Sunday, January 22, 2017

The Third Appliance

Monday night through Wednesday afternoon I had a massive headache from a fever, although no other symptoms of illness. This doesn't happen often but enough that I'm kind of used to the concept. Then Wednesday night I had some kind of intestinal blockage or gas that was quite painful but went away overnight--just had the echoes of pain in my body the next day, if you know what I mean. 

So when I came home Wednesday and went to wash my hands after using the bathroom, and discovered that the third appliance in as many months had gone bad, I was not in a good place to deal with it.

My hot water heater is over ten years old, and they only have a ten year average lifespan. (Mine has to be at least 12.) So it's not a big surprise that it died. 

However when I called the parents to see if daddy would try to light the pilot light (if it was the problem) he said no. He'd never worked with gas water heaters. (I fail to see the difference between lighting the pilot light on a water heater vs gas logs or a gas stove top, both of which he has done multiple times.) 

I just got so frustrated. People say they want to help me but when the time comes, there's always some reason they can't. Honestly I think my sister, who visits twice a year, is  the only one that I don't have to pay to help me do household stuff. 

Between what I couldn't say (but wanted to) and the entire week stress and the whole third appliance and money and stuff, I literally lost the ability to say anything. And on the phone you can't do charades. It took me five minutes of repeating over and over in my head "I gotta go" before I could force it to go verbal. 

Which of course upset them no end. So I got multiple calls (including one the next morning while I'm trying to get to work on time, grr) wanting me to make them feel better about their decision not to help me. 

(I have more sympathy for intermittently verbal autistics now than even before--this has happened to me previously but never with someone I love and never on the phone. The frustration was infuriating.) 

It's not that I was even mad at them. If I'm not willing to go out in the dark and unscrew the door and try to light the pilot light I really can't object when someone else doesn't want to. 

But since they were not available I had to make decisions and find someone who was, and I didn't have the emotional capacity to soothe their guilt and do all that too. 

In the end E-- (an HVAC company I deal with) came through for me again. I decided to buy a new system rather than trying to fix this one given that even if it could be fixed it's going to permanently die soon anyway. 

By Friday afternoon they were out there installing a tankless water heater (it has a >98% efficiency rating!). They didn't want to stay overtime on Friday (I imagine) so they fixed the old one so I'd have hot water over the weekend and they'll finish installing the new one on Monday. They didn't charge extra to do that, either. 

Turns out the hot water overflow valve had been going bad for months and finally broke. I'm glad I had forgotten to open my gas bill for January until last night because it's massive (yet more money down the drain--this time literally) and I would have been distressed and confused as to why. 

I spent yesterday's walk researching my new heater and it's pretty awesome. I said I wanted efficient and durable and they hooked me up with the most efficient and longest heater coil warranty on the market. 

After work Friday I stopped by Duncan Donuts on the way home and got a small box of munchkins. When I went behind the house to see how far they'd gotten (etc) I held the box up and announced "I brought motivation!" One of them goes, "ooh, we love motivation!" So that made me feel good. 

And my gas bill should go down (below what had been normal) and that will help too. But I had to stop paying extra on my mortgage, which is disappointing but it _is_ why I refinanced last year.