Wednesday, October 31st, Day Fifty-Seven, Condo

Wednesday, October 31st, Day Fifty-Seven, Condo



If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
Today I found my direction and seriously considered caring for my disabled husband in a condo.


It is Halloween.  Last night while walking to the mailboxes, I greeted a number of residents with, “Happy Halloween!”

Just One Month or So

I have to be out of this place in just over a month, and I do not even know what kind of living situation my husband actually needs.   I hope we are not going to be forced to live apart.  After all, we just got married.  I felt right about consulting a realtor yesterday, so perhaps there is more I should pursue with that.

What should I do today?

To begin with, I am not going to the rehab center today.  I need a day off.  Again, I have gone three days in a row:  Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  I also went Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of last week.


Yesterday at the Lodge, they had decorated Halloween pumpkins, each representing a department here at the retirement complex.  They were cute.  I voted for the dining department pumpkin that said, “Don’t trash your diet.”
Direction First, Then Speed!
Yesterday, I contemplated an important truth:  Direction first, then speed!  I could go full-speed, trying to find a place for myself and my husband to live, but I first need to know the right direction.
I looked at a number of homes for us in Utah, thinking my husband and I would end up there.  I was wrong about the location and my husband’s needs.  Then I looked in Grand Junction.  That does not appear to be the right place either.  How can I even get my husband to Grand Junction?
Possibly my step-son is right.  My husband should stay here, and I can get an apartment nearby.  But then I could not adequately care for my husband, and who wants to live apart as a married couple?  But can I adequately care for my husband anyway?  I have no nursing experience.  I am not a very big person.  A gait belt can help me manage him.  However, I have no experience using one.
My husband might approve of a condo, but what will my step-son say?  He has control of the finances now.  I know my mother’s point of view.  She thinks we need assisted living.  I suspect the rehab facility is going to recommend that as well.  Assisted living for both of us will probably exceed our financial resources, which forces us apart again.  We cannot even go back to my apartment in Utah because he cannot manage the stairs.  What is the right direction?  Can we live together as we both want to, or is it necessary to live apart?

We Should Try

I think we should at least try to live together, even if circumstances later force us apart.  My neighbor and the cook at the rehab center are rooting for us to stay together.  Rather than leaving him in the care of experts without even making an attempt, I think I should at least try to care for my husband and bring in experts as necessary.  Long before we married, I promised him I would do that.  Maybe a condo is the right idea, even though it may not work long-term.  It would still work for me, even if my husband cannot stay there.  We can do the best we can with it.  I have a 60-inch gait belt in my Amazon shopping cart right now.  I could go ahead and place the order.
Like a new mother who does not know how to care for her baby when he/she is first born, I can learn how to care for my husband.  Already having some trial-and-error experience, I think I can get better at it.  I am committed to lifelong learning.  It is one of my top values.  If I need to hire a CNA (certified nurse’s assistant) to tutor me, I could do that.  That would be a lot less expensive and more of a life together than putting my husband in assisted living or a nursing home.  I have already learned some things at the rehab center.  I know what my husband wants; I know what I want.  We will just have to bring my step-son on board.
The condo is the solution I and my husband want.  All around me there are voices pointing a different way.  They are not paying the bills.  They are like people trying to pilot the plane, without being on the plane.  With a condo solution, my husband and I can still afford to bring in experts D la carte.  Let me summon some courage and believe we can do it.  My husband assured me yesterday, “We can do it, and things are going to be just fine.”

Realtor Appointment to Look at A Condo

The realtor and I have an appointment to look at the first condo.  He is going to pick me up!  That will work out great.
Let me check out the location.  It is very near the other condo I looked at earlier that did not have a parking stall in the basement.  This unit does have a parking and storage space in the basement, which connects to the ground level condo by elevator.  It has a more spacious walk-in closet as well.  Wow!  I liked the other unit except for its closets and lack of parking.  This unit fixes both issues.
The condo is in the same general location as the other one, which is very close to a bank branch where my husband and I both bank.  It is also close to OfficeMax, where I have gone for copies, and to grocery shopping.  It has wired Internet access, granite counter tops.  I think it is perfect!  I still need to look at it, but I already have a pretty good idea of what it is like, based on the other condo.  This one looks a little nicer, and it is not more money than the other one.  In fact, the price on this one has been reduced.  The realtor mentioned there could be some softening in prices, which is good for the buyer.

