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For the last 10 days I thought I’d find a couple of minutes to update the blog, but it seems like there has been so much happening I haven’t been able to slow down long enough.

On the health front, shoulder surgery is three days away. I was originally scheduled to be at the surgical center at 9:30 Monday morning. The scheduling nurse called me yesterday and asked that I show up at 6:30 am for an 8:30 am surgery start. While I hate getting up that early, I’m glad they moved the start time earlier. There are few things worse than sitting around waiting for your turn for surgery. You’re nervous. And you can’t eat or drink anything — and for someone with Sjogren’s who gets terribly dry and thirsty anyway — not being able to have a drink of water can be pure torture. So better to start early.

I’m still not taking bets on where we’ll wind up on the range of possibilities — from a simple arthroscopic clean-up to a full-blown replacement. I know the insurance and medical-leave machinery is all geared up for me to have the replacement surgery and be out of the office until after Thanksgiving. Better to plan for the worst scenario than to have to scramble and re-approve everything. I guess I’ll find out Monday morning when I wake up in recovery. One way or the other, I have a high degree of confidence that the eventual outcome will be less pain and stiffness and more range of motion than what I experience now.

And I got a new assistive device. It’s a hybrid.  A 2013 Lexus ES300 hybrid to be exact. It’s a good thing I’m going to be off work for a while so I’ll have time to read the owner’s manual. It has more bells and whistles than my iPhone. And it really is an assistive device. I really liked my previous car, the Lexus IS250, but my RA has gotten bad enough that it was physically painful to get in and out of the car. It also had a sports suspension — which is fairly stiff — so going over bumps in the road actually hurt my joints. In addition to the fully adjustable seats, the new car has the automatically retractable steering wheel, plus being slightly larger overall, so I don’t have to “squeeze” in and out of the car. It’s also got a longer wheelbase and the comfort suspension, so the ride is much more comfortable. I’ve had it on order for more than a month and it finally arrived last night, just days before shoulder surgery (and you can’t drive for a while after shoulder surgery …). I know, with all this other stuff going on in my life I didn’t even mention getting a new car — when my intention all along was to do an expanded post on assistive devices similar to one I did a couple of years ago here.

In other news, the crawl space under my house is finally dry. The guys came and took out the nine blowers and the dehumidifier yesterday. I have my dryer back in place (they had to plug all that equipment into the 220v dryer outlet — now I can do laundry again). However, we can’t get the mold treated until after I recover sufficiently from surgery because it’s not really a health risk for healthy people, but could be a problem for someone recovering from surgery — particularly with an open surgical wound. So it might be a week or three weeks or eight weeks. No way to tell at this point. That’s another thing I’ll find out Monday.

The flooring people came out and did measurements and we sent them samples of the existing flooring so they could determine the quality of the materials for replacement value. They sent their estimates and findings to the insurance company, so I guess we need to get the estimates from them. We’ll just need to see what that particular flooring company has to offer. My inclination is to go with the insurance company’s provider so if we run into any problems during installation, they can deal with the insurance company directly. However, if they don’t have anything we like, we may just take the check and find another supplier.

But before we do that, we have to get the mold treated. Then we have to pack up everything in the house and put it in storage and move to a hotel while another contractor demolishes all the floors and subfloors (except the tile floor in the master bath). Hopefully we don’t find any more issues once the flooring is ripped out and we can move forward with replacing the floors and moving back in. We’ll also have to replace all the baseboards because those will get damaged in the demolition process and the paint (except for the ceilings) will probably have to be redone as well.

Oh, and the air conditioner people called. They’ve decided our warranty on the dead compressor covered parts, but not labor. So now we have to go back to our 2007 records when we bought the unit and find the original contract to prove them wrong. Otherwise, it’s another $$$.

And work has just been nuts. I’ve had a couple of critical communications projects recently (and not the good kind, either). So all that has been pretty stressful.

But I can only work on this stuff one step at a time, so I’ve tried not to worry about the mountain of stuff, just tackling whatever’s next on the list. One of the good things is that my husband and I sat down the other night and worked our way through the list, discussed our options, and basically got on the same page with how we’re going to approach everything, how long we think everything is going to take, and what contingencies we may need to think about. It’s good we talked now because it’s going to be a long haul and we certainly don’t want to be arguing our way through it one step at a time.

Another good thing in all this is that I’ve somehow managed to avoid any major flares. My joints are telling me that I’ve been off the meds for two weeks and also that we’re supposed to get a few days of rain this weekend, but not the “run hide under the covers with the pain pills” flare. (Hope those aren’t famous last words.)

I doubt that I’m going to get the chance to post again before surgery — too much stuff to get done to get ready — so please send healing thoughts my way next week.

Thanks for checking in.

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