Saturday, July 25, 2009

Perfect Timing

So, following my surgery on Thursday I went to bed fairly early (having had a very long day with the waking-up-crazy-early-to-go-to-the-hospital and the people-cutting-me-open and whatnot). At around 2am I thought I heard somebody at my door. It took me a while to get out of bed because of my back having recently been cut open, but when I did get up I saw that there was water streaming out of the light fixture in the bathroom and also down the bathroom wall into the bathtub. I assumed that the upstairs neighbors had overflowed their bathtub and that it had been them at my door trying to let me know. I put out a couple big bowls and a few towels and returned to bed. About an hour later I woke up to find that the water was still coming down and I could swear it sounded like it was flowing in the wall between my bathroom and my kitchen... In hindsight this is when I should have known that something was horribly wrong, but I was very very tired and perhaps slightly impaired by my pain meds, so I just emptied the bowls and went back to bed... until an hour later when I woke up and could STILL hear the water dripping. I got up and saw that things had slowed somewhat in the bathroom... but my kitchen was completely flooded and there was water streaming out of the light fixture there (and being flung in all directions by the ceiling fan). This was Rico and Pedro's first experience with "rain," by the way, and they definitely decided that they do not care for such things... (Picture below is a random internet picture, not my ceiling...)
Still working on the assumption that water coming through my ceiling meant there must be a lot of standing water on my upstairs neighbor's floor, I went up to ask them what the hell was going on... Except when I knocked they were still in bed, and their floor was perfectly dry. They came down with me and as we walked past the door to their side of the basement I could hear running water. I opened the door and water was rushing into their basement, with probably 6 inches of standing water already there. (My basement, miraculously, stayed completely dry throughout this ordeal.) So, yeah... Apparently not so much an overflowing bathtub as a ruptured pipe somewhere in the wall above my bathroom. Ah, the joys of living in a 100-year-old house...
We got the water turned off and eventually the rain in my kitchen slowed to a drizzle and then stopped completely, but now I was left with a fairly epic mess while I was under orders basically to not do anything (no bending or twisting, no raising my arms above my head, no picking up anything heavier than 5 pounds, no dishes or laundry or house-cleaning). I was feeling fairly overwhelmed (and indignantly asking the universe "What? You couldn't have done this 2 days ago?!?"), when I remembered that my friend, T, when driving me home after surgery, had told me that I should call him any time of day if I needed anything at all... I felt like a complete ass calling at 4am, but these were desperate times. True to his word, T was happy to come over and rescue me.
T proceeded to spend the next 3 hours (THREE HOURS!!!) helping me get all the water up off my kitchen carpet (I have a little seemingly-crappy steam cleaner that did a pretty amazing job getting the bulk of the water up) and then cleaning pretty much every exposed surface in the kitchen and bathroom. (The water coming through my 100-year-old ceiling was pretty nasty, and the fan had sent it flying everywhere...) When he left at 7am you would never have known that the place was a bit of a disaster area before he arrived. I really don't know what I would have done without him (other than maybe curling up in a fetal position and crying...). Now that I've been on the receiving end of such extraordinary kindness and know first-hand how amazing it feels, I know that I'll try to be as awesome as T next time I get a call from a friend in need... And, on that sappy note, I'm off to take some more pain meds and be thoroughly lazy.

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