I got a new car in February, my second Motability car, and I love it, but I'm in the process of finding out if it's possible to change it before the three year contract is up. I'm loathed to change it as I love my Meriva, but I can't get my electric wheelchair into it. My mobility is rubbish these days, and I'm needing to use Taz - my electric wheelchair - more and more frequently. It's fine if I want to get out locally or even go on the bus into town, but it's no good if I want to go further afield. If I'm going away then there's the possibility of the train, which I have used on a couple of occasions now, and will be doing so when I go north for Christmas, but that's not enough.
In a couple of weeks time my step-mother is singing at Alnwick Gardens with the choir she's in. I want to go and hear and support the choir, but I know that I won't be able to walk that far or stand for that long. I could take my non-powered wheelchair in the car, but that means relying on someone else to push the chair. It's hard work pushing a wheelchair, and there aren't that many people I feel I could ask anyway.
Then there's the aspect of independence. I might not be able to walk much any more, but that doesn't mean that I'm ready to give up my independence. I'm only 37, and whilst there are many things that I can't do any more, or things that I always wanted to do but never will, there are some things that would still be possible for me to do if I had a car that I could get my electric wheelchair into.
I've been putting off finding out about changing my motability car. I don't want to admit to myself how limited life has become, but the time has come to face the truth. I need to see this as a positive step - as a means to maintain my independence - but it's not always easy to see the positive when it's on a background of increasing disability.