All your fibromyalgia experiences, questions and answers.

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Postby Bloomingbutterfly » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:39 pm


I don't drive, but I'd like to think that at some point I could. I know for the fact that I would need to be taught and have an automatic on the basis of the majority of my pains are in my back and legs, can't do clutch(tried before and freaked) and watch out for other things all at once.

I'm worried that because of the condition and how it effects me that it might stop me, I suppose it would be a matter of trying an automatic car and see how I feel with it.

What I'd like to know is if any of you do drive? How you cope and has DVLA tried to stop you from driving?

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Re: Driving

Postby Iceman13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:04 pm

I do drive, have lots of pain all day long but i think i have a very high pain threshold... dvla dont get involved, mine is an automatic and very comfy to drive... i drive most of the time but my partner drive me when i'm bad.... K
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Re: Driving

Postby kazza65 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:38 pm

Hi all

I do drive as well. Had to sell my c-max which was manual and get a automatic car due to lots of pain in my clutch leg which then sent serve pain up my back. I also still get quite a lot of pain when driving but i only drive when its a must. :-?
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Re: Driving

Postby Monty99 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:53 pm

Ive had to change my car twice as the steering was too heavy, something to watch out for…..automatic is also the only way to go. Do not skimp on comfort, your will need it!
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Re: Driving

Postby paulamcl » Tue Feb 25, 2014 7:55 pm

I drive there's no issue with the dvla but I can only drive short distances i.e around my home town a couple of miles a day. The last time I drove into the nearest shopping centre which is less than 8 miles away I was in agony for 4 days after it.
I would be lost without my car now. It makes such a difference having it. It's not that often that i can get out and I have a four year old so it's good to jump in the car and drive to the park. By the time I walked to the park I would be to shattered to play and then spend the rest of day in my bed. Simple things like going to the shops is much easier when you have a car.
I get more tired and I am more in pain if I have to take public transport by the time I walk to the bus stop, stand and wait in the freezing cold or heat, then maybe have to stand if I cant get a seat then have to walk to where I work in all weather whereas I can just jump in the car although so far I am lucky and work close to where I live but they are trying to move me store which I am fighting at the moment because I am not fit to travel.
I don't drive an automatic and manage the gears just fine. hope this helps :-D
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Re: Driving

Postby SchroedingersCat » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:02 pm

I drive a manual Volvo estate, I drive our commute every day, and also do long distances (200+ miles pulling a trailer) several times a year, plus slightly lesser long runs (70-90) occasionally. Yes, it hurts, but everything does. Other than that, no issues.
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Re: Driving

Postby bandj » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:31 pm

I drive an automatic which is brilliant. Its a ford focus estate and I find it easy to drive. Only got an estate because my lukey is a big boy, being a german shepherd. It also takes a wheelchair for when I'm really bad.
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Re: Driving

Postby reptigirl12 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 8:58 pm

I suffer with pain in both my legs and in my back as my disc's are disappearing in my back and i suffer with sciatica on a daily basis, i drive a manual at the moment but looking to sell it to get an automatic so its easier for me to drive, i cant do long distance driving if i do i suffer afterwards for a few days.
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Re: Driving

Postby calipsopink » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:49 pm

Hi all this is a Gd question cause I can drive suffer pains struggle with coordination with manual but then with auto I can but with pain But I worry bout judgement even if I did pass my test I'm still worried due to the brain fog if u know wot I mean
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Re: Driving

Postby Oriole » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:13 pm

I have been learning to drive and I am nearly there now (fingers crossed!!) it's taken me quite a while even though I'm a quick learner in other things I am slower in coordination/cognitive skills. Sometimes the muscles in my legs really hurt on clutch & gas, so can see what folk are saying in getting an automatic. You have to learn in manual though.

Despite the pain in legs, I think this will be a lot better for me than sitting on long bus journeys.

