Role Reversal

The work continues on the basement. The digging was completed in five days, and then we had a lull before getting the next round of contractors. Today, we should have an electrician with two helpers and the concrete guy, who will handle underpinning (the shoring up of the foundation), replacement of the I-beam, and the gravel and concrete work. Additionally, we are still searching for a reasonably priced plumber.

The quote for the electric came in at a reasonable price, even lower than I expected. But the concrete and underpinning about brought around my death, or at a minimum, illness in the dining room.

Friday was our day off. K decided to work, because she had missed a day during the week. I had to go in to work for an awards ceremony and then had plans for coffee and shopping for the afternoon. I met up with a friend and wandered aimlessly through shops and got to have coffee at the gourmet market, where I only go occasionally. Beautiful fall weather made it a perfect afternoon.

I got home and bubbled over to tell K about the afternoon. (Side note: It seems outrageous to spend $70 on 2 lipsticks, 1 lip glimmer, blush, and lip liner.) K was a bit subdued, but I put it down to exhaustion.

Turns out that she wanted me to get the last bit of enjoyment out of my afternoon before she sprung the price quote for the underpinning, etc. on me. When I saw the number, I wanted to break out into tears. We could afford it, but we wouldn't have the money to complete the basement. Nor is there any way to avoid having some of the work done, especially as it is already dug out.

As it turns out, I convinced the contractor to SIGNIFICANTLY lower his price. But this is after almost throwing up in the middle of the dining room, due to the onslaught of anxiety brought around by the money issues on the job.

On the basement, the bottom line is that we will be able to complete the work, unless we have another nasty surprise. The bad news is that we won't be able to afford central AC this fall and it will have to wait for a while, due to lack of funds.

The best part is that K is healthy enough to protect me from the initial news and she was the strong one. She is able to put aside her own anger and frustration with the contractors to comfort me and make sure that the two of us made it through mentally and emotionally intact.

I never realized the stress that can be brought on by having work done in one's home. Right now, our home is no longer a sanctuary. It is a construction zone with chaos creeping through every room. Our hope is to get the dining room table refinished (the work is being done in the living room) and have the dining room drywall put up (we tore down a wall) and the room painted, so we can have the living room and dining room back. The chimney company finished their work (not that we tested it yet) to correct the screw-up they did on the chimney lining job.

Any case, K is back. I can say this a year after her hospitalization. Her second release from the hospital, when she finally began to improve, will be a year ago on Wednesday, November 10. I don't want to remind her, but it is an anniversary worth celebrating, since she's come so far.


At 3:34 PM, Blogger synergy said...

I'm posting this comment twice in hopes that you'll see it at one post or the other.

B--I'm glad the blog is able to speak to you about the trials, tribulations, and joys of having a bipolar partner. I found the diagnoses to be a relief as K has modified some of her behaviors that I didn't like. But it took time.

Your partner sounds like she's really struggling right now. If she is a danger to herself or others, then think about what you may need to do in terms of having her hospitalized. It's painful and very difficult, but it is the right thing to do at times.

Also, the only way you will survive is by taking care of yourself. It isn't a bad thing to do so. Instead it's vital.

If I can help, email me at synergylk@gmail.com

Good luck!


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