Thursday, March 26, 2015

we have floors!

We thought they would be done by Friday, and then by Wednesday, and in the end, they were done by Tuesday of the following week. But THEY ARE DONE!!! Which means we can move to the next step in getting the RV ready to be inhabited. 

The slide is in, so those rubber strips you see over the floors are to temporarily protect the floors from being marred by the rollers in the slide.

My husband will do the trim and reinstall the sofas this weekend. Hopefully he will even have time to install the curtain rods!

I better get to making those curtains.

Detail of the floor pattern. We used a "cheat" eco-friendly floor (we just could NOT afford bamboo, plus it was too thick). It's still better from an eco standpoint than stuff you might find at Home Depot, but not as good as bamboo, for example, as far as sustainability and renewability. We DID get it at a locally-owned, family run business called Rug Bug Eco Flooring, and the guy we ended up hiring to do the job was a flooring contractor they use and recommended (he also gave us the least expensive quote). 

The really good news is that even *I*, with my insanely sensitive sense of smell/sensitivities can stand inside the RV on those floors with no issues. Impressive for ANY sort of flooring/new materials, IMO. There is one building supply store in all the land I can actually tolerate being inside of without having a mast cell reaction, and it's The Green Depot in SE Portland - I've even commented to them how amazed I was that I didn't even need my mask to go in - that's nothing short of a miracle for somewhere that sells paints and varnishes and flooring and other building supplies. 

It goes all the way back into the bedroom. Having floors makes me so happy!

Look at this nook. Think about ALL the cuts they had to do to shape this floor, which was planks, into this space. No wonder it took three days (of actual work time).

Again with the nooks and crannies and cuts they had to make to fit them all. 

You can see into the front of the RV from here, and the planks that are left. My husband is using these to do the elevated bathroom floor himself. We were originally going to do something else but these are leftover, which makes it "free" material, so we might as well use what we already have. He'll do that this weekend. 

One step closer! Not too much longer now!

Finally, it feels like progress! Of course it will, it's spring!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

day of MRIs...need spoons!

Last month I went for my Day of Scans...I literally spent my entire day in this machine, with only a couple of breaks - one of which was to do a CT scan in another machine. I drove three hours, getting up before dawn to endure this torture. It was a very interesting experience indeed - one I never want to repeat.

This machine is an upright MRI machine  - used for diagnosing Chari Malformation, among other things. So after all these cans last month, I then got to wait around thinking I might, in addition to my ever-growing diagnoses, have Chiari Malformation...which would mean likely a need for brain surgery. You can maybe imagine my state of mind.

My geneticist, who ordered these scans, called to let me know that my insurance now covers telemedicine, which meant I do't have to drive the three hours in a different direction to go to his office for the results - I could just have a skype call with him instead! I am loving this insurance company and what it covers. I'm told this is the result of The Affordable Care Act, so thanks, Obama!

I got my results the other day - no Chiari Malformation! YES!!! But...ovarian cysts instead. not what we were scanning for, but there they were. And...this is something I'm not really surprised about. given my utter inability to lose weight no matter what I do or eat, and my insulin resistance, I'm pretty sure that's PCOS...I rechecked the symptom list and I pretty much have every single one. Yet another dx to add to my ever-growing list. This is NOT ever what anyone wants to collect, let me tell you.

So I made an appointment with my primary, who can also do GYN stuff, and mentioned PCOS. W're going to go ever allthethings I've learned since my last visit with her and get her really coordinating my care...something I seem to need - the one to oversee all the others. I don't think she knows about mast cell activation disorder, but I do think she is willing to learn, so it's a start.

I just keep hoping that as we keep collecting puzzle pieces, one day we will be able to put them all together and find the thing that will help me lose this weight. I think we're getting close, and that it has to do with Dysautonomia/POTS and PCOS....but I have no idea what the solution is yet.

Ever forward. Ever exhausted. Spoon!

Friday, March 13, 2015

we almost have floors!

Well, I WAS going to write a post about how today is the last day our RV floor will look like this:

But it turns out it isn't  - the flooring guy rescheduled for Wednesday. So we have a few more days of bare floor while we get some other things done for the RV. Well, we've waited THIS long, right? 

Instead I'll show you some of the painting we've gotten done: 

Our pretty purple bathroom with the compost toilet

The sky blue bedroom. 

Where there was cherry wood, now is white! And you can see the green of the living room/kitchen area. This has ALWAYS been my favorite green for living rooms. 

This is just a sneak peek -  I'll do better taking photos once everything is really one, and I'll endeavor to make proper before/after photos when we truly have an "after" to show you. 

Right now, we have a list of "things left to do in the RV", and it's so much more doable than that never-ending painting was! 

