Monday, August 15, 2016

Hamish In The Car

One of the stresses of travel, for me at least, is the rental car. I imagine this might be true for others as well. I need to rent cars that I can transfer into and which have room for luggage and wheelchair. It's not easy because when we talk to rental car companies, at least the ones we've dealt with, they are quick to emphasize that 'we don't rent wheelchair vans' even if that wasn't the question. I once was charged for a whole day for a car, which I couldn't go see because there was no accessible pathway from the counter to the cars, so Joe got one and drove it up for me to see. I knew immediately I couldn't get into it. We drove it back down and got dinged for a day. Complaints, and there were many, were ignored. So, cars, yikes.

We are in a car that I can get into easily but it's much more difficult to get out of. The foot wells are deep and it's hard to get my feet up to the 'sill' and then over it. The first time we tried I could only get one foot up and out, Joe had to give my other foot a bit, not much, of help. I realized we are in for a long trip if I need to have help every time. I also knew I'd start choosing to sit in the car rather than be required to have this kind of assistance, from Joe with others watching, because, trust me, others watch.

So on our first night in a hotel in Seattle, I lay in bed thinking about the car, the well, the sill and my legs. I thought through some of the exercises I've been doing with my legs. I know what they can and can't do. By the time I went to sleep, I thought I had it figured out.

The next morning we had breakfast with Joe's nephew and his wife and then we went out. I didn't tell Joe that I'd done a mechanical analysis of my legs, the well and the sill. I didn't want to say I'd got it figured out only to fail in the attempt. I waited until we were where we wanted to go, until Joe was getting the chair out, and I swung the door open and, quite easily, got my lets out, got me out and there I was standing. I've not needed help again thus far on the trip.

That's disability though isn't it.

Figuring it out.

|I watched an old fella with a walker attempt to get out of a food court seat. He seemed trapped for several minutes. A couple people went to assist him and, this guy had an aura that sent them scurrying away, he attempted one or two things. Then sat, and thought, and then got up. He just had to get the mechanics right.

That's disability.


\"My dog Hamish has blue eyes."


Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt said...

I spend my life figuring the pieces out - and it can often be done.

Congratulations on having figured out one which was important to you.

You can get a little worse each day - or a little better (I haven't reached my limits yet, though the progress is snail-like).

But it does take a huge amount of effort.

Gundula said...

hi Dave
i find the all wheel drive vehicles much easier to get in and out of. The seats are higher, the foot well isn't as deep and obstructed by the sides of the car, the ledge is less of an obstruction.
i have a Nissan Murano, but there are other makes and models that fulfill the same needs.
the normal cars are almost impossible if you have any kind of difficulties at all with this type of thing. The car i have for my daughter and her aides is a normal Honda, deep foot well, low seats, high ledge. Impossible after knee replacement surgeries. Even the taxis were not possible.
Try some of the 4wheel or all wheel drive vehicles. Much better!
all the best