Now Can We Please Get Back To The DIYing And Decorating?!

Y’all, that’s exactly how I’m feeling this morning. I just want to get back to the fun stuff! Last week was a total bust. I had been so excited about having four uninterrupted work days in a row to focus on my studio and check off some of these remaining projects. And then on Tuesday evening, my sciatica decided to return and stick around for a few days. And then early Friday morning, Matt had to go to the emergency room, and was admitted to the hospital over the weekend. We just got home yesterday evening.

This was Matt’s fourth hospital stay since 2020. While the other three times were things like the flu, COVID, and just regular (but way more extreme than usual) weakness and exhaustion due to his M.S., this time was different.

Thursday evening started out just like every other evening. Matt and I like to watch a show before going to bed, and he likes to have a snack while we’re watching TV. But because it’s the end of the day when he feels the most exhausted and weak (because, again, he has M.S.), he likes to take niacin and let that kick in before eating his snack. He loves niacin because it gives him a little boost of energy and strength.

But this time wasn’t like most times. He swallowed the first capsule just fine. But the second one didn’t go down smoothly. He said it felt like it just sat in his throat and wouldn’t go down, and then he said it felt as if the capsule burst open. Part of it went down, but he felt like part of it went down the wrong way and he inhaled it.

He coughed off and on really hard for a good solid hour. He was breathing the whole time, so there was no airway blockage. I didn’t really know what to do. He wasn’t choking. He was breathing, and between coughs, he was speaking normally. He didn’t say anything about feeling like he needed medical attention. He just coughed and coughed and kept drinking water. After what seemed like forever, he finally stopped coughing, ate only a part of his snack, and then we went to sleep.

Well, I was awakened at 5:00am by the sound of Matt moaning and groaning pretty loudly. I asked him what was wrong, but he seemed completely out of it. His couldn’t keep his eyes open. He had lost all strength to the point that he couldn’t communicate to me what the problem was. It was all very different. This wasn’t like previous times where the extreme weakness came on gradually over a 24-hour period from flu or COVID. This happened very quickly, and I knew it was something altogether different. I figured it had something to do with that niacin and his coughing for an hour.

Long story short, I called 911, and the paramedics took him to the hospital. They generally ask Matt if he wants to go to the hospital, but this time, they didn’t even ask. They just came in, took a look at him, and loaded him right up and took him. And after hours in the ER, and all kinds of tests and scans, they finally did conclude that there was something showing up on the x-ray of his lung that had caused infection. So they admitted him and treated the infection until he regained his strength and got back to (his) normal.

It was a crazy weekend, not only because this circumstances of Matt’s hospital stay were so different from the other three hospital stays, but because I was still dealing with my sciatica and was absolutely miserable. There was no way I could get comfortable on the strange sofa bed thing in Matt’s hospital room, so from 5:00am on Friday morning until midnight on Saturday night, I got a sum total of 1.5 hours of sleep.

But on Saturday, I decided to dump the ibuprofen that I had been taking (which wasn’t doing much for my pain at all) and try the naproxen + acetaminophen combo that someone left in a comment on my last blog post (thank you, Cyndy!!), and that worked amazingly well!! That mighty pain relieving combo plus a 10-hour white noise video on YouTube (played on my phone, which I placed right by my head to drown out all of the nighttime hospital noises) worked wonders, and I actually got 7.5 hours of sleep on Saturday night. I don’t even sleep that well at home! 😀

Matt and I were both so relieved to be back home last night. He’s feeling really good now, but he’s going to rest for a few days before getting back to his normal daily routine. I, on the other hand, am champing at the bit to get to work. And now that I have a pain med combo that actually works for my sciatica, I’m hoping I won’t be losing any more work days due to pain. And now that Matt is back home and feeling well, I’ll also be headed back to the chiropractor and massage therapist very soon.

But let’s get back to the DIY and decorating, shall we? 🙂 My plan for today is to finally paint the walls in the back entry of the studio. I’m anxious to get rid of the green that’s in there now…

And to see a much softer, less in-your-face green on those walls.

And I’m also rethinking the black doors. This room has a lot of doors, and I just don’t know if I want that much black in the room. There are four single doors, and then the French doors out to the carport. So technically, there area six doors in the room, and four of them are right together in a relatively small space. That’s a lot of black, and that can feel overpowering very quickly. So I might actually do white doors if I can’t think of another alternative. But I do want to keep them light and bright so that I can keep the overall look and feel of the room light and bright. We’ll see what I land on with that decision. But at this point, I’m almost 100% sure it won’t be black.



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  1. So sorry to hear of Matt’s difficulties. Prayers both of you are on the mend. Would you consider painting doots & trim same color as walls?

