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Timmargh.me

What it is I’m aiming for  12

No, I haven’t bought a sniper rifle and decided to go after the people on The List. Not yet anyway …

Since June last year I haven’t been able to drive: the ulcer made it too painful to use my foot and now both my feet are too weak to use on standard car pedals at all - I was beginning to have trouble with my ankles whilst driving last year anyway, the ulcer just speeded up the halt on driving. So now I’ve got to look at new ways of getting around. Driving myself is still the aim but in a different way.

I’ve booked myself a driving assessment at a Regional Driving Assessment Centre where, hopefully, I’ll be able to find out the best way for me to get back on the road - they called me this morning to tell me that my appointment had been booked for Thursday 29th June, four weeks away.

I have an idea what I’m aiming for: a car with hand controls and being able to drive from a wheelchair. After scouting around a few dozen websites it seems something like a Renault Kangoo would do the job nicely with plenty of different companies doing “enter through the back and drive from a wheelchair” options.

I also need a new wheelchair as my current motorised one is indoor only and I didn’t want to go out in a manual one all the time (weak arms, see?) - I was going to contact the Wheelchair service myself but my excellent (and stunning) physiotherapist offered to refer me.

So, now I’ve got to contact a couple of Motability accredited Renault dealers and talk to them about adaptations and the like.

If you’re interested in keeping track of my progress, I’ve shared one of my Ta-da lists:Things I need to do to be able to drive again.

I can’t bloody wait!

Comments

Very cool! I’m working on this too, although my physical therapist is not quite as good as yours. We have been working alot lately on trying to get me into an upright sitting position. So far it hurts like hell and makes my legs and feet go numb and the nausea adds the extra thrill of potentially vomiting on my therapist! Really miss SITTING and of course DRIVING so will stick with it and see how it goes. Apparently there aren’t any cars for folks who need to be laying on their back (cripscrimination!) but in the future I may need to opt for hand controls so keep up posted on your progress! :) - Gimpy Mumpy

I have been reading your site I never get round to commenting, sorry. I’ll keep you posted on my progress if you keep us posted on yours! - Timmargh

Good luck with your quest, Tim. I had to give up driving because of me neck arthritis - dizzy spells/blackouts meant I wasn’t safe. I really miss the freedom, even if I have learnt a lot from taxi drivers. - charlesdawson

I have had a Renault Kangoo 1.4 auto for four years, a Brotherwood conversion from Motability. www.brotherwood.com I don’t drive from wheelchair, and I am not sure whether Brotherwood only specialise in passenger wheelchair conversions. However, all their conversions are well thought out with a true flat floor, important to me with balance disorder. I have found the automatic Renault Kangoo 1.4 is underpowered for carrying an electric wheelchair. My Motability Lease expires next summer, so I will be looking at the VW Caddy Life conversion by Brotherwood. VWs feel much stronger, sturdier, easier to manouevere than Renault, but I love the relatively high driving position in the Kangoo. If I can help, email me if you have any questions. Good Luck - Sally

Rooting for you Tim! All the best of luck in this! - MHC

That sounds really good what you’re looking into As you may or may not have known i worked for a wheelchair service for 18 months. Motability are a good organisation and renault kangoos were popular What kind of chair are you using for outdoor use? I take it you’re looking for an EPIOC? I can still remember a fair amount from my work there so if you need some “buzz” words to help you in getting what you want drop me a line. The invacare chairs our service in hackney used were good and reliable. While the work the wheelchair services do good work i would say that it’s fantastic that your physio helped out as i know they are always really pushed for time (we used to turn our phones off at 1pm in order to get our day to day work done!) - stonysleep

Stony: no, I wasn’t aware you’d worked for a wheelchair service - that’s handy to know! I’ll email you if that’s okay … - Timmargh

Hi Tim, looking at your photo on the beach, and noting you are looking into wheelchairs as well as w.a.v., have you tried a mid wheel drive wheelchair ? My experience is that having the drive wheels literally under one’s bottom helps the brain know where the body is in space - and also makes for tight circles and fairly good off road stability with total of six wheels. Good luck on Monday with the bed company - did any of them have to sleep on the floor over the weekend ! - Sally

Tim - I hope it is ok that I am putting a link to your page on mine. - Sally

HI TIM, CURRENTLY CONSIDERING DRIVE FROM CHAIR KANGOO MYSELF. DON’T KNOW HOW MUCH INFO YOU’VE GOT BUT MY OT HAS ADVISED ME THAT KANGOO FROM MOTABILITY COSTS 12,500.00 DEPOSIT + 1,500.00 FOR W/CHAIR CLAMPING SYSTEM. THIS COST INCLUDES HAND CONTROLS. 5 YEAR LEASE WITH OPTION OF FURTHER 3 YEAR EXTENSION IF VEHICLE IN GOOD NICK - DON’T KNOW BOUT YOU BUT I WAS PRETTY STUNNED BY THE COST. SOMETHING TO REMEMBER - IF YOU ARE GETTING EPIOC ( ELECTRICALLY POWERED INDOOR / OUTDOOR CHAIR ) IT MUST BE CRASH TESTED IF IT IS TO BE USED FOR DRIVING. ALL THE BEST, ROLAND - Roland

Hi, Roland. I knew about the cost and that’s what’s putting me off … that and the amount of time it’ll take! I’m leaning towards a standard wheelchair accessible vehicle for me to simply be a passenger in - these can be got for zero deposit from Motability. - Timmargh

Dont give up on driving till you have to completely. I have recently had to buy myself a drive from wheelchair car(selling my great Toyota with the best hand controls with a ramp for carrying scooter and wheelchair - cheaply ) and after months of looking have plumped for a old American imported Dodge with hand controls it is similar to Voyager. ok its left hand drive but cost less than 3000 with only 31,000 miles on the clock it should still have plenty of life left. What I need to know is what is the best wheelchair to use whilst driving ? Any advice please.. - Gary Parkins