objective. 

I read a research abstract saying that evaluations  by driving simulators were better able to predict accidents, in the following 6 months, than on road testing by driving instructors.

Has anyone been tested in a driving simulator or have any ideas on how to  get a really objective driving evaluation? 

Leah 
« Last Edit: September 24, 2015, 12:20:13 am by LeahRachel »
Leah

Dyslexic and deaf. (expect spelling errors :) ) Cochlear in my right ear and  Gamma Knife  soon for the AN in my left.

Echo

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2015, 08:24:01 pm »
You should be able to tell if your driving isn't up to what it should be without having an evaluation - but that's just my opinion.  How do you feel when you are driving?  Are you noticing any changes in your confidence?  Do you find yourself "wandering" within the lane you're driving in?  Are you getting nauseous or dizzy?  Has your husband or friends been in the car with you lately and noticed any change?

I couldn't walk a straight line or go down a hallway without bouncing off a wall for roughly 9 months post GK.  I had ocular motor issues where buildings bounced around when I walked and it was especially bad at night when everything was lit up.  Interestingly, driving was not a huge problem and I drove daily.  Sitting in the car, nothing bounced the way it did when I walked.  What did bother me during that time period was driving at night out of the city where there was nothing but my headlights.  I found this quite disorienting, so I just didn't do it.  I also noticed that driving on expressways (daytime) with multiple lanes and everyone driving fast and constant lane changing was just to much sensory overload for me. I stayed on secondary highways or side routes with no more than 2 lanes and found those much more manageable. Thankfully within 9 months my ocular motor issues settled and all those issues went away.   

Cathie.

 
Diagnosed: June 2012, right side AN 1.8cm
June 2013: AN has grown to 2.4 cm.
Gamma Knife: Sept. 11, 2013 Toronto Western Hospital

Doc

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2015, 04:24:41 pm »
Tell your kids to relax. Any balance issues you have will not effect your ability to drive...unless you’re doing it standing up? If you have left eye / depth perception issues, that’s another story. Having limited peripheral vision can also be an issue you should address first. Remind your kids mobility equals freedom, and you want yours back.

Take Care,

Doc
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 05:24:36 pm by Doc B. »
Left-Translab July '09. Cyberknife Jan 2010. In Apr 2017, four more tumors found; three in the brain and one, 7cm long, on my spinal cord; it was surgically removed. It was cancerous, and so are the others. I've been receiving Chemo since June '18, and I'm still in treatment.

ANGuy

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2015, 07:41:42 pm »
Turn your head rapidly side to side and see how you feel.  Can you do this rapidly?  If you can't, you won't be driving properly.  Proper driving demands "head checks" as they are called, actually using your eyes to look around you directly to see if a motorcycle or toddler is in your path as you change lanes or back out of a parking space.  Looking in your mirrors is not good enough, you must turn and look.  Mirrors lie.

My mother uses her mirrors to back up.  She won't turn her head to look because of neck and back problems.  She tells me she drives fine.  She hasn't owned a car without damage down the sides of it from hitting the garage door or the retaining wall along her driveway in years.  The last time she came to visit, she ran over the cable TV utility stub at the end of my driveway.

Impaired is impaired, whether it is due to drugs and alcohol, fatigue, or medical condition.  If your "freedom" cripples or kills someone, you will have to decide if it was worth it.  With Rights (Freedom) come responsibilities.

My high school principal ran over and killed his grandaughter when I was in school.  He never got over it and died shortly thereafter.  The burden of what he did was too much for him to bear.

I drive 80,000 miles a year and I see it every day.  People merging onto the highway looking in their mirror instead of over their shoulder.  My truck is 8 feet wide, 10 feet tall, 60 feet long, red, and covered with lights and they don't know they are about to drive right into me until I blow the air horn. 
Diagnosed June 2014 1cm AN at 47 years of age.  Had fluctuating symptoms since 2006.    6 mos MRI (Dec 2014) showed no growth, MRI  in July 2015 showed no growth.  MRI Jan 2016 showed no growth.  MRI Aug 2016 showed no growth.  I'm gonna ride the WW train as long as I can.

Doc

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2015, 08:36:41 pm »
My high school principal ran over and killed his grandaughter when I was in school.  He never got over it and died shortly thereafter.  The burden of what he did was too much for him to bear.

