Let's just say right up front here that I am not a worrier by nature. I expect positive outcomes and I rarely worry about the bad things that could happen. All this in spite of Skip's 20+ years of progressive MS.
But now I worry about one thing in particular ... breaking down when Skip's in the car. I've mused here and there about it ever since our vacation in Maine in August 2009. I spent a good amount of time in the 3 hour drive to Maine worrying about what would happen if we broke down. The car contained Skip, two dogs and me along with an unbelievable amount of stuff, such as a 5' ramp and a hoyer lift. Of course, we didn't break down on the way up or the way home.
In fact, we have only broken down once in the last 25 years of driving and it happened in summer 2010 (so does this mean I shouldn't worry about this?). Ironically, it happened a day after I spent way too much money having tons and tons of preventive maintenance done on our car. Some kind of cable moved out of position and I couldn't put the car into drive. Turns out it was caused by that preventive maintenance. The car had to be towed, and we had quite a time finding a handicapped-accessible cab to get us home.
But our Honda Element with wheelchair mods (aka the Toaster) isn't brand new anymore. Right now, it's only 6 years old with a bit less than 60,000 miles on it. My plan is to keep it for as long as possible, ideally for another 100,000 miles.
I think I worry because it would be so difficult to get Skip home safely and easily from a breakdown.
What would happen if we did indeed break down? Let's say the wrecker dispatched by AAA comes and he needs to tow us somewhere. We can't hop into the front seat of the wrecker and drive with him. Skip can't stay in the Element while it's towed. So where does she go? How does she get home? So far, I've thought of using a handicapped cab (not available everywhere), an ambulance (big expense, and I don't see how we get the wheelchair into it), and lifting her out of her wheelchair and into a regular car, but that would require leaving behind the wheelchair in the car and at least 3 or 4 folks to make the transfer both into and out of the car.
I'm sure there's other options I haven't thought of. Any ideas? I'd love to have some solutions in my pocket in advance of any traveling.
Re-posting of a blog post from last year
6 days ago