I sat in my wheelchair, staring into my kitchen with tears running down my face. Adam was at home and doing what he could, but there was water flowing in through our ceiling. This wasn’t anything like a couple of months ago when water was coming in above the window, because of the storm. No, this was nothing like that, it was a million times worse. This was flowing in, not just around the window area, but everywhere. It was pouring in through our light fitting, the joints between the walls and ceiling and streaming down the walls. There had been a burst pipe upstairs, and every single way that it could escape, it was, right into our kitchen, and all I could do, was sit there and cry. I don’t know why I was crying, I wasn’t sure if it was just the fact that I was watching my beautiful kitchen drowning, or if it was because I felt so utterly useless, or maybe both.
I don’t think that I have felt that useless for a long time. Useless was a feeling that band when I left my first husband, he was the king of making me feel that way, and I swore nothing and no one would ever do that to me again. Even through all the years of being ill, I have never felt useless, frustrated and angry, yes, but useless no. It didn’t matter what I was faced with, I could always find a way of fixing it, but yesterday, I could do nothing. I could put pans and basins where the worst of the water was, I couldn’t even mop up or ring out the towels he had thrown all over the place. All I could do was watch. Adam wouldn’t hear of me even entering the kitchen, he was so scared that the ceiling might come down on me. He said, “I can get out of the way, you can’t”. He was right, but that didn’t help. In the end, all I could do was turn myself around and head to the living room, where I sat and listened, just in case, he needed my help. He didn’t.
At this moment, I don’t know what is worse, feeling useless or feeling railroaded by life. Yesterday, was all about relaxing until the kitchen was flooded, It took Adam about an hour to clean up, after he went upstairs, to turn the water off. Kenny, who lives above us, was apparently panicking and getting nowhere, Adam managed to find the stopcock and left him to it, with his mess, and returned to fix ours. We knew at the start of the day that at some point, we had to decode the instructions for the keysafe. As always, Adam had left it to almost the last minute, and because of the flood, it did land up being totally last minute. The instruction are in English, but the problem with them is they are beyond complicated. All we wanted to do was to set up the password on the safe so that the keys are secure, and when they arrived to fit it this morning, everything would be good to go. It took a full hour, if we couldn’t set the stupid thing, there is no way someone is going to get into it, without the correct code.
I couldn’t believe it when the doorbell rang at 8:30 this morning. They hadn’t given me a time, but I didn’t expect that they would be that early. Luckily, I was up and ready to go. I was actually half way across the hall, heading to the kitchen to fetch breakfast, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. This rather loud, but nice guy charged into the house and set to installing a rather ugly looking box in our hallway. Apparently, if I push the button, they will talk to me through it and will be able to hear me, no matter where I am in the flat. If for some reason they can’t hear me, they will still send someone out. Then he asked for the ladders and fitted a somewhat unexpected fire alarm. It too is part of the system and only sounds until they answer the call, then it will stop. I was worried that I had to somehow hit the thing with a sweeping brush handle. That done, he headed out into the hall, leaving the doors open and letting what little heat I had, out of the house. I know that on the scale of things, it wasn’t important, but with me already being agitated by having this stranger doing things to my home, I could feel it all building. I don’t deal with these sort of things that well and in hindsight, I wish I’d asked Adam to take the day off.
Eventually, he completed all the tests and showed me how the alarm works. I have to admit when he went into the kitchen, talking all the time to the voice in the box, I was surprised that they could still hear him with ease. He tested the fire alarms connection and eventually let me press the panic button attached to my wrist. Oddly, both in appearance and sound, that box has a huge resemblance to an old fashioned modem. You can wear the alarm on your wrist, or there is a cord so that you can hang it around your neck. I have chosen to put it on my wrist, as it is shower proof and easier to deal with in bed. I used to wear a watch 24/7, the panic button itself is smaller than a ladies wrist watch, so it shouldn’t be a problem there. No matter what happens, if I need help and Adam isn’t here, I can now call for it. It all works, but it has left me with this strange feeling, not the one that I expected. I don’t feel safer, I feel watched. They can’t see me, they don’t know what I am doing and there is no connection between their office and my home unless the alarm is triggered, but I still feel watched. I’m sure given a little time, that feeling will go, but right now, it’s not nice.
The last 18 hours, despite the fact that I slept through 10 of them, have left me feeling as though I have been traveling solo at a hundred miles an hour. I don’t like life like this. I don’t like things being out of control and that’s how it has all felt. All I want is a little peace and a little time spent doing what I thought we were yesterday, relaxing.
Please read my blog from 2 days ago today – 28/09/2014 – Fit for purpose
I want to go back to my bed right now. I was up just 15 minutes late last night and I am sure it is just physiological but I feel like I have missed half my nights sleep. Like anyone when they are tired, I am finding concentrating and staying doing what I am supposed to be doing, rather than going off somewhere……
Water damage. Disaster! Worst feeling of being hopeless, even without a disability. (Not diminishing your experience). had a horrendous storm about 12 years ago and my housemate wasn’t home. Low energy light globes even had water inside them when you would have imagined they were air-tight. Insane. Your new bracelet sounds like my MEPACS alarm. Progress, despite weathering the storm.
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I guess the bracelets are called different things in different places. The are a great idea and I actually wish I had had a few years ago, when I was still insisting on walking, but fell all the time. These days, it’s the transits from my wheelchair, especially the on to the loo. Grab rails or not, turning around on my feet, can be scary at times. At least now, well if it goes wrong, I have help on call. 😊
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I’m also in a chair but can, with the assistance of a cane, get around fairly well. Those bracelets are the bomb! Because I insist on doing almost everything, I fall and break a bone about every 6 months. But, as I learned 3 weeks ago, even while in my chair, I can still fall out of my chair and break a bone, my right, little toe. I guess I need to stop popping wheelies! Besides, I’m just too old for that kind of thing. What I’m trying to say is, hang in there! You’ve got this! This too will pass.
I’m sure that it will, it’s just the oddest feeling to have in your own home. I guess it will be like all the other things that life forces onto us, before we know, it’s just another part. 😏
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So true! One day soon you’ll wake up and it will no longer be an issue. We have to be more open to change because of our situation. Just assume that God did it but for a good reason even if we don’t know what that reason is yet. But, if you do, know that He has a wicked sense of humor! Good thing I do too! Lmao.
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I have considered that and may consider it after I move. Keep us updated on how you like it, please.
I will 🙂
I had a lovely well typed response and as per usual with MS and electronics it disappeared into cyber space! Glad the bracelets look as though it will be beneficial and you just need to get used to them, and sorry about the water leaks, when things get beyond my control my tears flow…hugs and I hope it can be fixed without too much worry.
I am already stating to settle with the bracelet, as in I don’t feel every second like I’m being watched. It sort of comes and goes now, it was so odd at first, and so completely not what I expected, it’s odd the things our brains suddenly do to us, with or without MS, there is no predicting them 🙂