With encouragement like that, who needs to hear the downside.  :( 
Left-Translab July '09. Cyberknife Jan 2010. In Apr 2017, four more tumors found; three in the brain and one, 7cm long, on my spinal cord; it was surgically removed. It was cancerous, and so are the others. I've been receiving Chemo since June '18, and I'm still in treatment.

alabamajane

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #5 on: September 26, 2015, 06:51:29 am »
Leah,
I have to agree with Cathie and Doc,,, I believe you would know whether you are "comfortable " driving or not. Between yourself and your husband you should know. I don't see your age listed,, but sometimes our kids worry more than necessary about our, in their opinions,, "declining " abilities,,,,,,, you haven't even had any treatment yet and don't mention that your symptoms are debilitating yet,, there are a lot of people with "balance issues " and no AN,,,

I agree that if you get out and drive, maybe with your husband who is probably with you anyway more often than your children,, and YOU feel comfortable and ABLE and he doesn't see any remarkable differences then you are probably no more worse off than before you knew you have the AN,,, just my opinion.
Good luck ,,,  Jane
translab Oct 27, 2011
facial nerve graft Oct 31,2011, eyelid weight removed Oct 2013, eye closes well

BAHA surgery Oct. 2014, activated Dec. 26

LeahRachel

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2015, 02:41:13 pm »
Thanks everyone for the encouragement and advice (except for the principal and his grand-kid.)

ANGuy, when I shake my head there is no vertigo, only the rattling sound ;).   (Actually I'm not kidding. There is a sound, something like shaking a large sheet of metal. My husband can even hear it if we put our heads together)  I do get a little neck pain when checking my blind spot.  If it does not hurt, I know I have not looked back far enough.  Suggest that to your mother. 

DocB, I have my yearly eye exam in Nov. and will be sure to ask him to check my peripheral vision.  The machine that tests peripheral  vision is objective.  I'm not sure how depth perception is tested, but d I'll ask him about that too.

 With the gamma knife coming soon (not scheduled yet) I won't be driving very soon.

Leah
Leah

Dyslexic and deaf. (expect spelling errors :) ) Cochlear in my right ear and  Gamma Knife  soon for the AN in my left.

ANGuy

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2015, 03:45:21 pm »

ANGuy, when I shake my head there is no vertigo, only the rattling sound ;).   (Actually I'm not kidding. There is a sound, something like shaking a large sheet of metal. My husband can even hear it if we put our heads together)  I do get a little neck pain when checking my blind spot.  If it does not hurt, I know I have not looked back far enough.  Suggest that to your mother. 

Leah

Good, if you can look around, and are not getting sick or dizzy, I don't see any issue directly related to your AN that would impair your driving. 

In terms of your overall driving ability, there are some objective signs.  For instance, so you find yourself jumping on the brakes often?  Most hard braking can be avoided by looking farther down the road which lets us plan better, therefore things aren't happening so suddenly.

Do people blow their horn at you often?  We all come across a jerk on the road here and there, but if people are frequently honking at you, they might be on to something. 

Does your care get scratched up a lot (see the part about my mother above ;D)?  Sure, we all goof every few years, but if you are tearing the sidewalls of your tires on curbs, hitting garbage cans and shopping carts, knocking your mirror off backing out of the garage etc, that shouldn't be a constant thing.  When I worked in a gas station as a kid, all of the rich folks bought their elderly parents Cadillacs.  These were the giant land yachts of the 1970's and these things would be six months old with 3,000 miles on them and they looked like they were used as targets for Naval gunnery practice!

As for the rattling sound, none of us are 19 anymore.  The bones in our necks creek.    My neck makes those noises, and my 8 and 10yo kids' don't!
Diagnosed June 2014 1cm AN at 47 years of age.  Had fluctuating symptoms since 2006.    6 mos MRI (Dec 2014) showed no growth, MRI  in July 2015 showed no growth.  MRI Jan 2016 showed no growth.  MRI Aug 2016 showed no growth.  I'm gonna ride the WW train as long as I can.

LeahRachel

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Re: Objective testing of driving ability with an AN
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2015, 06:00:37 pm »


Hi ANGuy,
Before sudden hearing loss (right), AN found (left), Cochlear Implant (right)  loosing remaining hearing (left)  I could answer  "no" to hard breaking, horns, and scratches.   When I asked my husband if he had noticed anything different he said I had driven over a curve once, (you missed that one)  which I never did before.  My grand son is using my car to get to work, so I have not been driving much.  He is the one wearing out the breaks, driving over curbs, and putting new scratches on my old car.

I'm thinking of looking for a jerk meter for the car.  Jerk is the change in velocity over time... sorry its the physics teacher coming out ... and is not a description of the driver.  When I was a kid, I sometimes got a ride from an elderly neighbor.  I don't think she realized how hard she was breaking, but we did.  That was before seat belts were required and I am surprised none of us went through a wind shield.  A jerk meter would be a good objective test.  I should have thought of these ideas myself.   

  Leah

P.S.  I hear the bones creaking too, but the rattling sound in my head is something different. 
P.P.S If you have good sky viewing, go out and look at the lunar eclipse tonight.
Leah

Dyslexic and deaf. (expect spelling errors :) ) Cochlear in my right ear and  Gamma Knife  soon for the AN in my left.

 


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