A Email to My Realtor About the Condo

Now, since I am not a salesperson, maybe I can talk my realtor into influencing my husband and step-son.  I want him to be solution minded.
I wrote him the following letter.
Dear Realtor:
Thank you so much for offering to pick me up to see the condo.  It looks like it is very likely what I have been looking for.
Similar Unit
I looked at a similar condo.  I liked it but had to reject it because the unit did not have an assigned parking space in the basement.   The access from the street is virtually impossible with a wheelchair.  This unit does have a basement parking space.  It has better walk-in closets as well.  These are essentials, so they could well be mentioned.
I have a favor to ask.  Suppose, and this is likely, that I want to go ahead with this unit, I have two other people to convince:  my husband and his son who is his financial power-of-attorney.
If, afterwards, would you do me the favor of driving me over to the rehab center, where my husband is, rather than taking me home, and giving a presentation to my husband [about the condo] on your phone, or even better, laptop computer.  You are a trained salesperson and would do a better job of convincing my husband than I would.  He could also ask you questions to address his concerns.  I can stay at the rehab center afterwards and get my own ride home.
My husband is a Ph.D. economist who is interested in getting a place at the best possible market time, so even though we do not have much flexibility on timing, he will still be interested in that.  If we can catch my step-son at the rehab center also, so much the better.  If not, maybe we can catch him later.
Covered Patio at Sunset
The covered patio looks delightful.  I think my husband would be interested in that.  He had a western patio at his apartment in Utah that he liked to sit out on.  My concern is that a southwestern exposure might be a bit hot, but maybe that is not true here in the high elevations, especially in the evenings when he can possibly catch the sunset and mountains.  Talk to him about that, okay?  Only in your own way.  The two of us have had much of our romance taking sunset pictures while in the mountains of Utah.
My husband and I also like granite.  We do not require it in a home, but it is nice.  Together we combed through the Salt Lake City granite market to find a beautiful piece at just the right price.  Then we worked to find the perfect installer who could handle the slight curvature on it.  We got it installed in his home just before he sold it.
Anyway, if you would do this, you have a much better chance of making a sell.  If I cannot convince these two men, I cannot make the purchase.
Yours truly.

Conversation with My Neighbor About the Condo

Before lunch, I dressed and visited my neighbor.  She gave me her late husband’s leather gloves for my husband and a car window scraper with an attached mitten.  A small, heart-shaped box of Valentine’s chocolates she gave me she said were for a romantic day with my husband.
I talked to her about the condo.  She got very excited about the indoor parking, extra storage space, and extra bedroom.  She thought the place sounded wonderful and was excited about my willingness to take care of my husband.


I went to lunch at a retirement community restaurant.  I sat next to a couple who remarked, “You look too young to be here.”  I told them I was too young, and I was moving out, though I did plan to stay in the area and was looking at a condo nearby.
Though the couple may have even intended to flatter me, I was sensitive about their remarks.  I came home feeling rejected.  Now I have mostly recovered.

Conversation About The Condo

I called my husband, and actually got him on the phone.  We talked a long time about the condo and other things.  I could tell that our conversation about the condo gave him hope and me courage.  His son had been talking to him today about remaining in this retirement community alone.  My husband’s first hope instead is to be with me.  I spoke to him with confidence about being able to take care of his needs and learn what I did not already know.
While I was talking to my husband on the phone, my neighbor knocked on my door and presented me with a burgundy vest and matching long-sleeved floral under-top on a hanger.

Learning to Become a Nurse

I know I do not know enough to take care of my husband, but I can learn.  All my life I have had a talent for learning.  In high school, I had a flawless 4.0 G.P.A.  In college, I had an A- average and completed a four-year degree in computer science in three years.  When I was in grade school, I considered becoming a nurse myself.  I am glad I became a software engineer instead, but that does not keep me from being interested in what nurses do.  In Utah, I have a 1,000+ page text book on surgical nursing.

