Beginning to rebuild

The enormity of what is happening in our lives is beginning to sink in.

2 years ago we decided to start preparing our house to be comfortable and functional as we got older and with my health issues, so we had our kitchen remodeled with drawers that were easy to access to minimize bending.

For those who don’t know, I have sever osteoarthritis in my spine and fibromyalgia, so Colin has been caring for me for quite a while now.

12 mths ago we invested in a spa to see if that would help my pain levels and it was amazing, for the first time in 26 years I had some pain relief. I would spend time in here every day.

My health continued to determinate last year and after many specialists visits they realized I had a lot of food allergies that had never been picked up, so I was put on a very restricted diet.

My pain levels halved and I was able to come off Oxycontin and go back to 200mg of Tramal a day.

For the first time in years I was able to do more than one thing a day. I finally felt like I was getting my life back.

Then just as we were enjoying this we learned of Colin’s cancer and I felt devastated, my world was just starting to expand and his was beginning to contract. He has been my rock and my safe harbor, the thought of him not being here was terrifying.

It seemed so unfair, but we tried to trust that somehow things would work out and then our house burnt down.

We couldn’t believe it. All our memories, our times together and so much more all gone.

The house was the one Colin lived in as a young adult and then his Mum lived in and we brought it off her when she got dementia and had to go into care and for the last 8 years it has been our home.

We have been helped and supported by family,friends and total strangers and it has been amazing to see everyone getting behind us.

We had always given to help others in need, but we had no idea what it was like to loose everything in a fire. The first night all we had was the clothes we were standing in. Friends took us in and lent me a nightly and Colin some clothes. Someone took me to the shop so I could buy some food that I could eat as I needed gluten free food that contained nothing I was allergic too.

The next day we were offered temporary housing in a furnished house and we were so grateful, but when we got there we realized we didn’t have toilet paper, tissues, soap, washing powder, dishwashing liquid, food etc, so we stayed another night with friends and people rallied around with some stuff to get us started.

We went to the shop and brought some notebooks and pens to start writing down what we had to do, we brought some sticky tape, envelopes, knickers, a comb and brush, toothbrushes and toothpaste and my special soap, just the things that were most essential. The bill was $165 and that was from the reject shop, so the cheapest in town.

We realized then that although we had insurance for the house and contents insurance, the contents insurance wasn’t going to come close to covering what we had lost. Whatever contents insurance you have double it.

Like everyone we had some things we wouldn’t need to replace as they were things we no longer needed, but this was still going to be an expensive time.

People all got together and some money was raised and lots of gifts were given and this helped us feel that somehow we would get through this.

It wasn’t until mid way through the following week that we started to realize the impact this would have. Colin was to start treatment, which was just to help him get through, not a cure and could make him very sick and he wouldn’t be in a comfortable familiar environment for that. His home was part of his sence of security and something that had been a constant in his life.

All the time and thought and money that had gone into making the house as easy for me as possible and all the pain management devices and choices we had made were gone.

The stress also added to my pain levels, but there was no spa to help alleviate the pain. The bed was not our bed that had been got especially for me as I am allergic to latex and a lot of beds have latex in them, so I was having flare ups form that too.

I am a photographer and work for digital-photo-secrets part time as that is all my health will allow and now my computer and my cameras were gone. My art weork was all destroywes and special peices I had done for Colin, gone. All the lovely gifts we had given each other over the years and the gifts others had given us, all gone.

My computer had been made to enable me to work quickly and efficiently and I had a special chair to support my back.

I had no choice but to ask for a month off as I couldn’t work without the tools to do it. My camera was insured, but when I went to order a new one, that model is no longer available so I need to research what is available so that I get the right one, something else that needs time and a clear head, neither of which I have at the moment.

We were finding this in so many things that we enquired about. I had Kalso Earth Shoes, again to help with the pain and these were all gone.

I went to order more and the shop had closed down.

I managed to get a sneaker but had to get it delivered to America and then forwarded on to me as they don’t deliver to Australia.

The Kalso earth thongs or flip flops I have not been able to get in my size so again don’t have these aids to support me….the list goes on and on.

Everyday we remember more things we have lost….

We have each other for now and are holding on to that but it is so frustrating, we had just got to a good place physically and had prepared for the future the best we knew how and now it was gone and we had to start over again.

We don’t understand why this is happening but the only thing we can rest in is that, “God works everything together for good to those who love him.” So we are believing this and holding on to it, and that his plans for us are for good and not for evil.

How will we get through the next twelve moths, we do not know, but all we can do is take one day at a time, one step at a time and pray for strength and comfort and trust that somehow it will work out.

Hope
Rising from the flames

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