Things left to do in the RV: 
  • paint cabinet knobs (in process)
  • finish knobs with shellac or protective cover spray
  • install cabinet knobs and latches 
  • put up curtain rods
  • make curtains
  • finish painting sofa
  • reinstall both sofas
  • remove microwave
  • paint doors with chalkboard paint
  • install metal panels around slide frame, on refrigerator
  • get oil changed
  • finish bathroom floor
  • make panels for holes in bathroom floor and beside bed (so small animals cannot hide there)
  • paint RV chairs
  • paint table
  • install shelving in closet
  • install shower curtain rod around shower

I'm pretty sure there are more little things here and there, but these are the things that need doing before we can begin to move in. Shouldn't take TOO much longer, should it? Heh. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Arc Arcade in Astoria, OR

While we were at the conference we decided to check out an arcade we'd passed on the way to the hotel. It had some cool stuff in the window, and someone had posted a photo of a tardis on the conference website, saying it was at the arcade. We had to go!
It seems to be owned by a group of young gamers, who have a passion for the games of my husband's childhood. And my son's. 

In addition to games for just quarters and sometimes even for free, they also sell comic books, ice cream, nachos, italian sodas, candy and other junk food stuffs - the stuff gamers tend to like! There is comfy seating around the gaming stations, and some booths for eating, too. 

Comfy seats for the big screens.

I haven't seen this giddy a look on my husband's face in...I don't even know when. Like a kid in a candy store, or a father reliving his gaming childhood....with his son. 

There were a couple of TVs on the wall playing cartoon shows. I took this photo for the frame, not the TV. Old skool!

So many cool retro arcade games! All the classics!

Not just one, but several of the machines said this. 

Passing the torch to the younger generation. What a happy Daddy!

This was for ME. The only doctor I ever WANT to see.

There was this Valentines' display in the window outside. 

Pretty silly. I like it.

Monday, February 9, 2015

traveling with chronic illness and allergies, or how to give yourself a panic attack, part 2

We did it. Or more, I made the lists of everything that needed doing and then stayed on top of checking off whether they'd gotten done. And my husband did them all. I helped where spoons allowed: doing laundry, packing the kitchen stuff, the food and electronics and my and my son's clothing. My husband packed everything else, and made sure the house was clean and the chickens were fed before we left. And he tetris packed that car. 

I drove, because winding roads make me carsick, and my son loves it when his Dad rides in the back seat with him. The two of them held the animals on their laps. We had called ahead and requested our room not be cleaned with chemicals, but instead with vinegar and baking soda before we came. It was thankfully only a two hour drive, and it was BEAUTIFUL. I swear, Oregon and Washington are two of the most beautiful places I have ever encountered in my life. I LOVE the Pacific Northwest SO much!

We got to the hotel and went inside harsh smells. I couldn't small the pool! And I can ALWAYS small the pool. It didn't feel overly humid inside either - which hotels with pools tend to do. So far so good!

We had a pet room, which meant other pets had stayed there before, and I could smell the faint smell of dog - but it wasn't bad, and again, no harsh chemical smells other than the sheets, which they promised not to bleach. But those would soon come off. The window opened out to the Columbia River, and the view was lovely - railroad tracks and then water, and the sound of....barking? Sea lions! Incessant barking, but not sharp like dogs....comforting in its consistency somehow, in its constant noise. Background noise. I was going to find out where they were later for sure!

So while this hotel isn't *perfect* (we are in a pet room which has previously had other pets here and my eyes were kind of burning the first day and night), it is as close to perfect as a hotel could be for our price point. No chemical smells, no over the top reactions, soundproofish rooms, HUGE suites - we have a kitchenette area, two beds, a sofa and extra tables - this hotel is BRILLIANT. There is space for the litterbox, the dog crate, all our food, our kitchen stuff if we're frugal about the space, and all the toys, electronics and clothes. 

And. Frenzie's eyes have been watering nonstop since we moved into our house (carpet, gas oven/stove) afternoon of the first day being here they were completely cleared up. And no more sneezing - she has been sneezing constantly for as long as here eyes have been watering. So I bet my house IS part of what is making me sick, not JUST the regular Portland mold and moisture.  I knew it was an issue, because Frenzie's eyes have never watered like that anywhere we have lived, plus she is sneezing ALL the time...she is our canary.  

Also, how amazing is this?

My friend M gifted me her scooter while I need it, and it was at S's house. Since she wasn't coming to the conference because of chronic lyme, she suggested I ask C 

9other mutual friend coming to conference and basically running it in S's place) to bring it, WHICH SHE DID - AMAZING. S's eldest helped get it into the van, because they have brute strength apparently!

So my husband and C unloaded it, but no cord for recharging...but the website it came from was listed on the scooter. So I called their after hours number, and they didn't have one, but gave me the # of another health supply place here in Astoria. It was/is RIGHT up the street from the hotel.

The after hours tech met my husband at the store, and gave him a cord we could borrow while we are here! How amazing is that?!? It's a $120 cord and he's just like, "Here, I trust you, go ahead and take it for the weekend."

Of course we will bring it back! But what kind of alternate Universe have we entered here? What an amazing gift, all of these people doing all of these amazing things so I will have more mobility. And needed, because there are sea lions on the docks, just happily barking away, day and night, and clearly they WANT us all to visit them and bask in their fearsome glory.