Curtain Call

opening night

Independence is just out of my reach, but it’s the one thing I foresee granting me control, which in my world is symbolized by driving. It equals autonomy and self-sufficiency. As you may guess or remember from earlier posts, my doctors banded me from the world of drivers. The days I cry. The days I mope. It’s usually because I can’t do________. You can fill in the blank. Because, now 11 years into my diagnosis, it amounts to a multiplicity of things. Things I could once do. Things I silently weep for. But please don’t misunderstand me; it’s in no way the entirety of my being. This MS is heart wrenching, but I am hell bent on not letting it get the best of me. I choose to live accommodating whatever disability appears center stage…..reluctantly!!

Just like anybody else, I have my good days and I have my bad days. The point here is just that at the end of any given day I can’t DRIVE. UGGGHHHH!!!

That's the FJ I must be out to lunch!

I haven’t sat in the drivers seat since 2009. As is so happens, I lost many physical abilities then. But none has been as impactful as losing the powers to snatch my keys and go wherever I wanted. I didn’t have to tell anybody. I didn’t have to rationalize anything to anybody; I was a 34 –year- old woman who only owed an explanation to my husband. I could even call that one a courtesy! I want to make the decisions. I want to be responsible for more than the towels around here!


Now the wheels are turning. Things are happening. I’m going to physical and occupational therapy on a routine basis. The possibility of driving once again (with hand controls) slowly draws nearer.


I wonder if I’ve placed too much hope on driving restoring the complete independence I crave; control as I see it, that will ultimately lead me back to happiness. I’ve read numerous places that anytime we look for one particular thing to “fix” us we set ourselves up for disappointment. I hear placing this lofty of an expectation on anything is dangerous. That is, placing it on anything outside of ourselves; anything tangible. It’s similar to betting it all on black in Vegas!


I’ve done it with many things through out my entire life span. In grade school it was a Barbie then a 10 -speed Schwinn bike. Later, grades worthy of a sizeable college scholarship, a car (any car would do) and an apartment. Moving forward, a lucrative career.

Thanks for comin' out! Please come back!


Only for the curtains to close and I am still left with whatever it is I already had!


Author: Nicole Lemelle

My name is Nicole Lemelle. I am a writer, activist and a person living with Multiple Sclerosis. I created My New Normals to educate those who do not understand MS, reassure people with similar plights and inspire everyone to seize command of their lives.

18 thoughts on “Curtain Call”

  1. Your writing has developed into readable art. It touches me, moves me, and leaves it’s fingerprints embedded into my psyche. Reading your posts and looking forward to your next one is a guilty pleasure. Certainly not because of your struggle, but because your stories always redirect me and makes me re examine what’s really important and what stuff is just for the birds. Can I say that?

    Keep it up Nic. One day you and your posts will garner the true attention it deserves


    1. Daraka, I don’t know how much I can say after that, especially since you were among the proponents for me to even write. At that time I didn’t know how much I would get back from this entire endeavor, much less how much I would actually be giving to others. I read these blogs nearly daily. It is so comforting. I want to say if you think mine is good, you check out… But thanks for the support!


  2. reading ur blog. there is so much to read so slowly but surely I will read it all. From what I’ve read so far you definitely don’t let MS keep u down and that is so good. U sound so joyful. My MS is so small as the Dr’s say right now but if it was any worse I don’t think I could be as happy and joyful as u. Keep up the good work. I will continue reading more later on.

    1. Please understand that it is a daily sometimes minute by minute struggle to keep my hopes pointed in the right direction. But, when I do, we all benefit. I never could have even dreamed the nice people I have met by blogging let alone, the people who leave comments that letme know if I’m going in the right direction.

  3. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m glad I have your website to keep me up to date with your next mission. Glad therapy is going well. Super ecstatic that you are passionately and wonderfully writing. Love you much.

  4. A great read… thanks for sharing… as they say – flowers grow out of shit (I am expecting dozens of orchids any time now!) … always good to read us MSers are not alone… I havent driven since 2002! lol…. wishing you the best of luck and happiness and hope you drive again!! xxx

  5. Lemme tell you, the hand controls are so cool, I’m surprised that cars don’t come with those as *standard.* Yeah, scratching your nose or sipping your tea just can’t happen (unless you’re in stop-and-go traffic, which happens a lot in LA), but it’s a small loss.

    When I got my car back, it wasn’t about “now I have my *independence*,” it was as simple as “Dang it, if I want a different kind of cereal, I can just go and get it myself!” instead of having to wait for whenever “we” were going past a suitable store, with enough time to stop in. Made *everyone’s* life simpler. And, I can even *drive my wife* when we go places–and little things like that make EVERYONE happy.

    1. Sign me up!!!!!!!! Yes I couldn’t have said it better myself.
      I just want to do it myself. Hand controls would be life changing for me.
      But my OT was concerned about a few things, so I’ll know soon.

  6. I can drive but lately getting out of bed has been a time consuming process. Each morning my dog patiently goes to the bedroom door to let me no he needs to go out. It takes me at least five minutes to get up from a cold start. It’s frustrating.

    At least once I’m stretched and going things are pretty good.

    1. Matt, Thanks for stopping by. Is it due to spasms or fatigue? Regardless good for you. Drive till they take the keys away! But to be honest, things would go much smoother if you just hand them over. Nicole

  7. i still drive and i cannot imagine what it’s going to be like the day that i can no longer do that…. i love driving… and the independence of it… it must be very difficult to want to run up to the store real quick or just go grab something somewhere… or even to plan a day out…

    here’s hoping that you will be able to drive again!! sounds as if the therapy is helping! some days i wish i qualified for that.. the PE… it almost sounds fun!!

    1. Sherri, yes it is tricky. When I tell family that I’m testing for hand controls they say,” Well did you tell them that you weren’t that good before either?” I guess they think I’ll get a curve on my grade!

      But seriously, this no driving thing is one of the hardiest things to accept. Nicole

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