Driver Rehabilitation Center of Excellence

Last week I went to DRCE and they modified my Civic so that I could drive with more confidence.  Here is the story.

All the options

The Hopkins OT referred me so that I could maintain some more independence in life, you know, before I’m paralyzed.  I’m not being morbid but keeping it real.

Even their logo is cool


The Google search Mel did found some place in Falls Church, or Tyson’s corner, but the closest was DRCE in Chantilly.  Tammy was who I was scheduled to see, a licensed OT with a history that made me like her even more!

Multiple Veterans own this business.


I don’t know if any of you ever see Occupational Therapists,  but between my experience with Jacks OT Miss Amanda, and my experience at Hopkins with the OT there,  they are fairly epic people who know more about what helps than almost anyone,.  So having Tammy be a real OT and not just a car mod person gave me a ton of confidence.  Maybe I’m easy to please, I don’t know, but I don’t care!

Photos courtesy of Dave – I couldn’t include the pano shot



Jack and Smoke


The first thing we did was the standard ALS progression exam, how much mobility do I have in my arms and legs, and if I’m progressing fast or slow.  Then I met Smoke, a retired service dog., which opened the door for me to find out Tammy was retired Army, and had created the first driving rehab program at Walter Reed.  OK, that’s pretty awesome.  I’m for supporting small business AND Vets,  (not the animal doctor kind) so this is win-win.

We went out to the car where we drove around first with a spinner knob and turn signal adapter, and Tammy said that I would be ok with those two mods instead of some more expensive ones.  Then we took Jack with us and he approved as well.  Always a plus!

The strap attached to the door made my day.  Do you know how much easier it makes getting in the car!!!???  Just a simple strap!


The problem was, we couldn’t get the mods done BEFORE Mel’s surgery, so instead my brother-in-law Dave drove Jack and me there on Monday the 3rd.  And they modified the car.  And let me drive it around!  And right now I want to drive out and get slurpees for everyone!!!

Knob and turn signal lever


Editors note: it’s funny, being able to drive, yet at the same time finding it hard to walk, or hold my head up, or sneeze.  But for the moment, I’m going to enjoy the time given.


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