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KontikiKid

When disaster strikes.....can you manage it?

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Last weekend, we headed to Cambridge for the weekend. We had big ideas of punting in the warm weather, a meal out and shopping. Alas, it was not to be. I had "spots before the eye" and so went to Addenbrookes A&E. Next things, I'm on the operating table having a detached retina fixed! This situation caused a load of isses and I wonder what your contingency plans are. I don't have any, but read on...

 

The motorhome weights 5000kg, so my other half can't drive anything over 3500 kg. We live 165 miles from Cambridge. We had the dog with us.

 

We did get sorted in the end, but neither my travel insurance, breakdown cover or motorhome policy had the provision for a replacement driver.

 

Going forward, other half is going to do the 3500kg and above test.

 

The consultant told me that my left eye is a high risk of detachment so we have made a list of hospitals that can do it there and then. It's pointless turning up at our local A&E as they would have to ship me out.

 

I am really cross with my eye. We were in Italy for three and a half weeks and I wish the eye had played up there. A extra 6-12 weeks at Lake Garda would have been ideal!!!!

 

Also, has anyone had a detached retina and roughly how long for vision to return? I can see light and dark at present and colour changes but that's all.

 

I've also travelled extensively overseas on my own, but when something like this happens, it does make me wonder how prepared we need to be?

 

Russ

 

PS - if anyone works at Addenbrookes, your colleagues are wonderful. I have emailed the exec team along these lines.

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Sorry to hear about the health issues, glad your on the mend.

 

My wife doesnt have a B+E license but if she needed to drive we would buy a pair of L-Plates and i would go in the passenger seat.

 

You cant plan for every possibility but having a few people you could call on always helps. Even if it meant spending a few extra days on site i am sure i could rope someone in to get my outfit home if needed.

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2 minutes ago, tom_1989 said:

Sorry to hear about the health issues, glad your on the mend.

 

My wife doesnt have a B+E license but if she needed to drive we would buy a pair of L-Plates and i would go in the passenger seat.

 

You cant plan for every possibility but having a few people you could call on always helps. Even if it meant spending a few extra days on site i am sure i could rope someone in to get my outfit home if needed.

We looked into the L plates but our understanding was that the L plate driver must have the correct provisional licence and of course be insured. Without one, the other was not possible.

 

Russ

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My wife steadfastly refuses to do any contingency towing!

 

She says that if the need arises, then she'll start there.

 

For her: whats worse, towing the van (she's never towed anything except a farm trailer with tractor - and that was 40 years ago), in my car (that she's never driven), or having me in the passenger seat?

For me: whats worse, a debillitating injury or wife driving my car, with caravan?

 

She is insured, and I'm sure she is more than capable of towing. But the mental strain on both of us would be immense😊

 

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The Britannia cover provided by Nationwide Flexplus offers a relief driver for exactly this circumstance, both in UK and the rest of the EU.

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Posted (edited)

OH suffered Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma whilst having breakfast one morning.  No warning, just immense pain and being un-able to see with her left eye.

 

The pressure destroyed the retina and she is permanently blind in that eye.

 

She can drive with just the one eye and has done so, but is un-easy doing so.  She has never driven our current car and has never towed.  I often say she should, whilst there is no pressure to do so, but as it may never happen that she has to, she won't do it until then.  She says she wouldn't be happy towing, even with two working eyes!

 

Contingency plan?  None for us!

 

Edit: Or perhaps we have - thanks Iansoady, we are with Brittania

Edited by Wunny

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1 hour ago, KontikiKid said:

We looked into the L plates but our understanding was that the L plate driver must have the correct provisional licence and of course be insured. Without one, the other was not possible.

 

Russ

 

Details here

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I'm sure if you contacted the CMC they would have advised you.

 

There will no doubt be someone who could have driven it back for you for a reasonable fee.

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1 hour ago, iansoady said:

The Britannia cover provided by Nationwide Flexplus offers a relief driver for exactly this circumstance, both in UK and the rest of the EU.

 

Yes, we have the same.

 

Glad you are on the mend KontikiKid, Addenbrooke’s (well, Cambridge University Hospital NHS Foundation Teaching Trust) is our local trauma centre - I was down there on Tuesday celebrating my niece ringing the bell at the end of her Leukaemia treatment.

