Saturday, March 12, 2011

The TV, the Electricty, and the Chemo Patient

Sorry it had taken me so long to get to this second post... sometimes the reality of what is happening is a little too overwhelming to write about what has happened.

But onward we go...

The TV
Here is the important thing to know about our TV.  Brian and I are TV people.  It's how we relax together.  And, because we are TV people, Monkey is a TV baby.  His morning and evening schedule is around the TV (during the week... on the weekends his schedule is an anti-schedule).  So, when we moved we knew it would take a few days to hook up our TV and we figured this was no big deal.

Well now, that might seem odd that it would take me a few days just to get a Comcast guy out here to turn it all on... but why would anything be that simple?  You see, at some point I apparently left my husband alone with the builder and the two men got together and pretended they knew something about audio/visual thing-a-ma-bobs.  And when I came back in the room they had decided that rather than have our TV equipment sitting out in the family room (which actually does make sense since we don't have space for it as I'll show you later) they will put all the equipment in our den closet and then set up a sensor that goes from our TV back to the closet to activate the equipment.  So, this meant that real A/V guys would need to come in to do the install.

Okay, so we moved in officially on a Saturday (when our apartment was moved).  We were told by our builder to have the A/V guys come out first (so on Tuesday) and we then scheduled Comcast for Wednesday.  Well, on Monday (are you still with me with all these days) our builder said he made a mistake and the Comcast guy needed to come first and then the A/V guys.  So, the A/V guys were scheduled to come out on Thursday.  Comcast came... all good.  Wednesday night, after numerous phone calls to our builder with little to no information about the A/V guys coming on Thursday he admits to us that they may not be coming.

So, here was one of my first public meltdowns.  We had been without TV for 5 days which with Evan felt like an eternity.  And, as I told the builder through some controlled tears, my mother and sister were coming to visit Thursday night.  My mom was currently on steroids for post-chemo treatment and the steroids made it difficult for her to sleep past 3am.  I swore to her that there would be a TV for her to watch since the builder promised me.  This apparently guilted my builder enough to make something happen so that the A/V guys came on Thursday.

Well... they came but not much happened.  They hooked up our receiver (which immediately began to emit this awful humming and had a faint smell of electricity... I started calling it "una bomba"), DVR and other equipment to the TV.  However, the speakers weren't working, the center channel couldn't be installed for some reason, and the piece they had ordered for the HD was on backorder.  So, we could watch TV as long as we didn't care that the picture was off and that the background noise was quiet but in noise in the foreground was blaring.  My builder told me this would be fixed and off they went.

This past week our builder evaded our questions about the TV (and many other things) and finally told us he couldn't get in touch with the A/V contractor.  To make a long story short, we had a sit-down with the builder, we got others involved and finally... today... 9 days later... an A/V contractor showed up.  He hooked up a new receiver so we wouldn't explode with the "bomba", installed the center channel, and fixed our speakers.  Now we have mildly good reception, still no HD (part is still on backorder) and a faint humming that no one can figure out.  Supposedly they are returning Monday (if the part comes in) and everything will finally be addressed... supposedly.

Here is what our TV looks like today (picture is pretty good on this channel):

(Oh, and did I mention that the center channel that was ordered is too big for our mantel so they have to get another one... at some point?)

The Electricity & The Chemo Patient
So, as I said earlier, my mom and my sister came up last weekend to see our house and help me unpack.  My mom had just finished her first round of chemo and had been cleared to come down.  She wasn't feeling 100% but she really wanted to come so, her words not mine, made the emotional decision to come down.

They arrived Thursday night.  On Friday, one of the bazillion things occurring was that the contractors were closing in my front porch underneath (our porch is up on pillars so to finished the look they put wood boards on the bottom so you don't see the slats from the street).  The contractors needed to use our electricty to saw, nail, and use other power tools that have to do with being a contractor.  As soon as they started, my electricity, in 1/2 my house, went off.  So, I showed them where the fuse box was, they switched it back on, and started again.  Electricity gone.  It got so bad that one of the contractors was literally sitting in my garage and his entire job was to turn the fuse back on each time it blew.

