Saturday, August 8, 2015

Home Improvements and the Arm

While I was on vacation, I took on some home improvement projects around the house.  For over 2 years I have been limited by my left arm, which made me reluctant to take on major projects.  The arm has gotten stronger, and the new doctor has encouraged me to use it, as that increases blood flow and helps healing.   So, I took on the long delayed projects.   I stripped the wall paper border in the bathroom and repainted it, finishing a refresh I had started over a year ago with new lights (good bye brass), shower curtain, hardware, towels, and rug.  I'm very pleased with the way it turned out, and next time I will hire someone to paint it.  My toilet is in a small alcove, and has the elongated bowl.  My arms weren't long enough to easily get behind it.  Daughter found it amusing.

I've always been frustrated by my family room.  It's open to the kitchen, but has always been dark.  It has a sliding patio door at one end with a large window right next to it.  The other end has a large fireplace.  There is a cathedral ceiling, but the walls are dark paneling and the fireplace was dark brown brick.  I have been contemplating ways to brighten the room.  I found Brick Anew online, and ordered it.  I spent several days working on the fireplace with it.  I'm delighted with the result.  I am now planning what I'm going to do with the rest of the room.

Daughter was very patient and supportive with my efforts.  It felt really good to be able to get these things done.  I was also able to do more work in my gardens this summer.  They had been badly neglected these past two years due to the arm.  I was really feeling good about what I had accomplished.

While we were camping, I tripped and fell coming out of the tent.  I looked down and was relieved that there weren't any bones sticking out or blood.  My arm was definitely injured, though.   I had taken my brace, so I put it on, but my mobility was very limited due to the pain.  I fell on Wednesday afternoon.  We were scheduled to leave Friday.  We went to the concert as planned Wednesday evening.  Thursday I called my doctor and we began to pack up.  I hoped to get an appointment with him or someone in the practice Friday.  Packing took us all day.  I couldn't lift, my grasp was weak, and Daughter found herself having to do much more of the work than she normally did.  The shift in her anti psychotic has slowed her down.  My speed was slower, too, since I was doing everything one handed.  The campers next door helped us finish up the packing.

I was frustrated, because my doctor was going on vacation.  He told me to go to the ER and see him when he got back.  Friday morning I went to urgent care.  The bones  are okay, in fact, think the gap in the radius had filled in some more.  But the arm was swollen, and continues to be very sore and stiff.  It has definitely slowed me down.  I see my doctor this week, so we'll see what he says about it.  I did 10 days of naprosyn, and it helped with the pain, but I'm still sore and stiff.  It has improved-- I can close the car door now and button my own jeans.  I'm not doing any heavy lifting, and the congregation has become very protective.  They didn't want me moving things around as we prepared for the funerals this week.  I assured them that it hurt enough that I was behaving.

The projects around the house were an important part of my vacation, and I'm grateful for what I accomplished, and hope to take on other projects soon. 

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