From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Turn for the Better

Things are looking up.


You may know that I had shingles this spring. Thank goodness, I haven't had any pain from that for quite a while. However, the top of my left hand is still numb, starting at the middle joint of my little finger and spreading upward. About half of my wrist is numb, and above that, my arm is back to normal. The numbness doesn't keep me from doing anything, but I'll be glad when it fades out completely.

While my immune system was weak, I also picked up a wart virus. Or maybe I just spread the wart that's been on the side of my finger for years. At any rate, by the time the shingles were getting a little better, I had a really painful plantar wart on the ball of my right foot.

I showed the doctor my wart, and he said it would be best to cut it out. He said to ask for a couple of days off. I have to request time off three weeks in advance at my job. As it happened, the doctor was going out of town during my first available week, so I waited about a month for my day of surgery.

During my waiting period, I stayed ambulatory by using those corn pads that look like a miniature pink foam doughnut. I centered the hole of a small corn pad over the wart. Then I centered the hole of a larger corn pad over the small one. Over that, I put a couple of giant bandades to hold the pads in place and add a little more cushioning.

I'll withhold the gruesome details of the little surgery, except that the doctor cut a hole in my foot that was 3/8-inch deep x 3/16-inch wide. It was a fairly large wart. He cauterized the hole on the inside and sent me on my way. After a weekend off, I resumed a normal work schedule. I'm still using the corn pads and bandades over the hole, but it is growing shut. It's only a little more painful now than the wart was!

Meanwhile, we noticed that our bathroom floor had a soft spot and it was getting worse rapidly. We thought it was from water seeping under the caulking around the tub. We decided that, if we had to tear up the flooring, we would also take out the tub/shower and put in a nice, large shower stall with benches. (We prefer showering to bathing, but besides that, we're not getting any younger. We don't want to fall while trying to climb in or out of the tub.)

So we employed a fellow to do the job. After he tore into things, we learned that we also had a leak and a big rotten area under and around the vanity. In fact, this leak was probably the culprit for most of the damage.  We ended up with an alarming portion of the bathroom floor torn out to the floor joists (which, fortunately, were still OK).

Tonight, I'm happy that the subfloor is in and the new shower is hooked up. The drywall isn't finished, and the tile isn't laid, but it was great to take a real shower at home tonight. For over a week, we've been showering at Keely's house, showering at the Y, skinny-dipping in the little tank outside after dark (whew, that cold water is refreshing!) and sponge bathing in the half-bath.

Our fix-it guy gives us a portion of his day (most days), and the rest goes to another job for which he is the contractor. This means the repair job is progressing, but not too fast. We were forewarned about this, and he seems to be doing a good job. Tomorrow, his drywall guy is coming. I think the tile will come next after that.

Shingles gone, hole in my foot healing, bathroom situation improving-- yes, life is definitely taking a turn for the better. And really, I'm not complaining. I'm just reporting the news. These are the little speed bumps I've been experiencing on life's highway recently. They've slowed me down enough to make me appreciate a few things that I'd been taking for granted. I'm grateful that my problems are minor and that I can look forward to improvement.

4 comments:

RunAwayImagination said...

I've often observed that all the bad stuff happens at the same time, but then all the good stuff happens at the same time too. Seemingly unrelated vectors seem to conspire for no reason. I'm glad you're finally on the upside of the curve.

ptg said...

I'm happy to hear the tide has turned at your place.

I had an annoying plantar wart on the end on one of my middle toes. Just having the sheet on it at night was excruciating. I pulled mine out with a pair of pliers. Goodness! I was surprised at how big it was and I thought it would never stop bleeding. It took weeks for the hole to heal up.

Sit-down shower? Is there a brand name or something?

Genevieve said...

PTG, the shower we got was a Sterling Sterling shower with benches. We could get a hand-held shower head that has a long hose if we needed to shower sitting down, I guess. We wanted a 60" shower which would have fit the old bathtub space but it was going to take several weeks to special order it, so we went with the 48". It's going to work out OK. We are putting a set of floor to ceiling shelves in the extra space and that will be great for towels, etc.

This is a "replacement shower" kit (since we'd have to tear out walls to get a one-piece unit into the bathroom.) The walls of the shower are three large pieces that join to the shower base. None of the joints require caulking. The corners are designed to route any stray water downward to the floor of the shower. I suppose we will have to caulk where the shower meets the wall and the floor, but I am sooo thankful to be free of caulked joints inside.

Genevieve said...

Runaway, I am also feeling happy because I'm going to get together with my brother and sister in early October -- or at least, I'm hoping to do so! I'm going to be pretty darned disgusted if I can't get the time off from work. (I need a little ferocious-face emoticon at the end of the last sentence to help express how perturbed I will be.)

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.