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A Caregiver’s Kitchen Remodel: Drama and Survival

The view inside our headsLast week was Week Two.

The first thing that happened is the electrician’s right hand man came down with one of the horrible infections that has been plaguing us here in Denver since the holidays.  Maybe it was that nasty bronchial infection that Bill and I both had.  I finally followed Bill’s example and went to the doctor, got the antibiotics and am now free of coughing and wheezing.

With his right hand man down for the count, our dedicated electrician worked all weekend to keep the project on schedule.  What?  All weekend?  Wasn’t that the time that I planned to return home to see clients and sleep in my own bed for a few days?

So the drama begins.

The electrical inspection was on our schedule for last Monday.  However, when our electrician called the inspector’s office to set up a time, he was told that there would be no inspections all week due to a staff training.

Despite the disappointment, we were flexible.

Bill and I went out to look at paint colors.  Drywall hangers and everyone else reworked their plans for the week.

But…surprise!  Bill and I returned home to catch the tail end of the electrical inspector’s visit.  He was working no matter what they said at the office.  Happily, we passed the inspection, and the drywall guys were on the job by Wednesday.

Meanwhile Bill and I are trying to figure out how to function in the chaos that is a natural and expectable part of any major remodeling project.  My plan to minimize conflict between my job and the construction—staying away during the week and coming home to work on Saturday and Sunday—is actually only minimally helpful.  Bill’s belief that his past experience with surviving big construction projects at work would insulate him from the stress of having his home torn up turns out to be just marginally true.

We’ve been lucky to discover the Mindsight work of Daniel Siegel right at this time.  He tells us that a healthy process of daily “brain brushing” can improve resilience, emotional stability and several other desirable brain functions.  Check out this interesting video of Dr. Siegel himself explaining his findings:

Bill and I meet for dinner every night.  Before we eat, we do our daily brain brushing together.  We lay the day’s drama to rest and look forward to tomorrow.

So far the project is still on schedule.  The drywall guys worked on Saturday.



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