Figuring Out Home

This isn’t as easy as I’d hoped it would be. Oh, I know it will get better. But I have things to think about that I hadn’t expected and need to process. I’m learning that there are many things I cannot do easily, including carrying things from room to room, particularly when in the chair. The walker has a tray/caddy thing on it but it can only handle relatively light items. Doorways are wide enough for the chair but I have to approach from the right angles or my right hand crunches into the door frame (I have some interesting bruises). Rolling the chair on the carpet in the bedroom is a lot harder than rolling it on rehab carpet or carpet in the hall, especially when I’m going backwards. Manouvering the chair to let me clean out the litterbox is tricky. I may need to remove the bedspread and just have a blanket on the bed because rolling over the corners stops me in my tracks.

Feeding the kitties is tricky. If I move the footrests on the chair, I’m close enough to the ground to put the dry food in their bowl, but am still a wee bit too high to pick up the wet food bowls. I can put the bowls down but getting them back up is the problem. I’ve had a spotty record with it using the reacher tool; sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and when it doesn’t, I can’t clean it up. I’ve learned that I can add water to their water bowl using a water bottle, but if they drop a toy in the bowl (and they do like to “baptize” their toys), I can’t pick up the bowl to wash it out.

The bathroom has grab bars but the one by the commode is too short for me to feel really comfortable, so it helps enormously that the toilet itself (which I had installed) is very tall. That makes me more stable when I stand, especially without shoes. I’m going to ask maintenance to add a vertical grab bar outside the shower that I can reach when standing up from the toilet. I also have other projects for them, including hanging up all the art. When my things are on my walls, it will definitely feel more like my space. I have more art than I have walls but maybe I can trade some things out now for variety.

I’ve hired someone to work with me 10 hours a week. She has been helping someone else here who recently passed away, and I like her energy and personality. I don’t need medical help, but I do need help with showers, laundry, household projects, and running errands that I can’t do now, such as picking up grocery curbside orders or making a quick run to Walmart for something. Lots of things in the house are very confused right now and need to be moved around once we figure out what they are; she was a big help this morning with the first things we tackled. I think she will work out fine and I will enjoy her company.

My new routine will involve going to therapy three times a week in the afternoon, but my new therapist is on vacation today and Wednesday so I’m starting late. Today there was just lots to do, and Wednesday I’m going to a new residents orientation and lunch that may run into my scheduled time. I need the orientation, though, so I need to do that for sure. I have home exercises to do here for both upper and lower body, and I have a plan to try and fix the hated AFO’s AGAIN. This time we used Goo-Gone to get rid of every bit of old glue and I’m going to reattach the straps with my Gorilla Glue tape and give them time to cure rather than using right away. Hopefully this will make things last longer – it doesn’t feel safe to walk around when the straps drop down around my ankle.

Oh, and about the screen for the porch that still isn’t up. We realized on Saturday that the screen they were planning to put up was actually solar screen rather than pet screen, and it’s definitely not what I wanted for that location. I do not want the screen to block the view from my living room of grass, trees, and flowers. I had a chance to talk with the guy putting it up (he was hammering the screen up on the sides on Saturday) and we’ve come up with another plan. He continued with the solar screen on the sides of the porch, which will give me more privacy from my neighbors, which will be lovely. But instead of doing some sort of giant screen in the front, he’ll do three panels with dark screen that will run from the top of the iron railing down to the concrete; three panels so one can be for the gate that will open out in case of emergency. I have to pray that Ellie won’t try to escape over the top but if I don’t have furniture right next to it, I think I’ll be fine. Say some prayers for that, too. Ellie is incredibly curious.