I know I am forever writing that things have been crazy here but the last week has been a 20 on a scale of one to ten. So stressful that it has completely drained me of all energy and sent me spiralling into a massive pain flare. I feel like I have aged twenty years in the space of a few days and only now have my adrenaline levels returned to normal. As per usual nothing has been as straightforward as it could have been.
Last Thursday’s blog post announced with much excitement that I had found a second-hand power trike attachment and wheelchair. It arrived safely on Friday morning but I am jumping ahead of myself. Thursday Jay and I were beside ourselves with excitement. Due to his shift pattern that day, we had been able to spend a couple of hours together chatting about the delivery of the wheelchair etc. We were avidly waiting to hear from Emmey to find out when it had been picked up. Jay went off to work at 9:30am without a care in the world, only for everything to come crashing down around us just ten minutes later.
The home phone rang and I was concerned when I read caller display and it said Jay mobile. I answered the phone and in one small sentence I went from giddy with excitement to despair “Baby the cars dead” he said. I asked him to explain what he meant as I couldn’t quite comprehend what he had just said. He explained that as he had driven to work there had been a loud bang, the steering had become almost impossible and every light on the dashboard had come on. He had managed to limp it into the garage next to where he works and they had told him it sounded like complete electrical failure and that it was game over for the car. The universe was playing one of its perverse games which means for every good thing that happens there has to be a bad thing.
Immediately after coming off the phone I threw up in the kitchen sink. I couldn’t even cry with frustration, all I wanted to do was be sick. I rang my mum to tell her what had just happened. She managed as always to talk me down from the ledge and give me practical solutions. As soon as I got off the phone I started googling second-hand cars and found one that just seemed too good to be true with my first search. The only problem was, it was an hour down the road where my parents lived. I rang my mum asking if it would be possible for them to go and check it out. I didn’t bother telling Jamie any of this as I knew what a state he would be in if I was ready to curl up in a ball in the corner. He was having to work knowing we had no car, no way for him to get home (other than walking or getting a taxi) and no way to get the dogs out on their walk.
My dad rang me about 45 minutes later to tell me that the car was good and he asked me what I wanted to do. I told him we didn’t have a choice and could he buy it for me. We would just have to find the money for it somehow. It was scary but isn’t being a grown up scary anyway? I was starting to feel less sick but I was stressed out to the max.
I did however have some good news in the meantime as Emmey had sent me a picture of the wheelchair being collected by the courier company. I now knew that this was becoming a reality and that it would be with us the next day. I felt so torn I was devastated about the car as it was an expense we hadn’t been expecting but I was also deliriously happy about the trike etc.
Dad rang me back with all the car details and told me as long as I had the insurance and tax in place the car could be fixed up the following day. I couldn’t believe it. In the past when we have bought cars we have always had to wait a week between paying the deposit and picking the car up. With everything online these days insurance and car tax can all be done with the click of a few keys, meaning no wait times when buying a car. This also meant that we wouldn’t be without transport for too long.
I then messaged a good friend who worked nights if he could help Jay take the dogs out the following morning at silly o’clock. He did one better and allowed us to borrow his car meaning that dog walking was no longer an issue. The babies would get a walk on Woodbury common and we wouldn’t have to face the torture of attempting to lead walk them. Something Jay would have to do on his own as I am just not well enough to do this.
I then rang Jamie to tell him the good news and that he would need to take the following day off work so that he could pick the car up. He was over the moon. I sent him the link to the car so that he could check it out. The problem was that we were both so stressed we really couldn’t take everything in. We had got to the point of overload after the previous weeks long drawn out process of buying the wheelchair and power trike attachment.
Friday morning we were both up and dressed incredibly early as we had both barely slept the night before. Jay was already stressed out about driving the new car as he doesn’t do change very well. I was stressed out about the wheelchair and trike being damaged in transit. At 9:30am I checked the couriers website to see where it was and if it was out for delivery. I was shocked to see that on three occasions it had been marked as damaged. There was no explanation as to what the actual damage was, again as had been my reaction the day before I felt sick. What the hell had they done to it whilst it had been in their care. I was beside myself, what could the damage be?
At around 10:20 am the courier arrived with the wheelchair and power trike. I told him that I wouldn’t sign for anything until I had checked everything over, explaining that on his company's website it was stating it was damaged. It was wrapped extremely well (thank you Emmey) and there was no damage. It wasn’t until we had taken all the packaging off that the driver pipped up “ Oh it’s company policy to mark consignments as damaged if they aren’t in a cardboard box”. Even if he had told me this before hand I would have still checked everything over before signing for it. Thankfully the driver was accommodating and even helped us remove the packaging. As the courier had arrived so had my dad, to drive Jamie to the garage to pick up the new (second-hand) car. Dad was impressed with the wheelchair and the trike attachment. So was I when I finally got to check the wheelchair out, it is so much more comfortable than my previous chair and much more solid. I don’t feel like it will fall apart at any moment which is how I felt with my old one.
Dad and Jay set off for Plymouth and I had a few hours to rest before I got my hair highlighted something that had been planned about three weeks before we found out about the wheelchair and power trike. It was the first time since February that I had been well enough to get it done. Before the hairdresser came over (I can’t use a salon as I find the whole process, noise, smell and lights over stimulating causing me to collapse) I was exhausted.
Since Friday I have had three nights of insomnia and one night of proper sleep. It was only on Monday that Jay and I finally relaxed, we had been so tense and tired that we were just snapping at each other. We couldn’t even have a normal conversation without biting each other's heads off which is very unusual for us. I think we were both exhausted and terrified at what was going to go wrong next. You see we both come from families where if something is going to go wrong it will happen to us. So we were constantly waiting for things to implode.
Sunday we had tried to sort out the power trike and let me have a little go on it but we couldn’t get it to work. So again that sent us into a panic thinking that maybe it had been damaged in transit or that we had bought a lemon. We decided to bring the battery in and give it a good charge as when I had switched the trike on no lights on the power indicator came up. The following day when we were less tired and had no other jobs that needed our immediate attention we gave it another go. We checked all the connections and found that several of the connections were loose. With those sorted the lights illuminated on the power indicator and it was all systems go.
However there was yet another problem the handle bars and the front wheel were not lining up. We think it had possibly been adjusted by the seller for ease of transportation. As Jay and I are not bike people nor terribly technically minded we were at a loss. When the handle bars were straight the front wheel was pointing at right angles to the bike. We did manage to adjust the handlebars but the front wheel wasn’t turning properly. I did manage to take it for a spin around the street but due to the fact it wasn’t turning properly and I nearly fell out on numerous occasions we didn’t take any photographs or video. Once the wheel is fixed (thanks to a friend who is popping over Sunday, we hope he will be able to sort it) it should be all systems go.
The battery is also not fully charging so I have had to buy a new battery and they don’t come cheap. This was all stuff that we were expecting and with the money raised by friends and family could afford. So despite a few first time user technical hitches we are confident we will get it up and running smoothly very soon. It’s going to take a bit of getting used to as 4 mph feels like warp speed! Also because I have never used a motorbike I am finding the hand throttle very confusing, I keep making it go faster when I want to slow down. It was hilarious as Jay was running alongside me telling me to hit the brakes. It must've looked like a parent with a child on their first bike! We are planning to get a dog sitter in to look after the mutts so that we can go out for a few hours so that I can get used to using the trike.
So we are both exhausted from the stress of it all. I am in the midst of a massive pain flare up with my left hip attempting to sublux (partially dislocate) at every opportunity. Things have been hectic here as per usual.