Trouble Getting In & Out of Cars or Driving Long Distances???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by catgal, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. catgal

    catgal New Member

    Hello Everyone~~It is a snowy, gray-overcast, freezing cold day here in the Rocky Mountains, and I awoke this morning to find my sewer system backed up and pipes frozen--so am staying home from work today waiting on the plummer to come. Although I don't think they were happy with me at work when I called in--I confess that it is nice to be sitting here on an unexpected day off drinking a nice, hot cup of tea, listening to mystical music,and watching the snow fall outside.

    But to my question~~It causes me alot of back pain to get in and out of my car. We have a big Blazer which is wonderful in the type of weather we have here, but it is a high leap into the driver's seat, and I am always twisting my back or having to parachute down out of the car. (I'm short with short little legs.) The Blazer belongs to my mate, and he's told me for the past 3 years that he would put running boards on the side of it so I wouldn't have such a hard time getting in and out--but alas--he never did.

    So, this weekend, I went out on a limb and bought myself a PT Cruiser which is very easy to get in and out of. I have noticed since driving it these past couple of days that now I am not in pain by the time I get to wherever I'm going nor re-injuring my back every time I get in or out of the car.

    I hadn't realized what a difference it made painwise to drive a vehicle that "fits" you.

    I just wondered if anyone else had that problem. Or if driving long distances causes you pain? If I ride for over an hour, by the time I get to where I'm going--my back hurts so much or I'm so achy that I don't enjoy myself when I get there, or feel like doing the shopping, or sitting through a movie. Anyone else? Carol...
  2. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    Yes, yes, yes! You are right with the vehicles. Not only do I get achy, but oh so stiff. When you need to ride for an hour or more, its best if you can stop and walk around for a few minutes. This helps a great deal. I think we tense up our muscles when we are riding/driving, and it causes so much pain.

    Glad you got something that is easier to get in and out of. My husband drives a pick-up truck, and we found out that if I put my hand on the top of the door to get in, it was causing me pain in my shoulder. So now he puts my purse in, then helps me in, without me straining to pull myself into the truck.

    My daughter has a 'Spyder'(whatever brand!), very low slung, its very hard to get out of, but easy to get in!.

    My car is a sedan, the easiest of the three to get in and out and much more confortable. But mine is getting old, so I am usually riding in the other two.

    I also have a pillow for my back which is a big help while riding.

    Glad you got something confortable for you to drive. You will see a big difference.

    We had one member here who went car shopping, she tried all the 'seats' in the cars, I think she bought the one that had the most confortable seat!

    Shalom, Shirl

  3. Iamme

    Iamme New Member

    I use to love to go for pleasure drives but not anymore. I am like you, if it takes longer than 15 or 20 minutes I am so stiff and sore that I do not enjoy whatever it was that I drove to do....
  4. Spoonerpaws

    Spoonerpaws New Member

    My problem is that I get so stiff and sore after even a small ride!
  5. Kathryn

    Kathryn New Member

    of driving last summer. Granted our driving days were interspersed with stopovers to visit family & friends, but I didn't hurt nearly as bad at night as I did after a day on my bus. Most trips now are in our F350 crew cab. Gary put steps on it so I can get in and out easier, and I have grab rails ready to put on the sides. Once I get in, it is the most comfortable rig for me to drive. I do 90% of the driving when we go anywhere. It is far easier for me to drive than to cringe and panic when riding. I think that most professional drivers are this way. My MG is by far the hardest for me to get in & out of, but once I fire her up, I am in another world. The sound of that Abarth exhaust is like a tranquilizer and pain killer all in one.
    Kathryn
  6. LauraLea

    LauraLea New Member

    My husband and I take a lot of trips by car. It's okay if we can stop about every three hours. I just need to get out and strech.

