Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.
10. The Van
Looking back, everything seemed to move pretty quickly.
I’m sure it had nothing to do with everything we were juggling at the time. Really. How difficult is it to juggle a husband in ICU, 33+ weeks pregnant, closing on your home, emergency guardianship, bringing your belongings and car back from AZ, moving into your in laws, making their home wheelchair accessible, transferring Danny to Shepherd, him almost dying again, doing therapy and oh yeah, giving birth.
No. We had nothing to think about.
Except how we were going to get Danny home.
Once you’re discharge date is set, things speed up incredibly and we were faced with needing a wheelchair van and fast.
The Lord provided. Our Village came together and happened upon a van for sale in someone’s front yard, a mere four days before we were to bring Danny home.
This full size conversion van was a blessing, but it was a big reminder of where we were on our journey. Early.
It was an effort to get Danny on the ramp (in the wheelchair), raise the ramp, tilt him back so he wouldn’t hit his head, back him into place and then maneuver around him to tie all four wheels down to the van. Put a baby seat in there too and it’s a party.
It was safe. It was reliable. It got us around for a long time.
However, once Danny started talking, he never forgot to tell us how much he disliked riding in the van. Whether it was that he couldn’t see (which I don’t blame him) or that his backrest hurt him, he hated it.
Additionally, since his second wheelchair didn’t tilt back, he had to bend down as best as he could so he wouldn’t hit his head on the door way and then he didn’t have a head rest either.
As Danny progressed, it was obvious we needed something else. I began to be concerned about his safety, riding in the middle of nothing, with no headrest.
For a while, and once he was able, we would stand and pivot into my car. I would have to break down his wheelchair, put it in the trunk and then tie down the trunk lid. It was, at a minimum, safer for him and also he could actually see. It was nice to have him in the front seat next to me again.
Now, with the power wheelchair, we drive a Ford Flex. Danny transfers into the passenger seat and then we put his wheelchair on the exterior ramp. It’s still time consuming, but I’m a one woman pit crew. I can get it all done in about give minutes.
We still have the van! It’s all cleaned up, serviced and ready for someone else that needs it. We want to pass on the blessing to someone in their time of need. If you know someone who might need a handicap wheelchair accessible van, please send us an email.