Friday, August 3, 2012

My faucet and me...and of course, Raynaud's.

Renovation plans are coming along - we've chosen our plumbing fixtures and our cabinets, zeroed in on countertops and flooring, and will be making our way to the tile store with our architect within a week or two. Surprisingly, what could have been two very overwhelming trips to showrooms proved to be an enjoyable and productive process. I did find myself losing steam at the plumbing showroom rather quickly, however. I was feeling pretty cocky after about the first 20 minutes - the showroom rep pegged us as "pretty decisive people" (cue ego boost) - and with my houzz.com site up on her computer, and whizzing our way around the showroom, I proceeded to pick our kitchen sink (which I was very particular about), our mudroom sink, and our bathtub within minutes of our arrival. After that, however, things didn't move quite so quickly. We started talking faucets and spigots, shower heads and toilets, and the choices just started, ahem, washing over me. I rallied, though - and with the help of our architect, we stayed on task and emerged from the showroom unscathed. One point for the homeowner!

In fact, I had a bit of an eye-opening experience about half way through our visit. I was in search of the perfect pull-down kitchen faucet, trying to weigh form over function, and attempting to find a look-alike to the one in my beloved magazine picture. There were way too many to choose from, but for every one I eliminated (because the pull down mechanism was too difficult or too precarious), I'd spot two more that I wanted to consider. But after about 7-10 minutes of pulling down one too many detachable sprayers, my Raynaud's set in, and the numbness and discoloration took over. I've noticed for awhile that applied pressure sets off the Raynaud's, but I hadn't even considered the fact that a harder-to-maneuver pull down might do the same.

So - looking at the faucets from an entirely new angle - I immediately eliminated any of the faucets that required you to physically push the pull-down part back into place. And yes...no matter how slick and cool they looked, they came off the list of possibilities. Then I went back through the remaining options that we liked, and eliminated another couple because the faucet handles were a little too small (for gripping with sore hands), or too tight of a fit (for swollen hands). That left me with just two or three choices, and the winner became obvious. It features a pull-down sprayer with a magnetic piece so the sprayer automatically snaps into place, the handle is sufficient, the design is great, and it pretty much resembles my picture. A faucet match made in heaven!

As I continue through the renovation process - I'll be sure to purposefully consider the side-effects and symptoms of lupus as I make my decisions. Heated bathroom floors (which would be oh-so-nice), a bench in the shower, easy to grip door knobs, easy open windows, and a whole host of other options come to mind. If any of you out there have been through a renovation and wish you'd done "X" to make life with lupus (or life in general) easier, don't hold back. This lupite would love to hear about it!

3 comments:

Debs said...

In our renovations, I chose larger handles than the kitchen cabinet designer recommended. They are pretty plain, everything is rounded. The previous rectangular edges hurt my fingers. We needed a knob on some very small drawers, I rarely use. In a way, it was good that the Raynaud's reminded you it was hanging around while you were in the store. We still "forget" & start putting the shampoo top on tight, don't take that extra sealed top off the OJ when we see the older bottle is getting low, etc. Sounds like it was a very successful shopping trip for you!

Anonymous said...

Have you considered a hands free faucet that if foot operated? My friend installed one in her kitchen and it has dual controls. It is great! No more sticky hands on handles. It lets you keep your hands free.

Sara Gorman said...

"Rounded" is good, isn't it? It's those square corners that were killing me on the fixtures we tested!

And I DO consider it a blessing that Raynaud's made an appearance. I was able to make informed decisions that way - otherwise, I would have never thought to consider the issues that presented themselves - interestingly, similar yet slightly different from joint pain concerns!

And a foot operated faucet is a GREAT idea...particularly in our mudroom. Thanks so much for the thought. I'll get my architect on that one!