brokenclay.org/journal

Whoops! I must have taken the summer off when I wasn’t looking! I’ll try to catch up.

On the house front, we moved in June. The new house is still not accessible, but we think it will be easier to modify than the old house. It’s much closer to grade (14″ vs more than twice that in the old house), so it will be easier to ramp. It has a large living room which we plan to convert to a ground floor bedroom. I’m not sure when any of these things will happen, though, because it’s just been one disaster after another! It turned out that the electrical system was not up to code, so that’s been the first priority. Then our ancient refrigerator died (I can’t blame that on the house, I guess) and it took two weeks (many trips to the store for ice!) to get a new one. The same day we got a letter from the insurance company telling us that our brand spanking new policy was being cancelled because the house has a wood shake roof – I guess they must have reached their wood roof quota. So the ramp was put aside, and my husband and his buddies are tearing off the roof right now. I think the ramp is next.The kitchen is certainly much easier to get around in, with or without wheelchair, since it is pretty open and has no island – somehow in the other house I found myself constantly going in circles around the island.

At work, we have a new HR director. I haven’t met her yet. We have also moved to a new building with both advantages and disadvantages. It’s on the outskirts of town instead of in the center, which makes it a somewhat shorter commute, but everyone in the office is suffering from restaurant deprivation – we no longer have dozens of excellent restaurants in walking distance! There’s plenty of close in parking.

The first couple of weeks were kind of rocky – the airconditioning didn’t work, and the sprinkler system malfunctioned and dumped a couple of inches of water in the computer room. The elevator was out of order a couple of times. I work on the second floor, and the first email I saw saying the elevator was broken had a frightening effect on me – even though intellectually I was sure it would be fine (they would fix the elevator in an hour or two; even if they didn’t fix it I would be able to hobble down the stairs with enough help), physically I was a wreck – heartrate up, respiration up, couldn’t concentrate. When I use the wheelchair I feel competent and independent; I’m not ready to ask my co-workers for the kind of help I would need to get down the stairs. Of course the elevator was fixed (although not before lunch!), but I couldn’t get anything done while it was down, because I was so distracted.

The building has accessible bathrooms on both floors (yeah!), but even more heavy doors. I decided not to ask for automatic door openers as a reasonable accomodation, because I believe my employer will ask for an excessive amount of medical documentation, and I’d rather not give them that information. In the meantime I’m training people to leave the interior doors propped open.

Healthwise, it’s been a great couple of months! Much more energy, less fatigue, much less spasticity and dizziness. I hope it lasts forever.

Katja

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