    Movies are another story because I can't sit still for more than 20 mins. I feel like a little fidgety kid. I feel sorry for people who sit behind me :)
    Laura
  7. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    First of all, I hate driving anywhere longer than 15-20minutes away for 2 reasons, I have a phobia about being in a car and also the pain and stiffness I get..
    I have a mini-van, which yes, it is harder to get into, but I can drive easier and get out easier..
    About a year ago, we got hit while parked, and really messed up our car, so we got a rental..It was a regular size car, and I couldn't get out of the D*** thing..
    So for me, I will stick to my mini-van for now..
    I can't stand going to a movie that is too long, & when we do go, I always try to get the aisle seat, so I have more room to change positions, etc..
    Take Care..............Donna
  8. catgal

    catgal New Member

    What makes driving and/or riding easier for you? I've noticed even in the PT Cruiser that I have to have a pillow for my back. When riding as a passenger, I use a pillow fo my back and a box-like pillow on the floorboard for my feet to rest on and to take the weight off my back. Though I wear them, the seatbelts make me uncomfortable too as I am always wiggling around trying to find a comfortable position as I get so stiff and achy.

    The Cruiser has an armrest on the driver's right side that I have found (for whatever reasons) takes the pressure off my right shoulder and neck area. Because I have rheumatoid arthritis in my hands, if I drive for over an hour--my hands swell up and become stiff & painful. Does anybody use one of those fur steering wheel pads? If so, do they help? I've been thinking about getting one of those.

    Does anyone have any suggestions on how we can make driving and riding more comfortable for ourselves?

    I have to drive long hours to conferences in order to maintain my continuing education credits for my license, and I always dread the long drive because I know I will be sore, stiff, and in pain by the time I get there, and usually do not sleep well, then have to sit in a crowded room at the conference in those hard, steel-back chairs for 8 hours. If the hotel I'm staying at has a hot tub, I make good use of it as that helps.

    I love movies, but shift around in my seat all through the movie like a kid who has to pee all the time. Same at the conferences.

    Anyone have suggestions for driving, riding, and traveling? Thanks for your comments. Carol...
  9. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I didn't want to 'throw the Xanax' in, knowing that some of us are diving ourselves! But you are completely right, I take a 1/4 of a 0.25 milligram when someone else is driving, and it seems to relax the muscles. So the pain and stiffness is a whole lot less that without it.

    I use the buckwheat pillow for my back, it sort of lets you get it just like you want for comfort.

    Whoever said they used a pillow for their feet? I will give that a try too.

    Shalom, Shirl

  10. healing

    healing New Member

    I have to travel a lot for my work, and I have found that I have the same problem in airplanes that I do in cars. I get this funny pain running down the back of my leg -- it's not nerve pain, just a kind of stitch. I get this whether I'm driving or riding....so when we are traveling by car, we stop often so I can wiggle around and stretch, and when I'm flying somewhere, I always get an aisle seat so I can stand up without bothering others.

    Because I'm short, all seats, chairs, etc. don't fit me, so my neck, shoulders, and back really give me fits wherever I'm sitting.

    I've given up on movie theaters entirely. Just can't cram into one of those seats for 2-3 hours without accidentally kicking someone in the back, so we rent movies to watch at home. Saves money, and I'm a lot more comfortable.
  11. pearls

    pearls New Member

    I have to sort of slide down out of my husband's farm truck - long way to the ground. If I've been in it for some time, I land on my feet with all sorts of howling about the bottoms of my feet hurting. At first I walk sort of like a penguin, but it usually gets better after I walk about a bit. To get into it, I have to pull myself up with a hand grip. If my arms get too bad I'll be in trouble.

    My sedan is actually harder to get in and out of in some ways - very tight compared to the truck.

    -Pearl
  12. RedB

    RedB New Member

    Just before I got really sick, I would come home from work (1/2 hour drive), and tell my husband that I almost couldn't get out of the car because I felt like I'd been run over by a truck. If only I had known what was coming......

    Now, since FM has taken over my life, my doctors think I am crazy because I tell them I can't sit down or ride in cars. But, with me, it goes way beyond just achiness. My worst pains are caused by driving in cars. I am 5 foot 9 inches tall, and actually traded a small car years ago just to buy myself a larger recreational vehicle to fit my body better, but it doesn't help much. I get horrible pains in my left arm, hand, back, side and neck if I make too many 1/2 hour drives during a several day stint. And once the pain sets in, look out for bumpy roads! I'm like the princess and the pea.

