Well… we made it just past Rapid City last night and found a place to sleep by a little dirt road. This morning Brett tried to get some lessons for his online class recorded before we continued on our journey to Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
We stopped in Mitchell, South Dakota to pick up a pack of Hanes t-shirts to use as seat covers for our new van until we can order some real seat covers like Sara Mattson and her husband, Peter have. Seat covers are great for protecting the van from contamination since they can be removed and washed regularly.
I started to get more and more nervous the closer we got to to Sioux Falls. What if I reacted to the van? Or worse, what if I thought it was fine only to start reacting after it was already too late?
When we finally arrived at the Ford dealership Mike, the salesman who helped Sara and Peter to buy their van, came out to greet us. Sara had called ahead and told him about our situation. We could tell instantly that he was more than just a salesman, he was a genuinely kind and friendly person and he understood my illness enough to not make us feel like weirdos. He showed us to the van and we opened the door to take a look. It was huge!
I stuck my head in to inhale and felt something in my throat. I started to freak out a little. Was I reacting to the van? Could it be just the new car chemicals or was there some biotoxin contamination? Maybe I just imagined it?
We decided to step back and call Sara. She suggested we try opening all the doors, wiping down the van and letting it air out a little before taking it on a test drive. Any new car is going to be fume-y at first and a small reaction doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a biotoxin problem. Perhaps it was just the chemicals from the plastic dashboard and vinyl seats.
Mike was happy to let us do that and when we got in the van for a test drive it felt much better. I didn’t get any of my classic biotoxin exposure symptoms. All I had was a little headache which I often get from chemical smells. Yay! It was just chemicals! We really enjoyed driving the van around town after that. We felt so tall looking down at all the little cars! Haha!
When we got back to the dealership we excitedly told Mike that we were going to buy the van! Then Brett went into the building with him to fill out the paperwork and I stayed behind. I’m still trying to avoid going in buildings even though my reactivity is finally starting to come down little by little. It felt like an eternity that Brett was in there buying the van! I was bored, tired, and impatient to drive away in our new home!
While I waited, I tested the few possessions we had in our rental car to make sure they weren’t contaminated; things like, toothpaste, lotion, sunscreen and a water bottle. All things we had purchased after making our clean break a couple days ago. Then I wiped everything down with a wet t-shirt and let it dry. I wanted to make sure everything was as clean as possible before transferring it into the new van. Eventually, Brett brought out some paperwork for me to sign and then went back into the building for another eternity.
Finally, at around 8:15pm he emerged again to tell me the van was ours! Hooray! The last step was returning the rental car. Mike kindly offered to go with Brett and give him a ride back. That simplified things a lot! I waited some more and when they got back we said goodbye and were off to Target. We were out of clean clothes and wanted to decontaminate just in case.
Then we started driving out of the city to look for a place to sleep. Unfortunately, it was getting very late and we weren’t finding anything. Brett started to get really sleepy and we had to stop twice to take a nap. It was 3:00am when we finally found a good spot where we could spend the rest of the night! I guess, the crazy life isn’t over yet!
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