I’m about to face my biggest challenge yet as a special needs mama. Since Zac’s diagnosis in 2016 I’ve faced many challenges and my mindset has very much been “let’s do this” – I’ve learned the physio he needs, set up feeding regimes through gastrostomy feeding, researched the medical terms and all that surrounds sma, mastered various bits of equipment and worked out how to make daily life work for us all in some sort of way but the time has come where I’m about to take on a new challenge. This challenge is not one I can say “let’s do this”, this challenge makes me want to run away and this challenge makes me feel sick with nerves. I am about to face the giant challenge of the WAV – wheelchair adapted vehicle. For someone who hates driving and has always driven tiny cars the bus that has arrived in my drive way seems like a giant to tackle!! Driving lessons for me were one of the most terrifying things I’ve done and I am someone who only drives because it’s necessary – a big van is the last thing I would’ve ever picked to drive and yet it’s here right next to my house and I have no choice but to take this giant on!
At 4ft 11″ my first challenge is actually climbing into this bus – it’s like climbing a mountain! Once you’ve jumped your way in though it’s actually pretty cool – there’s all the important things you want in a bus; fancy phone holder, sunglasses pocket, place to hide your purse, under seat storage for stashes of chocolate and a cool little fold down table with cup holders!! There’s heated seats, DAB radio and fancy temperature controls to set a different temperature in the front and back of the van. It has a sparkly, glittery non-slip floor and coolest of all the driver seat has a wee back massager!! Seriously though it obviously has everything Zac needs to make getting around much easier – his wheelchair comes up the ramp and clips right into the bus, there’s plenty of room for the multitude of equipment he has and it’s going to make daily life so much easier for him. So I’m going to be getting to grips with this bus – I need to learn the controls and will be practising how to clip a wheelchair in countless times. Then I’ll have to tackle the actual driving and how I’m going to park this bus in a supermarket car park (thankfully I know a good driving instructor).
So the new challenge begins – I feel like I should have L-plates again! If you see me, my boys and our bus out and about please be patient with us – I may be struggling to park or hesitating at a junction but I will be trying my best to get used to this hardest part of my “different kind of normal”.
P.s I always pictured myself more in an Audi TT.