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.