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So sorry, Russ, and hoping you make a quick recovery. 

 

I think I would organise someone to take the vehicle to storage in the area where you are and then go home on the train, but you may have thought of other options by now. 

 

Good wishes to you. 

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gosh what a thing to happen, you're right we just don't know what's around the corner. We have ins, to get the caravan home in case of illness as I don't drive and my son drives a company car and I think other rules apply. If  we were stranded then there  would only be one option and that is to pay for someone to get the van home, then there are the dogs to get home as well , but we have found that when we really need help someone comes forward, thank goodness.  How did you get sorted in the end ?

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3 hours ago, KontikiKid said:

Last weekend, we headed to Cambridge for the weekend. We had big ideas of punting in the warm weather, a meal out and shopping. Alas, it was not to be. I had "spots before the eye" and so went to Addenbrookes A&E. Next things, I'm on the operating table having a detached retina fixed! This situation caused a load of isses and I wonder what your contingency plans are. I don't have any, but read on...

 

The motorhome weights 5000kg, so my other half can't drive anything over 3500 kg. We live 165 miles from Cambridge. We had the dog with us.

 

We did get sorted in the end, but neither my travel insurance, breakdown cover or motorhome policy had the provision for a replacement driver.

 

Going forward, other half is going to do the 3500kg and above test.

 

The consultant told me that my left eye is a high risk of detachment so we have made a list of hospitals that can do it there and then. It's pointless turning up at our local A&E as they would have to ship me out.

 

I am really cross with my eye. We were in Italy for three and a half weeks and I wish the eye had played up there. A extra 6-12 weeks at Lake Garda would have been ideal!!!!

 

Also, has anyone had a detached retina and roughly how long for vision to return? I can see light and dark at present and colour changes but that's all.

 

I've also travelled extensively overseas on my own, but when something like this happens, it does make me wonder how prepared we need to be?

 

Russ

 

PS - if anyone works at Addenbrookes, your colleagues are wonderful. I have emailed the exec team along these lines.

Addenbrookes is our hospital of choice (not that we have to go ever so often) but when I had to have eight weeks worth of radiotherapy in 2015 and a minor skin op just this week , referred last week by GP,  consultation on Tuesday  and op on Wednesday (yesterday), then you can't fault them.

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20 hours ago, tom_1989 said:

Sorry to hear about the health issues, glad your on the mend.

 

My wife doesnt have a B+E license but if she needed to drive we would buy a pair of L-Plates and i would go in the passenger seat.

 

You cant plan for every possibility but having a few people you could call on always helps. Even if it meant spending a few extra days on site i am sure i could rope someone in to get my outfit home if needed.

Russ, hope you make a speedy and successful recovery.

 

Regards the L-plates,, doesn't the passenger/tutor have to be fit enough to retain charge of the vehicle. 

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5 hours ago, wigelywoo said:

Russ, hope you make a speedy and successful recovery.

 

Regards the L-plates,, doesn't the passenger/tutor have to be fit enough to retain charge of the vehicle. 

 

 

apparently not!

Supervising Driver must:

Be at least 21 years old

Have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle being used - manual or automatic)

Have held that valid licence for a minimum of three years

Ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition

Meet the minimum eyesight standards

Ensure the car displays L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) when a learner is driving

Not receive any payment for supervising the learner (unless they are an Approved Driving Instructor)

Comply with road traffic laws, such as not drinking and driving or using a hand-held mobile phone, even though they are in the passenger seat

 

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We got the van home but done a bit more research.

 

Nationwide Flexplus would n't assist due to length and weight.

 

Re the L plates - we are further advised that the driver under instruction should hold the provisional for the vehicle.

 

Anyway, we won't alter any plans long term and will still do the Siciliy and other stuff. We always carry a suitcase in the motorhome in case one has to fly home. In 14 years of touring, it's been used once.

 

I might consider an insurance policy with a repatriation facility at the next renewal.

 

The dog is totally un concerned, as always!

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I truly wish you all the best for a speedy and full recovery. 

 

But if/when you have treatment on the second eye you may need to inform the DVLA?

https://www.gov.uk/retinal-treatment-and-driving

 

Doctors have a knack of avoiding giving advice re DVLA as I found when diagnosed with Glaucoma a few years back.

