Burst pipes, burst tears, and the craziest week ever.

4 May

There are times when I find it difficult to find the words to type.

Other times, they just come pouring out.

Like a flood.

I write this post from a chair in my parents’ living room, in my dad’s XL sweatshirt, reeling.

Tears are starting to form in my eyes.

Like a flood.

***

This week we had historic rains. When we went to bed on Wednesday night after listening to an endless stream of water batting at our house, we were relieved to check our basement to find that no water had gotten in. Our basement has been historically dry, but this was a lot of rain. We felt relieved.

On Thursday afternoon, I was motivated to sneak in a quick load of laundry before an afternoon park play-date. I opened the basement door, and like a cartoon character, I rubbed my eyes, so perplexed,

no,

astounded, by what I saw:

Water. And not just a little. A foot. A foot of water covering our entire unfinished basement. A foot of water covering our appliances, our furniture, a glider I was giving to my friend for the baby she will be having this week, and more stuff than I even know how to articulate. Art, furniture, baby things; a hot water heater, our heating system, washer/dryer. This was a flood of enormous proportions. I was speechless. I saw my old diaper bag floating across the threshold to the staircase, which was covered, on several of our stairs, by water.

To make this long, stressful story short, my husband came home, we identified the problem. A burst pipe. Our basement was completely flooded, our things were ruined and we had to begin to process of cleaning up and starting over.

Friday was spent with a restoration and remediation company. Friday was spent with people, workers, adjusters, in and out of our house. We felt displaced, but we were OK.

Saturday started off nice. Really nice. The boys slept in and my daughter and I did a small, quiet grocery shop in the early morning hours. A charming little date, and we came home with pretty, pointy, purple potted plants and big blue hydrangeas.

If you follow me over on 511, you’ll know that I’ve been mulling over a possible room swap. We, together, decided, instead, to switch out our king bed for a queen, change bedding, change the layout of our current bedroom and get a new perspective from bed. We would take the TV out of the room and make it a cozy den in which we could cuddle and connect. We were so lucky that our dear friends had a spare Queen bed to offer, and so, on Saturday, our two men rented a UHaul, drove to pick up the Queen bed, and came back to set things up. This should have taken an hour; 5 hours, great frustration, a box spring that wouldn’t fit up stairs, a mistakenly measured bed and a very, very stressed husband later and we had a full-sized mattress on the floor of our room and no hope in sight. Mommom and Poppop came to our rescue, after making one distressed call to them after another this week, and bought us a brand new queen bed to be delivered on Monday. Grandparents are the best and mine are tops.

So last night, my husband and I cuddled up on the full mattress on the floor of our bedroom. Except, I wasn’t feeling so well. I was dizzy, lightheaded, a bit disoriented and nauseated. I was supposed to go next door for a Girl’s Night In, but felt too ill. My husband brought water and a Luna Bar up to bed with me, thinking that I had just overdone it that day with the kids and all the stress. But I couldn’t shake my feeling.

I texted with two of my best girlfriends: One, whom I was supposed to watch at mile 6 of the Broad Street run today and another with whom I texted about our weekends, and often just send lovey-dovey goodnight texts of love and support. I told both of them about how I was feeling. I apologized, in advance, if I couldn’t make the race today. My friend insisted I not even try. I have the best friends.

I had a fitful sleep last night, despite enjoying sleeping so close to my husband for the first time in years. In our King, we usually don’t see each other, let alone interact, in the middle of the night; but in this full bed, I found myself soothed by his arm, heavy with slumber, slung over me through the night.

Yet my dreams were haunting; I dreamed, over and over again, about my C-Sections. I dreamed of future operations, all of which made my blood pressure drop, making me feel like I would pass out. Over and over I dreamed about being faint or fainting.

And then, at 5:30 this morning, I woke up to the sound of my daughter playing around. Typically, I stay in bed, letting her play by herself. But this morning I got up. I do not know why, but I got up. And when I got up, I heard a beeping. An alarm sounding.

I woke my husband. He went downstairs to investigate.

It was the Carbon Monoxide detector in our flooded basement.

We called 911.

Within one minute a police officer arrived. We were told to wake the baby.

Within 3 minutes the fire trucks appeared.

The fireman walked through our door, opened the door to our basement, and his alarm sounded.

“Evacuate,” he said with alarm.

Our house was filled with Carbon Monoxide, a problem created by the flood.

We had to leave, I was in pajamas and no shoes.

Thankfully, we have the nicest neighbors in the world. They brought out blankets, welcomed our children into their homes and in front of their Disney Junior on TV sets. But I still felt woozy. Lightheaded. Dizzy.

I mentioned to this to the fire team and they called the EMTs.

Upon evaluation, my blood pressure was low, and I had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance. I was still barefoot, in a wife beater and purple flannel pants and scared.

I called my mom using the EMT’s phone and she followed us to the hospital.

photo-2

I got an IV and EKG en route. My BP was low.

I got to the hospital, the same place where I’ve spent far too much of this year, and found out that I had CO in my blood. I stayed on oxygen while I waited for my family to be brought in for evaluation. My kids, brave as can be, had their blood taken and we found out that their levels were worse than mine, and needed oxygen treatment.

photo-3

Had our alarm not had gone off,

had I not chosen to wake up and get out of bed at an uncharacteristic time,

we would have died from Carbon Monoxide poisoning in our sleep.

CHECK. YOUR. CARBON. MONOXIDE. DETECTORS.

Thankfully, we are safe. We have a place to stay. Someone brought shoes to the hospital for me.

I left wearing pajama pants and Chanel ballet slippers,

but I was able to walk out on my own two feet.

photo-4I am thankful for my neighbors. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for my family. I am thankful for the Police, the Firefighters, the EMTs. I am thankful for the doctors and nurses at the hospital.

Most of all, I am thankful for my life.

Check your carbon monoxide detectors. Hug your kids. Be nice to your neighbors.

And if you have anything precious on the floor of your basement, and plumbing that leads into your basement, move it upstairs.

Peace, love and thanks,

B

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