I had expected to be on my way by now, ready to share the adventures of Malibu and I… alas hope deferred.
Suppose I fill you in?
Back in 2014 I had my very first court hearing regarding my disability insurance not providing and paying as they (in my eyes) “should”. Though allowed to have a hearing every 6 months, this was the first in 28 YEARS!
It was not really pretty. Civil but. The insurance company had just assigned a real “head hunting” type attorney which is why I guess she wouldn’t work with us (myself and attorney) and we had to have a hearing with the judge himself. As it happened, the previous judge who was quite fair with the previous, countless mediations, had just retired! [ Adding to this stress, my service dog of 7 years had just died and I after 6 weeks of uncontrollable (nearly) grief I obtained a rescue poodle errrr poodle rescue? Ha! It works both ways for me. Also, my psychologist that had helped me from the near beginning of my disabling accident, had to take medical leave. Once again I had to apply what I knew from my own training, and what I had continued to learn and experience through stress and pain management therapy all on my own.]
Back to part about the hearing: In that hearing the supposed “cracker jack” attorney told the judge—mind you SHE TOLD THE JUDGE--that the carrier was going to pursue removing all my benefits. The judge’s mouth dropped and he made her repeat what she’d said and then inquire if that meant all the rulings the court had made. She contended that since everything previous was only done by mediation and not officially ruled upon by the judge (huh?) that they were renegotiable.
The hearing came out only okay for me… but sent my mind whirling! Considering my disability (s) I began to act for myself, deciding I would not be trapped by the opposition that had made my life miserable through the years already. I began to make a plan of “escape.”
I figured first and foremost, if they were going to remove my assistant then I had to downsize. I began to look at Sprinter vans to create an RV to live in with my service dog. That took nearly 6 months to plan around only to find out, once I contacted a dealership to go try one out, that the delivery times were horrendous and not exact. In fact, he shared that he had orders in for 45 Sprinter vans and the company had just informed him he would only be receiving 3 of them. Disappointed and not wanting to wait and wait, I cancelled that plan.
But I couldn’t let my anxiety overtake me and I continued looking into other vehicles that might work well. (The Sprinter profile was really appealing to me though.) AHA! Ford had begun manufacturing the knock-off competition from Europe, right here in the USA–Kansas to be exact. The “Transit”!
A year had passed at this point, from that fateful day in the courthouse. I hadn’t shared any of my thoughts and fears and plans with anyone else. But then, there are few people to share with anyway. I made my way to the local Ford dealer to discuss the new-to-USA vehicle. They wouldn’t give me the time of day. Still planning, finding options available etc. after a bit more time and sure that I wanted a Transit, I contacted another dealership. How great they were! We went back and forth on phone and in email about all I wanted on it and costs and incentives. Just before I was to sign the paperwork, there was one more thing to do: contact the local upfitter to be sure I could have all the handicap accommodations made that I wanted.
The answer? No. The upfitter informed me that if I put the driver lift seat (you know, the one that turns and comes down to you to sit in and lifts you back up to drive) that would require moving the batteries which are under the driver’s seat, and that would null and void all warranties. WHOA! Deal over.
Trying not to be depressed, I went back to the drawing board. I worked really hard in physical therapy (which is still 3x a week) to be able to use the steps to step up to the van which is something like 28″ up from the ground…and a few other strength issues I haven’t been able to improve upon all these years.
After a year I felt I could go ahead and do without the driver lift seat, I could use an extra portable step. I began planning my home on wheels once again. All this time my then new service dog was older and wiser and more suitable to travel too. Well, actually, he always loved it (travelling).
Even though the insurance carrier had nearly immediately fired the new “head hunting” attorney that spouted off to the judge, I lived in a controlled fear that I would find myself stuck in a house that I could not keep up. I pride myself in taking care of my things, btw, and probably have an irrational fear of things not functioning properly.
I continued my plans, but now I was going to share them with the few people in my life. Once again in planning stages with the same salesman at that second pick dealership, going back and forth on options and pages and links of information, I visited there just to see one similar to what I wanted. He was disappointed I would not drive it (it had no windows in the cargo area) but it was enough for me to know this would be great for my situation and desires. Once again, as a year before, I was just about to order it, sign on the dotted line when the salesman, in his effort to help me hurry up and decide said something that put the kabash on the sale. What did he say?