It was great toward the end of my first week on Enbrel when I started feeling pretty good.  I felt so good, in fact, that I rearranged furniture.

Some people like their household furnishings to remain stationary.  I had a friend one time who arranged her home the same way for thirteen years.  Nothing ever moved.  Then she moved to a new house – and arranged her furniture exactly the same in the new place as it had been in the old one.

I am not like that.

My friends joke that all my furniture should be on wheels.  I have a long-standing agreement with my husband:  he won’t get too attached to the location of our furniture, and I won’t move the piano or waterbed without assistance.

The first time I rearranged things was one week after our wedding.  On average, over the next twenty years, I moved furniture three or four times a year.  Sometimes it was a little more often, and one time I left everything in one spot for a whole six months.

Even though I like to change things around, it hasn’t happened in a long time.  Thanks to RA, I usually drag myself through the days, not taking on many extra projects.  Meals, laundry, chauffeur kids to their activities… I’m lucky to get the basics done.  That all changed, though, and I am loving Enbrel (well, I’m loving 5/7ths of the week on Enbrel, but that’s another post).

The day after I rearranged furniture, we had a plumbing issue:  a small spot of wet carpet that I thought meant someone had spilled something.  After scolding my son for taking his glass out of the kitchen, I told him to clean it up.  Two hours later we discovered more soggy carpet.  Water had been running the entire two hours – and who knows how long beforehand.  We hadn’t known that the floor in that location is slightly sloped.  Instead of running out into the hallway where we could discover it right away, the water seeped under the wall to the closet – then eventually out into the entry.

The closet was soaked.  I had to remove everything (big closet under the stairway, not a little coat closet) and try to blot up all the water.  It took every towel in the house, and there were two loads of laundry to wash by the time I finished.   So much for pacing myself.

After a few days everything was dry but the closet smelled awful.  Time to get out the shampooer.  Okay, well, technically, with all the closet’s contents in the middle of the room, it was already out.

I shampooed the carpet in the closet and set a lamp in there to generate a enough heat to speed the drying time.

Opening the closet the next day, I was almost knocked over by the smell.  Once again, I shampooed the carpet (this time I did the entryway, too).

The following day it smelled like there was a dead animal in the closet.  I started thinking about the cost of replacing carpet.  Once again, I filled the hot-water tank on the carpet cleaner and set to work.  This time I removed the lamp and added a space heater and a fan in hopes of speeding the drying process.

By now it had been days that one room in our house was inaccessible.  I’d filled it with the closet’s contents, thinking it was only for one day while the carpet dried.  We wanted our music room back!  Unfortunately, the hall closet still gave off an awful odor.

I decided to try cleaning the carpet one more time before ripping it out completely.  Crawling around on my hands and knees established that most of it felt and smelled clean – there was one small area that seemed to be the problem.  I flooded that section with clear water and sucked it back up.  Again, water/remove.  Again.  Again.  When it finally passed the sniff-test, I added shampoo and cleaned the entire closet one more time.

On a roll, I re-shampooed the entry, then moved on to the hallway and family room.  The carpets looked great!  Exhausted, I had to stop.  In the past, I could shampoo the entire house in one day.  Now, I’d been cleaning carpets for a whole week and most of the house hadn’t been touched.

To think I used to take my rotator cuffs for granted.  Pushing a carpet cleaner is hard on the shoulders!

The house has been back together for a few days, and I’ve had time to recover.  Today I’m planning to attack the rest of the downstairs carpets.  I’d love to clean upstairs, too.  The Enbrel is helping so much that it might be possible.

Breaking the job into a bunch of smaller ones worked really well.  A couple months ago there’s no way I could have done something as seemingly simple as shampooing my carpets.  Now I’m wondering what else I can accomplish.  As long as I pace myself, I am invincible!



MedGadget has announced the finalists list for the 2009 MedBlog Awards. 

It seems a little weird to have patient blogs considered medblogs, but I am honored to have been nominated (thank you, Doctor D).  Other finalists in the Patient Blog category include RheumaBlog and The Queen of Optimism (plus some blogs that I don’t read).

Other categories:

  • Best Medical Weblog (I follow one of this category’s nominees)
  • Best New Medical Weblog (established in 2009) (my favorite didn’t make the finalist list)
  • Best Literary Medical Weblog (I follow three of these)
  • Best Clinical Sciences Weblog
  • Best Health Policies/Ethics Weblog (I follow one of these)
  • Best Medical Technologies/Informatics Weblog

Hope you enjoy reading some new blogs.  The complete list of nominees is here.

Edit to add: if you care to vote, here’s the link.