Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Diabetes Decor

I'm stealing a topic from a fellow blogger because I think it's important.  I truly wish I had thought about this years ago.....but subconsciously I have been moving in this direction for the past 2 years.  Considering all of hubby's medical conditions (open heart surgery, spinal fusion surgery, foot surgeries, gout surgeries)....I am slowly "decorating" our home for diabetes.

Let me explain.

We gave up our king size bed in exchange for 2 twin sized adjustable beds.  After surgery, he was able to lift himself up out of bed by using the hydraulics on the bed and I did not physically have to assist him.  More independence for him, less strain on my back.

We have a small party fridge and microwave in his closet in the MBR.  He keeps his insulin and snacks there.  I can get to them in a minute.  Better than running downstairs in the middle of the night and risk breaking my neck....or his.

A huge 2' x 3' medicine cabinet on the wall in the bathroom filled with everything you can think of for open wounds, wound care, skin care, rashes, allergies, and so much more.  This does not count the shelves of drugs for colds and flus, or his RX meds.  Separate shelves and bins in his closet for all of his insulin test strips, needles, etc.

Hospital type bed trays that wheel under both beds to hold meds and other necessities that he needs multiple times a day.

Light weight corning ware in the kitchen because he has parkinson's and tends to drop things.   Because they are so light, he can easily handle them.  Gave up my wonderful china and stoneware - just too heavy for him.  Paper plates, cups and bowls for everyday use as they are even easier for him to use.

Bathroom on the main floor - added those over the toilet shelves to hide toiletries that he uses on the main level.  Pray that no one ever opens those doors!  Seriously, where/how do you hide adult depends???

My decorative items now include a lot of boxes. Very pretty.  No one would ever know they are anything but decorative. But they store loads of supplies, meds, depends, needles, a nice way.  :o)

Febreeze air fresheners - the plug in types - in every room - to camoflauge the smells and odors.  My sis says they do help.

The entry closet that should house coats now houses crutches, walkers, canes and the closet in the utility room is where I store the toilet seat lifts and bars.

I never ever thought my life would revolve to this, but it has.  And when you need so much stuff, you have to have a way to store it and still make your home a home, not a hospital.

I did chuck everything in the master bath and buy everything white.  I found it's easier to use bleach to get out stains and you don't have to worry about it fading colors if everything is white.  Who knew I would actually like a totally white bath?  Not just towels and washcloths, toothpaste holders and soap holder, but white wicker stands and shelves, white baskets and boxes.  It actually looks nice and it's pretty easy to keep it all clean and white.

We sold most of our lamps and now have ott-lites or similar types that bend and go over the sofa so he can see to read wherever he sits.  Not as attractive as decorative lamps....but really much more functional.

In our living room, we have 2 full size sofas and 2 recliners.  He can go from a recliner to the sofa, from sitting to lying, as his pain increases and decreases.  That leaves the other recliner for me and the other sofa for guests.  My kitchen chairs are in the basement and rolling student type chairs are at the table because he says they are easier for him to get in and out of.  I'm getting ready to put the wood chairs back because there are just some things I won't sacrifice!

One whole kitchen cabinet is filled with stuff that he needs on the main level during the day as he can no longer run up and down the stairs multiple times a day, and I'm not going to do it for him.

The grill was moved right beside the back door with a chair next to it.  Disrupts the flow on the back deck, but makes it easier for him to do the grilling.  Besides, we never eat outside anymore so who needs to get to the patio table?  :o)

Wondering if anyone else has done diabetes decor in their homes.




We aren't really into "diabetes decor" yet but I find that we are making many modifications due basically to the changes that come with advancing age.

Years ago, I had total knee replacements in both knees at the same time. DH installed grab bars on each side of the toilet adjacent to my bedroom. These have been of immeasurable value. I recently had foot surgery, so they came in very handy again.

We have a very slippery tile floor in the kitchen. More than once, I have nearly fallen if there was something wet spilled on it. I have been campaigning to change it to either tile with a rougher surface or linoleum with a textured surface, but haven't succeeded so far.

