Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I'm Irish. Where's My Luck?!?

Settle in, folks. This is going to be a long one…

You know how they say lightning never strikes twice?

Apparently flooding does. And it may be good I can’t ever walk outside again… because if I was in the general vicinity of lightning I’m pretty sure it would hit me each and every time. :)

So, if you read my previous post, you noticed that I had an accidental flood in my condo a few years ago when a washing machine repairman failed to hook up a hose before he left. Thankfully, back then, I was still able to get out and about. The solution was to park myself in a hotel for four days while they dried out my place and cleaned my carpets. We all know that’s no longer an option.

That became in-my-face apparent when my condo flooded again in the wee hours of Saturday morning. [Hi, my name is Unlucky. It’s lovely to meet you.] I was just getting into bed around 1:30am when Riley started FREAKING OUT. I’m talking jumping off the bed, barking, ready to take on an intruder. An intruder I was pretty sure didn’t exist considering I couldn’t hear a darn thing. Of course, I scolded him and tried to get him to stop barking… to no avail. I finally got up to show him no one was in the condo when I walked into the other room and heard a weird noise myself.

Imagine my surprise when I opened my utility closet to discover it had been raining in my house. There are two reasons that was confusing to me. One, I don’t live on the top floor so it couldn’t be a leaky roof. And two, it wasn’t raining.

Yeah, I’m quick like that.

I tried calling one of my neighbors that I’m friends with because I knew she wouldn’t mind me waking her up in the middle of the night, and because I knew her husband would know what to do. I assumed that a pipe burst or something in the condo above me and no one knew because the girl had moved out. [You remember her… yes, it’s been peaceful since she left.] When they didn’t answer, I tried my friend Candace, who lives right above me on the third floor.

Poor Candace. That’s when I found out her hot water heater had burst [literally, there was a hole in the side of it] and she had water everywhere. She had a friend coming to help her, so I did the only thing I knew to do in the middle of the night. I called my friend Susie to see if I could borrow her husband. :)

Bless Mark’s heart, he showed up at my place at 2am to help me with the water. When I first opened the door to the closet, I tried to drag out the bag of dog food and dog litter, and in doing so put myself in enough pain to know I wasn’t going to be doing anything else. So, while waiting for Mark to come I sat on the phone with Susie while watching the water pour on all my stuff. I think the term for that feeling would be helpless.

It was then that I noticed it was raining from the ceiling above my fridge in the kitchen. And from my ceiling by my front door. And then I walked by the bathroom to see it raining from the door frame and the floor covered in water. At that point all I said was, “Uhm, Susie? Please tell me not to panic.”

She obliged, and I stayed pretty calm. It probably didn’t hurt that I have to take a ridiculous amount of nighttime medication in order to go to bed, including heavy duty muscle relaxants, sleep aids and narcotics. I don’t think I had a choice to be anything but calm.

Here’s the fun part: right before Mark got here, the furnace/air conditioning stopped working. Which means my air purifier stopped working. And about 20 minutes later, my lungs stopped working very well, too. I lost my voice, started coughing and could barely get any air. So at that point I started adding Benadryl to my arsenal of previously ingested medications.

Good times.

Mark worked his butt off until the water stopped coming in at about 3:30 in the morning, at which time I sent him home to hopefully salvage some sort of sleep. That’s also about the time I was debating what in the world I could do to prepare for the next day… which I knew would be a doozy. I really didn’t want to wake someone else with a middle-of-the-night phone call from the sick girl, knowing that would immediately cause panic. But I was also afraid that my meds would eventually knock me out and I wouldn’t be up to call for help in the morning. So here’s how it went:

Dad:Hello?” [panicked voice]
Me: “It’s me. I’m fine. Don’t worry. But my house is flooded.”
Dad:How? What are you going to do?”
Me: “Call you and tell you to come in the morning.”

Yep, that’s how I problem solve. I call Dad.

So, Mom and Dad show up at 8am and I promptly send them upstairs to make sure Candace is ok and give her a hug, because her parents live out of state and I figured she could share mine. :) I had already called the people who installed my air purifier [which had standing water in it] and they were so helpful, showing up within an hour of my call. They knew how much it had helped me and didn’t want to leave me without it any longer than they had to.

They totally just made my Christmas card list. Now I just have to make Christmas cards.

The dude fixed my furnace, then fixed the air purifier, and I stopped just short of kissing him and promising him the first born I’m never going to have. Mom and Dad came back down and brought Larry, the guy who was going to be drying out Candace’s condo, so he could take care of my place as well.

It was at that point that we had to explain how sick I am, my disease, and the fact that I can’t leave the house during this process. That’s when Larry became my new best friend. He set up dehumidifiers and fans and equipment to dry out the place, but didn’t turn the heat up to 92 degrees like he did in the other condos, so I could isolate myself in a back room that was unaffected, pump in air from the air conditioner and not feel like I was in a sauna.

Bless Mom and Dad for staying over night with me on Saturday night, because at that point I was in enough pain, hadn’t had any sleep and was not doing great on the breathing front. My body had started to go into shock with me getting cold, not being able to stop shaking and my teeth chattering uncontrollably. That’s happened before so I wasn’t overly concerned, but it sure was nice to have people to cuddle on the couch with.

Yeah. So, this has just been really fun. My voice/breathing is still affected by all the crap in my house, but it is so much better than it would have been if they hadn’t got the air purifier working again. Don’t get me wrong, there are major blessings in all the madness, like the fact that I was able to stay in my condo. But I, my parents, my sister and my friends are all constantly saying… “So, we don’t have a Plan B. What’s the Plan B?” Meaning… should something catastrophic happen and I have no choice but to leave this house… what in God’s name am I going to do?

I’ll let you know when I get that one figured out.

In the meantime, I’m still in the back room and they are still working on getting the moisture out of my walls and ceiling. And, just for fun, I didn’t have a phone or internet for the past 24 hours due to weather issues.

See, we’re having a blizzard. They’re talking a foot of snow and 45mph winds. But on the bright side, my phone is back, my internet is back, my house is drying out and I have Riley the wonder dog to keep me company.

What can I say? I have the luck of the Irish. :)

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