Wednesday, February 4, 2009

House Work

Much to our surprise, we were informed about two weeks ago that numerous preparations would have to be made in our home prior to my return from Seattle. ANY source or potential source of mildew, mold, and bacteria must be removed. Because my system will be so immuno-compromised, even the smallest exposure could cause severe or even life-threatening complications.

Well, our house was built in the '70's. We've always had that someday list, thoughts and ideas of things we would like to update, change, or replace. Now, alot of it is a must. Pretty harsh realities, with short notice to boot. And expenses we had not been prepared for.

Our main focus has been water-related issues. So, our hall bath and shower has been ripped out and replaced, and some piping replaced. (For those of you who have had to use it, you know what I mean....). And since the original tub was some funky size, we also had to move and replace the bathroom door as it is now a different size. Toilet piping work has been completed. Our master shower has been repaired. The kitchen sink had to be replaced and a garbage disposal installed. There had been a leak behind our dishwasher, so the floor board and some drywall is being replaced. And a new dishwasher with a special sanitizing system and food remnant removal system is being installed. Because the old sink had old piping, it was a hotspot for trapped food remnants and thus bacteria and mold. And a big part of the post-transplant changes involves food handling and disposal.

We were also told that if our carpet and pad are older than five years, professional cleaning may not be enough to eliminate the potential exposure to dust, dirt, and the effects of old spills and miscellaneous fluids contributed by two babies, two dogs, and a cat. So now we are also faced with needing to replace the pad and carpet! Hardwood floors/laminate is of course the easiest to keep clean. But with two big dogs, it seems they would scratch so easily.

We are getting some bids and options to consider. I will likely have to have some samples sent to me in Seattle to choose from. Now I am not trying to be sexist, as of course Craig is capable of making these kinds of decisions. But he is color blind....

We also have put off painting the exterior of our home for years due to the cost. Unfortunately, we already knew that if we didn't do it this year, we would end up having to replace some of the siding material due to our neglect. So when we found out that ANY and ALL work to the house has to be done before I come home, we've had our painter over, picked colors, and got on his schedule. (Again, the color blind issues.) We are hoping and praying that our tax refund will cover this expense. But for the rest, it's all out of pocket, right now. Ugh!

I guess the flip side is that some nice updates are getting done. It's just not the best timing for it. And it's kind of funny looking because we are only doing the "musts" so aesthetics will have to wait.

Another project that must be completed for me to return home is duct cleaning. We are a little nervous on this one too. A couple of years ago we had gotten a bid to replace the furnace from hell, which fails to operate on a regular basis. (Thank goodness for our annual service plan.) At the time of the estimate, we were told that the duct work needed to be replaced. So we are praying that this project will not evolve into replacing the ducts. And the furnace.

Will it ever end?!

At first I thought maybe all this preparation was just a way to be super cautious. While it is in fact that, it is also apparently necessary. Failing to do this stuff can land me in the hospital. And as crazy as it sounds, it could be life-threatening. We weren't happy to not know about it until so recently (we did know that everything had to be thoroughly cleaned and sterilized) but not that major home improvement was involved.

When we met with another local family who went through a bone marrow transplant last year, they had to do the same things. Crazy. I know how much of an economic strain it is for us, so I am left to wonder how people less fortunate are able to get all this work done. It all seems to full circle back to the fact that the economics of transplant are out of reach for many people.

Anyways, the next time you are at my house, please enjoy my eclectic half updated bathrooms and kitchen!

It will be weird to come home to so many changes. Kind of fun to look forward to.

Post-transplant instructions dictate that I will be unable to do housework. I am really sad about this..... It's for the same reasons that all the work must be completed prior to my return. The stirring up of dust, bacteria, mildew, etc. is a no-no. I even have to leave the house for a couple of hours if someone cleans or vacuums. Ah, there is a silver lining!

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