I would imagine that most people would say that their car or other vehicle plays a pretty important role in their daily lives. For my family, having access to our own vehicle is a lifeline.
As the Dude uses his wheelchair fulltime and is unable to self-transfer we chug around in a bright red, adapted Ford Tourneo. Provided through the Motability scheme, our big, glorious van allows him to travel in his wheelchair in comfort, safety and is an essential piece of mobility equipment.
We have recently had two very different experiences involving our beloved van.
The first was on the motorway, as we headed off on our holidays. Anyone who has ever travelled with SN children will attest that this is akin to planning a military campaign so we were less than thrilled to develop a flat tyre. Being unable to feed your child or attend to any person care needed is always less than ideal, especially when you consider that his seizures are frequent, can be life-threatening and any type of discomfort can trigger them.
We were saved from holiday catastrophe by the RAC man and the lovely staff at a well-known national tyre retailer. All of whom were amazing, made my boy feel like royalty, and ensured we were back on our travels quickly. The kindness and consideration shown by everyone from the first phone call to get help to the last wave as we drove off again made the whole event far less stressful. For us anyway, the Dude found the whole business very exciting.
And then there’s the other side to humanity.
As I mentioned before, our van has a ramp. A LONG ramp. It’s pretty obvious when its down, and yet recently another driver still managed to drive straight over it. They actually stopped, checked we hadn’t seen them, then drove off. We know this because the car behind them gave us their number plate. Sigh.
So currently, we are van-less.
While we wait for a courtesy vehicle to be sourced that is wheelchair-adapted (about as rare as hen’s teeth), we are effectively house-bound. We can’t take our boy anywhere; it makes you realise just how vital this vehicle really is to our lives. Accidents happen, however the selfishness of the other driver in just driving off still makes my blood boil.
Fortunately, school restarts next week so at least our boy will be able to attend thanks to his school taxi. I however will be spending hours on the phone as the traditional slew of appointments has just landed on the door mat. Because as any SN parent knows, the start of school term will always herald a multitude of appointments. Hopefully we’ll have our lovely van returned to us quickly, in the meantime working from home is once again the order of the day.