Shame and Shingles

5 Nov

Several days of intense pain followed by the appearance of a small rash drove me to the doctor on Thursday. The verdict? Shingles.
As I have mentioned before, I have this totally weird and rare eye condition that does better if I keep my immune system suppressed. As a result, I get a fair share of bugs – normally of the not-so-serious kind like colds and stomach viruses.

My shingles are definitely the result of a low immune system. However there’s some decent evidence to show that shingles are brought on by stress, and I have a little bit of that going on currently.

You already know we’re working on our home study process right now. You probably don’t know we’re involved in a major house renovation process as well. Major as in we tore the roof off our house and gutted the second floor. After we ripped off the roof, the DC area experienced an earthquake, a hurricane and then what is now being referred to as thousand year rains. The temporary roof (plywood and tarps) couldn’t handle the stress. The kitchen ceiling leaked, the dining room ceiling leaked. Parts of the living room ceiling ended up on the floor of the living room.

Since we gutted the 2nd floor, we had to remove everything upstairs. All that stuff – two bedrooms worth of stuff – is in our living room and dining room at the moment. It looks like hoarders live in our house. Plus we’ve been living in the first floor guest room since we moved in a year ago. I really, really miss our bed.
Want to see my shame?

This is what our dining room looks like right now. There is furniture everywhere - our mattress and box spring, two dressers, rolled up carpets - plus everything from our closets.

I mean, look at that. There’s a narrow path for walking and the rest is furniture piled on furniture. The plastic sheeting at the back is covering the place where we ripped windows out of the wall to make room for a sliding door.

The living room is not much better. Sections of wall board are missing and all of our bathroom fixtures are piled in the entry.

Our bathroom is in our living room. That's not as handy as you would think.


So, it’s crazy around here. I’m also really busy at work.

AND - our social worker is coming for the home visit in less than two weeks.

She’s assured us that she understands we’re remodeling, but we’re leaning hard on our contractor to make significant progress in order to make some of this craziness go away.

If they tile the shower stall and get the floor down in the bathroom we could at least move all those fixtures up there. She’s going to understand that the bathroom has construction materials in it, but she needs to be able to enter the house without falling over it. If they put in the sliding door, we can remove the plastic barricade. Again, she’s going to understand if the wall is missing the floorboard molding. Not having floorboard molding doesn’t make our house unsafe for children, but huge sections of plastic on which a child could suffocate might.

So, there’s some stress. On the other hand, we have heat in the house now for the first time in weeks (months really, but we didn’t need it back in September). Progress is being made. I’m so excited for our new second floor which houses our remodeled and larger master bedroom, a bathroom of my dreams and a room that (provided our social worker doesn’t run away screaming) will one day be our cheerful little nursery.

What do you think? How much progress can we make in this short period of time? What should be our priorities for preparing for the home visit?

5 Responses to “Shame and Shingles”

  1. Heather November 8, 2011 at 9:00 am #

    How exciting! Uh, the renovation part not the shingles part. I’m sure your caseworker will remain true to her word and understand that things are out of place right now. I don’t think caseworkers expect you to completely freeze your lives for an indefinite amount of time while you wait on your son or daughter. I think they are just making sure that your home isn’t a permanent tribute to Saw III.

    That being said, I hope order and good health are restored to you soon. <3

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

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