Thursday, June 30, 2016


This morning as I let "the door" between memory care and assisted living go shut I was struck with a chill and my nose closed down. This has not happened so dramatically before here at Provision Living at Columbia, MO. I was cold.

The three people I eat breakfast with, the only ones in the dining hall at that early hour, were comfortable. The thermostat read a normal 74 degrees.

Our waitress mentioned having a very messy start for the day. The carpet between the kitchen support bench and the dining hall was soaked. A floor drying fan was on at full power.

I get this same immediate reaction in the basement gym at the Lenoir Woods residential care site. That and a year long waiting list stopped us from going there last year. Wet carpet is bad news.

Yesterday I had a milder experience when working in the second floor library learning to use the internet terminals. There was no problem this morning in the library writing my first post in three months.

While eating at noon I experienced lower abdominal cramps that are uniquily related to old carpet and old stale tobacco smoke (smoked motel rooms). This is bad news. It takes me back to the years when I used myself and family members as bio-indicators of air borne allergens. We were all calibrated by Dr. Carlton Lee, St. Joseph, MO, for several dozen things including rapid temperature change.

Cold drafts easily, and almost immediately, produce a sore throat for me. I survive in this building by wearing or carrying a vest with me. The building is about two blocks long. Each apartment has one to three heat exchangers, one below each window. The apartments are comfortable. The common rooms vary in temperature, as well as, areas within a common room. People using the assisted living dining hall can pick a temperature of their liking or dress to be comfortable. This requires resident assistant attention in the memory care activity area.

After a sewer gas problem early on, Air Scent, odorant dispensers, were installed in the common areas. They are designed, not to release an overpowering scent, but a level that is detectable for a few seconds, the time for your nose to adjust and dismiss the odor (for the general population).

It was only after asking why people were running about the building did I learn they were trying to find the source of a very bad odor. Something else in the building had already made my nose so  boggy that I had lost my sense of smell for the sewer gas.

I cannot work on this potential problem until I can stop taking Singular and have a bathroom handy for the consequences. In general air quality here is radically different from the clean-air houses we lived in the past 35 years with a central vacuum, no carpets, no odorant dispensers (often, falsely marketed as air-cleaners). Fortunately none of this seemingly bothers my wife and only a few other residents.

Addendum: A visit yesterday to Mill Creek, another residential care site, that just opened three months ago, produced a piercing pain in my right ear. Possible suspects were carpet cleaning, and/or new overstuffed furniture. The rooms seemed safe for me.

Addendum: And one day later I had the piercing pain in my right ear here in Provision Living!!! Normal room temperature with chilling. "Something going around." It seems that a delay of about one week is needed to get a good perspective on things.

Maggie's World

It is now June 28th (June 30), some three months since the last post. Most of that time I was working on our house and all the related activities involved in selling it. Undisturbed time to write just did not exist. Also it takes time to get a proper perspective on daily observations.

This is my first post from the Provision Living at Columbia MO library, between apartment 223 and 224. I can write here and then edit from our apartment 133 in memory care.

Things went very well when I was leaving each morning to work on the house. This morning I am going to my "new office". Now I am out of the apartment when my wife gets up in the morning. I continue to eat in the dinning hall for breakfast and at noon.

We tried to create an environment in the 3-room, 2-bed, apartment 229 that was like our house: office, living room, and bed room. It soon became evident that this was too much space with too many things for my wife to redistribute each night and for me to pick up, and at the same time, less useable space than a studio apartment that is missing the kitchenette.

Also her awareness of space was shrinking. She confused the locked doors on the two floors: memory care door on floor 1 and the one adjacent to our apartment 229 on floor 2.

She also did not have a convenient place to rest during the day, when going to memory care for the day and returning to assisted living at night after we ate supper together. Day care was not working for her, for the care givers, and for me.

Apartment 133 now has the same three areas in a studio apartment. The keepsake shelf is opposite the bookcase (picture lost and replaced below). 

My wife sits on one of the three office chairs between the shelving and adjacent to the drop leaf table. She can spend hours sorting and rearranging things.

The keepsake shelf one day later.

The apartment is no longer a mess. She keeps the table and the window ledge clear. That behavior has also spread to the top of the keepsake shelf and the bookcase.