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Old 01-26-2014, 02:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I didn't know where else to put this, so I'm putting it here. It's sort of a what-would-you-do. Sorry, it's horrifically long.

My step father is in his early 70s and it concerns me that he is still driving. He owns a 2009 Toyota Tacoma Prerunner 4-door with less than 13k miles on it. It's a fantastic truck, and I hope(d) to one day inherit it. However, I am worried that I'll never see that day as I fear it will be destroyed.

The man in question is the smartest man I have ever met. He's been married to my mom since I was 4 years old and I grew up calling him "dad." He went to VMI and went on to fight in Vietnam as a tank captain in the army. He was wounded by shrapnel and finished out his tour. He is very proud of his school and his time in the military, he's a very proud man in general. But what he is most proud of, and what his legacy will be, is his 30 years teaching high school English. Growing up in our small town, we could never go anywhere without someone stopping to talk to him about how he was their favorite teacher and how he changed their life for the better. He was a living legend while he taught, both my sister and I had him our senior years. All of my friends were dumbfounded whenever they came to my house knowing I lived with him. When he retired, they named his classroom and the adjacent hallway after him. Ten years after that two of his former students donated $700k in his name to the school.

The problems began shortly after he retired. He started having problems and wound up in the hospital. He's been in ad out of the hospital many times. He has severe diabetes and he doesn't take care of it so it is out of control and badly affecting his cognitive abilities. It's really tragic, but in a way that angers me since it doesn't have to be this way.

Recently, after he got the truck stuck in their back yard trying to drive around the house instead of asking someone to move their car - or taking that car - I decided I need to get the truck away from him before he destroys it. I planned to buy him something that would, in essence, be a sacrificial car to let him do the inevitable. My mother and he were both apparently on board. The more I thought about it, the less I wanted to do it. I don't really want more payments (they still owe and I would take over the payments) and I figure they have insurance for it, so they'd get their money back at least. But then there's the concerns for others. I definitely don't want him to mindlessly slam it into someone and kill them. And, in fact, just a few days ago, a week after I gave up on getting the truck, he hit someone's car with it and didn't realize it until the police showed up at his house.

We're a close family (I live the farthest away - my mother and sister spend a lot of time at each others houses) and no one wants to step up to do anything to keep him off the road. I would do it, but I don't think I would get the support from the others necessary to follow through and since I am not around, he'd just get behind the wheel and no one else would try to stop him. He is incredibly stubborn and does exactly what he shouldn't do just to spite us.

So I ask the B&B, what would you do?
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Old 01-27-2014, 05:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If he's happy just let him be, it's not something that can't be replaced, he may wreck it or total it, but at least he will be safe and driving something he picked out and wanted.

in his early 70's it seems he's a bit young to be restricted in his driving.



although I've noticed in retirement and when idled people start to lose some of their abilities, and while I'm far from a doctor or in anyway helpful in human health, get him interested in some hobbies, or gardening. That always seemed to change my grandfather for the better in judgement, reactions, an overall health. Granted I'm not sure where the glass of jack Daniels every morning played into that, but, it worked.



just my .02 I'm sure someone here has better advice than that.
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Old 01-27-2014, 02:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Get his physician involved and stat - discuss your concerns with his doctor and ask his professional opinion - if the doc thinks it's okay for him to drive, then leave it, but revisit the discussion after any significant health/driving events.┬* My pops just went through this with his dad and his escalating Alzheimer's.┬* Act now before his driving becomes a tragedy - if it does, it's likely to be tragic for more than just that truck.
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Old 01-27-2014, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I agree early 70s is young to lose driving privileges. However he has given us cause for concern.

Thankfully, as the mileage shows, he doesn't drive much. Mostly he finds an excuse to get out of the house and goes to a diner or Cracker Barrel to eat. And even when he was in his prime he drove excruciatingly slow. But I agree, I fear more for others than for him or the truck.

So my mother called today, he had a doctor's appointment and when he arrived they checked him out and sent him straight to the ER. His sugar is off the charts now. Normal sugar should be between 85-105 give or take. And the machine he uses to test it goes up to 600 and I'm told his levels exceed that of the machine's capabilities. I told my mom to ask the doctors for help. All they do is tell him to manage it and he'll get better. And he's a charmer, when he's around other people you wouldn't think he's in as bad of shape as he is. They seem him as someone able to handle it so they send him on his way.

My mom told me she thinks I need to borrow the truck for some project. That he doesn't need to drive, she can take him where he needs to go. So maybe this will get resolved before it's too late.
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Old 01-27-2014, 07:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well you found your problem that's pretty dangerous blood sugar. I bet if you can get that controlled you would see significant improvement.



But no the last thing he needs to do is drive if he's pushing 210, but 600+, forget about it. That's a blackout waiting to happen, if not worse.
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Old 01-28-2014, 02:27 AM   #6 (permalink)
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This is his normal. He hasn't had anything close to normal sugar levels since he was in the hospital and was forced to maintain a set diet. A normal level causes him withdrawl and makes him think he's starving.
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Old 01-28-2014, 04:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If he doesn't get his blood sugar under control his driving won't be a problem for very much longer. Your step-dad sounds like a great guy, but you can't just "let him be" because of the possibility┬* of the harm to others. Does he have any friends who he respects that might be able to aid in some type of intervention, because that's what needs to happen? Once he realizes his condition could be harmful to others, he might take better care of himself.

He still has a lot to offer the world, I do hope he gets better
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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┬*I loved my tC, I had one of the first 2005s and I still believe it was the best car I have owned. I'm not thrilled with the looks of the new one. It looks huge despite being a touch smaller if I recall. Plus, the cheapest one I see is $18k. I'd be willing to spend a little more for a lot more car. And in a year, trying to sell one in a sea of used tCs will not be fun.
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