Monday, July 11, 2011

Work In Progress

Thomas Divide Trail - Great Smoky Mountains National Park
July 10, 2011

Have you ever had something incredibly difficult and inconvenient happen that eventually became a blessing in disguise because it uncovered something much worse that could have proven disastrous? Many people in the southeast, us included, experienced severe weather on April 27th of this year unlike anything we'd ever witnessed before.  I had never seen and certainly never heard the sound of tennis ball size hail hitting my roof for over 10 minutes.  Fortunately, my side of town escaped tornado damage, but many of my friends did not!  Our damage appeared mostly cosmetic, so we worked with our insurance adjustor from afar and were able to continue our trip to Colorado as planned.  All went smoothly UNTIL the painters arrived and discovered what they said were "a couple" of rotted boards on the side of the house that had sustained the most damage.  It was suggested that someone come replace those boards before the painting was done.  When that individual tore away the first board, it was discovered that we had one heck of a mess.  Somehow, water, hail or wind had damaged the roof and flashing around the chimney in our den and had been seeping/leaking/ruining the insides of our den walls since at least April 27 and possibly from earlier.  He kept ripping more and more boards trying to find the end of the wet "innards" of my den.  It became increasingly painful to watch!  By the time he finally reached dry boards, it was evident that one whole side of my den was destroyed.  How could something that horrible have been invisible until something else (a hailstorm) came along to uncover it?  Eventually (and not very far in the future, I might add), that entire wall would have caved in.  I keep asking, "how could we have prevented this?"  There isn't an easy answer and the seepage  probably dates back to some shoddy roofing that was done seven years ago, but our contractor insists that the hail was so severe for so long that it finally became visible from the outside.  Repairs began this morning and this is what one corner of my den look like right now:

The joists were added this morning to keep the roof from caving in when they remove the walls and window.  Repairs will last approximately three weeks.  Thankfully, we've got a wonderful, honest guy who will do superior work and with whom I'm comfortable giving a key, so I am not stuck here while he works.  

As this saga has unfolded, each worsening layer has been a vivid reminder of how much unseen damage can occur before the warning signs are ever spotted.  Our bodies are made up of so many layers that are never seen, yet are required to work properly if we are to function at our optimum potential.   

This tiny little "bad" space:

Led to the discovery of this:

Which led to this:
And finally to this:

Our contractor continues to assure us that we did nothing wrong.  Although it was somewhat of a fluke, there is no way we could have known this was happening.  But our house is old and when we can't do something ourselves or when we see something amiss, we take steps to get the proper experts here who can help us. 

This healthy eating thing is important.  It is VERY important.  We continue to learn that certain things we put into our bodies are harmful and we are even learning that sometimes things in our environment that we smell or touch can be harmful.  But the lesson of which I am reminded here is that no matter what we eat, smell, touch or breathe, undetected and unseen damage can occur from the inside out.  

Don't waste time.  Get that annual physical.  Have those tests.  Get that horrid mammogram and visit your gynecologist every year. Get that bone density scan.  Visit your eye doctor and dentist at the appropriate time - not when you get around to it.  Do whatever it takes to arrive at a healthy weight and stay there.  Your joints are one of those things like the studs in the walls of my house that will never TELL you they've been damaged until it's too late.  That's damage that can't be seen, but every extra pound triples the burden you are asking your joints to carry.  

I learn new life lessons every day that help me in my journey to a healthy weight.  This has been a vivid reminder that just because something LOOKS right doesn't mean all is well.  I'll do all I can to keep my body functioning properly from the inside out.  And when it doesn't, I'll get help from the best experts I can find. 

I finally was able to hike in my Smoky Mountains on Saturday.  It was incredibly hot and humid even at an elevation of over 5,000 feet.  I missed the cool temps and dry air in Colorado, but it sure was nice to be back home in MY mountains.  

Eating is on plan and going well.  Weight comes off of me so slowly and a recent thyroid check told me that we still don't have it regulated properly.  I am still of the mind that this could be at the root of why I have felt so rotten most of this year.  The thyroid is such a persnickety little thing and it sure can cause a lot of trouble.  But I've got an expert and we're working on it.  Don't want any surprises!!

What's happening in your world these days?


  1. I love little paths like the one pictured, just love them! That's what most of the paths we hike around here look like. They just beckon me. :)

    The life lesson is a good one, too. I have an appointment tomorrow with the diabetes guy tomorrow morning tht I do not want to go to. I wasn't going to cancel, but this reminder was a good one right now.


  2. Bummer:( I wish I was one of those people who thinks about each thing going in the mouth as fuel and something that should be good for the body.

  3. Such a good illustration! As soon as I started reading I thought "Just like diabetes." And other stuff. That NutritionActionHealthletter describes vividly what goes on inside your veins when you eat a greasy burger or fries. Sobering stuff. Most of the time I remember it.

    Does insurance pay for this kind of damage? Its worrisome, since Iive in an older cabin.

  4. What a good metaphor! It's really hard to imagine what is going on inside our bodies when we eat food that is healthy or unhealthy--because we can't see it.

    Dr. Oz has dissected fatty organs on his show to show what bad eating can do in the long-term. Another news segment showed blood with visible fat in it after someone ate an extremely high calorie fatty meal to show what bad eating can do in the short-term. My lack of imagination has to remember these examples.

    :-) Marion

    p.s. I'm following you now. :-)

  5. I'm sorry you're having to suffer through that, but it does make a great analogy! Way to turn something no good in to something good.

    BTW, we had similar damage and the roofer is coming this week. We live in an old house too, and I have a fear that we'll be in for more than we expect as well. If that happens, I'll remember your lesson.

  6. We don't know the damage done by the foods with preservatives and no telling what additives that we have put into our bodies over the years. But I do know I have been much more conscious of those things in the past couple of years. And I am about to realize that too much information may not be good. So we need to go with fresh and unprocessed as much as possible. I'm on track with you.

  7. I am glad you discovered that problem before the roof had really caved in. But, for me your post is also a great analogy. Initially our unhealthy choices are invisible. But as we grow older they show up in ways that are not kind. Thoughtful post, Sharon.

  8. Love the trail picture. I am getting ready to go backpacking on the Thomas Divide Trail and a couple of others in just a couple of days. I am also working on getting my thyroid regulated.From a new east tennesseean

  9. Wow! Lots going on. Those home repairs can be endlessly frustrating.

    Food -- I realized on a different level this week that what we eat is more important than exercise. For the past year, I've not really lost any weight at all despite very consistent exercise. It's quite simply because I was out-eating the exercise. In the past two weeks, I've recommitted myself to eating properly and have lost six pounds already. Though I admit to not exercising quite as much. It seems very difficult to do both well at the same time. But my point is that while exercise is very important and should be a part of our lives at a very minimum of three times per week, what we eat -- what we literally incorporate into our physical bodies is more important. I've read that health is pretty much 80% what we eat and 20% exercise. I'd tend to agree with that.

    Sometimes, something's got to give. My schedule is really REALLY full right now -- in fact, I've approached Scheduling and Commitment Maximum. In that case, I realize that as important as it is to get exercise as much as possible, the most important thing right now is making sure I'm giving myself adequate, quality nutrition -- not too much, not too little.

  10. Oh, I'm sorry to hear about your house troubles. Love the comparison to our own bodies, though. SO true, Sharon. It is much less stressful when you know the people you're working with and I'm glad you won't be stuck at home (I was during the week we had our kitchen done and about went crazy!!) Hope everything runs smoothly and your house is as good as new, and soon!