We sleep in separate bedrooms mainly because our biorhythms are so far out of synch that neither of us would sleep if we were together. I am a world-class insomniac and stay up until all hours. He gets up routinely at a time that I consider the middle of the night. (I'm retired so I can sleep whenever I feel like it, and I love the freedom. Alarm clocks were never my thing.)

Also, he has to use a CPAP machine for nocturnal respiration, and the noise of the thing would drive me batty. We have been told that if he loses about 100 or so pounds, it may open up his airway and he may not need the CPAP machine any more. That would be a huge relief for him. He hates the thing, but without it, he has terrible sleep apnea. Before he had the CPAP machine, it sounded like he was choking to death on something about every half-hour, all night long. He didn't wake up enough to realize what was happening, but it was horrible to hear.

I like your idea of using all-white. It is so much easier to manage stains that way.

I have a recipe for sure-fire stain removal on white stuff if you are interested: you use powdered Cascade, bleach, a liquid detergent of some sort and maybe a little water. Mix it into a paste and apply it to the stain. Chances are, the stain will disappear within a minute or less. Then wash the item so the bleach won't eat through it. FOR USE ON SOLID WHITES ONLY!!! I can't recall ever having a failure with this stuff. Some things take longer for it to work, but it always works.

Sandy said...

We have a small apartment so I don't have as much, but I know what you mean. We have a tall plastic bin with lots of drawers in the corner of the kitchen filled with supplies and meds. One entire shelf in the fridge full of insulin. The cane that he needs sometimes hangs around in the living room or the bedroom. He has a leg excersizer that sits in the living room. And his daily meds sit on a tv tray in the living room. It's annoying that the place never really looks put away but it is what it is

sar said...

Should we start a new magazine, Better Homes and Home Hospitals?

Diabeteswife said...

Sandy, I forgot - we gave up an entire guest bedroom and converted it to exercise equipment for him.

And Sugar, we did put grab bars in the garage to assist him getting up the 2 steps to the utility room.

What else have I done that I've forgotten about? LOL!!!

sar said...

A nurse friend of mine told me about hydrogen peroxide to clean blood off of fabrics. I find it works.

I think I tend to go for clean white decor since I am so grossed out from cleaning after him in the bathroom. I also find that he leaves the artifacts of diabetes everywhere and gets furious if I try to put them away screaming that he can not find anything unless he dumps it around the house.

Lilly said...

We have done some things with the decor here as well . . . The butter drawer in the fridge is full of insulin. The coffee-colored carpet I mentioned before was put in so he would have something softer to cushion him when he falls (he wanted hard wood floors instead: can you imagine?). We haven't shared a room for at least 5 years now, as his sleep apnea, odd hours that he sleeps, and his involuntary kicking would keep me awake. So the guest room is now my room, and the master bedroom and bath are his. His room is a maze of boxes of meds, etc., although he has a whole closet to keep them in. Pill bottles used to be all over one of the kitchen counters, but I insisted he keep these in his room when I moved to the guest bedroom. We have yet to find a couch that is sturdy enough for him. He has literally broken 2 now by repeatedly collapsing/falling on them. We haven't repaired or replaced the latest one yet. The coffee table in the living room is always full of his testing equipment, his coffee mug, his mail, his pill box, his TENS unit, etc. I have never been able to use if for anything, as it is totally "his." I am also learning to not use any fragile chairs or furniture on the main floor, as he will "furniture surf" instead of using his cane or walker, putting enough pressure on things when he leans into them to make them bend and sometimes break. Counters need to be kept clearer as well, as he also uses those to hang onto. My antique and/or fragile furniture is mostly in the basement now, in my "woman cave," as he almost never goes down there. Fortunately, we have a one-story house, and he has little need to do stairs to go to the basement for anything. Like you, we have light-weight Corel ware, as other things are just too heavy and get broken. We also always have paper plates and plastic glasses. Fancy dishes get used for holiday times only, and he does NOT handle them. Thanks for sharing your diabetes decor. Thinking I might be able to borrow some of your ideas.

tired wife and mom said...

well, I've been reading some of these blogs and would love to join? I just started my own blog: if you want to take a look at it. You'll never know how much your blog (and the other women's blogs on here) have helped me.