Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Pity Party

Yes indeed: I am having a pity party today.

We have recently decided to renovate a bedroom. Goodness knows that it needs it badly enough. Our eldest daughter wanted us to change the carpet many years ago when it was still her bedroom. Well, new carpets were something of a luxury on our single-income budget at that stage of our lives, so it didn't get done.

However, we managed to do some painting and wallpapering at that time. D1 used the room, and then D2. They both prodigiously tacked things to the wall and even the ceiling — especially D2. The carpet also went from bad to worse, especially after D2 spilled many a project, usually involving glue, on it. After D2 was finished with the room, and for the past five years or so, Cuppa used it — still unrefurbished — as her studio.

The astute reader can probably deduce by now that we are not avid redecorators, but even we recently came to the end of our ropes and decided to commit ourselves to the task.

To wit: last weekend we stripped the wallpaper and then filled and sanded a thousand pin, tack, and nail holes. Two days ago, I applied a primer coat. Yesterday, I was ready to roll — literally — roll the paint on. Let's say the spirit was willing [to roll] but that the flesh was weak. After completing the first coat on the cupboard, the ceiling, and two walls, and after starting on wall #3, my achilles back seized up. I managed to finish wall #3 but couldn't summon the wherewithal to finish the job by tackling wall #4.

That was discouraging enough, but once the paint began to dry, I saw spots everywhere. Although I had rolled my little heart out and tried valiantly to cover every square inch, I ended up missing a lot of square inches. To tell the truth, it made me feel pretty damn stupid. I have never had a problem rolling paint before. What was happening to me? I'm still not totally sure of the answer to that question, but permit me to proceed with the narrative regardless.

Last night, I awoke after a pithy two-hour sleep with my cold shoulder problem acting up (see here for cold-shoulder details). Even the usually wonderful heat didn't help, for, much to my distress, I could still feel the coldness under the heating pad. Don't ask me to explain; it simply is, or at least it was last night.

I eventually gave up in despair and decided to get up. Not so fast Anvilcloud. By that time, my back was so seized up that getting up eventuated into quite the problematic ordeal.

However, I eventually was able to ambulate down to the family room where the next five hours passed with me assuming different positions (yeah, don't I wish they were those kinds of positions) in search of a modicum of comfort. I was on the floor, in my computer chair, on the usually comfy recliner, back on the floor, and on the couch. I greeted the morn by watching the six o'clock news, which I now know is not worth getting up for. At some point my back began to feel comfortable enough to venture back to bed where I managed to grab almost another two hours of sleep before getting up for the day.

I found myself sitting in the family room beside Cuppa this morning: effectively prevented from continuing the job, expecting the carpet to be installed in a few days, and not having the foggiest notion of whether, when, or how I would be able to finish the task. And even if I could, what about all of those gaps from the first application? What's that all about?

We stewed for a while before Cuppa decided to take matters into her capable hands. She called around and, somewhat miraculously, found a painter who could come in tomorrow to finish the job. His price was not too terribly exorbitant, and he was also kind enough to reassure me that it was common to miss spots on the first coat. Even if he was telling me a small fib in order to mitigate my feelings of inadequacy, I appreciated the words.

But, I feel crummy (or crumby if you prefer) about all of this. Surely to goodness I can't be so old, feeble and decrepit that I can't do such a simple task without having my back spasm out on me. I am feeling somewhat forlorn and useless: having a bit of a pity party really.

... long pause to recuperate because my back couldn't stand sitting (so to speak — odd expressions we have, eh? ) here any longer ...

I had a major back problem a number of years ago when bulging discs forced me to the floor for several months with a lot of painful trips to physiotherapy sessions. Years later, I have never had a complete relapse, but there is always something going on in my left leg: numbness, pins and needles, cold sensations, nerves jumping about.

Hopefully, this incident has to do with good, old fashioned muscle spasms rather than discs slipping and sliding about. As painful and as irritating as spasms can be, they pass relatively quickly in the grand scheme of things whereas disc problems linger. In fact, they never completely vanish. Whatever it turns out to be, I can't help but be a trifle despondent. Surely, I should be able to do something as simple as paint a wall or two without collapsing in a heap.

So, I am having a bit of a pity party. Cuppa reminds me of something Christopher Reeves said (and I quote loosely): "People don't know how fortunate they are just to be able to get up and walk across the room." He was absolutely correct of course. I know that, and I can walk across the room — after a fashion. But there's something about my humanness that compels me to really have a good wallow while I'm already down here in the slough of despondency.



swamp4me said...

As I sit at my computer I glance about my partially painted bedroom that has been in the partially painted state for three (yes, 3) years now. I began with gusto but couldn't maintain my enthusiasm for the task. As my husband says, painting is boring but frogs are fun.

As for bad backs, I have been going to the chiropractor for the past seven years now. It has made a world of difference in how I feel and function.

karla said...

And yet again we share an
uncanny commonality as I am also wallowing in my own pity party of back pain and in the middle of redoing a bedroom as well.

Enjoy your long weekend with your daughters.

Have a happy Easter and a Happy Birthday with Cuppa as well.

Dora said...

You didnt tell us what Butterfly thinks of the room.....

We wanna see pics, please?

A said...

AC, Sorry to hear about your back problems... I have had a lifetime of my own and I can definitely sympathize. I'd love to see photos of the newly-painted room!

portuguesa nova said...

Painting has gotta be one of the most thankless tasks of all time. It is one of those things that takes many hours of preparation, is satisfying work for like 5 minutes, and then sheer hell ever second thereafter.

Don't feel bad for yourself!

It is amazing how affordable it is to hire someone to do it...and then you also don't have to worry about it dripping all over stuff or crooked taping or anything of the sort.