  2. So sorry to hear of Matt’s difficulties. Prayers both of you are on the mend. Would you consider painting doors & trim same color as walls?

  3. Consider painting the door, and other doorframes and baseboards the same as the walls.. in a semi-gloss finish. It would give this entryway its own identity – one of sophistication. I’d probably do the ceiling too

    1. I was thinking the same thing. I normally don’t love painting everything the same color, but in this case it’s such a small room that is already kind of framed out by the studio entrance, so it gets contrast naturally that way.

  4. Oh honey, I’m so sorry to hear about your sciatica being back! Actually, it’s not back it never really went away. I have suffered greatly from this and understand the severe pain this can cause. The kind of pain where you literally cannot even move one inch. I want to encourage you to not just mask it with pain meds. A good physical therapist who can truly work with you and teach you how to strengthen your core is a very critical piece of the long term recovery equation.

  5. I am glad that you found a pain combo that is helping you. But just like someone warned, the pain is only being masked. Please continue to look for other solutions. My sister-in-law took a similar pain combo and her kidneys started to fail. Where we live (in Canada) we have something called the back institute. It took a while, but when they found the right combo of exercises, my mom’s sciatica improved a lot. It is a daily commitment to keep the problem in check.

  6. Prayers for you and Matt, all things are possible with the Lord, and He was and is working for you both. as for the trim and doors have you considered a bit lighter than the wall color in a satin? everything in my house is white and the walls are gray in every room, which is what I imagine a jail cell looks like. I can’t afford a painter and at 72 I can’t do it myself as I did in my other homes. So, I am living vicariously through your beautiful home and jealous of your talent, thank your. Stay well.

  7. So glad you both are feeling better! What a scare to wake up to for you! I truly think we women are built to handle sudden emergencies much better than a man could. I know I have to walk my husband through what to do! When I was having my heart attack, I had to tell him to get me the low dose aspirin and give me 5 of them, call 911, lock the dog in the bedroom so the EMT’s can treat me, etc. I have no idea if he would have thought to do any of this until the 911 operator told him, but I knew this not only from when he had a heart attack, but from watching so many TV shows with the same instructions! Good for you on knowing what to do!

  8. I’m curious to know your opinion on the new cracked pepper color from Behr? I think it’s gorgeous but wouldn’t know how to use it.

  9. I’m glad that Matt has a strong cough reflex and was able to expel most of the capsule from his lungs. I hope you both feel normal very soon. Eileen

  10. Kristi,
    First, I am glad to read Matt is better from that awful weekend episode and infection. Also glad you found naproxen w/ acetaminophen works good for your pain and the inflammation that causes the sciatica pain. That is a great inflammatory reliever for sure. I am sure you know but just a reminder you need food in your stomach and drink lots of water while taking it will help prevent stomach issues and it help prevent kidney issues. I would suggest you get a belt that wraps around your lower abdomen when you are working on projects. It helps keep things in place and supports that lower spine area.
    I am with you in the doors not being black since they are close to one another. I like you sticking with a lighter color. If not white you might try a softer white, almost cream in color.
    Take good care of yourself so you can continue making your one of a kind amazing home.
    We hope we can finally get our home looking like my 20 year dream of this place before our bodies say no more.
    Have a great week… Christine

  11. So sorry to hear about Matt. Prayers for you both.
    I was prescribed one Aleve which is naproxin an anti-inflamitory and one Tylenol for pain. This is what i take for arthritis. Now l use it for siatica also. Mine is never very long since l started taking thst combo.
    Today l’m removeing the lower part of my screened patio and replacing it. I will take a Aleve before l start because I found that helps with thepains l will have. At 74 l am starting too have muscle pains from doing things thst have been normal for me before. But, I love doing it all!
    I read your blog on email every morning so have missed you and have prayed it wasn’t serious trouble for Matt or you. Thankful you are both on the mend.

  12. I’m so sorry about your recent struggles. Remember to take care of yourself so that you can have the energy and ability to care for Matt. I hope you two are better soon. As to the door color, how about the gray that’s on the floor?

  13. I am glad you found something to help you feel better. Back pain is no joke! I used to have chronic back pain and finally got better after I found out that it takes AT LEAST six months for spinal things to heal. After I took things easier for a longer time – even if I felt ok – I finally did heal and I almost never have issues anymore. I hope that you are able to find something that will work for you long term, too.
    About the back doors, what if you painted them a very light pink or other color you like that coordinated with the area so that way it is not white and is an actual color, but not as bold as some of the other colors in the area?

  14. So sorry for what Matt had to go through and for you also because you always are there with him. I know it can be scary when Matt needs to go into the hospital. Praying for you both to get back to feeling like your normal selves.