Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Wheels!

 
Last week Scott surprised me and told me he wanted to buy me a wheelchair van for Matt.  At first I was reluctant however he really wanted to do this. As you know, we've needed a wheelchair van for quite some time.  I gave up my career many years ago to care for Matt and I just couldn't afford one. Last year, I purchased a ranch townhome for us but I couldn't afford to do that and get a wheelchair van. I finally agreed and the only request I had was for a rear entry van. The bulk of the vans are side entry and if someone parks next to you, you can't get the person in the vehicle. Rear entry vans are a little harder to find.
 
We made an appointment at a dealer that specializes in used wheelchair vans. Wheelchair vans are regular vans that have been "converted" by  companies that specialize in wheelchair conversions. Essentially, they lower the floors and install ramps that can be manual or automatic. You also have to bring the person in with their wheelchair so they can measure the width of the wheelchair and the height the person requires. Matt's a tall guy with a large wheelchair so he needs more width and extra length for his long legs.(He got those from his Mama, lol.)
 
We found a 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan with a rear entry automatic ramp.  Here is a photo of the interior the day we brought it home.

 
Here is a photo of the ramp.

After he purchased it for me, he brought it home and took it in to be detailed (The first photo is after we left the dealer and before he took it in for detailing.). He likes to get this special clay wax done on his cars. I thought it looked pretty nice when we got it (see the pictures above) but it looked even nicer once that was done. He purchased some Weather Tech floor mats for it and then got the oil and transmission fluid changed. (You can see the Weather Tech floor mats in the interior photo above. He did this as soon as we got home, lol.)  The clay bar was a couple hundred dollars! Yikes! He spray painted the ramp black and touched up the undercoating on the van. It looks amazing! Then he filled up the car with gas and brought it back. More importantly, now I can take Matt places! There is actually room for two wheelchairs in the van. My Mom is in a wheelchair so it will be great to take her and Matt if I need too.



It's not only great to take Matt places but makes it a little easier on me. Previously, Scott came over on Mondays so I could run errands while he gave Matt a bath.  I'd have to run all of my errands in one day plus work. It was a lot. Now, I can spread them out a bit.  I took Matt on our maiden voyage yesterday (see photo above) and went to see my Mom at the nursing home. Today we went to the doctor.  I am looking forward to going to the Arboretum this fall. I am going to get a membership so we can go more often. That is my favorite place to go in the fall. The van will also be good when I look into day programs again next year.  There really isn't much for guys like Matt however now that I have transportation, that may open the door to some other programs. I am also excited to do some simple things with Matt, like take him to the grocery store with me. It's been seven years since I've been able to do this and it's just nice to go into the store with my son and have your family with you. I know other people take it for granted but I can't wait to do this. I love Matt so much and it's going to be wonderful to take him places so people can meet him. I've been talking about him for years and now people can see and meet him. I can't wait.
 
This all came up pretty fast so last Tuesday we looked at vans and found this one. On Wednesday, I cleaned my car up and sold it.  I sold it in under 5 minutes!  I was vacuuming my car and the lawn maintenance guys came to do yard work (the homeowner's association hires them) and I thought they might have an interest in the vehicle  so on a hunch, I just wrote a handwritten for sale sign and stuck it in the windows and 5 minutes later they knocked on my door and said they were interested. They came back later to pick it up so it saved me from having to list it on Craigslist. It worked out great for both of us!  Last Friday, we had to take Matt to a doctor's appointment then we went to pick up our new van.  There was another seat in the back that folded down however we had it removed so we could get Matt in the back easier. It's been a very busy week to say the least!
 
Overall, I love the new van. I especially love the color. It's really pretty.  It drives really nice and it's great to be able to take Matt places! We love being able to take Matt out. It's great for Matt too! I thought it was really nice of Scott to do this. You hear about a lot of bad Dad's but you don't hear too many stories of the really good ones. Scott is a great father and he is good to me too. Not many ex-husbands insist on buying a van and putting the title in  your name. Anyway, it's wonderful to get out and around again. I had to move some things around in my garage in order to get the van in there since it's so long. I never thought I'd be driving a minivan but at some point, we really needed a van to get Matt around. I've never been so excited to get a car since it was really needed. I teased Matt and told him his Dad bought him a car for his birthday (November). Scott added that there was room for "two" wheelchairs, one for Matt and one for a lady friend, lol.  Matt just smiled.  He's such a great kid. 

13 comments:

jaymieg said...

How wonderful! What a great father to take care of his son and his son's mother. I'm glad you all are doing so well.

Sara said...

That is so awesome! I love hearing these stories and I'm so glad you get to take Matt to the grocery store again!

Dream Mom said...

Thank you both somuch. We are enjoying it!

clairesmum said...

It's a whole new wide world for Matt, and for his Dream Mom! Matt's dad is a good man.

Anonymous said...

Scott is a great ex. What a wonderful thing he did to benefit all of you. In many ways. So glad for you!

Susan said...

I hope you are so busy cruising around in her new wheels to update.

Dream Mom said...

Yes, thank you! We are having fun and it's made our lives so much easier.

Dream Mom said...

Yes, thank you! We are having fun and it's made our lives so much easier.

Anonymous said...

just making sure you guys are ok - it has been awhile since you updated.

Anonymous said...

STILL just making sure you guys are ok - it has been awhile since you updated. :)

Yamila Nunez said...

My son was just diagnosed with partington syndrome and its mild but I can't seem to find any help regarding this matter. Please help. I sent you an email and have gotten no response hope everything is ok. Please let me know where you got help. Thanks.

Yamila Nunez said...

Hello my 2 year old child was just diagnosed with the partington syndrome. He is currently showing mild symptoms but according to the extensive research I've done this disease gets progressively worse. Please help me find help. I have tried looking for help and am not finding any Please help. Thank you.

Dream Mom said...

Yamila, I just emailed you. I am sorry for the delay. My Mom died recently and I've been busy.

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