https:// Home ». Conversion van

Conversion van

We can finally drive the van!

 

After paying the owner the sales price of the van on Nov. 18, we finally have tags and can drive it as of December 3.  This entire experience has been one of frustration and endurance from the beginning but it’s over now, and we have the freedom provided by a wheelchair van. 
Today, after breakfast, I got Lynn dressed, put him in his powerchair, and he drove himself out the door and into the passenger side of the van.  After figuring out how to use the straps to secure the wheelchair to the floor, we were on our way and for the first time in over two years, Lynn actually went into a store and bought something for himself.  What freedom that is!  I no longer have to be his eyes and ears at the hardware store and won’t have to experience the frustration of figuring out what size nail he needs or what type.  He can actually talk nails to the sales person himself and get what he wants.  No more guessing by me and returning it a few times before I get it right.  Yeah!!!
I have to admit however, that I am still considering filing a formal complaint against the lending company.  It’s not that I want them to be in trouble, it’s that they do not have a process for addressing the needs of the disabled. All I want is for them to create a process that they will follow going forward to quickly be able to determine the value of conversion vans or other special needs equipment.  They really should have that in place and I would like reassurance that they will.  I plan to contact the President or someone there to ask them to create such a process and let me have a copy so that I know this won’t happen to anyone else.  I had rather they do that than report them to the Dept. of Justice for an Americans with Disabilities violation.  (I hope I will follow through with what I want to do and won’t become too distracted and forget.) 
So anyway, we have the van and we now have a comfortable and reliable way to get Lynn to destinations.  We have two doctor’s appointments this week and should be able to make both without any trouble.  The one Friday is the important one–it’s where we’ll hopefully get some blood work done to find out if his anemia is improving or getting worse.  Keep the prayers going that it’s getting better.  He still feels really bad but we had to change his blood pressure medicine too this week so it may be the adjustment to that.  Have you noticed that MS patients don’t adjust to change very well?  Any change in medications or routine just knocks the wind right out of them for days…at least it does to Lynn. 
I hope all is well with you and your family. Thanks for your prayers….they really worked….we have our van and we can drive it.  Amen.

We Have Our Van!

Finally after two long weeks of going back and forth and back and forth with the loan  agent, we got approved for the full van loan. As the person who sold us the van said, “I’ve bought houses in less time than it’s taking to get this loan approved!”  If the seller and I had not continuously pushed things to move along and offered assistance, I might still be waiting on the van. I finally called a dealer and pleaded that they send the retail value for a conversion kit to the loan officer and it finally went through.  Then they even agreed that the van value was more than what was being asked!  Go figure.
I can’t say enough nice things about the seller though.  What an angel.  He was so incredibly patient and helpful throughout this entire process.  I feel like I made a new friend.  He was such a man of integrity and honor.  It seems rare to find someone like that when you’re buying something as expensive as a car.  We were truly blessed and once again, we see God’s hand in making our prayers come true.
We got the van Thursday night.  I walked around being oriented to it by the seller in the dark with a flashlight.  Would you believe I had never driven it in all this time? In fact, all I have done so far is move it around the yard. I have insurance on it but still need to go to DMV tomorrow to get the title and tags straight. I can’t wait till I can open the door and just have Lynn drive inside.  How exciting that’s going to be!
When you can’t travel safely either due to your vehicle or due to being able to get in/out of your vehicle, your world becomes very small.  Currently the only time Lynn leaves the house was to go to the doctor.  I’m hoping now he will also be able to return to church.  He won’t be able to use his power wheelchair there because the elevator to the sanctuary is too small for it but when he’s feeling well, I may be able to transfer him to a transport chair so he can once again attend.  That would be awesome.
We were also blessed today with the delivery of the patient lift we ordered.  It is so much easier to use the hoyer lift we had.  The rep from Adaptive Solutions in Lynchburg brought it to our house today, assembled it and showed us how to use it.  He was very nice and you could tell he really wanted to provide helpful solutions to his customers.  He was full of information about resources and things to check out that might be helpful.  The Maximove he brought us is so easy to manuever and I can even put the sling on Lynn while he’s in his wheelchair and remove it without any help.  I don’t know why insurance companies can’t see that to have a safe way to move patients around is so much smarter!
We have had a very busy day today.  First Lynn’s physical therapist was here. I ran to the grocery store while they were busy.  Immediately after I got back, the Adaptive Solutions rep was here.  Then the home health company came and picked up the other lift.  Meanwhile a rep for the Hayek ventilator came by to see how that was going, Lynn’s son came to exercise him, and finally our chiropractor came to adjust us both!  Whew, I’m tired just thinking of it all.  I was going to go to DMV after the chiropractor left but Lynn was just too tired for me to leave him home alone long enough to go.  I’ll go in the morning when he’s fresher.  By the way, between all these visits and then immediately afterward till about 10 pm tonight, I worked my regular job. Busy life….
So…we close this week with many blessings and much thanksgiving over God meeting our needs and carrying us through the tough times.  Once again we managed to adapt to life’s curve balls and hit a home run.  We are truly a blessed couple…

Answer to Prayer

 

I have often mentioned in my posts that God takes care of us and that our church is an ongoing support group for us.  I want to share with you how I know prayers are answered.

 If you follow my blog you know that several weeks ago I wrote a blog about how much I needed a conversion van.  Lifting Lynn in and out of our Impala is extremely difficult and there have been many times that I only managed to move him safely with God’s help through prayer.  I had received a lot of encouragement to look into purchasing a van.  As you know, there are really no resources for getting a handicap accessible vehicle.  There are some scholarships or discounts but the cost of converting a van is very expensive. Therefore, those discounts only go so far in helping. 

We knew we could not afford a new vehicle that we converted ourselves. The cost of a new car plus the $15-$25,000 just to adapt it was too much.  Therefore, we went to our church to ask if anyone in the congregation knew of anyone who was selling one.  We wanted someone reliable that someone we trusted also trusted.

 

Someone did.  Someone I didn’t even know personally from our congretation who had read my email request but she took the time to make contact and let us know about her neighbor.  The van was listed on Craig’s List and it was very reasonably priced for a conversion van.  It was also in very good condition.  The owner has been so accommodating, bringing us the car to check out, getting it inspected and brakes changed, keeping us informed and answering every question we had.  I feel very comfortable with him and the vehicle.  If anything goes wrong with it after we buy it, I feel certain he would not have known it was a possibility.

 

After I sent out the request for help, I just knew in my heart God would send us something… and he did, in only about a week.  By this time next week, we should have a vehicle that I can take Lynn out in without the trauma to me or him.

 

I feel very blessed today and very hopeful.  I often write about the challenges in our lives but I wanted to share a triumph this time.  This was truly an answer to prayer.

I so want a wheelchair van!

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 peddler 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 suit 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.