Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Collateral Damage

Two weeks ago I worked on a painting project in the house. This will only be the second area I have painted since we moved here. In our first house I painted every room but that was when I had balance and found painting to be a relaxing home remodel task.
We moved here in spring 20o3 and with finishing graduate school in 2004 there was no time to work on the house. As soon as I finished we took on the task of tearing down our old deck and building a new one. Shortly after the construction started I became ill after cyberknife treatment and was unable to contribute. In fact, when the deck was complete I thought I could do my part by picking up the refuse wood. That is when the hard reality of losing my vestibular function hit me as the turning from side to side motion to pick up the wood caused me to lose orientation slamming my head into the terraced rockery directly adjacent (beleive it or not I was even in a sitting position!).
Many things became difficult and I could no longer do (such as yard work or anything requiring balance of some degree). In 2006 I began to experience improvements in my balance and during that summer I took on the first painting project of one of the smallest rooms in the house (our downstairs bathroom). What a treat that was! NOT! It was nothing like I remember it and very frustrating.
Bruises began appearing all over my body as I would lose balance while painting and fall painfully on our tile floor. White primer found its way in my hair, face, arms, hands, and totally coated the bottom of my feet as I forgot to wear shoes and socks.
After a long hiatus and being too worn out to paint more, I worked up the courage to try it again. We were improving an area that we discovered desperately needed painting before we went further with installing nice shelves.
This time the project went more smoothly as I have learned to adapt to the balance challenges with this new body. AND I have made what I feel are substantial improvements thanks to my training and practice on the BOSU.
I did not take falls. Yet I still became bruised. The easily bruising of my legs may have been contributed by the steroids I had been taking. What you see above is the collateral damage I suffered during the preparation for painting of taping off all the trim. It looks nasty like somebody kicked me but this is caused by no impact what so ever. The bruising is simply the result of leaning against the step ladder while trying to maintain balance during the taping process.
At the time it did hurt but I thought my skin was just overly sensitive. For whatever reason, during that week even a caress felt like a scratch to certain areas of my skin. I was pretty surprised the next day to see this series of bruises running up and down my leg. This is a good photo where it actually looks better as I took it 2 or 3 days later.
Even with subjecting myself to this collateral damage, I did enjoy this project and am very pleased with the results! I am excited to take on more! When we finish getting the shelves built I will include a picture. Unfortunately I forgot to take a before photo as I was so eager to see what my effort was going to spin out. :o)

No comments: