Remodeling… Redecorating.. Medicating?
The last few weeks have been pretty hectic. We’ve started some big projects in the house that have, in turn, verified a few suspicions.
Our kitchen was pretty closed off from the rest of the world. Even though there’s an addition on the house, nothing was really done to help with the flow (and lighting) for the original house. So, after determining that the wall that was bugging me the most was load bearing, we took the steps to turn a section of it into a window by removing the drywall, adding a header to transfer the load, and then framing things out. There’s some painting to do, but the window was finally trimmed out this past week by our friend Colin whom came down for Easter. We used a wide windowsill for the bottom to give a bar top kind of a look and feel to it, and now even though there’s no flow in terms of walking, it helps to increase a little counter space in the kitchen and offers the ability for more light to come through. There’s an unfortunate lack of overhead lighting in the living room, so the extra bump of light from the large window in the kitchen makes the difference. With doing this construction, however, we had to move a few things around in the living room and this is where we found that our problems were a little bigger than the lack of lighting…
As I’ve previously said, Bella’s been having a difficult time for the past few months. Her eyes have been gunky, she’s been drinking a lot of extra water, and her anxiety is pretty much through the roof. After finally getting her to the vets office and having some tests run on her, the preliminary results brought back a diagnosis of Stage 1 Diabetes, and her vision loss is in the 75% range. The vision was something that seems to have been brewing for a little while recently, but moving the furniture in the living room to do the construction on the wall proved that she was a lot further along on the blindness scale than originally anticipated. The diabetes came as a complete shock to me, her glucose numbers were well into the high 700’s when they’re only supposed to be in the low to mid 100’s. This unfortunately means 2 insulin injections daily. I would love to say that’s only until her numbers come down and then we can adjust things, but I think it may wind up being for the rest of her life and I can’t even begin to describe the anxiety she’s experiencing because of it. The back of her neck is so sore from the injections and she’s lashing out like all holy hell if you get anywhere near her. It’s a work in progress, but we’re trying our hardest to make her as comfortable as possible.
The gunk build up on her eye wasn’t completely due to an infection as we originally thought. She does have a minor infection in the eye that houses the cataract, unfortunately this eye is the one where she’s lost complete vision. She’s receiving antibiotic eyedrops twice daily for this. But the gunk build up, overall, is due to chronic dry eye. She’s receiving two more drops daily to keep her eyes lubricated. The issue though.. I believe they cause either a slight dialysis or just blurred vision because her vision seems to have been getting worse since we implemented the drops into the daily routine. She’s walking into walls more often than usual and I’ve noticed she has no interest in being outside while the sun is up because she can’t seem to get comfortable when there’s a brighter light shining into her eyes. I’ve also noticed that they clearly sting a little because as soon as either of the drops go into her eyes she’s wanting to rub them out as quickly as possible. I’ve made it a point to kind of rub around her eye to make sure the medication gets to the back of her eye were it’s needed in hopes that she doesn’t wind up completely rubbing it into the carpet as soon as she has the chance to rub her face after we’re done.
Everything combined, however, is a major stress factor for her life. She’s getting the injections every 12 hours, and also the eye drops every 12 hours. The injections is more of a stress factor than the drops, the drops just seem to be happening more often because she needs multiple drops within an hour of each other so ensure that one doesn’t cancel out the other. I’m also still using the saline eye wash to help keep the gunk from around her eye from getting hard so her eyes are as clear as they can possibly be. She’s fine with the eye wash, but I’m sure that’s due to the fact that she’s not getting anything IN her eye, I’m only wiping the crust from around it. As clear as her eyes appear, I know the vision just isn’t there anymore and unfortunately there’s nothing I can do about that.
Her drinking has subsided, but her bladder control is pretty much out the window. I’m doing everything I can to ensure she’s going out as regularly as possible to relieve herself, but there’s still been accidents in the house and even with everything else going on with her – that’s where MY anxiety levels have skyrocketed. I’ve been shampooing carpets regularly but she was clearly going in the house more often than I originally noticed so there’s heavily perfumed areas of urine in my carpet that I can’t get out with a regular home-based cleaner, to the point that I may need to have Stanley Steemer come in for the deep clean in hopes the steam and cleaning solutions penetrate down to the padding where the smells are being held. On warmer/humid days the smell is overwhelming and as someone who takes pride in keeping a clean house, having pet odors to this degree is embarrassing as all hell for me. Having a house guest for a week and needing to have candles going at all times just to mask the smells that I couldn’t get up with the cleaner wasn’t a pleasant experience. I know that he didn’t care, and he only said “ooh, I smell pee” once in the 7 days he was here but the fact that it was even the topic of conversation wasn’t something I was thrilled about.
I knew when we purchased this home that I’d eventually be removing all of the current ‘flooring’. The floor in the living room/dining room is a weird tan tone that’s been on the floor for probably 30 years. The carpeting in the hallway and three bedrooms is also 30 years old and a very traditional rose color for the late 70’s that is just ugly regardless of stains. The den and my closet have a newer berber carpet, but even low piles hold smells and there were stains that I couldn’t removed with the cleaner last year that have only gotten worse over time. So, by default, I’ve been looking into wood flooring. While it’s more expensive than just replacing carpet, it also gives me a solid floor to easily wipe up instead of having to worry about something soaking into padding. I also feel it would help to increase the value of the house since it’s more ascetically pleasing in it’s own right. At this point I’d be content with having solid vinyl floors throughout the whole house just so there’s a barrier there for no liquid to penetration. So, the best of both worlds, I’m looking into laminate hard woods through Lumber Liquidators. I’ve found a few that have the tone I want, and would look amazing with the color I plan on painting all the walls with (Sherwin Williams – Canvas Tan). The issue is really just buying it and putting it down, cost for everything was about $1200. This covers the cost of wood the entire first floor (minus kitchen and bathrooms), the padding and tools. Considering having a company come in to do this job would run me over $8000… it’s a pretty good deal.
This isn’t something that will happen in the near future though, finances don’t allow for that kind of modification being as we still have a roof in need of repair, a kitchen that requires the completion of a remodel and a basement to reconfigure to accommodate the possibility of having a few people move in within the next year or so. That mixed with the fact that I now desperately need to completely fence in the back yard because of Bella’s lack of desire to take a proper walk at night… money’s tight. We’re absolutely fine on paying bills, there’s no lack of food, we’re not going ‘without’ for anything. We’re comfortable month to month and putting money aside for what we need, but there’s no overflow where we can just pull out money and get things done at once. This house will continue to be a ‘work in progress’ for the next 30 years, but we do have our priorities.
It would be amazing if like $75,000 fell into my hands somehow. I know our Mortgage still has over 200k on it, and we could easily pay down the principle with 75,000 to help in the long term, but when you factor in everything that needs to be done in and around the house – that bit of money could go a really long way. It would cover all debts (minus mortgage), the roof, a fence, tree removal, landscaping, new flooring, kitchen remodel, and the basement. It could also cover getting a shed into the yard so I can gain use of my garage for more than a dumping ground and actually have the ability to park in there. It could go so, so far it just needs to appear. Will it? Probably not, but that’s because I don’t live in a dream world where it grows on trees and gets handed to you.
In any event, it’s time for someone’s eyes to get some drops and there’s plenty of work to get done around the house while my inbox is still empty. Those dishes won’t do themselves… and trust me – I’ve been hoping for that too.