After five years of ignoring the need, we are getting our hardwood floors sanded and refinished. It will look amazing and I will be absolutely delighted when it is done. I have to keep telling myself that because getting from here to there will be a challenge. The very thought of the preparation for this is exhausting.
Any type of home repair or improvement is very difficult to accomplish with Maggie in the house. We operate with very little room for deviation and the noise and disruption of construction or repair are too much. We let things go far longer than we should to avoid upsetting the delicate balance of our little eco system. However, when you reach the point of no return, you just have to bite the bullet and do it. That’s where we are with the floors.
Hardwood floors fun throughout the entire house, with the exception of the kitchen and bathrooms. In order to get them refinished, we have to completely move out, lock stock and spice rack. Everything. The furniture, the rugs, stuff in the closets, everything. We decided not to do the bedrooms this time because we have to have someplace to store everything. We can do those another time and simply vacate the upstairs without disrupting everything. We are also leaving the carpet in Maggie’s room so we don’t have to move things out of there. Now we can put the biggest pieces of furniture in the kitchen and in Maggie’s room, a bit in the basement and all the chairs and boxes of things in the bedrooms upstairs. Four days later we will put it all back and reclaim our house with its gleaming wooden floors. (Refrain) I will be delighted when it's done..
As daunting as all of that sounds, it is only the beginning. We also have to figure out WHERE to go that can accommodate Maggie’s access needs and handle all the equipment and things we will need , including nurses coming and going at all hours. In addition to Maggie’s clothes and wheelchair, we have the oxygen (and tubing), the compressor (and tubes), the feeding pump (and bags), the suction machines (and tubes), the nebulizer (and tubes), the dynavox, the pole, 13 different medications and syringes, trach masks, catheters (two kinds) , extra trach tube and extra gastrostomy tube, two cases of food, feeding tubes, diapers, chucks, wipes, and of course the IPOD full of Lady Gaga tunes with the player. (Note, list is not exhaustive, that’s just off the top of my head).
We considered going to my mom’s house, but the flight of stairs into the house means carrying Maggie more than I can safely handle. We planned to go to my father in law’s house, where we can get Maggie onto one level easily, but it is an hour away and I wouldn’t have any nursing help. Plus there would be no way to monitor what’s happening at the house and if we forgot anything it would be too difficult. I considered a hotel but the cost is outrageous. My brother Pat offered to let us stay at his house in the City. He will be out of town that week and his house has a bedroom and bath on the ground level. We can have the nurses there and we can run back and forth to our house to deal with the contractor and to retrieve any forgotten supplies. As of this moment, that is the plan. It is the best possible option and I appreciate it tremendously.
Still, I am not looking forward to all the work and hassle of this. I just keep telling myself it will be worth it. And we won’t have to do it again for 15 years. It will need it in 10, but we will ignore it for 5 years.
(Refrain) I will be delighted when it's done.