Good luck! :mrgreen:
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Re: Driving

Postby sjc » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:37 pm

Hi there,

I am currently learning to driver - currently in an automatic car....Personally, I find it better in an automatic car....alot of people get a little snotty when one mentions automatic car - some people think there is no difference in a manual or automatic, and some will tell you to do manual anyway as it dead easy...but it is down to you on how you think you can learn...

Don't get me wrong, if you can do manual driving lessons - then great! Some people can with things better then others...But I think automatic driving lessons are better, as it less pressure on remembering gear changing and learning how to use the clutch control...

The problem I have is remembering instructions - my memory is terrible.....so I want to learn fast with little issues as possible, so obviously I have gone for automatic lessons...But the lessons itself, well, I would look around at different driving schools and independant first....ring around and only enquire first before signing up...From my experience, I have been with a few dodgy driving instructors....some will promise you the world when they speak to you on the phone but fail to deliver when actually doing the lessons itself...

So, enquire all around first - if you go via a driving school, ask the enquiry team if you can speak to the driving instructor themselves, and ask them personally if they know anything about your conditions...tell the driving instructor how your conditions affect you and how it may affect your driving....and ask the school or driving instructor if they could adapt their lessons in a certain way that will suit you...if you need adaptions or specialised support, like swivel seat in the drivers seat to lift you up, then ask if it can be done....Always tell the driving instructor (presuming you may get one) to repeat instructions quite a few times and to keep communication short, especially if you have memory issues....you will not believe it but I have had some instructors that don't always communicate properly and this has causes issues for me when learning..

I did about 1 or 1.5 hours of lessons to begin with every week to start with...my concentration levels wasn't that great but now I am getting more confident, I am do slightly more hours now....You can sometimes ask for a female instructor if that helps...

Bear in mind, not everyone takes to driving....so don't worry too much if you cannot take to it...everyone's different...I have been doing lessons now for a wee bit - done about 30 hours driving approximately and I still get nervous....once I do my lesson, I am ok but just get them slight nerves before hand...

Get good sleep before hand, and make sure you eat and relax as well prior to a lesson....I always do my lessons after 9am in a morning but before the people come home in the rush hour...I prefer to do my lessons when it is quiet during the day....if you are on medications especially if you make you sleepy and drowsy very quickly just be careful...I take medications but I have adapted to them now....And stick to doing only short bursts of driving at any given time if you want to learn...

Hope you get the chance to learn....driving is a skill that could give you independence and freedom in the end....it maybe hard and cost alot of money, but worth it in the end....but if you get the right instructor, then you should be ok...but go on your gut feeling on how you feel about yourself.
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Re: Driving

Postby olwynam1 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:09 pm

I also drive a manual car with power steering of course. No problem with DVLA, have a blue badge and tax disc has disabled written on it. If you learn to drive in an automatic you would have to take another test to drive a manual, but learn in a manual you can drive either type. I hadn't considered trying an automatic - might be something to think about.
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Re: Driving

Postby Kiara » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:18 pm

I haven't driven for three years because of the pain but also i take terrible muscle spasms. I want to get well enough to drive again so having an automatic is the only way to go for me. We are due to exchange our manual this Oct so i'm going to ask for an automatic, to give myself some independence back and not have to rely on my husband driving me everywhere. However i need to get my legs stronger so i can walk distances for at the moment i use a wheelchair. x
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Re: Driving

Postby whoami » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:35 pm

I drive. I sometimes find it hard getting into the truck....it is a GM Avalanche. I am not sure if they have them in the UK.

I don't drive far anymore for various reasons. My legs, knees and back get quite painful when I drive. Just sitting in the truck after a while and I am in agony.

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Re: Driving

Postby Leannellie » Wed Feb 26, 2014 7:37 pm

I no longer drive. I've given my automatic to my daughter who takes me out. I don't feel safe driving anymore and the pain gets worse!! My husband is a driving instructor and isn't keen on me behind the wheel so I've hung up my keys!!! :(
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