I brought this up to my builder (which my mom reminded me to do about 100 times even thought I pretty much had figured out there was a problem through my advanced powers of deduction) and he said he wasn't that concerned because power tools took up so much electricity but that he would have the electrician out on Monday to look things over.  Life went on and the power went off.

Come Saturday we had electricity (because no contractors) but my mom was feeling poorly.  She woke up with chills and immediately took a Tylenol. I checked her temperature but she didn't have one (probably due to the Tylenol).  She ended up sleeping most of the day away.  And, if you remember correctly, this was also the day that we found out about the refrigerator being all screwed up (we've almost reached a solution to that one).

So, that evening, Brian and I came home from Target, found out the fridge was a bust, and my mom was not feeling well.  Brian had the builder over to talk about the options for the fridge and I took my mom's temperature.  It was at 103.  We called my Dad who said she had to go to the emergency room.  I think that was my breaking point.  I opened the garage door, interrupted Brian talking to the builder, told him my mom needed to go to the ER and immediately burst into tears.  The builder left and it was decided amongst all that I was too emotionally unstable to go to the ER.  So, I stayed home with Evan and Brian, my sister, and my mom went off to some random Atlanta ER.

Once they all left, I sat down to "watch" TV (remember, the picture and sound are horrendous) with Evan since it was almost bedtime.  Within 10 minutes of sitting down my power went off.  Now, I am an avid "Law and Order" watcher and my immediate, completely rational, response was that someone had cut my power in order to break into my house.  Then, I looked around and noticed it was only 1/2 my house.  Incidentally, the same 1/2 that had gone out yesterday. 

So, I took monkey out to the garage, using my cell phone as a flash light since I didn't know which box held ours, and flipped the fuse.  Power back on.  I went back inside, called Brian to see what was going on and they hadn't even gotten to an ER yet.  I hung up the phone, power off again.  Once more Monkey and I went out to the garage, flipped the fuse, power back on.  Back into the house.  I shut the door, power off.  At this point I decided since it was close enough to 7pm Monkey needed to go to bed.  Because, you know, if someone was casing our house then this would give Monkey a fighting chance of not being killed because they would kill me, rob the house and then leave.  Yes, I honestly thought that.

Monkey went to sleep, I flipped the fuse, power went off before I even got back inside.  I texted the builder, told him I was home alone and that this kept happening.  He said he would come right over.  It was 7:45pm.

My mom was admitted.  They took tons of blood, as much as they could, to ascertain what was going on.  They gave her fluids and more Tylenol so she could at least be comfortable. 

Builder arrived at 8pm.  We flipped the fuse (I had left it off until he came in case it needed to rest... made sense to me) and of course the power stayed on.  He had called his electrician who said he would come immediately.  Of course the electrician lives in BFE ("bumble f'ing east" for those of you not familiar with this acronym) and it would take at least an hour.  So, the builder and I chatted and he took measurements for the fridge (since we were still trying to solve that issue).

My mom was resting peacefully.  Nothing much was happening there.

At about 9:30pm the electrician arrived.  According to him when the house was wired no one knew we would be using a fridge in the garage.  This was putting too much electricity on one fuse so he split the fuse into 2 fuses.  This was supposed to solve the issue.  10pm everyone leaves.

11pm my mom, sister, and Brian come back.  There are still no answers but my mom has been cleared to fly the next day (to go home). 

Monday comes, contractors come to fix our driveway and front walk (2 areas of concrete poured at 2 different times turned out to be 2 completely different colors), plug the jackhammer into our garage and the electricity goes out.  I call the builder, he calls the electrician, the electrician called the lady with the alligator purse... sorry, not true, Monkey's nursery rhymes are getting in the way.  Anyway, the electrician this time puts my fridge on its own outlet and its own fuse.  This solves this issue (so far).

As for my mom, well she went home and into the hospital on Tuesday.  She is still there.  No one knows for sure what is wrong but they are trying to treat it.  She is in relatively good spirits and is hoping to go home on Monday.

And, because I can't leave this post with as depressing an end as it has, here are some Monkey photos from today.  He was out on our screened in porch helping me clean (and he was covered in saw dust and pollen):


  1. Je-sus, Ellen. THIS is your purgatory.

  2. Nora - I hope so because if I can get purgatory out of the way I'm alf for it!

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