Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Post 41 - A Temporary Sense of Accomplishment

One of the greatest drawbacks of having MSA, for me, has been the difficulty or complete inability to perform tasks that used to be quite simple during what I now refer to as “my former life;” tasks I took for granted like climbing a ladder, washing and waxing the car, painting some wood trim (thanks, Lee), cleaning out the garage, and one of the things I miss most – driving. Now, just about everything gets done for me by a group of gracious friends and relatives (especially my wife, Fran) all of whom would rather do these simple tasks than pick me up off the floor if I try to do them myself.

Well, this past Holiday weekend I decided enough was enough and I would do some simple plumbing (it was Labor Day, which seemed somehow fitting). Actually, I wanted to remove the noisy toilet fill valves (3) and not only install new ones but add to each a dual flush mechanism to save water.

After convincing Fran that there was no risk of falling, I succeeded in accomplishing each job with a minimum of problems (the hardest part was climbing under each toilet to shut off the water and disconnect/reconnect the supply lines - the installation of the actual valves was “a piece of cake.” I admit there were a couple of awkward losses of balance and minor falls, but nothing serious. So, for the first time in a while, I was able to stand back and feel the satisfaction of doing something all by myself.

That sense of satisfaction lasted all of 20 minutes when I next tried to replace a beige telephone jack to a more fashion appropriate white one. No matter how hard I tried, there was no way I could wrap the tiny wires around the colored posts or keep the screwdriver head on the miniature screw heads. So, my obliging ex-phone installer friend Dave came to the rescue in a task that took him all of 5 minutes.

From The Thrill of Victory to The Agony of Defeat, all in less than a-half hour - at least the toilets are still working.