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Maniacal Musings From The Dark Side Of The Frozen Flood Plains!!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Winter came cold, hard and fast, blowing in with a huge snowstorm Oct 15. It meant the end of my transportation and enjoyment of my fitness classes out at the gyms. I am enjoying my workout DVD's and my elliptical at home and to spice things up splurged for the Exhilarate Zumba DVD set and its paying off in spades. The winter has never let up. Well below normal temps every day. My job as bridge club manager has never let up. Walking every day in this deep freeze. So many wealthy people fleeing to the warmer southern climates left very few of us volunteers to hold the fort. Ridiculous when 5 out of 6 people of your decision making board of directors goes south for the winter leaving us with only two check signees and all checks must be signed by two people. Being manager, I had to fill in a lot of gaps. Directing more games. Now the assistent teacher is going south so not only will I have to work the Monday morning game, I will have to go back out in the evening again. No biggie normally, I am fit and enjoy walking. But the bitterly cold face peeling wind I have experienced all winter is getting wearing. Lack of sleep due to waking up in pain is just plain making me fatiqued beyond imagination. I still keep up with two to three hours exercise daily as that is my only 'me' time. I had hopes the new medication would have worked, but I still wake up constantly. I am to increase the gabapentin today if I need it. The problem is I don't want to risk any of its side effects -weight gain, dizziness and fatigue all things I have struggled with.
So this morning I finished my exercise, 40 minutes elliptical intervals, 50 min kickboxing with weighted gloves and an intense 20 min Zumba Rush (can't get enough of it lol addict!!) All of a sudden, while chatting with Mom, I heard water running in my ceiling.
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It didn't seem to be coming out anywhere for a while. It was in the corner of my bedroom. I looked around for the caretaker and he wasn't there. By the time I got back I saw it coming through the alarm fixture light and speaker, close to my bed. Ran for my dish washing pail, the only container I had. Then I managed to haul my bed out and further away from the drips, but didn't have far to go as I ran into the dresser.

I thought, whew, its just coming in the one place and never bothered opening my closet after checking quickly the first time when I heard it.
I didn't think to take photos until the worst of it was over and I had taken everything out of my closet by then, but not before most of my good jackets and clothing got soaked with that filthy brown water:

The caretaker poked holes in the ceiling in an effort to get the water out and to dry it out:

They tore the molding back also to air it out, both in my bedroom and across from the kitchen where I hang my winter jackets, which I discovered later had water on the floor -impossible to see in my dark apartment -I tried to stack some magazines there out of the way and promptly soaked them!!

So I spent most of the day hauling everything out of the closet, giving my good stuff to Mom take to the dry cleaners as there are none around here and she is hand washing the stuff they refused to clean. Amazing how much stuff you can pack into a closet!! Man do I need to declutter!!!! Then I had to clean up my poor exercise area, totally tracked up with the white junk from the ceiling and water from all the guys coming and going as well as me stacking things up. One guy came in with a little two pronged electronic gadget which he jammed into the ceiling in every place where water came in and in the kitchen where the caretaker and I heard dripping. It could tell if there was water in there and made a noise when it detected it! Fortunately, no water came through there though.
Why did this happen? A (place favorite cuss words here) person on the third floor left their window open in the -38 windchill temperatures and froze their heating pipes!! We are given two written notices every year about not doing this, so this person better have some good insurance because they will be getting my dry cleaning bill. I don't know what discipline the Housing Authority will lay on them for breaking a strict rule and causing so much damage.
So for the next THREE nights, I will be stuck with this industrial fan for a bedside companion. Gee, wonder how my sleep will go now?? I have nowhere else to sleep and can't sleep on the floor as I can't get up and down from it, but its just as noisy in my living room anyway, I will really have to crank up the volume on my DVD's to hear them!!

To illustrate how hard the wind blows here in my little dark north facing corner, I snapped photos of snow piled up:
The wind actually managed to push up the hard packed crusty snow away and to my apartment, leaving the ground almost bare:

Its actually like the surf is up against the windows, I get a mini tornado swirling in front of my window every time it blows:

Our building has a passive venting system where we all share vents. We have no uptake fans anywhere, not even in the bathroom. So when the wind blows, it backdrafts, actually pushing air from my neighbor's apartment back into mine, meaning I am getting her smoking air :( So I open my window to clear it out when I can, but will never freeze my pipes as I run the heat on high so the water will be moving. I close them when I am done exercising or clearing them out. Because of the very cold winter I have had to be cautious opening the window and did so briefly each time. The result is continuous blocked sinuses and difficulty breathing at night meaning loading up on inhalers and allergy meds. But I can't move from here, its too convenient. Only five blocks to the bridge club, across from a mall and most important, I have a health clinic where I can get my weekly humira injections and regular blood tests without having to travel. Having only two useful fingers (the thumb being dislocated) means I can't self inject. So add my RA pain in my back, elbow, fingers, quad and IT band from my hip replacement, toes, non stop work and going out -two sessions of bridge tomorrow- a novice wants to play with me Wed evenings and I so wish I could have refused but the one rule every master should have is always play with a novice when they ask, as its good for the club and we want to encourage them to keep coming out. So just when I thought things would settle down for me they have just starting ramping up again!! I think its only my very excellent vegetarian diet that is holding me away from hitting the wall. But boy, there are some days where that old recliner and PJ's and a big bowl of Mac N Cheese is looking pretty inviting!!! But I do know my body always feels better moving then sitting around. Especially now, as the back pain ramps up when ever I sit or lay down too long.
I guess I just have to get through it with a little help from my Spark friends!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Ugh. No wonder you are having carpet problems. That is definitely not good for your breathing. Hope they fix things SOON. As it is now mid March and you mentioned it in your recent blog. I will keep you in prayer.
    1896 days ago
    What an awful situation you are in. I am with one of your friends and am wondering if you could move to another less annoying part of the building! Not a very lung friendly place at all!

