On my way to work on November 9th I was involved in a 2-vehicle accident at the intersection of Capitol Street and State Street in Augusta, Maine.
Fortunately, neither driver was injured and neither of us had any passengers. Additionally, had it not been for a flat tire on the other vehicle, both vehicles were drivable. In fact I drove my Ford Transit Connect the rest of the way to my place of work, Augusta Adult and Community Education, where I teach multi-level math classes on a part-time basis.
“Takes a Licking, But Keeps Going …”:
Amazingly, despite the amount of damage to the front-end [over $9000 and 56 hours labor] of the Transit Connect van [as seen below], it actually drove very well except that the shift points were off by one notch. (Drive was in Neutral and Reverse was between park and Reverse, etc.)
|Before Accident Photos of My 2011 Ford Transit Connect Wheelchair Van – Click Photo Thumbnail To View Larger Image|
|After Accident Photos of My 2011 Ford Transit Connect Wheelchair Van – Click Photo Thumbnail To View Larger Image|
Power Chair Transportation Difficulties
For those of you who rely on a wheelchair van I recommend that you set aside a lot of extra cash to cover the rental of a wheelchair van. [About $100 per day, which would mean $70 per day out of pocket with my insurance coverage.] Since I didn’t have that kind of money on hand and since I’m required to use my power chair at work I obviously needed a different plan, so I …
♦ (1) Used my Transit wheelchair van to pre-position my power chair to the Kennebec Learning Center before turning the Transit over to Conrad’s Auto Body in Waterville for repairs.
♦ (2) Rented a Chevrolet Impala and temporarily switched back to using one rollator walker to get around the house and another to get to and from the car.
♦ (3) Arranged with my boss and co-workers to have my power chair rolled to and from the rental car when I arrived at or left work to minimize the number of times I had to struggle with hauling the walker in and out of the car.
Temporarily Coping With Other Ataxia-Related Difficulties
Below I’ve listed some other issues I have had to deal with creatively during this time of limited power chair availability …
♦ (1) Shopping has proven to be interesting. The first time wasn’t too bad since I was able to use the walker to get to a Mart Kart and use that to get around the store. However, I wasn’t so lucky the next time since all the Mart Karts were in use so I had to use the walker to get around the store – something I haven’t tried to do in over a year and boy did my arms and legs let me know about it.
♦ (2) Doing laundry while trying to hold on to a walker is much less stable then using the standing chair.
♦ (3) Using the walker this much after all this time is taking its toll on my arms, shoulders, and legs. To compensate I’ve had to increase my stretching routines and the use of my therapy cane to work out the muscle kinks.
♦ (4) Finally, I have had to forgo my weekly pool therapy until I can transport the standing power chair because I usually have to park so far away that I wouldn’t have enough leg strength left after using the walker to get to the pool to be able to walk in the pool.