Posted this to Facebook but thought I’d share it here, too:
So I had an interesting day yesterday. I went to Westmead Hospital to trial a couple of newer ventilators, which was pretty fun–infectious patients around me with warning signs above their beds, arterial blood gasses being taken from my arm… you know the drill.
Coming home, my Volkswagon van decides that nope, it’s not going to play along in 39 degree heat (102F). So, it stalls on the M4 motorway. After a few minutes, we get it going again and drive 500km at most–again, it stalls. This is the same problem I had in hot weather a few years ago, which took years and thousands of dollars to track down and fix–turns out that fix lasted two years at most, because the van is back to its old tricks. (It also did this when we were fleeing the fires in October. Great, huh?)
So there we are, on the side of the M4–I’m in a hot vehicle in the sun, cars rushing past so fast I can feel the van rocking. Now the van won’t even start. We’re there for at least 90 minutes, probably longer… We get a tow off the motorway, except the tow truck pulls up causing such chaos that a truck behind it almost wipes me, my carer and my loved ones off the face of the earth–you could literally smell the burning rubber.
Oh, and the tow truck driver initially doesn’t believe we’re in the NRMA, but we eventually convince him we’re members. After the tow, he says he’ll call us in to NRMA for further assistance, though something goes wrong, because later the NRMA apparently didn’t know about it.
Anyway, so we’re in Erskine Park, just of the M4. Finally I can get some shade. A disabled taxi arrives, only it’s too small. Great, have to call a bigger one. I got a disabled taxi van home, costing $140.
So I left Westmead at around 3pm and got home at 7:30. I was soaking wet from sweating all afternoon and kind of exhausted after a day in hospital and an afternoon in hell.
The van is clearly no good any more. I have no real mode of transport and we can’t afford another van. I really don’t want to risk again what happened yesterday. It’s desperate times.
What a great start to 2014!