My driving assessment I mentioned earlier is at 1 o’clock this afternoon and I can’t fucking wait!
Kelvin, one of N’s brothers-in-law, is driving me there (and back, hopefully!) so there should be no trouble with me being able to get in and out of the car/wheelchair/whatever device they put me in - he’s a big strong man who lugs carpets around most days.
I’ll update you all on how it went when I get back.
It went pretty, much like I’d hoped.
The general consensus of opinion is that I can still drive and that I need to go for electronic controls, i.e. joystick-type ones that require little physical effort, rather than the more usual “lever attached to the pedals” option. I did try various lever-type controls but it became quickly obvious that I lack the strength and I have actually strained both my arms in the process - they’ll be painful for a few days and they’re aching as I type this! The assessment centre is taking delivery of a van equipped with electronic controls and they said I can go back and try them out - can’t wait!
A guy from Sirus was also there to show me one of their converted Renault Kangoos - it looked really smart and the conversion itself is really well done. They basically remove two of the three rear seats, lower the axle, lower the floor and fit a motorised ramp in the boot - you press a button on the key-fob and the back door lifts up, the ramp folds down and the car/van’s rear suspension lowers so you can drive your chair in. You can see some photos on their site - select “The Kan-go” and then “Gallery”. Excellent stuff.
So now I’ve got to set the ball rolling with regards to getting an indoor/outdoor powerchair and contacting Motability to apply for a car … and maybe some funding - the minimum down-payment on a converted Kangoo is 13,000GBP!
I think I’ll start doing the Lottery …