March 28, 2004

It never rains; but pours. This was certainly the case yesterday evening. This weekend Grandson was playing in the last hockey tournament of the season. We went to the game at noon yesterday which by the way was a 6-6 tie. As we drove home from the noon game it began to rain. As the afternoon progressed the rain became a downpour. I had spent part of the afternoon reading and part of the afternoon having a much needed sleep.  When I woke up in time to leave for the hockey game at 5:45 PM I was feeling better than I had in a long time but this was soon to change.

I managed to go to the game without my cane. Grandson’s team lost this game; four of the players , including my grandson, were sick. Since grandson’s parents were going to a birthday party that evening, he came home with us. The plan was to order in pizza and watch a movie. When we got home at 7:15 PM, I had a strange feeling that I needed to check the basement. To my horror a portion of the carpet in the family room was flooded and the water was pouring in through the window.

My husband grabbed a bucket and began to bail the water out of the window well and stack sandbags. Just when we thought we had the problem under control, the sandbags gave way and a torrent of water came gushing into the basement through the open window.  I have never seen anything like it. There was literally a river of water pouring through the window into the basement. I thought my husband was going to have a heart attack in his desperation to try to stop the flow of water.  The ground was frozen solid; there were still banks of snow at that side of the house and he couldn’t see where the water was coming from.  So much water had collected in that part of the yard that he was in water up to his knees. Because the ground was frozen solid and there was a layer of ice underneath all that water he could not dig a trench to divert the water away from the window and the house. To make matters worse it was just above freezing and pouring rain. I placed a frantic phone call for help and thankfully help arrived in a matter of minutes,  With the added help and sandbags, they were finally able to stop the waterfall. We all heaved a sigh of relief thinking that the sandbags would stem the flow of water. Needless to say we were wrong.

With in ten minutes, even though the window was closed, the water began gushing in again.  It was then that we realized that we would have to keep bailing water out of the window well if we wanted to prevent further damage to the basement.  My husband came up with a brilliant plan; we would use our carpet shampooer to suck the water out of the window well. By 1:00 AM he was absolutely exhausted.  We decided that he would take an hour nap and I would continue draining the water from the window well every 7 minutes. (It took exactly seven minutes for the window well to fill up with water.) This is what I did every seven minutes from 2:00 AM to 4:00 AM. Thankfully the sun rose at 6:15 AM and with great difficulty he was finally able to hack enough of a trench out of the frozen ground and build dirt barriers so the water could drain away from the house.

The flood restoration carpet cleaners were called this afternoon. I left a message on their answering machine. Hopefully they will call first thing tomorrow morning. Apparently we are not the only ones in town who experienced flooding last night.  In fact some homes had up to four inches of water in their basements so we consider ourselves fortunate. We have water damage in an area approximately 30 feet wide and 8 feet deep. Thankfully no furniture was damaged since we had just enough time to move it out of reach of the approaching water.

Flooding like this is not a common occurrence were we live. The huge amount of snow, the frozen ground, the temperature hovering just above freezing and torrential rains made the conditions just right for this disaster to happen.

This was not exactly how I had planned to celebrate my birthday. Quite frankly I am glad that we cannot see into the future.  I would have had a nervous breakdown yesterday morning if I had known what was in store for us.  My body feels like it has been run over by a truck.  I thought my bone pain was intolerable before the flood; today it is past intolerable.

My daughter had a lovely birthday party for me at her house this evening. She baked my favourite birthday cake; sponge cake with Seven Minute Frosting. We spent an enjoyable and relaxing evening with family.

Friday morning I had my appointment with No Name. His nurse had called me earlier in the week to tell me that No Name wanted to see me as soon as possible to discuss the letter he had received from the neurologist. I worried about the appointment all week since I had no idea what the neurologist would have written in his letter to No Name. As far as I was concerned, the appointment with the neurologist had been a complete waste of time.

My worries were unfounded. The neurologist had told me that he felt the pain in my head was caused by an inflammation. In the letter to No Name he wrote that he was convinced that the pain in my head was caused by muscle spasms. The neurologist suggested I switch from the pain medication I am taking to a sleeping pill at night to prevent the “adrenaline rushes” which he referred to as Restless Leg Syndrome.  No Name and I discussed my previous trial of sleeping pills and decided that I would stay with the pain medication. I have tried two different sleeping pills in the past and both times the pills made me so hyper that instead of sleeping I was rearranging furniture at 3:00 AM.  No Name told me that the sleeping pills would not alleviate the bone pain and I believe he is right.  The saying “and this too shall pass” certainly applies here. Hopefully the carpet cleaners/flood restoration people will arrive tomorrow morning and begin the clean up process. It does not take long for wet carpeting to smell. My grandson is on his spring break from school this week. I had promised him a sleep over party with friends at my house this week. Due to the flooding we will have to make other plans.  A trip to a hotel in the city sounds like a good idea.


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