DIYing Is Empowering

This weekend, I put on my imaginary superhero cape, and I DIY’d all the things. Okay, not all the things, but a few things, and a few things is a lot for me.

Have you ever bought a brand new, very expensive minivan that the dealer modified to turn it into a wheelchair accessible van – and then modified the modifications? No? Well, guess what I did this weekend? Oh yeah…..

Basically, we had to eliminate one of the dealer modifications because it was either eliminate it or not get the van. That particular mod added another few thousand dollars to the price, and we were already WAY over what I wanted to spend. Unfortunately, that modification was the transfer seat, that lets a person transfer from a wheelchair to the driver’s seat with this handy-dandy electric moving thingy. Without the transfer seat, Gail would have to roll in the van, get out the other side door, walk one step, open the driver side door and get in there. She’s capable of walking a step but it’s very painful. Still, even that process is a lot easier than her getting into the truck was, because the van step is very low to the ground, where the truck step was way up high. But even though this was better, it was not ideal at all.

So how did we fix this?

I removed the front passenger seat, first of all. Yes, it’s removable, so it’s not like I had to do anything amazing to accomplish that. The thought was that she could then easily scootch over into the driver’s seat. But no. That was not to be. There was a large drawer/cupholder console thing in the way. There would be no way for her to get her legs into the driver side with that in the way.

Here’s where my hero cape came in handy. I removed that sucker, yes I did. With a screwdriver and some muscle, and all that fun stuff. Now it’s easy peasy for her to roll in and scootch over into the driver’s seat.

Sure, it might be a little inconvenient to no longer have a passenger seat, but no worries. There are seats in the back. I don’t mind being chauffeured around now and then.

But wait, no cupholder now? Say it ain’t so!

Gail MUST have a cupholder. That’s not a luxury for her. It is an absolute essential, and it needs to hold very large cups. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nowhere on the front dash or doors where anything could be attached to make that happen. Time to get creative.

We pulled out an old Igloo ice chest, removed the top, placed a plastic portable cleaning solution organizer in the top (which fit perfectly), and voila. A few bungee cords to keep it tied down to the already-in-place tiedown holders where the passenger seat used to be, and it’s all good.

Now she can roll in, scootch over, and have all the cupholder goodness she needs.

We still need to paint the cooler but that will have to wait until we can get some at the store. For now, this will do just fine.

Here’s what it looks like:

DIYing Is Empowering 2

And to top it all off…

I figured out the issues I was having migrating this website to a new full site editing WordPress theme, so I could customize it just the way I wanted it. If you visited this site over the last couple of days, you might have seen the site in a bit of disarray now and then. That was me futzing with the theme and the code and the this and the that. I pulled a few of my new blue hairs out of my head, but by golly, it’s done.

DIYing it all the way, baby. Now THAT’S a good weekend.

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