Oct 182012

As I sit here typing this out, I’m crying. And I’m thanking the Lord.

I got lost tonight. More lost that I have ever been. And lost in an area that is not good to get lost in. When GPS can’t tell you where you are, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s bad. The only thing I knew was that I couldn’t drive across any bridges! Just say no to Mexico! I had no idea if I was heading North, South, East or West. I had no clue. I was on a highway and all of the sudden it wasn’t a highway anymore – it was a little two lane road with barely any asphalt on it. Cars were driving around blacked out, windows down. Mangy dogs were barking all over the place. The houses I passed were made of plyboard. Not good.

When the crime here in the Valley is examined, we have the standard things that every other community has. But there are also cartels, border patrol vs illegal immigrants, independent drug runners, and the like. The area that I ended up may or may not be loaded with those extra goodies.

I cried, wait… I bawled. I prayed. I tried to call Coach but he didn’t have his phone with him. I panicked. Big time. I had been driving for so long trying to find my way, enough miles to cause that blasted yellow “low fuel” light to come on – and there was not a gas station in sight. Even if there were, I don’t know that it would be safe for me to go in to.

Let me back up a bit here….

Tonight was the JV football game. It was out of town by about 25 miles or so. Not far and still considered to be in the Valley. I followed the buses to the field. No problem. There came upon us a great and mighty storm, the likes which we haven’t seen around here.

The game was canceled because of lightening. There was really no need for me to go back to the school and there was a shorter route to our tin can than heading in the direction of the school. Cool! Right turn at the light, go to Shary Rd and turn left, go to 107 and turn right. That would put me about 2 miles from home.

Except that there is all this construction. And there aren’t many street signs… not to mention the fact that the street names all say different things. For instance, 3 Mile Road turn right was my first instruction… except the street isn’t called 3 Mile Road – it’s called FM something. I turned there like I was supposed to. I went down a bit and saw the sign “Junction Hwy 107 Edinburg 11 miles”… cool! Right where I need to go. Except that it wasn’t. I ended up way out in BFE somehow. Scared out of my mind, knowing that some drug cartel person was going to shoot me…. especially when I had to turn around in someone’s front yard because there was no place else to do it.

So this is when I tried to call Coach, but because it was a football game he didn’t have his phone with him. It took me a while but I realized that I had the phone numbers for some of the other coaches. I called one of them. Crying…shaky… asked to talk to my man. And broke down a little bit. He put Coach Perez on the phone who is very familiar with this area and who also lives near us. He was able to get me back on track.

A 15 minute drive ended up taking me just about an hour, lots of tears, and the realization that my brain just doesn’t work right anymore.

The new rule is that Sherri doesn’t go anywhere without a guide anymore. Except to the grocery maybe.


Being an adult is like looking both ways before you cross the street and then getting hit by an airplane.

  11 Responses to “When GPS Can’t Find You”

  1. Geezzzzzz…I’d be scared sh*%less!

  2. I have also experienced this and it it not fun. Once years before the MS diagnoses my friend and I took a detour and somehow ended up on a street where they were literally sitting out on old couches with fires burning in drums warming their hands as they shot up drugs. It was the first time I felt that sinking panic as we both realized that we were two ladies in a station wagon . …

    Since the MS I can get confused in a familiar area. The lost thing, the oh my God where am I followed by a period of panic etc. why oh why is the stupid GPS not helping? Oh – I so understand. I now do my darnedest not to drive anywhere new by myself and I now go overboard on keeping my gas tank as full as I can. Once my mind gets confused I am screwed.

    • the first time it happened to me a week or so ago, i was in a familiar area but nothing looked familiar. i really wasn’t sure about where i was. that was a bit unsettling. last night was just flat out frightening… i guess the combination of the night, the area, the weather… not being able to use GPS… and you’re right… once the panic set in and the confusion was so bad, i couldn’t do anything to help myself

  3. I have been in that situation more times than I like to think about — even before MS! I always got lost on my first trip anywhere. I think I would see the route in my mind’s eye, but when it was different, I got lost. Think before cell phones or GPS — that’s really panic city! Sorry you had to go through this — it’ so frightening

    • in the past, i never really thought of it as being lost. i guess because i could logically read a map, or backtrack where i had come from… last night, nothing was working. i couldn’t think in those terms…. so scary!

  4. I am so sorry. A few tears over here as well. Frightening, and so damned rotten that MS takes everything, and then hits us in the confidence as well. Aaaargh.

    • it was awful! had this happened to me a few years ago, i would not have even come close to flipping out. i would’ve seen it as an adventure and thought it funny. but not now. i can’t remember being so scared and not being able to figure out what to do only made it worse….

  5. Oh Lord, I have so been there. My mind isn’t working half the time and I don’t have MS. What would we do without cellphones. I tell everyone that Joe is the best GPS there is. He has guys on the job all the time calling him b/c their truck GPS’s have sent them half way around the wrong side of town. I feel for you. I’ve done that when the kids were little and had no phone (at that time with no money either). I always write things down and have someone with me when going into a new area. They read, I drive.

    • Joe is my inspiration! I can’t believe he still drives long hauls… awesome stuff!

      Last night I was so thankful that I had $10 in my wallet so when I did find a station I was able to at least get some gas. I usually write everything down as well, and even draw myself maps. I failed last night. It was raining & dark so I just went with it. I remembered the directions I was given but couldn’t make my way. Funny how this time I remembered but still couldn’t process it all to get me home….

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