Studio Update (Plus, Matt’s Scary Moment)

Well, we’re nine days into the New Year, and so far, I haven’t gotten much done. 😀 But after spending a couple of hours working on the studio yesterday, I feel like I’m finally getting back into DIY mode, gaining some focus and momentum, and feeling more determined to get these rooms finished.

But before I get into that, let me share what happened yesterday. It was so scary!! I’ve been doing more Instagram stories just to give people more of a personal, behind-the-scenes look at my life. A couple of days ago, I explained that I generally don’t get to start working on my house projects until about 3:00 in the afternoon because I have my normal morning routine (i.e., getting Matt situated either on his Theracycle or recliner, making coffee, editing pictures, writing a blog posts, etc.). After that, I cook lunch and sit down with Matt for lunch while we watch a show.

Because of his M.S. (and the general, overall weakness and exhaustion that comes with it), Matt is the slowest eater! I don’t feel like I can just get up and start working and leave him by himself while he’s eating because literally everything is a choking hazard for him. So I have to sit there and wait for him to finish.

Well, yesterday proved my point. Matt eats a carnivore diet (literally, meat only), and I prefer for him to eat things like ribeye or a roasted chicken or something like that. Basically, I don’t like him eating processed food. But every now and then, he craves more variety and wants to add something different. So yesterday, he asked for hotdogs. Nine hotdogs. 😀 I buy the best all-beef hotdogs with the shortest list of ingredients that I can find, and he literally eats nine of them for a meal. He loves them.

But yesterday, just as he was taking a bite of hotdog, he had a spasm in his throat, causing a bite of hotdog to go down his throat without him chewing it, and it lodged there. It freaked me out so much! And of course, he was scared as well. But interestingly, he could still breathe! It was a bit of a labored breathing, but he could breathe, especially if he turned his head to the side and stayed calm.

He tried to cough it up, but because of his M.S., he has a very weak cough reflex and has almost no ability to force a cough, so that was not successful at dislodging the piece. I looked with my iPhone flashlight to see if I could see it and maybe get it out with my finger, but it was too far down his throat for me to even see, so I didn’t want to stick my finger down there and potentially push it further down his throat. It was so scary!! We have on of those Lifevac choking rescue devices, but since he was still able to breathe, I was afraid to try it.

So I ended up calling 911. Just as the paramedics were about to load him up to take him to the hospital, Matt asked if they would just grab his arms and pull him forward so that his head was kind of face down towards the bed. After being in that position for about 20 seconds, he finally coughed it up! I mean, with one good cough, that piece of hotdog just popped right out of his mouth.

We were both soooo relieved…obviously. I literally jumped up and down and cheered and cried. 😀 That’s the closest he’s ever come to being seriously in danger from choking. I mean, he was just one throat spasm or quick inhale away from having his airway blocked. Of course, had that happened, I could have then used the Lifevac.

I asked the paramedic if I made the right decision by NOT using the Lifevac since he could still breathe, and he said that I did. But he also said that those Livevac things really do work if a person’s airway is blocked. So I highly recommend having one on hand, especially if you have children, or you’re a caretaker of another adult, or you live by yourself. Using a Lifevac on yourself would be much easier than trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver on yourself.

So that was our excitement for the day. I told Matt that I could do without that type of excitement in our lives. 😀 Needless to say, after the paramedics left, Matt and I both were feeling quite shaken. I had that whole-body cooked spaghetti feeling, so I wasn’t too anxious to jump right up and start working.

Anyway, Matt is fine, and I did finally get some work done on the studio yesterday evening. The back French doors are finally painted. The last time I shared my progress, these doors had only been primed.

So now they’re painted and looking fresh and clean. We’ll see how long that lasts with white doors by the carport that I use as my workshop. 😀

You’ll notice that some of the glass panes still have paint on them. Before I primed and painted the doors, I used the Jasco Mask & Peel on the glass, which is so much easier than taping off the glass.

If you’re not using this stuff to paint your windows and French doors, you’re probably wasting a lot of time with tape! (Unless you’re a really good, fast taper.) Since this is primer also, that means you don’t have to be careful about not getting it on the wood part of your door or window. Just paint it right on the glass and onto the wood, and it primed the wood while coating the glass. Then when you’re finished painting, score around the edges with a razor blade, and the mask just peels right off of the glass.

So I just haven’t finished removing the mask from those panes yet. I removed the mask from about nine of the panes in probably 10 minutes last night, but I was tired and ready for bed, so I decided to leave the rest for today.

I’ve decided that I’m going to finish the back entry first since it’s so close to being finished. I didn’t realize until yesterday that that also needs to include repainting the baseboards. These things are a mess! As is the floor, which needs a good scrubbing.

My new curtain rod for the French doors arrived before Christmas, and I think the color is gorgeous. It’s eight feet wide, and it’s not an adjustable curtain rod. The back entryway is only about 7.5 feet wide. But I bought it anyway because I think I can make it work. I know I can. It WILL work. 😀

And I absolutely love the matching rings from the same company. I like that they’re a square design rather than the standard rounded design.

