We know that cognitive functioning is affected when people are taking Benzos, and sometimes they think their behaviour is not affected when it is …
Taxi! Being a passenger with a driver on Benzos
My partner was given lorazepam as a sedative to have some dental work done – she is terrified of the dentist and so the GP prescribed it to be taken before the procedure.
On the day of the trip to the dentist she took the tablets and we set off very shortly after, in the car – she was driving as I wasn’t expecting any sedative effects to kick in particularly quickly. However, I was definitely wrong about that ….
… a short time into the journey it started to rain. Any second now, I thought, she’ll put the wipers on. But the rain carried on accumulating on the windscreen. I couldn’t see clearly, so how could she?
‘Put the wipers on’ I said. No response. Again I said ‘put the wipers on’.
‘I’m fine’ she replied. ‘I didn’t ask how you were – put the wipers on!’ I repeated. The wipers went on. I noticed she was still wearing her sunglasses, as it was sunny when we’d left the house. ‘You don’t need your sunglasses on now, do you?’ I asked. Again ‘I’m fine’.
Fine was definitely the last thing the journey was becoming. I noticed that the car was wandering – occasionally she was straying over the white lines dividing the lanes.
‘I think you need to let me drive’ I said. Again ‘I’m fine’. By now I was getting very concerned. It was how I’d imagine being in a car with a drunk driver who insisted on driving home from the pub after a few pints. Definitely not fine, but without any awareness of that fact.
We got off the dual carriageway (thank goodness) and for a while she appeared more alert, probably because there was more in the way of traffic hazards to concentrate on, and she seemed to be navigating ok, but taking corners and roundabouts too fast. I realised I was gripping the door handle.
‘Slow down’ I said. Again ‘I’m fine’. I noticed she STILL had her sunglasses on. You need to let me drive’ I said ‘It’s not because of your driving ability – I know you’re a good driver but the drugs are definitely affecting you’. ‘I’m fine’. It was like that was all she could say.
We arrived at the dental surgery – I confess to being amazed that she had managed to navigate there. She pulled into the car park and into a parking space right by the door and – BANG – straight into the kerb. She looked at me in absolute amazement as if to say ‘how did that happen?’
‘I TOLD you that you weren’t OK to drive!’ I said ‘I thought I was fine’ she replied. I noticed the car rolling backwards ‘HANDBRAKE!!’ I shouted.
‘I thought I was fine’