Thursday, October 28, 2010

All in the name of Accessibility

September 2009 was a rough month. Fast forward a year to September 2010 and I spent a good chunk of the month in an irritable mood.

If I were to be compared to an animal, I would have been Mango. Imagine a large fluffy orange cat. Now imagine that cat crouched on the doorstep with its fur wet from the rain, its ears laid back and body tense, a ticked off expression on its face, and all the while you hear that angry cat growl.

I don't think I portrayed that image to everyone I came in contact with, but that is how I felt inside. It was a result of my anticipation of some upcoming home improvement projects.

It is a cycle that I have come to recognize. As more of my physical abilities are lost, adaptations need to be made. And I get angry about the changes. It would have been nice if the diagnosis could have been given and I could have gotten out all of my grieving in the early stages and then moved on anticipating and making needed changes as I go...anger free. But like I said, it is a cycle I recognize, and it is how I mourn. I mourn incrementally as needed, and then move on.

This time the adaptations were big; Improving and increasing accessibility. We added a handrail down the steps into our backyard and remodeled our bathroom. The counter has been lowered, the shower is now a walk-in and a wall was partially removed and the doorway widened to be (someday when needed) wheelchair accessible. Everything was wrapped up in October.

With the big changes came a lot of sadness and it seemed to drag on much longer than normal. One morning, after Erik and Claire left for school and Jeff had gone to work, all I wanted to do was stare at the old nail hole in the wall. Do you know what I mean, where you want everything and everyone to just go away. Even if it is only for a couple of hours.

All of a sudden my wake-up call came. It was like there was a voice in my head saying, "Janae, this has gone on long enough. Get over yourself!" (There wasn't really a voice in my head...because that would present a another set of problems!) I had passed the point of grief to where it became unproductive self pity. Feeling sorry for myself consumes a surprisingly large amount of energy. So the wake-up call was a welcomed kick to get my a*s moving.

I got up and walked down the hall and just started laughing at Megan. She was dancing in the middle of our family room rug, wearing a bunch of medals around her neck and singing into a crayon. Her song went something like, "I'm a rock star, every day...God gave us fam-ilies...O' yah, I'm a really good singer!"

Thank heavens for my young children, they keep me sane.

October has had some blah, but it has been mostly good.

Enough of me. Now back to my kids...