And little things tend to impress me, like the fact that the rings came with drapery pins for those of us who don’t use clips. I generally have to make an extra trip to Joann Fabrics for drapery pins, so this was a nice above-and-beyond thing for this company to include with their drapery rings.

So my plan is to finish the back entry, including making and hanging the draperies, and then move on to the cabinets in the office area of the studio and get those finished. Since I can close the door to the studio bathroom and have that mess hidden from sight, I think I’ll leave that alone for now, finish the studio, and then tackle the bathroom. That’s the plan! But of course, I have a habit of changing my mind on a whim, and sometimes changing my mind about 10 times a day. 😀 So we’ll see.



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  1. So glad Matt is OK.
    I’ve been thinking about your projects. After the back entry is finished and beautiful, would it help to next finish the closet? That way every time you pick up something in the way you can literally put it away in its correct storage place

  2. I have been ready to order that device and have put it off. Guess this is God giving me a nudge to stop procrastinating. Glad Matt is okay.

    1. I live alone and do worry about what I’d do if I were choking. I never heard of this device–I’ll be ordering it today. I learn so much from you, Kristi!

  3. Glad to hear Matt is okay and didn’t have another hospital stay. So scary for both of you. I think I might want to invest in a Lifevac. Hope the rest of your new year is more boring and therefore restful. I think the answer to projects is do what you can but not drive yourself into the ground. You have a lot on your plate.

  4. Oh Kristi, I am so sorry you and Matt went through that.
    So glad and happy with him being so much better. Sending hugs

  5. I am so glad Matt has you. Even as a nurse I find someone choking a frightening thing to deal with. You did great! The studio will be completed before you know it!
    Sheila F.

  6. Thank God, that Matt is okay and you as well! I do believe that you are truly an amazing woman that manages to accomplish so much everyday and be a full time caregiver. Thank you for this insight into your daily routine! I now feel a little ashamed of myself when I gripe about my chores and what I would like to accomplish but don’t have the strength on most days but I do have to remind myself as Aunt Bee on the Andy Griffith Show said “well, we aren’t spring chickens anymore”, how true that is as I am 68 years old and caregiver to my special needs 31 year old grandson. Bless you both!

  7. So sorry about another scare for you and Matt! Thank the good Lord he was able to cough it up. Love the white French door! I just wanted to second that I can definitely see the black showing through, as well. Probably a good idea to put another coat on 😀

  8. I have to say it’s been fun seeing you in IG. Sort of like seeing the whole house not just a few rooms! Also glad Matt’s ok, hotdogs should come with a choking warning😛

  9. Thank God Matt is OK and didn’t have to go to the hospital. Uou are a truly amazing caregiver. If you don’t get started on your projects until 3 in the afternoon I can see why you are up so late working on a project. You hardly get any sleep. Bless you.

  10. Choking is scary! I am a toddler mom and we do baby led weaning, which skips purees and goes right to real food. I keep the LifeVac close, but there are guidelines for cutting food that minimize choking risk. It might help Matt eat faster AND ease your minds a little to research baby led weaning food cutting guides. Hot dogs are a big one, and the recommendation is to cut them into quarters length-wise, that way they don’t have that round cross section that presents such an easy choking hazard. Other big ones are grapes and cherry tomatoes (which, of course he doesn’t eat as a carnivore, but I’ll still mention it!), which also get quartered on the longer side. And finally, anything coin-shaped should be quartered or cut into strips (possibly not an issue with carnivore either). I’m sure you’re both shaken up after that incident! I hope some of these recommendations can give a little peace of mind for next mealtime.

    1. Thank you! I was shocked, but he wanted hot dogs at lunch again today, so I did cut them lengthwise this time. I only cut them in half, but next time, I’m going to do quarters just for the peace of mind.

    2. Kate, thank you for your explanation! I too will check into lifevac. My granddaughter just had a baby about a month ago, so I will tell her about baby led leaning. Again, that you so much!

  11. Kristi I’m really glad Matt was able to cough out the piece of hotdog. Both of you being shook up afterward was bad to go through too. Glad to hear now that Matt is okay and you are getting back into your projects. The doors you painted looks like you used a different shade of white. Was that what you wanted to do?
    I have jotted down the Jasco liquid masking, and the Lifevac so I can research those out. Thanks for posting.

    1. It’s the same white that I always use, but I think that the doors will need one more coat of paint, and I also think the trim paint needs to be refreshed. Strangely, I’ve noticed that this paint, even though it’s latex paint, does slightly yellow over time (only in the white).

  12. So glad Matt is okay! How scary. I think my definition of square must be different than yours though. Those curtain rings look quite round to me. Pretty, but not square. 😊

    1. I believe she means the actual metal piece itself is squared off all the way around. Does that make sense? I went back and looked at the pic and could tell what she meant. Hope that helps and it’s not clear as mud:)

    2. Haha! That made me laugh. Yes, the curtain ring itself is round 😀 , but the metal that they used to bend into a round curtain ring is square. In other words, if you were to straighten out the metal piece so that it’s no longer a circle, but it’s just a straight piece of metal, a crosscut of that metal rod would be square and not round. 🙂

  13. I know you also make a lot of draperies…if you ever want to splurge, Rowley (and likely others) sells a drapery pin setter. The pins are all on a mini rack (aka an untied zip tie) that loads into the device and sets each pin at your preferred depth. I was annoyed by repeatedly poking my fingers with the pins… so I took the plunge.