    1910 days ago
    You are simply emoticon and an ever-present inspiration to us all. Keeping you in my prayers that you get much needed sleep and manage to stay warm. Sorry you had to deal with such a big mess in your apartment, but you are so good at taking everything in stride. Big emoticon emoticon
    1916 days ago
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    1917 days ago
  • LINDA!
    I don't know how you keep up with it all. I know that you are a very fit woman. You have enormous energy when it comes to exercise. I think you also take on a lot of responsibility as you are a "giver." However, you have so much to do. It seems so unfair. If the people want to be on the board of directors, they should have to spend more time there. I live in Florida. I realize that many people are snowbirds and like to go south for the winter. But this leaves a real burden on you having to carry the load.

    I must say that the the leaks in your building are unacceptable. You are having such a terribly cold winter and having the water dripping probably makes you colder...plus you have to worry about mold setting in.

    I am sorry this is happening. emoticon
    1919 days ago
  • C8TSON
    Linda, sounds like you just keep getting hit with the worst stuff. And I'm sure the blistering cold doesn't help either. Sorry to hear about the flooding from the above irresponsible neighbors. I don't understand people sometimes. emoticon I hope they get it dried out quickly for you though and that the neighbors will pay for the damages. Also sorry to hear about the continuing smoke issues. Is there any way you could transfer to a different apartment within that complex? I sure do hope it improves for you. I'm glad to hear that you are sticking to the exercise, even on the days when it just doesn't seem appealing. I know it's hard, but it really is good for you to not give in to the pain associated with RA. I have always heard that exercise really does improve quality of life with diseases such as RA. I hope you will start to have an easier time of it and soon. My thoughts are with you friend. emoticon
    1919 days ago
    I swear Linda if I had the money I would pay for a ticket & hotel for you to come down for a vacation here in Florida! I so appreciate your typing out this & giving us an update and uploading the photos-- like Sunnyarizona said, with the two fingers that took some time! emoticon
    It breaks my heart you are having so many things happening & been so tired and that is a nightmare about your apartment!! We had that happen once in an apartment, only it was they left the tub faucet running and it started flooding our bathroom! I definitely would see if you can get some money for your dry cleaning! Well, one bright side, (hopefully anyway) you will get a new ceiling, carpet and anything else that was damaged. I'd insist on it! Hang in there! Spring is just around the corner!
    Thank you for all you do here at SP-you inspire me everyday with your perseverance and are such a great friend! emoticon
    1919 days ago
    Horrendous situation, Linda -- it is amazing how you keep on keeping on. Thank God for your wonderful mother, always right there to help you out. I do wish that your Housing Authority would take a hard line on people who freeze their pipes and who smoke so that their yucky air infiltrates your place. Hope you have no difficulty at all in getting your cleaning bills covered . . .

    Please please do not EVER feel that you need to comment on my blogs or page: of course I love to hear from you, but I realize how difficult it is for you to keyboard. We all do.

    So glad that you went to bed; hope you get some restful sleep despite that loud industrial fan and the smoky air.

    1920 days ago
  • PCOH051610
    I love the way you told this story......I would have put a few more bleeps in it for sure! What kind of moron opens windows at -38 and then leaves? You are lucky you didn't have more damage than you did.

    I so admire your determination, stubbornness and strength! I think SparkPeople should do a write up about the amount of exercise you do as it would surprise a lot of members. Of course, it might outright shock them to death when they'll so read of your limitations!


    1920 days ago
    Oh my how horrible sorry to hear about the leaks in your home emoticon Hopefully spring is around the corner for you
    1920 days ago
    Linda, thanks for sharing your burden! Sending warm, sunny thoughts your way, and I do hope that person who left the window open will pay up for ALL the damages.

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    1920 days ago
    You keep going girl - a role model for us all.
    1920 days ago
  • ENUFF81020
    You are dealing with more than anyone should deal with, let alone anyone who has your health issues to combat. Is this the first time you have taken gabapentin? I've been on the maximum dose for about two years (300mg 4x a day) and I haven't had any of the side effects. I did with other meds that they often use to treat fibromyalgia or nerve damage, but this one has been kind to me. Hang in there with it.

    As for apartment living, it takes someone very special to live in conjunction with so many others in such proximity. Our oldest son lives in a building that started out as a highrise for the elderly and disabled--but they opened it up to low-income folks and now it is a different type of place. I worry about him, but he seems to be doing okay with everything.

    I am thinking that February quit being the month of love when it came and it lasted only for a few hours on Valentine's Day. I have been fighting off depression at my very best, but if I don't get better at this now and win very soon, well, it will win. I don't know if it is the cold and nasty weather or if it is stress that has been all over my world or if it is simply because I am recuperating and trying to get back on my regular game. We surely don't have all of the weather related issues that you do.

    Anyway, you have a right to get crabby over all of this kind of thing, grr-rr-rr. I am sure that you have been more kind about it than I probably would have been. I hope that it dries out asap, and that you can have your personal space back.
    Gentle hugs,
    1920 days ago
    Good heavens Linda, considering you type with only a few fingers, this post must have taken you a LONG time..... emoticon I was just appalled to read WHY this happened. The pits of living in a multi-person building.....I do HOPE that the person responsible DOES have to pay for all the damage. I am so sorry, you will be dealing with this for some time, and with the nasty weather to boot. Bless you, may things only look UP emoticon
    1921 days ago
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