Sunday, April 17, 2011

GOODBYE JEEVES, HELLO OLGA

I was quite sad to part with Jeeves, the Ford Mondeo station wagon (estate). I love station wagons and always have. I am not sure why, I just do.  Anyway, I was not very happy to have to part with Jeeves.

Olga, the Ford Galaxy, arrived on Wednesday.  My feeling was not one of joy as it was when I first got Jeeves.  However, I have accepted the fact that I needed Olga so that was that.

I was of course thrilled with the crane in the back of Olga which allows me my independence because it lifts Big Daniel in and out of Olga. I was so happy with this that I went out twice on the first day.  I still did not think much to Olga herself.

On Friday night I had to drive to Potters Bar, 80 miles away to rescue John, whose train was stranded.  The drive there gave me an opportunity to get a real feel for Olga.

Yesterday I had a judging appointment 100 miles from home.  By the time I had arrived back home, I was not just accepting of the fact that I needed Olga but I have in fact fallen in love with her.

Normally after long drives, such as yesterday and Friday night, I am not only very tired, but very sore too. This is not the case with Olga.

For a start Olga has an automatic transmission.  Why on earth has it never occurred to me that an automatic transmission would be much more beneficial to me considering my problems?  The only reason that I have Olga is because she was sitting there in the showroom and I could have her straight away without having to wait several weeks as I did with Jeeves. Had Olga had a manual transmission I would still have bought her. Perhaps I was being looked after Smile.

Olga’s height means that I do not have to drop into the seat nor do I have to to haul myself out.  The seat is bum high when I am stood. This makes a tremendous difference to me.

As for the driving, Olga is a breeze.  Really.  I am astonished how easy she is to drive.  I could almost knit and drive. All I have to do is steer her.  The cruise control makes it very easy as well. If I have to slow down or stop, all I have to do is press resume and she will go back up to the set speed without my foot on the accelerator.

The air conditioning covers the whole of the car with vents at the back also. This is superb for the dogs when I am returning from dog shows on hot summer days. The black windows which cover two thirds of her are excellent too.

Yesterday we had to go to the local Haberdashers and the owner came out to meet Olga but mainly because she wanted to see the wheelchair lift out she has a grandson with cerebral palsy.

A woman overheard me saying how easy it was to get in and out of the driver’s seat and she asked if she could look at it too.  Her husband was parked outside in an ordinary saloon car which he has tremendous trouble getting in and out of because he has muscular dystrophy.  They will now buy themselves a Galaxy.

Like me, this man had not thought through what his needs were before he bought his car.  People may think that those of us with disabilities understand fully what our needs are but this is not the case.  What we really need is somebody who is an expert on disability to talk with.  For example I had absolutely no idea that I could have a wheelchair crane fitted into the back of a suitable vehicle.  It also had never entered my head that an automatic transmission would save me a lot of pain when driving.

This man and I had quite a chat and we had much in common.  Our attitude to medication and pain control was pretty much the same, though I am further ahead than him so I was able to tell him of my experience with painkillers and hopefully he will see his doctor and start to use them.  It is clear from our discussion that we deal with our difficulties mainly by not thinking about it and living within the day.  We both think that this is a good way to live.  We know of others who have conditions and never stop moaning about it! Anyway, the point is that we do not understand our needs fully.  I do not think this has anything to do with denial.  Therefore, I think there is a need for people such as him and myself to have somebody that we can refer to who is au fait with the needs of disabled people.

To end this blog post, I am very happy with Olga.  I have chosen the name Olga because the Galaxy is elegant but very strong and powerful and is able to lift a lot of weight!Smile

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