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my wife does not tow but my view would be is she needed to,  just do it if I was there or ask a fired to collect it if not

 

macafee2 

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18 hours ago, beejay said:

 

 

apparently not!

Supervising Driver must:

Be at least 21 years old

Have a full driving licence (for the type of vehicle being used - manual or automatic)

Have held that valid licence for a minimum of three years

Ensure the car is in a safe and legal condition

Meet the minimum eyesight standards

Ensure the car displays L Plates (or D Plates in Wales) when a learner is driving

Not receive any payment for supervising the learner (unless they are an Approved Driving Instructor)

Comply with road traffic laws, such as not drinking and driving or using a hand-held mobile phone, even though they are in the passenger seat

 

 

I think half way down your list would present a problem for Russ.

 

Meet the minimum eyesight standards

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18 hours ago, KontikiKid said:

Nationwide Flexplus would n't assist due to length and weight.

 

 

How long is the vehicle?  Flexplus cover up to 7.5 tonnes and 8 metres in length.

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Ouch, 

 

I have considered similar as a couple of times I have been unable to drive (Arm injuries, twisted ankle and a damaged eye- steel shard through my eyeball, resulted in 4 ops with the last being a lens replacement)

 

My good lady is legal to tow, regularly drives my pickup, BUT hates to tow.

 

I have had her tow some of our larger work trailer on several occasions (and the caravan on one) and talked her through the different lines and driving techniques (larger space in front being the most important change to her normal driving style!!!!) She is soooooo not keen on these lessons BUT understands it will make the few times in may actually be required easier. Unlike you we don't have a motor home BUT it is on the forward plan for later in life and as I have a lorry licence I will not be limited to weight. Luckily she drives ambulances so the size part of a larger motor-home will not bother her and if the opportunity comes up in St John she will take the over 3500 licence as well.

 

Good luck and hope it heals, eye trauma is very disconcerting.

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On 29/06/2019 at 10:16, iansoady said:

 

How long is the vehicle?  Flexplus cover up to 7.5 tonnes and 8 metres in length.

 

 

Hi

 

It's 9.01 metres. As said, we did get sorted by hook and crook. To be fair, had this happened in Italy a month ago, I'd happily have sat it out for as long as it takes. Frustratingly, when only 160 miles from home, you just want to get home!

 

Russ

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Wow Russ. If you're ever in the brown stuff again say within 50-100 miles of Whitchurch, then give me a call. Plan would be that i drive to you in our car, I drive the MH back to Yorkshire whilst your partner follows in our car, insurance permitting obviously. I then drive back to Whitchurch in our car - simples eh. However, last time we met, i ended up selling the caravan and buying a MH 🤣.

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Posted (edited)

Read this post with great interest! Got me thinking!

We are currently in the south of France and I have often wondered what would happen anything happened to me!

My wife is very disabled now and cannot manage the caravan steps without my support, so no way can she manage water and waste, and she can no longer drive.

If anything happened to me, it would take several days for support , be it family or Red Pennant.

May need to rethink our travel plans for the future!

 

Edited by PR1
Spelling

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OH is in hospital as I click away with this message.  He's been in 8 weeks as he's been waiting for a heart valve operation, but they found he had pneumonia, which they said is a really bad case, and they can't seem to shift the infection off his right lung.  Left lung is perfect.  They have decided to treat the infection in hospital, and as soon as its gone, he's to come home and start getting his strength back.  Hospital food is not exactly fit for purpose.  So I've decided to go on a course for towing.  I usually do the navigating.  Now all I have to do is get OH into navigating, including how to use a satnav:D.  OH is at Manchester Royal Infirmary, and can't praise the staff enough.  He's also on kidney dialysis.  Wouldn't mind so much, but the hospital is very large, and lots of nurses and other staff are letting on to me and even coming over to me for a chat and asking how Tom is doing at present.  I just hope, that at the end of all this, I get invited to the various Christmas dos:lol:

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Russ, I am so sorry to hear of your medical problem - BUT - having read your posts over the years if anyone can sort out a problem - you are the man.

I hope this will not delay your next visit to Italy.

Regards

Alan

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