Bear with me – I’m busy – and cognitively challenged

So this morning I found myself busy. My brain is in overdrive from a thinking perspective, but I do not have the time to get everything done that I want to do. I cannot keep up with everything on my to do list.

Part of this is trying to get all of the errands I need driving done (DMV, grocery store, bike repair, reiki apt) as well as all of the things that I want to get done that require more concentration – and trying to pack them all into the same day – plus I want to go for a long bike ride while I have strength for that. I think I may be a little over committed.

In running my errands this morning/afternoon, I notice that my visual cognitive disassociation is happening sooner this cycle; however, it is isn’t as sudden shift and at this point in time is not really that bad – I’m aware of it, but it isn’t bad enough to really affect my ability to do things. I’m still thinking well, and even problem solving – just perhaps, not as quickly as I’d like. So, this cycle I haven’t suddenly noticed that I couldn’t process, however, I’m feeling a mild version of the disassociation. I’m still comfortable driving when I’m alone in the car with no music. I am reminded of my grandmother as she was getting older (and her very early signs of dementia – before we recognized it as such). She would say that she was OK driving alone, but she was very uncomfortable driving with other people in the car. I can totally relate to that feeling.

One of my errands this morning was a trip to the DMV. When I had tried to book a driving test previously, the person on the phone said they could not book an appointment beyond the time of my temporary permit, and that I first needed to go in the office and renew my temporary permit. I was told that I did not actually need to do the driving test for 1 year after the written, but I needed to have a valid temporary permit. At this point in time, I’m not comfortable committing to a date for the road test, because I have too much variability in my treatment and side effects.

When I talked to the agent at the DMV, he said he could only issue me a permit on that would be valid to the day of my driving test, and he had to book a driving test. He could book me a test for October 7th (ack). Fortunately, I had the wherewithal to ask to speak to the supervisor.

You see, the agent wasn’t listening to my story – he wasn’t able to deal with exceptions – he could only process things based upon the rules that he knew. I figured that if I spoke to the supervisor, I could come up with a better strategy for how to handle my specific situation.

The supervisor was able to listen to my story, appreciate the issue at hand, and provide me with the information I need. I can drive in California under my existing Ontario driver’s license (as long as that is valid – so mental note – must renew when we are in Canada next, as it expires Feb 2015). Since my temporary California permit expires on Monday, the supervisor was able to issue me with a new permit that doesn’t expire until 1-year after my written test (July 22, 2015).

So now, I have until July 2015 to book my California driving test. The manager could totally appreciate the complexity of medical treatment and how that affected my ability to do the driving test. She just confirmed that I don’t drive when I don’t feel that I am mentally able to, but also appreciated the added stress of doing a driver’s test and how that might not be feasible at the moment. I was concerned about the legalities and insurance – she made an interesting comment that it isn’t relevant if I don’t get pulled over, which I found amusing. So now I can comfortably wait until after surgery to do my California driving test – or I can choose to get it done after the cognitive effects of taxol have worn off.

Now, I must get back to one of the other 8000 things I feel like I need to do today!

  • Becky

One Comment

  • Congratulations on dealing with the California DMV. That’s like a Olympic level event. The DMV alone would use up all my patience for a year:-) Going to print and post this blog, functioning within a system has never been my strong point but being immersed in the medical system is a great place to practice.

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