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Topic Guess what?! ANOTHER big project! Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By jcoff012 On 2017.03.17 19:20
Well, it seems we are REALLY getting into living! Monday started the foray into a huge backyard remodel!

Actually, Carl has drawn plans and tried working with three contractors over the last four years! About six months ago, we met the backyard savior! Now, Carl and this man, Hugh, are beginning the processes of constructing a pool, backyard patio demo, outdoor kitchen and fireplace, hot tub, etc! A MAJOR undertaking! Carl has been, and is, in Heaven! He has had to use his brain (although he readily admits he is slowing down and has to make copious notes), he is shoveling dirt, etc.!

And, Hugh, the contractor, has been a Godsend! We have always been candid about the Parkinson's and he has jumped in and taken over many of the issues which Carl would have normally done. He values Carl, but is very protective of him, and extremely intuned to making sure Carl doesn't overdue. I love watching them work together, knowing Carl is thriving on the interaction. Hugh even suggested Carl hire two laborers to do the heavy work so he wouldn't be too tired for the finish work he loves!

I guess what I am saying is this...I agree with Al and Michelle, as long as he is able, I am remaining supportive and basically silent, while Carl continues to do what he can while enjoying the work he loves. The end project won't be the same as we planned and saved for...we wanted to do this by ourselves, thus not having to dip into our savings...But, PD has taken that freedom away. We are doing all we can with what PD doesn't limit us. And, yes, we are going to be "hemorraghing money" as Carl says. But, to see him working with men again, being the "boss" again (although Hugh is right there), makes all of this pure joy to watch! It's only money and think of the joy the grandkids will have with the pool (Al, we are having in pool seating all around the sides and safety rails in three major areas, and steps into the shallow end). I also know how much he loves being outside and the new outdoor kitchen and room will allow him to enjoy these long, hot summers here in California!

It is a win/win situation and one that has brought back a twinkle in Carl's eyes and better sleeping at night!

I hope his PD holds off while all of this is will all be worth every long day, all the hard work, and every penny spent!

By jcoff012 On 2017.03.19 13:52
One added commented...when we went to Universal and Disneyland last year, the house we rented had children and adult life vests for the pool. Carl and the kids wore them...

So, I see this as a good sign that they will do the same here! No judgments, just easily accepted safety! Yea! Another hurdle out of the the time, he said the life vest made him feel very confident with the kids (7 & 11) in the pool. Yea!

By flowers12 On 2017.03.19 16:57
I'm so happy for you and Carl! It's so important for all of us to feel productive and enjoy doing things. We have a pool and a few years ago my hubby was happy to wear a life jacket in the pool. Unfortunately now he can't get in and out without a struggle so doesn't get in anymore.

My hubby was an over head fire sprinkler fitter for 50 years. His dementia moments mostly are now about looking for his fittings so he can put the pipe in the ceiling. I've been trying to find things for him to put together so he can do something that makes him feel productive but I haven't found anything yet he will work with.

By jcoff012 On 2017.03.19 23:17
I wish you lived closer. We have a sprinkler system in the house and have no one to talk to about it (we live in a TINY city)!

Wish I had suggestions, but I have come to learn that what works for one, doesn't always work for another.

Carl has been having terrible anger issues this last month, but so far he isn't cruel and seems to get over it. He also accepts his limitations, so he has agreed to hire help for the hard labor of digging, etc.

I am truly glad he has this whole thing going on right now. In many ways, he sees he cannot do a lot of the physical tasks, but he CAN do some and he is happy!

By LOHENGR1N On 2017.03.23 00:28
Flowers just a thought on Hubby doing things. Maybe you could contact someone at his old job, ask if they had some old sprinkler heads and fittings? maybe a few short lengths of pipe? A couple of elbows. He could busy himself putting them together and change some of the heads around. Doing stuff he used to do? Just a thought.
Jane, You said Carl has been having anger issues this last month? He might have some with the project (just a heads up) while we do in time face up to and accept our limitations. We will adapt to our limitations however most of the time we don't recognize them until come face to face with them. I got extremely mad a little over a week ago. My neighbors and I were going to the town hall for a selectman's meeting to voice a problem with an abutting business. For a while now I've been having balance problems, falling or losing balance more often. I've practiced the headlong Parkinson's charge across the room trying to gain balance to stand before running head first into the wall (so far grabbing the arm of a chair or a counter top have saved me) also the stepping on a sock and reacting to get off it because it was something different the aw sh*t whats that reaction. Well to make a long story even longer, my feet got tangled up and down I went! Right in front of my neighbors. I got up and went in to hear them telling other neighbors already inside I fell. I'm okay, was kind of sore the next day but have rebounded. But I was mad, I kept it inside because it was such a radical event. Sure the normal reaction would be maybe a little ticked off and embarrassed, but to be so mad? I knew what I was mad about but it didn't help right then it took a couple of days to face it and come to grips that this damn disease succeeded in taking more from me. We know it will and does but it is at times difficult to face it. To have the neighbors see and know, it isn't our (Parkinson's Diseases and My) little secret anymore. In the long run it probably is better with them knowing because they'll keep an eye out. Now I have to work on the part of me that separates the concern and being watched they're concerned not nosy. Ah such is the journey with P.D. and so we keep on trucking! Hey it beats the alternative.

By jcoff012 On 2017.03.23 12:44
Al, I feel for you. PD is such a b*^#@! I think a large part of Carl's problem right now is exactly as you said...all the simplest decisions are bugging him...ones he used to just make and not look back. That, and not sleeping well because he is sore and his mind keeps going over and over the smallest details. We have had jackhammering going for eight hours a day since Tuesday and I, for one, am popping Extra Strength Tylenols! I imagine it is REALLY hard on him! We are very lucky to have Hugh on our side. One thing Carl and I have done from the beginning is to be upfront about the PD. The waitresses where we often eat breakfast know, Hugh knows, just seems easier to let them know there may be issues, you know?

Wish we lived closer, not across the country, so we could interact on a personal level...Carl's neuro was very pleased that he will be exercising in the pool, as in the summer walking in CA gets very difficult in 110 degree weather! It is nothing to be 85 at 8 or 9 in the morning! So having a pool so Carl would continue to keep active was appealing to him...

Flowers, Carl is only 69 and very highly functioning still, so we are hoping he will have several years' use of the pool. If not, he is putting in an outdoor fireplace, kitchen and covered areas right off the family, he will easily go between inside and outside, if not into the pool.

As for me, I am enjoying seeing him trying to make things beautiful and functional, both which are traits he embraces. It is a little late for us, but will improve the resale of the house when the time comes, so it cannot be all bad!

One thing, too...we sat down and had a very candid discussion about money, savings, TSAs, etc...and decided that all our lives we have given everything to our kids, from vacations, cruises, college money, furniture, etc. They will be provided for in our wills, so why not spend money on this house so that we can truly enjoy it? Seemed logical to us...We have tremendous health coverage from his retirement, Medicare, retirement income which will continue to the surviving spouse, and a nice nest egg in savings, so why not. And, we came up with no good reason to not do this. So, even after things take a turn, we will be happy here! LOLOL

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