I’m having a pretty serious logistical problem with my bedroom.
This house is heavily gabled up here on the second floor. It’s one huge room (with some attic areas) that’s shaped like a plus sign. Each “wing” of the plus sign has two roof corners meeting above it. The walls of this twelve-sided room range from being three feet to five feet high, and they’re taller in the tops of the gables down the centers of each wing.
Here’s the problem. Six months ago, I changed the lower stairs so that Big Woof could get up here with me. The stairs were arranged such that they jutted at sharp isosceles triangles at the lower four steps. Naturally, Big Woof, a ninety-pound dog, was fearful of it. Now, there’s a landing for her, and then a ninety-degree turn to the right with three new steps that extend into the kitchen.
Anyway, whenever I come up or go down those three lower steps, I have to duck under the doorjamb. Do you know what happens to your knee when you’re going forward, up, and ducking all at once? You damned well get runner’s knee, even though you don’t run.
My knee is all kinds of messed up, and I know this is what’s causing and aggravating it. Yes, it’s great that I’m going to the gym and trying to strengthen the surrounding muscles, which is a good treatment for runner’s knee. But I’ve finally realized that I need to do more.
Here are my broad options:
- Undo the carpentry that I did to allow Big Woof up here. But I don’t think that would be a nice way to treat Big Woof.
- Radically alter the stairwell. I ran that idea by my dad, the homeowner, and he blew a gasket.
- Move out of this room. My dad offered to give me his stamp room on the first floor, and I’d also have some room in the basement. He feels it would be sad for this room to go to waste, but I can’t allow my knee to keep deteriorating.
- And this was my dad’s idea: walk up and down the stairs very, very carefully and conscientiously every single time. Newsflash: I’ve been doing that for the past few weeks, and it’s not helping. At all. I’ve started becoming afraid of my stairs. Not stairs in general, mind you, just my stairs.
I also toyed with putting up some handles I could grab onto that would ideally transfer weight off my knee while coming and going. But it doesn’t seem like it would help all that much.
So I’d need downstairs space for: my bedroom area, my computer area, and… that might be all. I have a lot of nice things up here that I’ve amassed: furniture from my late grandparents, furniture I’ve made, collectibles, etc. There wouldn’t be room for most of it downstairs. On the other hand, it would all be safe up here.
So there’s the tiny stamp room on the first floor, which would be my only first-floor space. In the basement, there’s a similarly tiny room, maybe 11′ x 12′, that I could also use. Problem: if I were to use the basement room for either my computer time and/or my sleepy time, Big Woof would want to go down there with me. And I love having her with me. But I also do woodworking down there, and that’s why I’m glad that, so far, she doesn’t know how to get down to the basement. If I teach her how to go down there, it wouldn’t be reversible. On the other hand, I could just close the basement door.
I’m bummed out about this. I’ve got this room decorated like a rainbow exploded. But honestly, it is a tad gloomy and claustrophobic up here. There’s no natural light, and there are no windows overlooking the back.
I guess I could sleep in the piano room (we used to keep my piano in the basement room) and do computer stuff on the first floor. I used to live down in the piano room, but I’ll tell you–it’s scary down there. The door is right next to the furnace. I tried to sleep down there once a while back, and I actually got so scared that I came back upstairs. Hmm… I could do both sleeping and computer using in the first-floor room, I suppose.