    Glad, of course, that Matt is okay. My mom was always obsessed with hot dogs as a choking hazard….she would dice them up smaller than green peas whenever she served the to the GKs. They were even too small to spear with a fork. Not my jam, but all the now grown-up GKs think it’s a super treat to have hot dog chiclets.

  14. So happy that Matt is okay. Wow, scary. I had a kinda similar incident last night. I was eating rice as a cereal and guess I was eating too fast for it to go down quickly. I got a pain in-between my shoulder blades, and started belching. I could breathe also but it was like I needed to throw up. I walked to the sink, tried to but just spit up a little. It was a weird feeling. I finally took a couple big drinks of water, and it pushed it on down. But it was a scary weird feeling to go thru. That’s the closest I’ve come to choking like that. So I get an idea of what Matt was feeling. So so happy he’s okay today.

  15. I’m so sorry the two of you had this scare. My husband is also a high choking risk due to a stroke and dementia. Meals can take an hour and a half. I have been chopping his food, especially meat, with a hand food chopper. When he has a weaker day, I puree his food, adding water or jarred gravy. He isn’t able to use a spoon so he drinks his meals in a tumbler with a 1/2 inch wide straw.

    You are to be commended for your wonderful care of Matt. Caregiving is not an easy job but one done with love.

    1. When Matt eats steak, I also have to puree it. I cook a ribeye, then put it in the blender, add butter, MCT oil, and broth, and then blend until it’s the consistency of a creamy soup. I find it repulsive, but Matt loves it! 😀

  16. Happy New Year!

    I’m so glad Matt is okay!

    I have a question about the blog. For anyone else, does it seem like the posts randomly show up or not show up on the main page? Sometimes I have to follow through 7 or 8 posts to get to the new one, and sometimes the new one is right on the main page. I can’t image that I’m doing something wrong – I just load the page and sometimes it’s there and sometimes it isn’t.

    I hate to miss any posts, but I also hate wasting time following all the links to see if there is anything new.

    Please let me know if anyone else has this “problem”. Thanks!

    1. The easiest way to find the most recent blog post(s) is to click the big pink button at the top of the home page that says “See the most recent blog posts.” Every single blog posts shows up on that page. The reason that you don’t see every new blog post further down on the home page is because the section that I think you’re looking at only shows posts about my studio. So if I blog about another topic, that post won’t show up there. But again, that big pink button at the top will allow you to see every single post and not miss one.

  17. Kristi, I’ve loved following the transformation of your home for the past several years. I visited your house in the mid 60s when my Baylor Band director and his family lived there. So happy Matt is ok. Could you possibly share a link to the lovely curtain rod you are using in the back entry.

  18. How scary for you and your husband to deal with that issue, I cannot even imagine. Thank goodness he was able to clear his throat, yet it sounds like you’re very well prepared! Thank you for sharing!!

    When you paint the window panes as you did with the Mask and Peel, do you have to be super cautious about not getting it on the wood part? Was just curious….what a cool product!! I admire your ability to get so many projects done, you seriously must not sleep! Happy New Year!

  19. WE have a daughter who is severely retarded and she stuffs things in her mouth and hardly chews, so I have been through choking scares too. chopping hot dogs in fourths is the only way she can eat those things. Happy to know Matt made it through.

  20. Kristi- Because of your last post on the curtain rods I went ahead and bought the same ones for my house. I LOVE them. I originally bought the 8ft one though I only needed 7.5ft. I could not make it work so I returned it and bought a 4ft one and a 3.5ft one. They screwed together and look seamless! I suggest you do that and save yourself a huge headache. They did not give me any trouble for the return and the 4ft and 3.5 ft ones shipped to me in 2 days!

  21. What a terrifying experience for you and Matt! You seem to remain calm and collected throughout Matt’s medical emergencies which is a very good thing. I have a good friend who was diagnosed with MS about 40 years ago. Her doctor recommended a a diet of lean protein, fruits, vegetables and unsaturated fats and to avoid, alcohol, sugar, saturated fats and trans fats. I’m surprised that Matt eats almost exclusively meat but I’m not his doctor.

  22. So glad Matt is ok. That is scary. Finishing the entry way will make you feel good because you come into the house from the carport. You will see that area all the time. With curtains up on the double doors to your studio, you won’t have to look at that. With the bathroom door closed, you won’t have to look at this situation either. Win-win.
    I like that Jasco Mask & Peel since it is also a primer. That is handy when you have glass to deal with. Thanks for showing us again.

  23. I want to tell you that I love your new profile photo on here! Your hair looks great!
    (I agree to the 2nd coat of white on the doors) I love the green walls in your entryway, too!
    Relieved Matt is ok; I was initially worried when I read there was a medical thing going on – scary indeed!