Monday, January 14, 2013


Work began on renovating our master suite this week. Our contractor began work on Thursday, and made quite significant progress in two days.

Like any ALS patient, I try to keep a positive outlook. That being said, we also have to stay one step ahead of my needs. That was the impetus behind the decision to remodel our master suite bathroom.

Throughout the planning phase, our ideas and desires evolved and we realized there were other spaces that we could better utilize.

A tool room sits between the master suite and the garage. Previously, tool room could only be accessed through the garage. We decided to open doorway from the master suite into the "tool room" in order to reconfigure the space as a walk in closet.

We also realized that we could remove some walls to open up the entrance from the garage into the house.

While the conversion of the tool room into a closet will undoubtedly benefit us in terms of   space -- who knows what medical hardware I may require around my bed -- the bathroom remodel will be of greatest benefit day by day.

The old bathroom in the master suite took up a 6' x 8'  area in the corner of the room. Two walls have been demolished and reconfigured to bring the overall space closer to 8' x 10'. All of the old fixtures and fittings have been removed, as has the old flooring, right down to bare floor joists.

While the old fixtures and fittings were more than functional, they all have drawbacks that would be problematic for me in the future. The old sink sat atop a wall-to-wall cabinet; you can't get close if you are in a wheelchair. The old toilet, at a regular height, is slightly low; a taller toilet will be easier to navigate. The old cast-iron bathtub would require a two or three person scrum to move me in and out; a walk in shower is the only sensible option.

I'm definitely excited about the new sink and toilet configuration -- we even arranged for a fancy toilet seat that helps with toilet hygiene -- but I'm positively giddy to see the shower completed.

The layout of the shower means there is no door to get in or out. Our contractor will cut one-inch gradients on the top of the floor joists in the shower. The slight slope this will create not only aids drainage, but it also means we won't need a lip on the floor stop shower water splashing out. Again, something that will benefit us when I'm in a wheelchair. Lastly, we will have taps for the shower placed somewhere that is equally accessible for both the shower user and anyone providing assistance.

Inside the bedroom looking at the new bathroom space

Standing at the current bedroom door looking at the new bedroom door location

New framing in the crawl space to support the weight of the new shower

Standing at the new bedroom door looking into the new walk-in closet. The old glass door will soon be removed

The stepladder sits in a new, large closet that will open out to the entrance from the garage. Hopefully removing clutter!

Monday, January 7, 2013


After any hiatus from writing blog posts, a lengthy blurb about what I've been up to usually follows.

I think I'll buck that trend today. Suffice to say my holiday break was fantastic. It's not that I don't want to write about the holidays, rather, I'd like to keep some of those memories locked away in my mental vault.

That rather anticlimactic description brings us to the present day.

Amanda and the girls are settling back into the routine of going to school. Meanwhile, I can't decide how much of a routine I want. I endeavor to be up every morning to help the girls get out the door, though I sometimes fall victim to the cozy comfort of my bed.

The remainder of my daily routine is up for grabs. However, as I inch ever closer to committing to writing a book that vast expanse of free time begins to look smaller and smaller.

More on the book later...

For now, a quick symptom update: my legs now feel weaker, my balance and reactions seem off, and I'm not sure I could reach for anything over shoulder height. That explains why Amanda moved all the good booze to the top wall cabinets.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Resolution

What with it being a new year and everything...

I shall endeavor to enjoy every moment I have. If ALS is to rob me of time, I'll be damned if I'll let it take away my happiness.

Love and laugh more. Simple.