Myotonic Dystrophy type 2

Posted by gailfaith @gailfaith, May 24, 2016

I was diagnosed at Mayo in Nov, 2013 with Myotonic Dystrophy type 2 (MyoDys2) and have been in physical therapy since Dec, 2013 and have just been diagnosed with hyperparathroidism and saw an internet article where two females had that combination and following surgery, one of the two muscle preformance improved. I am new to this Connect site, so would love to connect with others with MyoDys2 only or with both diagnoses.
gailfaith

@gailfaith Not sure I am putting this in the right place, but Colleen is suggesting I start a new topic…….ceasing to driving a car! Background. I am 80 and I’ve been driving since I was 16, but prior to that I used to sit next to my father and steer, shift ,and maybe use the accelerator. I have taken many driving courses to maintain my proficiency. I have backed into several things, but have otherwise never been responsible for an accident, However I have been rear-ended twice. Both times the car behind me thought I had started to move when I hadn’t. At least that what they said. Two of the courses I took were on race tracks and were advanced highway driving techniques, including driving on simulated ice. I estimate I have driven over 665 thousand miles (not including rentals when away from home.) One summer for a job I drove 14000 miles in 4 months while pulling a trailer with a 10 dogs in the car and trailer.. I traveled from Mass, to Chicago to Mississippi more times than can count. I drove the full length of the PA/Ohio turnpikes 4 times in one week.
Last week after getting gas and shopping in the store next to the gas station, I was merging onto a divided highway from the right entrance lane where I had a yield sign in my lane. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the hood of a car on my left, so I think I cut in front of that car. That driver never honked at me, but that shook me up. The next day I was traveling on a two lane road (one lane in each direction) at a spot where the road widened for a few hundred feet,with the right lane needing to merge to the left. lane. I looked in the rear view mirror, turned on my left turn signal and started to merge to the left when a car started to honk at me, then pass me on my right.still honking. I have no idea where that car was.. That shook me up again and I am beginning to wonder if my time to stop driving has arrived. I found a sheet from AARP on assessing your driving and if you scored between 0 and 5, their comment is: “Not to be concerned at this time.”..My score back in June was 4 and now 5. But I am concerned. I was diagnosed at Mayo with Myotonic Dystrophy 3 years ago, but I have no physical limitations relative to driving. Walking yes, but not driving. .I was again at Mayo this past June and I used a walker this time there and there sure is a lot of walking to do there. I don’t think the walker is good for me, so now I walk with only two canes, but no assisted devices within my house. Any suggestions? Right now I am limiting my driving to the retirement community campus where I live, to the store just around the corner and to to physical therapy once a week using only two lane rural roads for not quite 5 miles and only 3 traffic lights. About 3 months ago a car stopped short in front of me and I had to quickly pass him on the right shoulder, and I was glad as I realized my reaction time was still excellent..

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Hi Gail,
How wise of you to recognize that your driving may no longer be safe on the highways. It must be hard to accept. I found this website from AAA about senior driving http://seniordriving.aaa.com/ It includes information on evaluating your driving ability and driver improvement courses for seniors. Maybe worth a look.

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@colleenyoung

Hi Gail,
How wise of you to recognize that your driving may no longer be safe on the highways. It must be hard to accept. I found this website from AAA about senior driving http://seniordriving.aaa.com/ It includes information on evaluating your driving ability and driver improvement courses for seniors. Maybe worth a look.

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gailfaith here again. And again this is about giving up driving. ( I had this paragraph written once and when I tried to print it out before posting and I lost it all, so don’t try printing your work.. Then I started it again and I accidentally hit something and I lost it again. So here I go again! ) If I use quizzes to evaluate my driving, it says I don’t need to give it up yet, but i am ignoring that, as had two near misses in two days. I am having nightmares, have lost interest in things that used to interest me and I wake up every morning with knots i my stomach and all that still persists even though I now have a project that keeps me busy for about an hour a day. I haven’t given up driving all the way as I still drive around this retirement community campus where I live, around the corner to the grocery store and to my weekly physical therapy appt which is back roads and only 5 miles, Fortunately my therapist and I have a great relationship and he motivates me. I do his Rx exercises faithfully every morning to hopefully keep me out of a wheelchair as long a possible. i will be using the on-campus visiting nurse service to get to doctor appts, and friends to get to church. However, my PCP comes here twice a week.. My project? For the last 2 months I have started a project here on the campus. This campus is divided into north and south campuses and I live on the south campus. Both campuses have a circular road around the buildings and the north campus has an additional road down the middle. The south campus is very different.in that it has a sidewalk down the middle and many sidewalks that radiate out between the cottages to the circular roadway. When I moved here in 2010, I was told the south campus road was 0.8 miles long but when I drove around it, it measured 0.6 miles. So about 2 months ago I decided too measure all the possible walking routes on the south campus !!!! The north campus circular road was already measured and that is one mile. I bought a measuring wheel for all of $29 and when it arrived I tried a short walk to see if I could do it without falling. A VP here copied a big map onto 8.5 x 11 inch pages for me. Each route is on a single page and they are in a notebook. I have myotonic dystrophy type 2. Earlier this year I realized using a walker was bad for me and my therapist disagreed so now I use two canes outside on the campus when I measure , one cane elsewhere and none in the my cottage. When he saw me use two canes, he was convinced my gait was much better. I ordered for all of $29 a measuring wheel and when it arrived I tried to see if I could use it without falling.. I used a cane in the left hand and the wheel on the right and that worked but was risky. So now I use two canes and tie the wheel to my left cane and it drags behind me. So it counts up not down, I have it upside down and to keep the counter housing from scraping on the pavement, I keep duct tape on its dragging corner which I have to add new tape as it gets pretty torn up. I must look weird, and people think I am just measuring my walks. But when I get finished, I will loan the VP my notebook and he will copy it and anyone that wants to know how far they are walking will know! The longest walk so far is 0.611 miles and takes me about 35 minutes. The shortest I haven’t measured yet Twice a week, but not two day in a row, and not on the days I have PT, weather permitting, I walk a “long” walk that is close to or over 0.5 miles and that takes me about 35 minutes. If the road is wet I will not measure it as I don’t want the wheel to rust. At first it appeared to be about 50 different routes, but now it will be over 60+ and counting as they add new cottages and additional sidewalks. I have about 30 counted so far. I keep track of my cumulative distances and I have walked in these 2 months over 11 miles.. My therapist is thrilled ! Monday I have an appt with my psychiatrist to discuss my persisting depression, as he does not know yet about my decision to curtail my driving or my project as it has been a while since my last appt.. .

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@colleenyoung

Hi Gail,
How wise of you to recognize that your driving may no longer be safe on the highways. It must be hard to accept. I found this website from AAA about senior driving http://seniordriving.aaa.com/ It includes information on evaluating your driving ability and driver improvement courses for seniors. Maybe worth a look.

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Hi @gailfaith. I love when people return to update on their findings and progress. Thanks for persisting after a couple of failed attempts.

While you’ve given up long distance and highway driving, you continue to add mileage to your odometer 🙂 Good for you. I’m impressed by the contraption you rigged up with your cane and the measuring wheel. I’m you are quite the site around campus and are giving folks plenty to wonder and talk about. What a service you are providing for others while at the same time getting your steps in.

Gail, forgive my ignorance, but with such motivation, I’m surprised to hear that you have persisting depression. Thank you for sharing that. How have you been managing your depression up to this point? Is the recent onset been triggered by the loss of being able to drive?

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Sorry it was not clear. Yes Colleen, you are right. The loss of driving I believe is solely responsible for the nightmares and depression. gailfaith.

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