The Curse of October 3rd (Giving up driving after sight loss)

I’m not a superstitious person. I’m a person of Science. That is where my opinions and beliefs about our world and it’s events lie. However … there is something about October the 3rd that has been coincidentally unlucky for me. The date may just stand out more because my birthday is October the 4th, but it’s been the date of various unfortunate diagnoses, deaths, break-ups and other disasters in my life. This year was no exception as October the 3rd, 2018 was the day my car was taken away.

After having my daughter, I was dreading not being able to drive for six weeks. No nipping the shop if I’d ran out of something, no cruising around with my music on to unwind and worst of all, no drive through Starbucks pick-me-ups I often depended on more than I care to admit. During that time, I had planned to swap my three door Audi A3 Sport for a more child friendly five door. This decision followed a practice run of putting the travel system seat into the back of my car and realising my baby would have to be tipped upside down to get her past the front seats. My partner is learning to drive so I was the designated driver for all events as well as the daily commute. He never really wanted to drive but started to learn to take the pressure off me now that we were expecting. Thankfully, he enjoys it and so with me already starting the sacrifices of being a Mum, my partner treated himself to an Audi TT. It was what he wanted and he works hard so why not? After all, there wouldn’t be an issue as I’d have the family car for the push chair, the car seat, the bikes, the shopping, the school runs, the holiday luggage, transporting her friends around etc., etc. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I’ve had some amazing trips in my car and love driving. It’s taken so long to build up from old bangers to my Audi but my last drive was leaving work to pick up my partner and start my maternity leave. I was looking forward to all of the little adventures I was going to have with my little lady and then when leaving a slip road, a lorry missed me by a miracle margin. I didn’t even see it. I felt the force of it sway my car as it passed. I heard it’s brakes screech and the horn. But I didn’t see it. 

This scared me but it also prepared me for the news that I would never drive again. I could never risk another person’s life or my daughter growing up without a Mum. Public transport it is then. The nearest bus stop from my house is a half hour walk away. Once on the bus, it takes two hours to do my usual half hour drive to work or to go into town. I also have to switch to another bus half way through adding a further fifteen minutes of waiting outside in the cold. At the other end, I have another twenty minute walk from the bus stop to work. Plenty of people do it though right? But imagine doing this twice a day with a baby whilst blindfolded! I’ve not even added the journey in to take her to the childminder. That includes crossing busy roads with her too. I made the call for the lease company to collect my car and the date for collection was October the 3rd, 2018.


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