Posts Tagged ‘Bathroom’

The Mystery Leak

November 7, 2012

It’s really nice to have a house with no neighbors on the other side of the walls.  It also means that when something happens, guess who takes care of it.  Monday night we had had dinner and Eddie went down to have his shower.  All was well when he came back upstairs.  Later he went down to brush his teeth and there was a leak right by the stairs – except there are no pipes there.  He quickly got a bucket, then took the flashlight to see if he could see anything – nothing but a slanted piece of wood.  It was doing drip  drip  drip  drip  drip.  He felt around with his finger and suddenly it was drip drip drip drip dripdripdripdripdrip.  Then a second drip started right beside it, so another something to catch the water.  It seemed to be coming from upstairs but there are no pipes in the corner where the bookshelves are – what was going on?   He kept going to check it and it was down to one drip – then later before we went to bed the drip stopped.  We could not figure out what it was.  We thought maybe it was because of the rain – it wasn’t raining.  Eddie thought it was a leak in the roof – then why didn’t it drip when we had all the rain, some really hard rain?  It was a puzzle for both of us.  We went to bed but neither of us slept that well – some was being uncomfortable and another part was wondering and concern about the leak.

I know Eddie was worried but I chose not to – two worrying wouldn’t make any difference (ask me how I know) and I have spent too many nights worrying.  I decided to bring my golden bubble of love all around me so I didn’t absorb his negative energy.  I put it in God’s hands and ask for help with the situation, then let it go because I knew the solution was already created.  My trouble sleeping was more physical discomfort – must be that housework I overdid on Sunday.

The last two days it hasn’t dripped and yesterday when I talked to Brad, I asked if he had time to check out this mysterious leak for us.  I explained what had happened and he had never heard of anything like, so he had no idea what the cause was.  It has not leaked since, yet we wondered if it would suddenly start again.  He came this afternoon and Eddie showed him exactly where it was leaking and what had happened.  So he and Eddie looked all around the basement and then came upstairs to see if something from the upstairs bathroom was leaking – if so, it should leak every time I have a shower or use the john or faucets.  But it hasn’t.

The next thing I know, they are looking in the hall closet – they found the floor had been wet.  I wondered if was from when we came to live here and the roof needed replacing – I could see daylight when I looked up towards the crawl space.  But no, that wasn’t it.  Finally the mystery was solved!  My mother always liked to be prepared in case the power went out or any kind of difficulty – she had put away an unopened gallon jug of water in the hall closet in case of earthquake or no electricity.  The jug sprung a leak and that was what dripped down by the basement stairs.  No more mystery, no more leak.

This squirreling of things has been going on as long as I can remember.  My Mom liked to be prepared in case of any emergency, so she had extra food downstairs in the big cupboard, a Sterno stove that we have used for hot water or soup when the electricity was out, lots of candles, flashlights and jugs of water in different places.  I realized I am not really prepared if there is an emergency, even when it is having no electricity or we are snowed in.  As we clean out the house, it is amazing what we have come across – both my Mom and Dad were packrats and I definitely come by my tendencies honestly.  No doubt since both of them went through the Depression, there is a lot of stored memories deep inside them.   Plus they didn’t have a whole lot of money when they were first married.  Dad always told the story about Mom making out the shopping list with the most important things at the top.  Then Dad would go shopping – Mom was home with one or two of us – and when the money ran out, he came home.  My Mother was good at making things stretch and made a lot of our clothes as we were growing up.  She canned fruit and vegetables for winter and froze things in the freezer.

It will be interesting to see what else turns up as we slowly clean out and throw away or give away things – there is no telling what we will find.

Truly Back Home Now!!!

