Proud Owner of An Ugly New Car

I know, you are all tired of me writing about the great car hunt. But it is over and I don’t want to leave you hanging….

Not exactly a thing of beauty in my eyes. It is one of those car styles that you either love or hate. I happen to not be super crazy about the boxy style but I am super crazy about how well this fits a wheelchair user with little to no modifications. We will be installing a flip down transfer seat like this just to make it as safe as possible. We don’t have a cost yet on the transfer board but I am pretty confident it will fit in the $1200 budget Ford gives for after market mobility aids.

Available from In CO ADAPTIVE AUTOMOBILITY can install

I was completely in love with the Buick Enclave but after talking with after market mobility specialists found that it would be impossible to convert to a drop out, swivel seat which Carter would need due to seat height.  One person thought they might be able to but it would be more than the typical $8,000 cost to modify a seat to turn and come out of the car.

The Flex seating is 6 inches lower than the Buick. It doesn’t sound like much to non wheelchair users but when you are transferring you really want to not have any height difference. There is only an 1 1/2 inch difference from his wheelchair.

What the Flex lacks in outer beauty, it more than makes up for inside.

Not exactly roughing it


I am really liking the Ford My Touch Navigation with Sync. It is similar to the Yukon we already own On-Star system. There are things I like about both. I think On Star makes me feel safer with the installed satellite phone but the My Touch has some pretty nifty features, like the ability to recognize up to 5 phones through Bluetooth and sync them all with the car.

I think I will miss driving my Yukon but it is still in the family here with a teenage driver about to hit the roads (dear lord help us all) and I do wish that the Enclave would have worked because it really is a sexy beast of a car. But this car is all about making life easier and safer for Carter and the Flex does that in amazing comfort at a great price.

If you are in CO and looking for a car, both MedVed in Castle Rock and Groove on Arapahoe were extremely helpful to us. GM was more than generous in offering us special pricing but ultimately the Flex and Groove won out because they were just better fits for us personally. I would recommend dealing with Keith or Kyle at MedVed and Jon at Groove.

I am grateful this is done. I did a ton of research online to make this decision and talked to lots of owners which is why I want to share our choice.  I have never found anyone that actually owns one that doesn’t love either the Flex, the Traverse, or the Enclave. A lot of people in the disability community are looking more to the Flex for good reason. It is a good option for people that have the ability to level transfer. It has huge doors and low seats but doesn’t have that ‘adapted’ feel.

Special Needs Consumption

The word CONSUMPTION is often used as an old fashioned way of describing someone with Tuberculosis.

In the past, tuberculosis has been called consumption, because it seemed to consume people from within, with a bloody cough, fever, pallor, and long relentless wasting.-wikipedia

and while most of us think of images of Little House on the Prairie or Deadwood when the word consumption is used, I would like to suggest that it is alive and well and sadly, taking its toll in a new form with special needs parents everywhere.

I know I have this new form of consumption.

Carter has been on and off bed rest for close to a year fighting a wound in his leg that appears to have super bugs attached to it because nothing is killing them. This past year our whole family has been consumed by this.

Special Needs Consumption is easy to contract and difficult, if not impossible, to cure. You are often first struck with it the first time you hold your babies hand through something horrific. The first time you whisper ‘it’s ok’ when you know it might not be.

Sometimes SNC (Special Needs Consumption) goes into remission. Yes, there are those brief times that you don’t think about your childs condition, their needs, their appointments, their schedules, their equipment….but these remission times rarely last long. Consumption is a powerful thing and will bring you back to reality quickly.

But what can parents suffering with SNC do to bolster their own strength? That is personal to each afflicted member, my friend Tammy takes long walks around the grocery store alone, my friend Laura took a huge leap of faith and decided to go on a professional writing retreat, and me, I am going to meet a giant mouse in FL this weekend to work and play.

I’m feeling guilty about taking off two weeks after Carters surgery. But yet, his 1 week check up yesterday went amazingly well. There is nothing I can do for him other than entertain him while he is on bed rest and quite frankly, after a year of that, I am not that entertaining. But through the guilt I see that if I don’t put my SNC into remission for a few days, I might drive off a cliff soon. I know everyone here will be fine without me, they always are and I would never go if I thought anything might be even slightly wrong. So, I need to kick this Consumptions butt for a little bit and let myself heal!

The New Car Short List

Last week I posted about the great new car hunt being on. With Carters surgery less than 2 weeks away, the decision needs to be made pronto.

I have received some really great advice and suggestions and here is what I have learned:

  1. Car dealerships are not open on Sunday in Denver. WHAT is up with that?
  2. VW has some of the best, responsive social media reps out there.
  3. I may be better off with a *gulp* MINIVAN. Oh, it creeps me out to even type it. I am a truck/SUV type girl.

While a mini-van makes a ton of sense I am just not sure that  I can do it. The big players in the market are the Sienna, Odyssey and Town & Country. Sienna is the ONLY one that offers AWD and that is pretty high on my list. Plus the 2011 has these wicked cool reclining seats that may look gimicky but for long car rides I can totally see how they could help with Carters leg circulation issues. Topping the reason for a mini-van? They can be converted with wheelchair ramps pretty easily. I just don’t know if I can do it though. Toyota’s have had a lot of issues lately although I was happy to see they are mostly manufactured at a plant in Indiana. But, I may have mentioned, it is a minivan!

Topping the list of mid-size SUV’s I need to look at are in no particular order:

  • Chevy’s Traverse
  • VW Touareg
  • Subaru Forester
  • Acura MDX
  • Ford Flex

Can I just say that I am loving the Consumer Reports videos for helping to make this easier? It $5 for the online version for a month and I just may keep it when I am done with this. It has saved me so much leg work!

I only have two more Saturdays to look, and this one is pretty filled with basketball. Wish me luck.

*Nothing in this post is sponsored or compensated in any way. Promise.