Driving Me Nuts

Driving Me Nuts


Having multiple sclerosis challenges so many aspects of your life.

From the simpliest task to the most difficult situation, an MSer battles far greater adversity than just stepping over a high curb.


Buckle up.  Here we go...
Buckle up. Here we go…

One thing we do is drive and/or ride in a motor vehicle.

We think nothing of a 40 minute drive to a favorite restaurant.  An hour ride to meet friends.  Or several hours for a weekend getaway.

Driving (and riding) is part of our lifestyle.  But add MS into the mix…and the game changes in dramatic fashion!


Fatigue, spasticity, bladder, car sickness, vertigo, dizziness and more—it’s a full smorgasbord of issues those of us with MS face every time we buckle up.

I for one, deal with extreme spasticity, cramping, spasms…along with bobble-head type doziness as soon as we exit the friggin driveway!


The following is a pictoral reenactment of a typical trip with yours truly as the passenger.


Warning: Contains graphic images some viewers may find disturbing.


And away we go.
And away we go.



Here I am all strapped in.  Sitting tall in eager anticipation of a wonderful time with family.

Groomed.  Cleaned.  Pressed.  Toileted.  Rested.  Medicated.  Hydrated.

Ready for new experiences & engaging conversation.






Oh my.
Oh my.



After about 30 minutes in the car, conversation has ceased.

I’ve read everything in the glove box including a warranty for the new Michelins.

My legs are beginning to cramp, spasm & curl like plastic on a hot stove.

And my head is bobbing with such force I’m giving myself whiplash.





Anyone got a spatula?
Anyone got a spatula?



Arriving at our destination, I am a dishoveled disaster.

Barely able to move, I pour myself out of the seat.  Not just a few steps to reclaim my caveman gait, but a few hundred.

Often it takes a full day for my MS-riddled body to recover.

“Don’t mind me” I tell our hosts as I sprawl out on their floor to begin a stretching routine that would choke a contortionist.




Yes, driving (and riding) in a car is my most burdensome activity with multiple sclerosis.

How about you?  How do you deal with MS as your co-pilot?

I won’t stop going places that’s for sure.  And neither should you.  We do that and MS wins.

So suck it up Nancy.  Do as you must.  And keep pressing.

That’s all we can do.  (That, and bring a napkin to wipe the slobber from our chin.)

Happy travels.





4 Replies to “Driving Me Nuts”

  1. Love it! Absolutely agree with all of this, Odd sock. The only difference is that I can’t read, look at maps or my phone without wanting to throw up. My husband and I love one day, or one hour trips often. Just pack your diaper bag, as we call it….buckle up and GO! Have fun and enjoy whatever you can!!! By the way, I am blessed to have a husband that grew up with me and my ms, and still together 36 years later 💕

  2. Even though I am co-piloting strapped into my personal van in my wheelchair, I was surprised to see that I experienced many of the same challenges you mentioned in your blog, but for different reasons. Here in Jacksonville, we have two types of roads. The ones that need repair, and the ones under construction. Traveling around town, even though my wheelchair is safely secured to the floor of the van, I find myself bouncing around, head bobbing also with such force that I’m giving myself a whiplash. I too arrive at my destination, a disheveled mess. After driving for over 40 years, it is hard to be a passenger, when my designated driver is either driving too fast or too slow for my liking. I just tell myself that I am fortunate to have friends and family that are nice enough to offer their time to get me where I need to go.

  3. Margaret,
    That’s right, always be thankful for helpful friends.
    As for the head-bobbing, I’m going to develop a “cranial Sling” to support our noggins as we ride & doze.