can't you see the sunshine….

How’s the move going

on January 8, 2017

The snow on the East Coast has allowed me to take a forced rest day.  So I have a bit of time to think and write.  We got a lot done this week.  I’m pretty pleased.

We left Ocean City, NJ on Monday which was still a holiday so the traffic was not too bad.  We choose to go down through Delaware and Maryland to Virginia Beach and spend the night.  Ben grew up in that area and his high school reunions are held at a hotel there on the beach.  The hotel has a nice indoor pool so I don’t mind stopping there.  Tuesday AM we had to wander around and make a stop at Bojangles.  Then, of course, once we got to North Carolina  we had to stop for BBQ.  We finally made it in to Raleigh about 4:00 and immediately got lost.  I thought that US 64 would turn into New Bern Avenue and take us right in through town.  But it doesn’t.  Anyway, we ended up on the Beltline, I think, but it could have been I 40, Lawd, I don’t know but I saw Person Street and skedaddled off.  I knew that would take me to Krispy Kreme!   I can find my way from Krispy Kreme and I did.

We are staying at a rental condo in Cameron Village about 6 blocks from the one I own that we will soon begin remodeling.  I saw the place we are renting online.  It is very ‘Urban Chic”.  Which is fine if you are 20 something years old.  All the flat surfaces (tables) are either LOW or HIGH!  Only the kitchen and bathroom counter tops are a normal height.  There is nothing wrong with this.  I am not criticizing.  One day the owner of this property will be old too.  He will realize the difficulties then.  Ben in his wheel chair (the sofa and chair are about 20″ from the ground or 3′ off the ground.  I would have to pull him out of the sofa and for sure he would fall off the little 3’ off the ground ‘tractor’ chair.  So he remains in his wheel chair) had no where to spread out his massive computer empire.  And then there was the closet.  Very nice closet.  Lots of hangers.  Half of which are easily over 6 feet off the ground.  I hauled in a few suitcases are started to unpack.  This is our home for the next few months, might as well get organized.  While I unpacked I pondered a few solutions.

Wednesday AM I found a console table with a drawer on Craig’s List for $20 that was nearby.  We went over to buy it.  We had lunch at the K&W. HMMMMM!  Fueled on sweet tea  I was ready to take on Target.  We picked up a few things that we needed including a step stool which I carefully placed on Ben’s mobility cart.  Checked out.  Got him in the car.  Answered the phone yet again.  (Why all of the sudden are people phoning me?  I haven’t talked on the phone this much in years.  We have this little EXPENSIVE tinker toy phone that costs even when someone calls us.  I am just watching $40 drain away while I listen to things you could send me in an email!  And oh, if one more person says ‘well, just look it up on your phone’  I don’t know what I’ll do.  Hello America, not everyone carries the internet around in their pocket)  Anyway, we were off to the credit union to start the process of getting a loan for the work that needs to be done on the condo.

I went in to the credit union just to chat and see what paperwork that I would need.  Got the information and we left.  It took a considerable amount of driving around the parking lot before ‘Goldilocks’ here found an exit that she liked.  The credit union is located on a blind curve of a 4 lane that leads from downtown out to the suburbs and beyond.  Even though it is in the city and a 35 MPH zone, folks are driving wayyyy faster than that. Remember, I drove in Italy.   I was not liking the idea of coming and going to this place.  We finally make it home, unpack, haul in more suitcases to unpack and I realize no step stool.  Left it on the mobility cart at the Target.  And then the chat about snow started to become serious.

Thursday morning arrives and we are up at 5.  Why not?!  After getting Ben out of bed two times yesterday AM, at 5 and then again at 7, I firmly tell him ‘tough luck!  you are staying up.  So I  wander around, have a Krispy Kreme doughnut when it occurs to me that I live 5 blocks from a 24 hour Harris-Teeter grocery store.  I can shop before all the ‘snow madness’ shopping starts.  So I am in the store well before 8, having a pleasant shopping experience.  By the time I leave an hour later, buzz has picked up in the store.  Back to unload groceries, bundle Ben up, get him in the car and start on today’s list which included buying two twin size mattresses.  The bed we are sleeping on is less than 1′ off the ground.  And the mattress is soft.  Again, I am not criticizing.  It is a very comfortable bed until you want to get out of it.  It takes all of my strength to haul myself out.  Wednesday  AM taught me that I can’t keep getting Ben out of this bed as it is.  In our new place we are going to need twin size mattresses.  We realize that we could just buy them now, put them under the king size mattress and raise it up.  Making life easier for both of us.  So very near the top of the list, buying mattresses.  Also on the list going back to Target to get the step stool that I left behind (which was waiting right on the mobility cart where I put it) and working again on getting a loan.  And oh, by the way, I had to spend an hour and very expensive phone time trying to make doctor’s appointments.  We manage to get all that done and go to a different credit union (closer, easier to get in to and out of) and start the loan process. More talk of SNOW.  Inches!  And very cold temps afterwards for DAYS that will make melting difficult.

