Well, about 19 days ago on January 2, 2012, I made the biggest leap of my life so far. Bigger even than moving to Arizona.
I now live in my own apartment. By myself. Caregivers come for four hours twice a day to help me with what I need. In between, and overnight, I am on my own.
I was really scared at first, but I love it. Daniel has set me up with much technology that helps me independently control my lights, doorlock, etc., from wherever I am. Even in bed. And I can wiggle the hours any way that I need to soon. I got to pick out most of my caregivers myself, and the other ones were awesome choices, so I am very happy.
I am also within walking distance of Daniel's house, and most of my doctors, a grocery store, and a dollar store. Not to mention a cute old town downtown area with lots of little shops that are fun to explore, including a place that sells retro candy, and another that sells old books. I am very happy.
This company that is helping me with the caregivers is so much better than the one I came from.
I love living on my own! I can shower whenever I want, eat whatever I want, which means healthier, and do whatever I want throughout the day. There are many opportunities near me that I have been exploring. On Thursday, I get to go to something called the Disability Empowerment Center, at which there is a disabled accessible gym, and many other things that my neighbors inside this complex keeps telling me that I will fall in love with. I can't wait.
Daniel and I are doing better as a couple with this new arrangement as well. We had a pretty rough spot at the beginning, learning what constitutes venting versus over-the-top frustration, but we are through that now. He's just getting used to the fact that he doesn't have to do so many caregiver like things out of necessity anymore, and we can just be an ordinary couple, which is really nice, but strange, because we have both been used to the other way for the past two years. It will just take time, I'm sure.
As for me, I'm getting used to some of the small downsides of living here as well. The first thing is the silence. I'm still not used to it. Everywhere else in my life, there has been the noise of other souls around. People, pets, whatever. Now, when I'm alone, there is nothing. Except maybe the refrigerator or the heater on the small computer noise. It's so weird. I'm learning to enjoy it a little, but it is slow going.
Also, around here, whenever you leave the front door open for some fresh air, it seems to be open invitation for everyone else in the complex to invite themselves in, and at times, not only themselves. I'm really not used to this part either, and kind of resent it right now, even though I am a people person. It's strange I think I will get a screen door.
Some of the people in this complex are very active, the others are part of what I have come to know as the wait for mail crowd. They literally gather in front of the mailbox like three hours early, talking to each other, and then they mob the poor mailman, causing him to become very behind in getting to his next stop. It is fun, and the mailman seems to enjoy it, but the fact that it is the highlight of the day for these people, who choose not to go any further out their front doors, makes me a little sad. I have tried to get some interested in taking walks with me, but it hasn't happened so far.
I have not met everyone here, so I'm thinking of making up a plate of some sort of treats, knocking on doors and introducing myself as the new neighbor. I think it is supposed to be the other way around, where people come to me, but I don't mind.
I also got a new wheelchair which is form fitted to me with very good air cushion seating, and I love it.
I just had to share because I know you all would be so happy for me, especially the tea priestess and lady Loran! I love you, Leone! I don't have a printer yet, but I want some of your art to decorate my place with. Smile. Eventually it will happen.
I love you all!