    The achiness I can work out, but the pains usually stay in my arm for several days after driving like this. Vacations are murder, but I still fight for them, although I'm not much help at taking turns with driving, because the pain pretty much does me in as far as concentrating is concerned.

    I have this same problem with sitting at a desk, so working for lengthy times at my computer are also a no no. I've had pain in my left arm now for several weeks now, and can't get rid of it. It is very aggravating, because it actually was gone for a few months.

    I've had EMG's and MRI's, and of course, nothing is wrong. And pain meds don't cut the pain. Weird. Very weird.

    Kathy
  13. TinysMom

    TinysMom New Member

    HI CAROL---YOUR POST WAS VERY INTERESTING TO ME---FIRST OFF, THE PAIN FROM RIDING THE 20 MIN HOME---- MY DRIVE HOME WAS ONLY 10 MINUTES, BUT BY THE TIME I GOT THERE--NO MATTER WHICH AUTO I WAS DRIVING, I COULD BARELY STEP OUT OF THE CAR FOR THE PAIN IN MY FEET, AND MY BODY FELT LIKE IT HAD TURNED TO STONE IN THAT SHORT TIME. I WOULD EASE OUT OF THE DRIVERS SEAT, AND CRIPPLE ALONG ABOUT 1/2 WAY TO THE HOUSE, AND THEN FINALLY START COMING BACK TO LIFE. WHEN I WAS DRIVING, I DIDN'T NOTICE IT, BUT THEN, I WASN'T IN THE CAR VERY LONG----I DID NOTICE THE SORE FEET, BUT MY JOB REQUIRED BEING ON A DEAD RUN ALL DAY, ON CEMENT FLOORS, SO I JUST FIGURED THAT WAS WHAT WAS CAUSING IT ALL. THIS WENT ON FOR ABOUT 5 OR 6 YEARS BEFORE I BEGAN GETTING SUSPICIOUS ABOUT POSSIBLE FIBRO. I WAS BARELY GETTING THRU THE DAY ON 8 ADVIL, AND I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE WHAT I WOULD HAVE DONE WITHOUT THEM!!!!
    AND YOUR ARM ACHE--VERY FAMILIAR! MY LEFT ARM, BETWEEN THE SHOULDER AND THE ELBOW, HURTS SO BAD SOMETIMES I ACCUSE MY HUBBY OF BEATING ME IN MY SLEEP---WHAT LITTLE OF THAT I GET THESE DAYS!! HAHAA
    I HOPE THINGS GET BETTER FOR US ALL SOON, THERE IS LOTS OF RESEARCH GOING ON, AND THIS IS A WORLD-WIDE EPIDEMIC!
    THANKX TO EVERYONE FOR A MOST INFORMATIVE SITE!! IT IS THE BEST! TINYSMOM
  14. Achy-shaky

    Achy-shaky New Member

    Not only that the stiffness was so bad after 30 minutes but also any bumbs would shot pain up my back - my car is a klunker but can't afford a better one. I understand about the higher vehicles. I once had to pull myself up into a tow truck and hurt my arms & back badly and now ask for a boost if I ever need to get into one. Will only drive short distances to store or doctor now but beginning to think I shouldn't even do that due to the slow reactions and hard time turning to see.

    One thing I found helpful for getting in/out is one of those circular seat pads that help you turn so you can swing legs in or out easier. Also doing simple stretches or flexing of muscles while driving helps the stiffness.