May 27, 2012

All three of us came back to the house last Saturday because the bathroom was mostly finished.  The shower doors weren’t due to be installed until Monday, so it was a spit bath or nothing.  The whole bathroom looks amazing – when I asked Brad the contractor how he felt about it, I expected him to be pleased.  What a surprise when he said he was thrilled with the way it  looked.  Now that was unexpected and gratifying.  Now that the doors are on the grab bar inside the shower has been installed, what a pleasure to have a shower without climbing over the tub.  It was well worth the three weeks it took to transform it.  The stall is only about 4″ to step over, I was preparing for 5″ with my OT in rehab.

I will say it has been an adjustment to be back here, sometimes it didn’t feel real in the beginning, but I am doing a lot better now. I think it has been the hardest on Mom, she is still adjusting to it and believing it is real She is getting more and more confused and no doubt those three weeks in the adult family home really confused her.  So we are taking it slowly for her, not doing any other changes like new towels, etc. until she has adjusted.  It has made us realize it is time to find a care facility for her – what kind I have no idea.  I suspect this is going to be quite a learning experience for me, thank goodness I have some people to help me.  What an eye opener to see what happens when one doesn’t have long term care insurance – now I really understand why it is os important.  Eddie just qualified for it and also got a discount, so I know he is taken care of in case he needs some help.  I don’t qualify because of RA, so I need to figure something else for me – possibly a money market and laddering CDs.  Right now I need to focus on Mom.

I have been doing out patient therapy for 3 weeks – the first two weeks I was still at the hotel, last week I was here and my friends really came through for me by giving me rides there.  I chose to go back to Stafford health Care because I know the therapists and they know me – I didn’t want to break in a new set by going somewhere else.  They weren’t kidding when they said out patient therapy was more aggressive and there will be pain – what an understatement!  But I know I need it because the right leg muscles are weaker and I need to strengthen them so I can stop walking like Walter Brennan.  I have had mostly thigh and groin pain, though the hip has had its share of discomfort.  This week has been more uncomfortable sleeping, I can turn on my side and sleep on the healed hip.

Thursday was a red letter day because I saw my surgeon.  I wanted to drive again and was hoping he would give me the okay.  Eddie came with me because he wanted to talk to the doc because he is also an Armenian.  The doc took an x-ray and told me he is very pleased – the hip has healed perfectly and the plate and screw has stayed exactly in place.  Couldn’t think of better news unless it was when said I could drive when I felt able.  Whoopee!  I was anxious to try but also a bit apprehensive to experiment – finally I tried on Friday around the neighborhood and it felt fine – almost as if I had just driven the day before.  So I am now on four heels again, but not the wheely walker!  I am using a cane and the doc was happy about that.  He told me not to be in a hurry to  stop using the cane and I agree – it let’s people know not to bump into me.

A low point for me was on Wednesday – we went to Barnes & Noble for coffee before going to the doc.  I went to use the restroom but the handicap stall was being used. I was concerned about one of the regular stalls but went ahead and used one.  Well, I couldn’t get up!  I tried whatever I could but it didn’t work.  Finally the woman using the handicap stall was on her way out and I asked if she would help me.  She was so sweet, she pulled me back onto my feet and I thanked her profusely.  I told her how much I appreciated her help and she said we all need help at one time or another.  She had twin girls who didn’t look more than a few months old, so I suspect she has had a lot of experience with help.  Looks like I am changing my old childhood programming slowly but surely.

It has been an interesting week – this coming week will be my first mobile week in 3 months.  I am going to finally have a haircut – I know Michelle with be horrified at the hacking I have doe to it, but needs must.  I am also going to have a massage again, boy have I missed those.  I have three days of outpatient therapy as well – pretty well fills up my dance card for the week.  I think my ambitions out strip my energy – I will have to work up my stamina.  It feels so good to be mobile again, it is hard being dependent on others for rides.  I have also found through this journey what good friends I have in my Breakfast Club and other friends.

