Most families have a routine. We have a daily set of rituals and activities that help us wake up, move around the house and help us run around our communities, and chat with each other over coffee. Yet, we all know that when the dishwasher does work, or the car won’t start, it can be frustrating when simple but essential things in our life don’t work.
Time to REBOOT?
It forces us to reboot our life.
After all these years, I am still surprised by the timing of these events. Especially when multiple things break down simultaneously, it makes me wonder if the “Law of Attraction” does have a dark side.
Recently, when Mikelle’s wheelchair went on the fritz and her iPad stopped charging, we moved into our well-oiled problem-solving mode.
Most families who experience disabilities know that “things” can happen and have their personal problem-solving toolkit available. But even the most experienced, like our family, are tested.
Initially, Mikelle and I began our routine “time to get new tech” calls, beginning the process of getting Medicare/Medicaid approval for new equipment started. But, as anyone knows, working through these bureaucracies can be challenging, especially for dual-eligible people like Mikelle.
And, sometimes, the rules change without our knowledge. More about that later.
From Tedious to Urgent
We were on our tedious way through the paperwork jungle when the breakdowns flooded in. First, during a recent cold snap, the radiator busted and spilled gallons of hot, dark water all over the kitchen floor.
It was late on a Friday night. At 10:00 PM, the water was unstoppable. Fortunately, we were training a new member of Mikelle’s team, and Maryann was still there.
Three of us have in Mikelle’s dining room all the towels we can find and all the pans we have trying to stop the growing water spread.
We started a fire bucket brigade strategy dumping the water in the kitchen sink. It fills. We turn on the (new) disposal to hasten the drain, and nothing happens—one more appliance down for the count.
After numerous phone calls, I finally got someone from another company to fix the leak. However, the repairman can only repair the leak once he drains the entire building of its water in the radiator system. So how do we get into the boiler room?
High Functioning Problem-Solving
After several more phone calls, we find the keys. We are in the bowels of the building where the boilers are located. The HVAC repair man shuts down the boiler, and the water from eleven floors empties into a drain in the cement floor. It takes an hour for it to be empty.
Meanwhile, the water continued to erupt from the small hole in the radiator coil going under the wall into my bedroom. Fortunately, Mikelle sleeps through the night. Once the water stops flowing, Maryann and her boyfriend, Brandon, go home. It is 1:00 AM.
By 4:00 AM, the gentleman from the HVAC company had repaired the leak, turned the water and boilers back on, packed up, and headed out. The restoration company will arrive first thing in the morning. We start to make breakfast reaching for the refrigerator door, and the handle breaks off.
Oh, The Law of Attraction
We are attracting extensive repair and replacement bills.
Fast forward. The new iPad is on its way. The new wheelchair is now being processed after Mikelle had to have a new physical, even though her last one was only six months ago. New rules in Medicare, we guess.
We now have a new disposal, and the new overhead light fixture is up. The new dishwasher and refrigerator are installed. Costco had a great sale. The repairs to the drywall and trim are still waiting for the insurance company to pay, and when it is all done, Mikelle can have her supported housing inspection.
A Crisis Can Be Good.
Nothing brings people together like solving what looks like an uncertain, unpredictable, and possibly unsolvable problem successfully. Mikelle’s team came together. As a result, our community solved all these problems, and those things like wheelchairs and iPads will happen. Miikelle is eager for her world to function fully soon.
Training New Team Members, too?
Did we say…we are training two new team members because Liz resigned after working with us for eight years. So it is a bit of March madness for all of us.
Even though our month was uncertain and plagued by small challenges, we know we are winners. Our accomplishments are our reward for our hard work. The excellent news is…everything works, including our team.