When we went on vacation, I rented a wheelchair van thanks to the generous gift of one of our church members. IT WAS AWESOME! I was so spoiled by that van.
Lynn and I have a 2002 Impala. When we go somewhere I bodily list my 190 lbs husband from his wheelchair and set him into the car seat. He cannot help very much with this process and what makes matters worse is that the way the passenger door opens, I have to swing his hind parts in toward me and then back into the seat. Some days I barely have the energy to do that without dropping him–especially when he’s wiped out at the end of a long doctor’s appointment or isn’t feeling well. Ever tried to lift and move 190 lbs of dead weight? Let me tell you, it ain’t pretty. Sometimes it takes me several attempts. I almost get him on the seat and then feel myself slipping. Many a time I have prayed to be able to move him without either of us getting hurt; and thankfully those prayers have been answered…so far.
For example today, I took him to the doctor and was having trouble getting him out of the car at the office. A kind visitor helped me but she almost caused me to fall as I was swinging him out because I wasn’t expecting the load to be that much lighter. Fortunately, I was able to stabilize my footing quick enough to sit him down in the portable wheelchair. Then when I was putting him back in the car after the appointment, my foot slipped on a leaf. Again I was lucky. At home it was pouring rain as I got him out of the car, trying to keep his wheelchair dry and get him settled. Needless to say, I got drenched but we got inside without any mishaps. Answered prayers!!
The fact that it’s so difficult to get Lynn into and out of a car has pretty much made us restricted to home except for doctor’s appointments. We don’t go ANYWHERE. We keep hoping his strength will improve enough that he can help with the transfers but it takes a long time to get your strength back after being in the hospital and he’s been in four times this past year! I hear it takes a week to recover for every day in the hospital so it may be awhile…
But that wheelchair van….ahhh…he just drove himself right into it. He could stay in his own comfortable power chair and just drive right in and right out without any problem. Not only that! when his leg started to spasm, I just pulled over and hooked up the peddlar and kept him from being so miserable while we traveled.
When the Impala finally stops working, I’ll look for a van for my next vehicle. Though I really want one now, I just can’t see taking on a large car payment when currently I don’t have any and our bills are already eating up most of our income. I need to pay off a bit more debt and then….maybe, just maybe, I can find a good used handicap van that would suite our needs. I worry about a used one because you just never know what you’re getting but …..we’ll see….
In the meantime, keep your fingers crossed that I don’t drop him on any of our doctor’s appointments. I have one more this week so here’s praying all goes well.