    Hope that helps...happy trails to you all!
  15. popgun

    popgun New Member

    20 yrs ago while in a pain clinic they had me get a device called a Sacro-Ease it along with a lumbar support really helps not a 100% cure but it helps and you must try different positions. You can get them at ortho supports stores.
  16. nogilroy

    nogilroy New Member

    we have a van to drive in it is the best thing for me .our son has a truck and is hard to get in to high and my father has a neon i had to use his neon one day to go to the chiropractor.that will be the last time i do that i might well thow 20 bucks out the window felt my back pain again as soon as i got back in agian i made sure that i used the van next time
  17. little

    little Member

    That describes me perfect. The pain that all of you talk about is the kind of pain that I have told the doctors about since 1972. They kept telling me that they couldn't find a reason for it. They took x-rays and all were negative. Blood work came back the same, no arthiritis or anything else. I have to do all my own driving. I need to hold on to the steering wheel. When I visit my brother in Florida every winter I always drive myself around.Him and his wife take their own truck even if we go to the same place. He laughs at me. When I did ride with him I would tell him that he can't take the corners like that and don't make any sudden move. He would wiggle the truck and say, like that. I would say I'm not kidding. I don't ride with him anymore. When I have road with my daughter I have put a bed pillow all around me. That helps me not to move side ways. At home I can't sit for very long. If I do , when I get up it takes a while for me to stand up straight. One thing that I have noticed is that the colder the weather is the more I hurt when I go out. So I don't go out in the winter much. Bundling up doesn't work because my face still hurts. I get a bad headache. Take care all. Gail
  18. Mikie

    Mikie Moderator

    Yes, I used to drive a VW Cabrio and it was a chore to get in and out of. I bought a Highlander SUV which has running boards and it is a delight to drive and get in and out of. It has the power lumbar thing in the seat too.

    It, like the little Lexus SUV, is built on a car chassis and doesn't ride like a truck like the big SUV's do because they are basically trucks, built on truck frames.

    I got it just in time to be paying big bucks for gas. It's a V-6 but only gets half the mileage my little 4 cylinder Cabrio did. I suppose all those right-wing fanatics will be giving me the evil-eye for driving a gas guzzler. They seem to think all SUV drivers are contributing to terrorism. They ask, "What would Jesus drive?" Jay Leno said, "Well, let's look at it. He was a single guy who lived in a rural area and was a carpenter. My guess is that he would drive a truck or an SUV." I had to laugh. I would put a "Jesus Drives An SUV" bumper sticker on my vehicle but I'm afraid these people are so far out they might damage it in their zealot frenzy.

    Actually, vehicles powered by fuel cells, which do not pollute, are on the horizon and this will all probably be a moot arguement within a couple of years. They use hydrogen and can make their own fuel from water. I wonder how our not being dependent on oil will affect our foreign policies in the future. Interesting to think about.

    Well, I've certainly gotten off the beaten path, but yes, if one can find a vehicle that is easy to get in and out of and drive, it makes all the difference in the world. I can drive long hours if I stop every hour or so and stretch and move around. I also drink lots of water, which in itself, makes me stop ever hour or so :)

    Love, Mikie
  19. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    I need 1/2 tablet of it just to be normal enough to drive. I would be a bigger danger without it.
    My driving ability is limited by my brain damage to about 15-20 mins. at one time,and interstates are out of the question.
    I get car sick on trips over 30 mins. due to the damage to my balance system, and find benadryl to work better than dramamine or bonine by far.
    On long trips I must stop no less than once every 1 1/2 hrs. to get my balance back and to take care of my irritable bladder!
    I loved to travel when younger, but in my old age, I've decided that the thought of travelling is usually far better than the actuality.
    Klutzo
  20. granmama

    granmama New Member

    I love our Expedition, it has running boards and is fairly easy to climb into the drivers side. Sometimes, I need assistance if I have to sit in the back seat though.

    The worst is running errands and having to get in & out of the truck. I wear my knees and legs out! One day, I was parked in a handicapped space, but it was on an slight incline at the grocery store. I actually had to ask someone inside to help me get into the car, because I didn't have the strength in my legs to pull me up. Talk about embarrassing!!

    We recently took a road trip from Tx to Mo. Well, about 1:30-2pm, it was my naptime. So we pulled over and I got situated in the backseat and tried to take a nap. I can't sleep sitting up in a car/recliner anymore, something about my body actually needs to lie down to get any rest.

    It took quite a toll on my body and I was in a flare for about 5 days after returning home. Not to mention, missing the whirlpool that was available in our room!
    Things are getting back to normal now.
    granmama