Monday, October 26, 2009

Blessings when things go wrong

The van was our last working form of transportation. My motorcycle had a dead battery, and my bicycle had two flat tires. I had been meaning to get both working for quite a while, but just never did it. The loss of the van meant the complete loss of wheels -- something that was unacceptable.

We spent Wednesday night together in my bed, which is a queen sized Murphy Bed. I placed BR's alternating pressure pad on one half of the bed under the mattress pad, and layered the fitted sheet, waterproof pad, and draw sheet on top. Then I arranged his pillows (he has six) such that he would lie on a slight incline with his feet elevated. After placing him in bed, I moved his trapeze over him, which provided a side rail as well, and moved the hospital table behind the trapeze stand for his water and other nighttime needs.

And then we snuggled for the first time in over a year. Mmmmm.

The next day, I rented a 26' U-Haul to go pick up BR's wheelchair and bed. It was much larger that I needed, but it was the only van available that had a ramp wide enough to accommodate the iBOT. After a successful retrieval, I started thinking about how to get the motorcycle working again before 9am the next morning, when the van was due back. I would need to throw the bicycle into the van for the ride home, get a tire pump for a presto valve to inflate the bicycle tires, and get a motorcycle battery. The pump was easy -- Target opens at 8am. The battery was a bit more difficult. There was a power equipment place that opened at 8am as well, and it carried batteries. Starting at 7:45am, I picked up the pump, then headed for the battery. When I pulled into the parking lot, there were no spaces that would accommodate a 26' van, so I decided to pull across several spaces just past the store's street sign. What I didn't realize was that the sign was only 10 feet off the ground, and the U-Haul had a 12 foot clearance. Guess who's buying a new sign for the store?

With the battery in hand, I refueled the van, being hyper aware of the overhead clearance at the pump. I returned the van, pumped up the bicycle tires, and headed back home with the battery. Two down, one to go.

The mechanic friend turned out to be honest, trustworthy, and talented. Not only did he fix the van's engine (broken valve spring), he also changed the oil, fixed the driver's side window, the passenger door, and the electrical problem that was draining the battery if the van wasn't used for two or more days. When I called for updates, he always answered the phone, and would tell me about the leg work he was doing. And he did all this for a price far less than any dealer would have charged.

Cathy and Todd came down from Dallas for a visit this weekend, so Todd was able to take me out to pick up the van on Sunday. She purrs like a kitten.

Some may see this whole experience as an expensive twist of fate. I view the two nights BR and I shared a bed as worth the price.


Cranky said...

Steve - thanks for the update ... I was wondering how the work on the van turned out. Oops on the store's sign. I did something very much like that when I did a short stint driving a mini-bus for a living. I'm glad you and BR had some snuggle time.

kmilyun said...

Only one sign? Slacker . ... one must take out a few trees and a sign fir it to really count ;)

Seriously, glad the van is back and purring like a kitten. You two could always have a van is dead night once in awhile and cuddle away.

Snuggling is a good thing.


Kim said...

You've built up so much good karma in your lifetime, Steve, that the van is just one way you're being paid back. You've always been so generous with your time and energy, it's no wonder the universe is taking notice from time to time.

In all seriousness, I'm glad the transportation situation has improved. When do you head back to Houston for the Prialt trial?

Anonymous said...

Maybe ya'll should have snuggle night once a week!!!You always handle tough situations with such level headedness!!Thank God for you, Steve. You are simply amazing.I hope you get the trip to Houston again, approved. Much love, Dede

Herrad said...

Hi Steve,
Great news about getting BR's Ibot and bed back and then the van.
What a brilliant mechanic, sounds like a good craftsman.
Snuggling nights sound a very good idea.

Patrick@Caregivingly Yours said...

Steve, when the story began with 'Murphy Bed" I had visions of some slapstick routine with you two stuck in the wall with the way your mechanical luck had been going. Sooo glad it all ended happily for both.

Caregivingly Yours, Patrick

Herrad said...

Hi Steve and BR,
Came by to say hello and wish you a good Halloween weekend.