One step at a time

Today was one giant lesson in patience and fortitude. Today, things we thought we could check off of our massive pre-surgery to-do list were thrown right back in our faces. Here’s what happened:
I put down the deposit for the first floor apartment in our building yesterday afternoon. That, I thought, was all we would need to secure our new place and be ready for move in on Aug. 24. But today, just before lunch, my husband got a call from the apartment office. The apartment coming open that day is on the second floor. There won’t be any ground-floor units for almost a month. I’m not sure how such an extreme miscommunication happened, but it did and it left us feeling stuck.
We had lunch at our favorite Thai place. They can make any dish on the menu vegan. We decided that even a large one bed room would be alright for a year and we set a price cap so he would be ready to work the phones. He found a townhouse that we could check out at 3 p.m. We went, checked it out and paid the application fee. It’s about the same size as our place now but it is on two floors. We will use the dining room as a bedroom until I am better. But there is one serious consequence:
We can’t have our cats there.

My mom will take Hugo, my orange tabby that I got as a kitten almost exactly five years ago. Needles, his gray and white cuddlier, will stay with a good friend in Omaha. It is devastating, but hopefully rather temporary. The next time we move, to our own house, we hope to bring the boys home.

Part of me feels like we dodged a bullet because of his fast work today. But the to-do list still has some pretty major stuff. Packing, cleaning, moving, buying a washer and dryer for the new place, meeting with a realtor on our next trip to Omaha because my good friend who is renting my house is planning to move, and meeting our newborn niece. All in the next two weeks, basically.

Even with all the stress I felt today, and the pain that seems to amplify when my body is tense, there were some beautiful moments. One of my favorite coworkers went out of her way for me today. She walked to the tennis courts on campus and got some old, discarded tennis balls for the back posts of my walker. It has been making a lot of noise as I shuffle around our building.
“Now you can be stealth again,” she told me as we got the tennis balls to fit onto the walker’s legs*.
Walker feet with tennis balls

Another coworker, based in an office down the hall, offered me the use of an adult potty seat. Her granddaughter was in a car accident a while back and had pelvic reconstruction surgery among other things. My coworker’s experience has been a terrific comfort to me. Her granddaughter is doing great now, she says.
The offer caught me off guard at first. But it’s true. I’m going to need an adult potty chair. And someone is going to have to empty it. There are going to be tons of things I can’t do for myself. Even more than there are now. But it will be temporary and it will be worth it.

I am trying so hard not to get distracted and negative. Without a positive outlook I know I would cry even more, wince even more, maybe even give up. Staying positive means I can put on a brave face, go to work every day and fight through to tomorrow.

*NOTE: How to fit tennis balls onto the legs of your walker: First, find some old tennis balls, they will be easier to cut into. Use a knife or box cutter to make an x at the center of one side of the ball. Next, if your walker has rounded leg ends, remove them so you can put the metal pole right into the x. When we did it, the x on one ball was a bit larger than the x on the other. It made it easier to get on to the end of the walker leg, but it fell off sometimes when it was bumped into things. Pinch the x open as much as you can and work the leg end into the ball. It took a few minutes, but has made a huge difference.

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