Finally Home Again

May 20, 2012

Yesterday morning all three of us came home for good – the bathroom is almost done, the shower doors will be installed on Monday and the last few details finished.  So it is spit baths for a couple of days and then it will be a fully functional bathroom.  In some ways for me, I don’t feel I have been home at all – yes there were those 3 or 4 days between leaving rehab and living in a hotel.  I have felt temporary for the last 3 months or more since I was taken out feet first to the hospital on February 24th.  It has been an interesting journey and experience – still going on too.  I am curious to see what changes have happened inside me, right now I think it is too early to tell.  Maybe others can see changes from the outside, I am not sure.  Right now it is another adjustment coming home for good at last.

Everything is the same, yet different.  First off, there isn’t the room in the sink cabinet that we had before and there isn’t a shelf unit above the toilet any more.  That means figuring out where everything goes and what can be thrown out or given to St. Vincent so someone else can use it.  I also realize how crowded with stuff the office and our bedroom are – I know I am a pack rat and this has certainly brought it home to me.  There is the thought in the back of my mind, “What if I need it later?”.  It is that “just in case” mindset even if it turns out I never need it again.  Maybe it is simply that the rooms seem smaller than they were before and  I know that in order for new things to come in, I have to clear space for them by clearing out the old.  I realize a lot of things are from another life, a person I am no longer in this moment.  I will admit to feeling confused and unsure about who I am and where I want to go – it is as if I have been disconnected from everything I know for a long time.  Now that I am home I can reconnect – but now only with that which is truly me and what I want.

I also feel as if I am in transition with my business, I don’t quite know what direction I want to take it.  Over the past few months with my life narrowing so much as Mom was not able to be left alone, then breaking my hip, my business is almost at a standstill.  I have been thinking since last fall, it’s a good time to rest, regroup and redefine what I want to do.  The only problem seemed to be with me, I was so bone weary and mentally and emotionally exhausted that I haven’t been able to think straight.  I haven’t had the energy or interest to do anything about it.  When I went to rehab, I thought I would have time to read and write to help me see where things were and where I was heading.  Unfortunately I was so tired I had no interest in any of it,  so tired and dragged out – what I call “drag my ass tired” – I couldn’t even think about it.

Physically I am doing a lot better, I am walking with the cane around the house and for short distances outside.  I feel more independent with the cane, plus not so much hardware to put in the trunk .  But I still need to use the wheely walker if I am going to the store or longer distances – the therapists think I can be back walking without anything as I did before I broke the hip.  The one thing that is most frustrating is not being able to drive, to go and do whenever I want.  I am dependent on rides to therapy and I will say how grateful I am to friends who have been there for me.  It was hard to ask for help when I went back to my networking breakfast club because I have always done things myself.  It was very difficult to change a lifetime of “Don’t ask for help”, “Don’t impose on people or be a burden”.  Thanks to my older sister Ellen for her words “Ditch it, Girl” when we discussed it awhile back.  In many ways I have become very aware of some childhood programs in the last few months – I had no idea about specifics, I was just going on autopilot and didn’t really know it.

Outpatient physical therapy is more aggressive than inpatient – I really notice it when I am finished.  Michael puts me on the cross trainer first, just with the foot action.  It has intensity settings from 1-10, he jacked up to 8 on Friday.  So the resistance is more and I feel the workout in my legs.  I think he plans to have me all the way up to 10 by the time I leave.  He is helping me with balance and strength as well as being a bit faster in my movements.  We are doing moderate difficulty on “Stomp the mole”, it is a 9 square grid and when amole pops up, I have to move my feet to the proper square to stomp it.  They also have a mouse that moves from one square to another and they are also to be stomped.  However, not the lady bugs, but they tend to get stomp unintentionally – I don’t always  notice them while trying to get the mice and moles.  He isn’t really concerned with my score, he wants me to be able to step from one square to another a little faster each time so I have a more smooth movement.  Mostly when I feel I have loosened a tight muscle and it is comfortable again, Michael finds another couple I didn’t know I had.  Like everything else, it is a process.  Glad to be at this end than just starting to stand and walk again.


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