Sunday Koffee Klatch ~ Helpful Hints

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 9090
   Posted 3/20/2010 9:37 PM (GMT -7)   
We're back to Sunday already and time to share some helpful ideas to make our daily chores and lives a bit easier. Today let's focus on driving. Most of us drive and many of us don't care much for it because it's hard. What do you do to make your driving a bit easier on your body?

My first rule is to make as few trips as I have to. I used to be able to go out and make many stops along the way and get all of my errands done on one afternoon. Now days I can do 2 stops at more per day. But that's OK because when I get home I'm in much better shape. So know your limit and try to have a list ready when you shop so you make the more e fficient use of your time.

What tips do you have for more comfortable driving?

Chutz smilewinkgrin
"Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, but Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad."

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getting by
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Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 41908
   Posted 3/21/2010 6:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I have gotten much better with my driving. I use to have such a hard time turning my head. And getting in and out of the truck. Being it is a truck, it is easier than a low setting car. But it was still hard. I would have to back my rear up to the seat and slide in to get in. And the same with getting out. I would have to open the door and turn my whole body just to get out. Luckily though it was the right height to slide out.

I know that this isn't much help, but thought that I would offer the suggestion anyway. I hope that everybody is having a wonderful day.

Weather is suppose to be nice here and sunny. Not really warm, but better than yesterday.

Hugs to all,
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6067
   Posted 3/21/2010 8:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hire a limo and driver, that would work for me. devil
I don't go like I use to but it is more of a energy problem than pain. All winter my DH has taken me to one of the bigger cities around us when I want to shop. Drops me off at the door and picks me up so I don't have to walk in the cold and I do appreciate that cause the last thing he enjoys doing, besides painting, is shopping.
I hope now that the weather is getting better I will feel like going more by myself. I may talk to my doc about a handicap card on days when I don't feel like walking, every step taken is energy used, and can't find a parking place close.
But for everyday things here in our little town I always have a plan when I need to run errands and map out my stops in my head before I go and write them down in order so I'm not back tracking and wasting time and energy. There are days when I can do more than others so I do the important things and then if I have a little energy left I will stop at a store for fun but I can't make too many stops in one day either.
The term 'shop to you drop' has taken on a whole new meaning since fibro came into my life. It does get frustrating when you go to the city with all these stores and you can only do two at the most and you have driven 45 min to get there.
Karen, I hope you have a step to get into your truck. If I didn't have a step I don't think I could get in DH's truck.
If your are traveling you have to stop and get out and stretch often. This isn't a problem for me cause my body tells me loud and clear when I have to get out for awhile.
luv and hugs
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Irish Babe
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Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1380
   Posted 3/21/2010 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I was a late bloomer w/ driving, but it is a necessity at this point. I have a low car, my DH has an SUV, both can be a problem for me getting in and out. The thing I have to do is have pillows in the car, one for my back and one for my bottom. The seats are just not comfortable w/ my back and leg problems. The pillows are not 'The Answer', but they help, at least for a bit.
I try not to make too many trips, I try to make a plan of where I HAVE to go and plan the route. Then pray that I can remember  that wonderful plan.
I can only be in the car for a short period of time and then I need to get out and walk. I lock up very quickly.
When I drive to stressful locations, I find I clench up and I don't even realize it at first. When I do, I have to make myself relax. That is the hardest thing for me, but I have to focus on 'letting go' or it becomes a really big problem later.
I like Marlee's idea! We should all chip in an hire a limo driver to take us where we need to go, the car would be covered in comfy pillows, plenty of water bottles, a beautifully clean bathroom, room to lay down if we need to. The car should be warm/ cool enough for us to be comfortable. I can dream, can't I?
Hope you are all having a peaceful day!
God bless.  Alice.

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Date Joined Mar 2003
Total Posts : 10405
   Posted 3/21/2010 9:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I make sure to get wherever I need to go a few minutes early so I can stretch and flex before I try to walk in. Sometimes when I stand up after being in the car for a short time, my hips and knees are stiff and my feet hurt so bad I can barely walk. If I just stand and wiggle a little, they will feel much better.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 17524
   Posted 3/21/2010 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I make a list and list the items I'll get at what stores.  Then I plan my route so I'm not back-tracking.  This saves a lot of time and gas.  I can usually go four or five places in a couple of hours and I'm in and out of the car and get my walking in.
I also get in and out of the car correctly.  I used to pull my muscles badly because of the way I got in the car.  I have leather seats so my backside will swivel easily.  For those of you that have cloth seats, fold a garbage bag to fit your seat and lay it down.  Then, cover the bag with a towel and you will be able to slip and slide, too!
Forum Moderator/ Fibromyalgia
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God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.    2 Timothy 1:7

solar powered
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 538
   Posted 3/21/2010 10:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I have problems with my back so use one of those wedge shaped pillows to sit on. Depending on how things are feeling I can turn it around (such as the high part in front instead of towards the back) to change my posture. I also have trouble with my hamstrings cramping up if I drive a long time so I try to stretch them before I get in the truck and after any stops along the way. Lisa
If I can laugh at it, I can live with it.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 4796
   Posted 3/21/2010 12:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My driver seat has to be comfy so I make sure the lumbar area and back are adjusted
just right. Same thing goes when I'm a passenger. For longer drives as a passenger, I
bring something to elevate my feet, I have a wooden box I use.

Music is a must for me, especially for long road trips. I make sure I have a good collection
with me. Just be careful not to listen to anything too hypnotic

Hugs, Robin
Fibromyalgia, MCTD (Lupus, Scleroderma & RA) Raynaud's, Osteoporosis,
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Nana Monster
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 957
   Posted 3/21/2010 1:12 PM (GMT -7)   
I have a 5 speed so it's a little more complicated to drive. Right now the baker's cyst is swelling and pushing on the sciatic
nerve so it's like someone has very sharp knives dragging them along the sides and back on my legs and then standing on
my feet. Every time I depress the gas pedal it hurts so once I get up to speed I put it on autopilot (cruise control) so I'm
able to move my leg and take off some of the strain.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 5951
   Posted 3/21/2010 2:50 PM (GMT -7)   
I can't drive a manual transmission anymore - it inflames my SI joint, thereby starting the whole left-side lockup that is the most consistent culprit in my pain. I also have to be VERY careful about dips, uneven roads and bumps....they do the same thing. If I don't know one's coming and don't slow down enough, I feel my body being bounced around and then utter a few choice words because I know I'm in for it. No bending down to pick up stuff off the floor, either. I use a "reacher."

Marlee, I understand about driving 45 minutes, going to one or two stores and then having to stop! I also bring my lunch so I can eat in the car - so much less energy than going into a restaurant.

I do love the feeling of starting down the highway, my music blaring and my Starbucks in my hand! It's one thing I can do normally. Robin, I agree with what you said about the music not being too hypnotic. But there has to be music or I'm afraid I'll zone out!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 194
   Posted 3/22/2010 1:53 PM (GMT -7)   
I try to watch how I sit, may sure I am sitting straight and not leaning to one side or something. I periodically stretch my neck.  I keep little bags of popcorn in my car for when I feel I am getting sleepy driving, eating it keeps me awake and it's not that much calories.  And for the RLS, that can get triggered when sitting in traffic, I take two ibuprofin that can sometimes keep that at bay.
Also, I found my last car was lower to the ground than the one I have now.  The last car caused a lot of hip pain and neck pain.  I never knew it was triggered by the car till I started driving the new one on a long trip and was shocked that I wasn't in pain.  So keep that in mind when you go car shopping.
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