A break for a break!

After having a conversation with a nearby resident who reviews my journal, I realized I had not explained why I was in a funk on my last posting.  Just as well, as the situation has changed dramatically again since last week.

Over the last month or so, I have been coming to a realization that there would be no practical way to advance the framing to the point where I would get the roof on before the fall rains.  I was just too far behind and the backfill was going to take a long time (55 manhours between Aaron and I to backfill the first 5′ on east wall and about half of south wall) .

I had also miss-stepped when planning the foundation pour.  I had poured the inboard half of the garage west wall right to the finished height to support the attachment of the floor trusses, but had not done the same on part of the south wall, that while not needing to support trusses, did need to support a post that would carry a beam supporting the 2nd floor. Now, while I had figured out a way that I could still proceed with temporary supports, I knew it was going to make everything harder and take longer.

I had also planned on pouring the suspended garage slab, and basement walk-up stairs later in the process, and would therefore delay backfill of the north wall of the house.  It would make framing a lot easier (and safer) to do if all of these steps were complete, so a couple of weeks ago I reluctantly made the decision to switch things up.  I would now do everything that is possible to complete on the house before the framing, over the fall/winter months, and start the first floor framing in the early spring. These tasks would include (in installation order):

  • completing foundation waterproofing on all walls except the garage walls and north wall
  • completing outboard foundation insulation and dimple board on all walls except the garage walls and north wall
  • backfilling all but the garage walls and north wall
  • forming and pouring the suspended garage slab (complete with curb that will rise above grade 6″ and support walls) and also the footing/slab for the basement walkout
  • complete waterproofing on garage and north walls
  • finish insulating and installing dimple on garage south and east walls and then backfilling these walls
  • forming and pouring basement walk-up foundation
  • installing deep well dewatering pumps and ground water capture cistern and connect to Municipal storm sewer.
  • installing basement below slab sani drain system (including sani sewer sump and pump)
  • waterproofing, insulating, and backfilling north wall on each side of basement walk-up.
  • backfilling basement walk-up interior and form and pour stairs
  • install building science lab for floor slab in cold room under garage
  • install sub slab radon mitigation piping
  • insulated and pour basement floor slabs
  • frame partition walls in basement including service raceways against foundation
  • continue basement plumbing and portion of system that runs in first-storey-floor assembly.
  • install ventilation ducts in first storey floor assembly
  • commence wiring in basement

As you can see, there is a LOT that can be done at this stage of construction before needing to frame the upper floors.  This will enable me to work over the wet winter without subjecting the structure to severe wetting. It also really does not change the overall time frame for completion much as these are all tasks that need to be completed anyway.  And I may start framing before completing this list, it will depend on the weather next spring, and how far through the list I have made it.

The change of order however was a bit of a mental blow knowing I was not going to get the majority of framing behind me this year as planned.  In a lot of ways, I was feeling like I had failed and know I will be judged by others accordingly.  But, that is out of my control now and I am not going to worry about it.

But then, a series of medical appointments put this change of order of construction in focus and showed that this will all be for the best.  You see, my arm is not healing very well.  I have plateaued since the second week of physio (week 8 since injury). This, along with the general behind state of construction was really bumming me out!

There was great improvement within the first two weeks (I could raise my arm to about chest height instead of waste height), but efforts to improve upon this initial progress have been proving fruitless and in fact I had many weeks where I am slipping backwards in my progress.

Of course it did not help that my construction activities were often extreme.  Vibration is one of the worst things I can do, so the use of a rotary hammer drill on the sump, and the plate compactor were not doing me any favours. X-Rays on the 7th showed that the bone has not healed as far a long as expected for 11 weeks post injury. Jay, my physio (really a athletic strength and conditioning coach) who works with many of the premier athletes in the Province and who used to be the Rehabilitation Coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays, has identified three possible issues with the soft tissue of the shoulder.  All would most likely require some form of surgery.

I brought up these concerns with my assigned surgeon last week and asked for a MRI to further diagnose, but his approach was to do nothing and wait another 6 weeks to see. I am not comfortable with this prescription and will be getting a second opinion.  It is becoming clear to me that the surgeon’s acceptable end result for my range of motion may be well below my acceptable standards.

But in order to escalate this, I need to first prove that “conservative measures” have failed to significantly improve my mobility.  And while I have been going to physio twice a week and performing my prescribed exercises, my activities at the construction site are most likely preventing my body from healing in a normal time frame/manner.

So, because the pressure is now off on the build (no longer trying to frame this year), I will heed the advise of my medical team and take a break.  I generally will not be on site for the next 2 weeks while I see how my body reacts to a more sedentary existence. The timing sucks (missing good weather), but I really do not have too much of a choice.  During this time I will work on catching up on my office work (for the build and personal), but I will also be concentrating on just resting because I really have not had a holiday for over 2 years and not even a day off for over a year (beyond some sick days last fall).

Jay's treatment is out of this world.  He has the only MR4 Super Pulsed Laser in a clinical practice in Canada.  There is one of these devices on the international space station.

Jay’s treatment is out of this world. He has a MR4 Super Pulsed Laser . There is one of these devices on the international space station. This device has two heads that guild the user to damaged tissue by reading the tissue density (think stud sensor) and electrical resistance. A series of lights on the heads show the user when it is time to scan or time to stop and let the laser do its work.

Jay also uses the Hivamat 200 Evident.  This device uses static vibration to bust up scar tissue.

Jay also uses the Hivamat 200 Evident. This device uses static vibration to bust up scar tissue.  This is the only unit in Canada currently being used in a clinic.  There is also one at the manufactures show room and at a university in Eastern Canada.

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