Saturday, September 09, 2006

Re-learning the same lesson

Last week, I went outside and spent time on my feet clipping down stray baby trees that were growing on our front fenceline, in an effort to make the house more presentable for an appraisal. I timed my efforts closely, spending no more than 10 minutes per day on my feet doing it. (It took three days.) I also cooked three times that week, and spent time on my feet moving some stuff around, again, never more than 10 minutes at a time, and more usually less than five.
Despite my care, the past few days some old symptoms have returned. The same symptoms that started the round of tests last summer.
The determination after all the tests was that as I stood, the marrow at the end of my tibia and sometimes my fibula at the right ankle joint 'leaks' out as the pressure wears away the bone. This makes my immune system (weird anyway because of losing my spleen when I was a teen) react and overreact. So I have the fevers and chills, the shakiness, the overall feeling of being sick and having low energy reserves that plagued last summer. Its compounded by the effects of bending too much for my repaired hernia (picking up things and the bending over to clip the baby trees off); basically swelling from the accumulation of fluid on the mesh, nausea, muscle cramps and random belly pains.
So, the upshot is my ability zone is shrinking again which means learning new rules. A HUGE blessing is that my recliner has finally arrived, so I can accomplish more while still taking care of my health. This means I can keep my feet up and lean back enough to spare my belly while typing on the laptop, which means I can WRITE for longer than 30 minutes at a time. It means I need to spend as much time as possible in the wheelchair for moving around the house. We're working on clearing space and getting the kitchen more 'wheel friendly'. The final goal is that I'll only need to walk from the hall way into the bathroom, into my office/studio and, into the bedroom. This structure isn't conducive to widening the doorways or hallway, as all those walls are whats keeping the roof up where it belongs. Our BIGGEST goal is to move to a home designed for Universal Access, maybe as part of a planned community that won't require yardwork. I guess its a 5-year plan :-}
It also means that until I get the van set up for hand controls, my means of getting out and about on my own is very limited. I can't afford to spend the hour waiting for the taxi at each end unless its the only thing I do for that day as it wreaks havoc on my stomach. I will still use the taxi, I can't bear to close that door completely, but it won't be every week.
Oscar has asked me to slow down theEbay sales to allow myself to heal, and then keep them at a low level to avoid getting ill again. If I slow down, I can do some of the work from the recliner, so that will work. But it will slow down getting the hand controls for the van, too.
The total needed has gone up. The parts were around $700, (plus maybe $200 for labor) but now we also need to get a new seat installed that will slide back far enough and swivel to allow me to scooch over from the wheelchair. I don't know how much that will cost, but I'll make a few calls on Monday to some van conversion places to find out if they do that sort of work, and if so, the range of cost. I should also try and find some way to get a wheelchair ramp installed from the front door to the driveway. I hope I can find a way to get out back too, but the front access is most important.
So, not a good series of realizations, but healthy ones, overall.

1 comment:

Ysabeau said...

So hard to face additional restrictions, I know, but I'm so proud of you for being brave and facing what you need. Big hugs to you and Oscar, too, for being so understanding. B*B, Ysabeau