In which, for your amusement and/or edification, I take you through the steps one person with CFS (PWC) takes to repair a misbehaving appliance. CONCLUSION!
Ack! That must be the pilot light! We got it!
I count to 70 seconds. I think I was praying. May have been swearing. I cautiously let go of the pressed gas valve knob – and the pilot light stays lit!
With the air of a magician showing off the moment of truth for an elaborate trick, I TURN THE VALVE TO ON, and
WHOOSH! Fire in the bottom of the hole? The full gas lights up, the sound of the gas rushing in is audible and loud (I’m still on the floor, right next to it), and WE HAVE IGNITION.
It’s anticlimactic when I turn the temperature control knob and have to stop to read the manual AGAIN to figure out which setting, A, B, C, or VERY HOT, I should pick. The manual adds only the information that A is 120°F, B is 130°F, etc. NOTHING else. Couldn’t they have put that information on the knob instead of A, B, and C? Idjits. It means that every time I want to make a change, I will have to dig out the manual. Idjits.
Cleanup (this blog post, and my brain, not the basement – what, did you think I had energy for the basement? Be happy I put some of the more obvious tools away):
Why not let THEM do it, the plumbers? The ones from the company that installed it and told me there was no maintenance (which they will never admit, and besides, it is always different guys who did the installation).
After I got 95% of the job done? Are you kidding? And have to watch the smirk on the face of a PLUMBER?
At least the smirk is usually not sexist: it is directed to ‘homeowner’ or ‘householder’ incapable of managing basic household maintenance.
Because I’m stubborn, and I CAN do it MYSELF.
Because it would have cost me almost as much time to call up, arrange for them to come, set up my schedule to be awake and available during their window of opportunity (after n days without hot water, unless I wish the premium service), wait out the window of opportunity getting a phone call a few minutes from the end advising me the they are running late and asking if I want to reschedule the appointment for another day. Which I f*****g do not want to reschedule, and have to repeat the whole process.
Because DH will nod in that deer-in-the-headlight way (he doesn’t criticize), and suffer in silence during the wait.
Because of loss of learning, even if I can learn FROM them if they do it, now that I know what I know.
This isn’t this hard, people!
I WON. Right?
And this is how people with CFS manage simple household tasks:
Work in two-hour segments – or shorter. Sometimes MUCH shorter.
Be happy when you got one piece of the puzzle solved – that’s a day’s work, and you’re that much further to getting the task finished.
Take your time – reading requires energy, and instructions are rarely written well.
You CAN do this. Or: you MAY be able to do this.
The rest of life may have to come to a halt meanwhile – so what else is new?
There is still a functional brain in there but it may require coddling and special treatment.
Write about it – it helps me a LOT to use the computer as part of my working memory.
The alternative is to give up and be at the mercy of other people, which is your strategy when necessary. It involves no shame.
And, just to keep life interesting, the third original solar inverter seems to have died. That one is way beyond me. I have called in the experts. There will be appointments, telephone consultations, waiting for the maintenance guy and then probably the installers, money being outlayed, and system checking, all involving (from past experience) burly guys in jeans, noise, open doors, irregular hours, dirt in the front hall, pruning the bushes (yup – so they can get to the outdoor parts),… need I go on? I will probably long for the relative quiet of… WATER HEATER.