A Way to Make It Work

There has to be a way to make it work.  If assisted living becomes necessary in the future, okay, but let us avoid it, if possible.  My husband drove me around to several assisted living places while we were still in Utah in 2010 and 2011.  He did not find anything to his liking.  He ended up living in an apartment for seven more years, saving thousands upon thousands of dollars.  We can do that now.
The day is waning.  I am happy with how things are starting to shape up.  Over and over, I looked at the specs for the condo and got some questions in mind.  I did eat some Halloween candy today that my neighbor offered me.  While walking through the hall, I also got offered some.  If we soon settle the question of where we are going to live, the condo or something similar, I hope to get more serious about my weight loss plans.  The key is to not wait until the holidays are over to get started.
Gingered Lemonade
I had a couple of servings of gingered lemonade today.  It never fails to bring up my mood.  I am not sure if the mood-lifting properties are from the ginger or the lemon, but the two seem to work in concert to bring about a miracle.  Based on my Barbie doctor yesterday, it looks very unlikely that I have lupus.  She has not yet solved the problem of my “hot brain,” but it could be caused by low sodium as well.  Low sodium causes swelling in the brain.  My doctor seemed puzzled by the “hot brain” symptom.  It is likely rare.  Fortunately, since I have been getting more sodium, this symptom seems to be less serious.
Thinking About the Future
Let me think of what I have coming up in the near future:
Keep my appointment with the realtor to see the condo.
Invite my step-son to hear the realtor’s presentation on the condo as well.
Arrange movers who can pack things that are not already packed and move them to a location 2.8 miles away.
Encourage my husband to announce his intent to leave here as soon as we have a place lined up.  He needs to give 60-days notice.
Set up an auto payment from my checking account for the insurance on the Cadillac to my mother who is keeping my Cadillac for me in Utah.
From, order the gait belt for nursing my husband and also a copy of each of my published works as a gift for my neighbor.
Gas up the jeep.
Keep my blog current.
Watch for the laptop computer adapter to arrive, and do not lose it a second time!  Consider ordering a second adapter, one to use at home and the other on the road.
Stay in courage about being able to care or learn how to care for my husband!
Arrange a medical alert necklace for my husband with instructions on how to get in the building should he have an emergency when I am gone.
Arrange a place or places for my husband to stay if I need to go back to Utah for my parents’ funerals or any trip I may need to make.


Now that I have dumped a list of the highest priority things, I should probably finish the laundry and clean the kitchen.


I found a possible mover.  I will call them in the morning for more details.  They have a 4.9 Google rating with a lot of reviews.  They specialize in local moves in this area.

Email to Let My Step-Son Know We Want to Be Together

I sent a voicemail, email, and text to my step-son to influence him about the condo.  I wrote something like this:
As I said in my voice mail, I am thinking about miscellaneous things for the future.  In the not too distant future, my father will pass.  As the oldest child of my parents, I am especially expected to be at the funeral.
A Place For My Husband While I Am Gone
I do not feel confident leaving my husband alone for several days while I am gone, nor do I feel I can take him.  It is probably okay to leave him in the rehab center, but this will likely happen some time after he gets out.
I want to arrange a place where he can be looked after while I am gone.  This could be a place like a rehab center or nursing home.  As the medical and financial power-of-attorney, you can arrange a place to take him, temporarily.  This is very important and is becoming more urgent.
Also, a man is going to give my husband a short presentation at the rehab center about a possible living situation for us.  We would like for you to be there also and have an open mind to the fact that the two of us, my husband and I, want to be together.  Would that work out for you?
Thanks for all your support so far,
Yours truly.

Thursday Morning Starting the Month Of November

I slept okay last night.  My weight is up slightly to 120.7, but it is not up as much as I feared.  I feel grateful and am ready to start the new Thanksgiving month with confidence.  In the mail this morning, I found two ads I want to share with my husband about innovative wheelchairs.  If my husband and I have confidence, there will be a way to work things out, without having to put him in a nursing home permanently.  We talked on the phone again last night.  Yesterday he answered the phone twice!
I am glad I found my direction yesterday.  It took a leap of courage!  A condo will take some convincing.  However, I think my husband is already convinced.  I also need to bring my step-son on board.  I need to remain fully confident I can care for my husband in a condo.  That is the most important thing.

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