Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Vehicle Restrictions

Yesterday was a wonderful day, a terrific drive up into the mountains, past rushing rivers flush with the last of the summer melt, showing that early autumn edge of frost in the shade and even the odd bit of fresh snow on some of the deeper meadows. The woods these days are wonderful, a riot of colour and rich in life, all preparing for the long months of ice and snow that lay ahead. The trees drape themselves in a mix of gold, yellow and red, with many already shorn of leafy colour, wind blown in the high cracks and crevices that are endemic to these Rocky Mountains.

The drive was not without event, in fact it started with a learning moment for me. My friend Mike, the man who was kind enough to think of me, wanting to do this drive yet not wanting to do it alone, has one of those ubiquitous small SUV's that seem to be the rage on the roads these days, a Hyundia Tucson. This particular vehicle has a higher ground clearance than a regular sedan, making it useful as you venture into the back roads and construction sites that are so often a part of Mike's work as a geotechnical engineer.

Unfortunately this higher ground clearance also means the passenger seat is higher than that of a normal sedan, just high enough that I could not do a side transfer from my wheelchair into the awaiting receptacle. The seat was just high enough, and set into the vehicle just far enough, that I would have to stand, rotate and fall into it, something I have done in similar vehicles in the past.

The problem is that "in the past" part. It is a function of the continuing slide with the use of my legs that what I could do a few weeks ago I can no longer do today. Standing is already challenging enough, yet with the help of the car door, and with the help of Mike, I managed to stand. Yes, there I was, vertical and ready to rotate and slide into the seat.

Yet this I could not do. While I can get vertical, I can no longer lift my feet enough to get them into position for the fall backwards into the seat. Nor could I rotate while all of my weight rested on both of those immobilized pods at the ends of my legs. In other words, I could get up but I could not get down. At that instant, I realized that the decline had gotten sufficient that I would have difficulty with almost any car.

I will have to come up with some sort of transfer board to get into a passenger seat from here on. In addition it will have to be a car which is roughly the same level as my wheelchair. I am sure there is something out there for this, something that will let me ride as a passenger, something that will let me continue to have the amazing road days like yesterday. In the meantime, as with yesterday, I will have to depend on my truck with its modifications whenever considering any outing. I can get into my truck; I did it yesterday and we had a fabulous drive.

1 comment:

  1. So sad Rick that your legs have continued to decline. I thought things had stalled for you in the last while.
    My love