Ben has balance problems.  It just makes sense for him to not go out in icy conditions. Before we left Italy, I had made him an appointment for next week which would have handled prescription refills but I am afraid that he will not be able to keep it because of the ice and snow.   So, Friday, first thing a doctor’s appointment that took me an hour and numerous calls, on Thursday, to arrange.   You know, you read all this about researching your doctor, picking this, picking that….well you can do that, but if the doctor is not accepting new patients or not accepting Medicare patients then all the research is for nothing.  One of the offices that I talked to must have sensed my frustration and gave me 3 choices that would accept us.  I called one and lucked into an appointment for Friday AM.  A very nice woman doctor, very calm, very zen.  And a geriatric specialist.  She spent well over an hour with us.  Not rushed.  Taking a good complete history.  Changing one or two meds.  And then announcing ‘Ben is considered “homebound”.  Medicare will pay for a physical therapist to come to the house and get him up and moving’. I’ll write that up’  Well, it took every bit of self control that I have to keep from getting up and running over and hugging her.

Ben squared away, we have lunch at Char-Grill.  Hmmmm, good hamburgers.  Off to give documents to the credit union lady and then Ben gets to take a shower.  Until you do this, don’t judge.  It is very hard even in the US to find a handicapped accessible apartment or temporary house to rent.  I picked the place we are renting because of location.  It gets us in this neighborhood and gets us used to the area and traffic and the flow and feel of the place.  We bring our own raised toilet seat and other aids.  But a step in bath tub is a no no for someone Ben’s size with balance problems.  I knew this when I made arrangements to rent.  Before agreeing to the place I contacted the public park systems and discussed using the ‘family’ handicapped shower room at the indoor pools.  All set.  And this is on thing where no one told me one thing in an email only to have it all be changed when I arrived.  Ben had a very welcomed shower.  The guys delivering the mattresses showed up and they worked out fine.  It only took 3 trips to the drug store to get most of Ben’s prescriptions (and $200) and I was home before the storm hit.

So what got done?  I got to take a bath in a bathtub.  The kitchen is pretty well organized but all the pans are warped  and my pans are still in NJ.  I can live with warped pans for a few weeks.  This morning Ben got to get up at 3 and go back to bed until 5 and then get up again and then go back to bed until  7 and I can still walk and my back is not screaming in pain.  He has space for his computer and thanks to a trash pile I have a table for mine.  All the documents are submitted for our loan and we have a closing date of 1/27.  I washed three loads of clothes and dried them and put them up.  ALL IN ONE DAY!!!!! At this time of year in Italy that would have taken a week!  Ben has a doctor we are both happy with and enough drugs for a bit.   I have figured out that the giant TV which is almost as big as I am is an ‘Apple TV’ and has Netflixs and Hulu and with my friend BK’s help now has ESPN so I am hopeful that I will be able to watch UNC and Carolina play basketball tomorrow afternoon.  I don’t know of a better note to end this on, except to acknowledge that we know we are fortunate to have what we have and to be in the position of being able to make choices and to move about the world freely.









7 responses to “How’s the move going

  1. beenehrc says:

    It sounds like getting setup here was almost as difficult as setting up in Italy. Not quite, but almost.

    I am glad you are close to my favorite fried dough store: Krispy Kreme. I have three chocolate covered glazed doughnuts in my freezer right now.


  2. So glad you guys are partially settled! Nice to hear all of the things you and Ben have achieved. Sounds like it will be a good fit for you when you get your place renovated. Although, I think you will always have a little yearning for Italy! Thanks for the update, good luck on the rest of your plans!


  3. Dinah says:

    At least you can do it in English! It sounds like a lot of work for which the Krispy Kreme must be the reward.

    What happened to the lazy boy chair idea for sleeping? You said you bought mattresses for use later. Just curious.

    Keep it up Martha. You’ll get there and the work will diminish. Best regards to you and Ben.
    Dinah and Allen


  4. gvmelissa says:

    Wow, you’ve accomplished quite a bit in just a few days! Seems like you are having a good time, along with a lot of hard work. And.- YAY for a bit of extra help with Bens mobility needs.


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