Kitchen Remodel

In 8 days I hit the 2 year mark since I became paralyzed.  In the beginning, I was determined that I would be walking.  Now I’m more hopeful, but also realistic.  Will I ever walk again?  I hope so!  I’m going to the gym and trying to get stronger in the hopes that it will help.  But I’m also working on getting as comfortable and strong in my wheelchair as possible because I need to live for the now while keeping my eyes on the future.

So with that being said, it’s time to remodel the kitchen.  I’m lucky that my house has a very open layout.  Getting into the kitchen was never an issue.  What was at issue was the sink. (Well, and the stove, but I can deal with that.)  With the counter at chin height, it was always awkward trying to get the dishes done or wash my hands or anything.  The hubs was always having to clean up behind my cleaning as I would leave remnants in the sink and not know.

That was all fine but not ideal.  But, now that we’re having a baby in a few months, we decided that it was time to make a change.  I need a place where I can wash the baby and prepare bottles and do dishes easier.  I will be taking care of the kid as much as I can, so we needed to make this change.

Luckily, my dad is a contractor.  He builds houses from the ground up, so this little job was easy for him to plan.  Instead of tearing out our enter island and reinventing the wheel, he decided it would be easier and cheaper to install a mirror sink.  (I doubt that’s what he called it, but that’s how I interpreted it.)  Our kitchen island had a bar overhang which was going unused.  The plan: chop the overhang granite off, and install two cabinets and a sink at ADA heights there.  The new sink will back up to the existing sink and be just one large basin sink.  Then the hubs and I can have cleaning races.  Though, I did have to promise the electrician that we wouldn’t have garbage disposal races.  Something about broken circuits and power failures and meltdowns or whatnot.

The best thing about this remodel is that if we go to sell this house, it will be easy for the buys to rip it out if they want.  I guess most people don’t want lower sinks and cabinets.  This will be easy to take out and patch up.  Then it’s like “What handicapped sink?”  The cool part is that the granite guy is going to make a cover for the sink so you can still use the entire length if needed.  Or you can take the cover off and surprise, there’s a sink!  I guess it won’t be a huge surprise as the faucet will still be evident.

kitchen remodel

Here is what it looked like in the morning before installation begun.  I’m so excited that I can hardly stand it!!

Today was a great day!

Today was a great day! A lot of days are good days. I can honestly say that most days are good days. I’m alive. The sun is shining. I have a career I love, an amazing hubs and two great dogs. I’m very lucky in life! I love life! Sometimes I’m annoyingly optimistic. My neurosurgeon told me at my last visit that he wished he could bottle my energy and give it to his other patients. Apparently I’m adapting well to my transitional phase of no walking. (Yes, transitional because I don’t plan on being here permanently!)

Am I always so chipper? Of course not! Some days it sucks. It really sucks! Those usually correspond to times when I can’t do something I really want to do, like go to someone’s house for a party for fear that I won’t fit in their bathrooms. Or, when my baby niece wants me to follow her up the one stair into my sister’s house to go play inside and says “come” and I can’t. My heart breaks so completely that I’m surprised I don’t burst into tears right then and there. Those little one and a half year old eyes looking at me as if I don’t want to follow her and go play, and not old enough to understand why I’m not. Yes, those situations get me down. A couple weeks ago I broke into tears on a random evening because I hadn’t left the house in two days and felt trapped because I couldn’t just go run errands if I wanted. Poor hubs was completely bewildered because I hadn’t even asked to leave the house. I don’t know what brought it on. And like a tropical storm swiftly moving through, I was fine after a couple minutes. My “freak outs” are few and far in between. And for that, I am grateful!

But back to my day. It started out with a visit from my folks. My mom was coming down to take me to physical therapy. My dad surprised me by showing up as well. He had told me yesterday he had an appointment and had to sit this week’s visit out. Apparently he rearranged so he could come too. That was a very nice surprise!

Then came the surprise paint color in my new office. The office I’m in now is not ADA compliant. I have the world’s smallest bathroom. The door is 15 inches wide. That’s almost half the width of my wheelchair. Because of that, I can’t use my office as anything other than a place to meet clients for a few minutes. So, on July 1, I’m moving to a new office. The landlord is painting and giving me new carpet, both of which I got to choose. The paint color I chose was a silver color with a blue tone, with a brighter blue for an accent wall. The painter had a question regarding my accent wall, so I stopped by to show him. The paint color was much more of a sky blue and so much prettier than I had hoped! The color literally made me happy! I’m so excited to spend time in my new office! And yes, I do acknowledge that I am easily excited.

Next came my physical therapy. Today was the start of aqua therapy with my PT, 5 O’clock Shadow. I hadn’t seen 5-O in a few weeks as I’d just been focusing on walking and standing at home. I also hadn’t been to the pool for a few weeks for the very same reason. It was nice to reunite with both after the hiatus. I loved being in the pool. And 5-O couldn’t be quite as hard on me when I could simply float away from him or dunk under the water to ignore him. I did threaten to pull him in if he was too mean. Maybe that helped. But the session was amazing and I feel great. Sore, but great! I’m excited for this new experiment of aqua therapy with 5-O.

And the final excitement, which is probably the biggest excitement of all: I went to the mechanic who does the car modifications! I learned about all the amazing options for modifying my car so I can drive. If I had unlimited money, the guys there could do so much! They could turn any car into a car with suicide doors and a lift and a moving chair that could drop to get me. It’s unreal what they can do! All I really need now are hand pedals and a lighter wheelchair. I love my car and don’t really want to try to trade it in for a different one. But, it’s amazing to know the options. They showed me one car that belonged to a woman with polio. The seat comes out and lowers to a foot off the ground for easy transfer. Then the wheelchair crane comes out of the back seat, scoops up the folded wheelchair and takes it into the car. The doors are automated as well, so after the seat takes her into the car, the doors automatically swing shut. It’s amazing! I, on the other hand, have pretty good upper mobility and strength, so I don’t need something quite that extensive. (Sidenote: I would love all of that, however to do that would cost 15,000-45,000 at least, depending on the car.) So for now, I’ll stick with just the hand pedals and fly high on the knowledge that I can start driving myself places! After 10 months of relying on people for rides and feeling like a high school freshman, waiting for mom to come take me to the mall, the feeling of my soon-to-be-had freedom is overwhelming!

And that, ladies and gents, was my great, amazing, wonderful day!