Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Part IV My Plan

O.K. So sooner or later I believed his work would catch up to him.

I felt he needed to be protected, he needed to take it easy, he shouldn't over exert himself, he needed to limit his exposure to bacteria. He should work less, enjoy his time more.

I hatched a plan.
Things changed. For the Worse

Mistake #1.
Shawn became a plumber. His work was no longer as physically strenuous. His hours were decreased to a reg 40 hr wk. He was no longer exposed to the same bacteria, his body was not challenged in that way.
He was no longer working with a group of young, mostly married, very physical guys. The shop was not a fun place to be.

Mistake #2.
After nearly 4 yrs ( and his perfect health), we moved out of our beach house and into my mother's home, at her insistance to save money and to help her w/ the upkeep on her very large home. The stress of living there was unbelievable. My husband was always trying to keep the peace, and always trying to please my mother. We were always in the way. Our things were always in the way. We felt unwelcome and unwanted. We quickly saved up money to move out, we would rent. I was becoming depressed and Shawn was stressed.

Mistake #3
In May of 2004 while still looking for a new place, my husband "gifted" me Lasik for my birthday. He was always trying to fix things, to get me out of my funk.
Unfortunately the surgery did not go well. I was rendered blind for 4 wks due to undiagnosed infections and poor quality care. I was out of work from May through August. It was avery difficult time for us. My depression only worsened. Shawn was taking it bad as well. He felt guilty. In August I took on a new job.

Mistake #4
In the fall of 04 the opportunity to buy our own home came up . It was a friend of Shawn's grandmother. Her husband had died 18yrs earlier and at that time, she up and left the house. It remained in that exact state for nearly 20 years. Beds made, sugar in the sugar bowl, a calender from 1986 hung on the wall. A virtual time warp.
We knew it needed a major overhaul.
The house was appraised by the bank for 319,000. We offered her 225,000. She accepted.
We were both in great health. We assumed that we would continue working, making good money, update the house as we went along, no rush, no problem we were both handy, eager and neither of us shyed away from hard work.
We jumped in

This I believe was the biggest mistake we made and has been our undoing.

Shawn was healthy when we moved in.
Within weeks of moving in, Shawn was hospitalized for the first time in his life. Over the last almost 4 yrs Shawn has been plagued with worsening health. A few 24-48 hour inpt stays for resp infections, a few outpt courses of oral abx, random prednisone tapers, misc inhalers. A slow but steady decline in his health, his weight and ultimately his quality of life.

We have changed the heating, electrical and plumbing. Remodeled the bathroom. Stripped and painted all but one room. This past February while Shawn was hospitalized for 4 wks, our friends and I got together gutted and remodeled the kitchen. Of course there is the esthetic value of all this but more importantly these updates had to be made for his health. In the beginning he could help, but he has just gotten sicker and sicker. I have to do it myself. Money has gotten tighter and tighter.
The wallpaper was disintergrating off the walls, the heating ductwork was filled with 40+ years of dust and whatever else was in there, the kitchen ceiling had a squirrels nest above it, literally draining through the plaster into our kitchen. We thought it was a leak. The walls and ceilings are all made of horsehair plaster. The basement, has a painted floor, and concrete/cinderblock flaking/crumbling walls. I found a heavy leak under cabinetry where the washer was draining, the interior of the cabinet was covered in black mold. There is lead paint, aspestos wrapped heating ducts to second floor, a leaky roof and unfinished raw closets/crawlspaces that are forever producing a fine layer of brownish crap.

During all of this I am constantly trying to make this place livable for him. Constant cleaning, dusting, washing, air purifiers, de-humdifiers in basement, humidifiers upstairs because the forced hot air makes it too dry.

Selling it was our first instinct. We thought we would be able to remodel and sell. But one thing led to another, there was always more repairs to be made.

We were desperately trying to fix the house enough to make it healthy for Shawn to be here, while we try to sell it.

Now we are at the point that we are broke, there is not another penny to sink into this house. There is not enough money or time to make this house healthy for us.
Shawn is losing ground everyday and we have to get out.

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