One of the hardest things for me to get used to in this new life of ours is the fact that I am now the only driver in our family. I went from driving only when I absolutely had to (and it had to be a darn good reason) to doing all of the driving all of the time.
I am not afraid of driving, I just don't like to do it. I prefer to be in the passenger seat where I can knit, daydream, or simply talk. I prefer to be the one who hands the kids drinks, flips CDs, and squashes the backseat squabbles. I don't like to deal with traffic, watch for exits and do all the other "work" involved with driving.
S is now not allowed to drive at all. His pain increases drastically when he is simply a passenger. Driving is excruciating. He also takes medication that makes him drowsy and sometimes disoriented. It is simply not safe for him to drive.
I never realized how much time is involved in being the only driver. We live out in the middle of nowhere. The closest non-convenience store is over 20 minutes away. We have an hour trip twice a day to get our kids to and from daycare. Even when I combine trips, which I do every chance I get, at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours of my day is spent in the car.
It is a huge pain in the butt to not be able to say to S, "I'm in the middle of a project, can you run to the store for milk?"
He feels it, too. He used to enjoy driving. He was a truck driver for many years before he started working a desk. When he needed to get away for a bit -- to calm down or just think -- he would hop in the car for a bit of a drive. His daughter and he have their best conversations in the car. He can no longer do that.
It was really hard for me getting us to and from our vacation. It was a 10 hour trip one way. Before surgery, S would have driven the entire way or we would have split the trip. We definitely would have made the trip in a single day. This time the trip took over 24 hours, including an overnight stop both ways. It was hard on me, it was hard on the kids and it was hell on S. Not to mention the additional expense for a hotel room.
I catch myself thinking "when he can drive again..." only to have to stop and remind myself that he will never be able to drive again. Out of all the changes, I cannot seem to wrap my head around this one. I will always be the only driver. He will never drive again. When will I come to accept that? Why is it so hard? What is the hardest thing for you to deal with in your situation?