Sunday, 18 November 2007

The Loner Builder

Trev is working hard, and it shows. It's all ebb and flow with weather, wood (availability) and willpower. It's starting to look like a house. By Christmas we should be on the roof (not quite dancing). I've appealed to Trev to write his version of events in this post, but according to him there's not much to say. Which doesn't match the number of conversations between the two of us regarding various decisions. I want straight crisp lines and he thinks that's very 'Romanic' of me, considering he's more 'Celtic' in design, with lots of wavy lines and bits of bark hanging off. "if you wanted a house with straight lines then why decide on strawbale!', it is a seriously good question. I am determined to have as many straight lines in our house as possible, none of this wavy 'hippie' stuff.



(Now I think I should be able to entice a response out of Trevor).


But I don't entice a response out of Trev...
I wrote this on the 16th of November and have let it lapse as we've had a few steps 'back' with Trev not being able to step forward when he ruptured a disk in his back a week or so ago. He ended up in the 'back' of an ambulance. It was quite frightening as we didn't know what was causing the pain. Trev describes it as the worst night of his life. The only position he was able to lie in was on his stomach arching back with his arms stiff in front of him. Not a good position to be in for 10 hours straight. He didn't think it was possible to be in so much pain and not be dying. The end result was having a CT scan and finding the ruptured disk, and being diagnosed with lumber stenois. This is the reason behind the chronic back pain he's experienced for years but we've not had a name for. The bone canals in which his spinal cord travels have degenerated and are pinching on nerves. He has an appointment with a neurosurgeon coming up.

I know men are difficult patients, Trev probably none more than any other. But guilt, shame and feeling like a 'wuss', meant he didn't really rest up as much as he should of, and is out there now with the whipper snipper. Not to say I haven't been trying to make it easier on him, but he baulked at his 'invalid' status after a week and is pushing himself, but so far has agreed that house building is out of the question.

We're wondering what the long term picture is. Lifting and twisting are the two worst possible movements , both of which are impossible to avoid. We can't afford to have a builder do it, and Trev can't sit down longer than five minutes, so a desk job is out of the question. We're going through a low spot. Lots of questions, not a lot of answers.

We'll get there.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I followed you from your web site to this blog. I have been reading your updates for awhile now and greatly enjoy keeping abreast of your explorations and adventures. I'm rooting for you all the way from the US (Iowa).

What a terribly unfortunate and painful situation you are in now! Are there any strong, youngish males within strking distance that Trevor can direct in the housebuilding project? You could advertise it as an "apprenticeship in sustainable homebuilding" and pay a smallish stipend. Just a suggestion. Better yet, get them to pay YOU for the privilege! Some people pay to work on a farm (link below), so why not pay for the opportunity to build a house?

http://www.maryjanesfarm.com/About/paydirt/

Just trying to brainstorm a bit for you. . . good luck.

Cat
http://20dollarsaday.livejournal.com/

katie girl said...

I, too, have a husband with disc trouble and he pushes himself to do things so he doesn't feel useless (even though I tell him he isn't). But he is better when pottering around rather than sitting or laying still. Although building a house is much more than pottering!! It's all to do with the male "I'm the leader and can look after my family" thinking - which is great, but doesn't always work. Hang in there

Mazzajo said...

How about some WOOFERS to help you out? I'm sure someone out there would like to get some experience building a strawbale house.

Linda said...

Thanks for your comments, I wrote one to Cat the other day, but it cyber-ppeared. Yes, I think we'll be having a big rendering party with plenty of pizza and beer when that aspect of the build comes, but there is some part of both of us that doesn't like the idea of 'using' people. I know woofers etc aren't really like that, but it's engrained belief that we'd be taking advantage of them.

I like the idea of an apprentice etc, but it's now a bureaucratic/insurance nightmare.

My job hours are about to be reduced by 10 a week, which will be difficult financially, but maybe a good thing too and that we can do more on the housesite together.

I was definately feeling low the other day, but still think that we'll get there. I just have to be resourceful and creative about the issue.

Oh, and Cat, I had a look at your 20 dollar a day site, and it was great, it's fantastic to see people 'connecting' to their power meter!

daharja said...

Poor Trev!

Men really do make rotten patients, which is why I've always suspected we women got lumped with childbirth - the blokes couldn't have handled it. Still, pain is pain and I do hope that Trev gets better soon.

The house really is starting to look like a house. But I think you need to start calling it a home rather than a house. It will be a home - far more so than most peoples' - because you'll have built it yourselves from the ground up. Trev should be incredibly proud. My husband is an academic, and as changing an electrical plug is hard work for him, I'm in deep awe of Trev's achievements :-)

I hope you do have the roof on for Christmas, so you can string some tinsel from it and have a great celebration. Have a lovely Christmas/Hannukah/Kwaanza/whatever, and we look forward to hearing about your adventures in the new year - and hearing about the new roof!

Love and many hoe hoe hoes(sic),

Leanne, Michael, Dragon and Dawn XXXX

Bev said...

Of course you'll get there!

Who was it who said these little things were meant to try us?

The home is starting to look great. I can't imagine a little thing like back pain is going to stop Trev now.

Best wishes.

purrsikat said...

ouch, sorry to hear about the ruptured disc, that sucks big time. I have a herniated disk (not totally ruptured & without the prior nerve issues that Trev has either) & was _completely_ out of action for at least a week & then after that another 6 weeks (like bones) for whatever could possibly heal to do so.. & then a good few months learning to manage the area, my back, my movements, my posture etc.. physio helped me heaps & i can also highly recommend acupuncture/acupressure as a part of a wholistic treatment (if you have access to it, which you may not, for whatever reasons).

I have a desk job now, which, while not ideal, I manage to cope with relatively well. I also do horse riding & all the associated shovelling, heavy lifting etc that goes with it.. so it's not a closed ended tunnel, the light is there.

not sure if these words help.. but it's definitely a case of 'manage the change to minimise the loss'.. so look after yourself trev, please. :)

Best of luck with the back Trev!!!

Linda said...

Thanks very much everyone for your kind words and concern.

I'm completely and utterly groovy at the moment. Went to see the neurosurgeon this week and there doesn't seem to be anything he can do.

So I figure I can flog it half to death and get away with it :-)

On the good side, I think years of 'a salute to the sun' yoga practice has stood me in good stead.

Trev

Haleyscomet said...

Hey guys, its 12 past midnight and I've sat up half the night catching up with you guys, sent you an email tonight as well. remember those non onion eating Buddist Puppeteers from Qld. Well I have to say get into the magnesium to help relax the muscles and try and find someone that can do Feldenkrais (neuro-muskular repattening), avoid the knife as long as you have a nervous system you can fix it. This means doing less means gaining more, more use of the body. Relaxing exersises, lie horizontal, knees bent and if you cant move, move in your imagination. Focus on the breatheing into the pain, and heaps of magnesium. Talk to you on the email or phone soon. Carolyn

Haleyscomet said...

Hey guys, its 12 past midnight and I've sat up half the night catching up with you guys, sent you an email tonight as well. remember those non onion eating Buddist Puppeteers from Qld. Well I have to say get into the magnesium to help relax the muscles and try and find someone that can do Feldenkrais (neuro-muskular repattening), avoid the knife as long as you have a nervous system you can fix it. This means doing less means gaining more, more use of the body. Relaxing exersises, lie horizontal, knees bent and if you cant move, move in your imagination. Focus on the breatheing into the pain, and heaps of magnesium. Talk to you on the email or phone soon. Carolyn