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Saturday, August 12, 2017

10 Ways I Survived the Bathroom Fiasco

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Ahhhhh, the bathroom fiasco.  Where to start.  Well, I guess the beginning is always the best place.

I live in the apartment attached to my parents' house.  It was built in 1982 for my maternal grandparents.(See But It's JUST... - Part 1 of Series)

The bathroom is original from when the apartment was built. The stall shower started to give us problems and developed a mold issue.  Ugh.   Now, first off, bleach did nothing for the mold issue because it was actually grown into the bottom tray in the stall shower.  Yes, that can happen, so I've learned.  

However, due to my issues, I can't use bleach and it can't be anywhere close to me.  Others did try bleaching it, but when they did, it was a whole process.  I can't be in the apartment for hours.  They must open the window, keep the fan on, keep the door closed and I have to leave and go into my parents' side of the house for hours on end.  (See What About Restaurants, Parties, Invites And Public Places?)

The contractor said it would take three days to gut the stall shower and replace it!  Again, I could not be in the apartment while they were working.  The dust, mold and any chemicals he would be using would cause an asthma and/or allergy attack.  So, again, I was banned to either the backyard or my parents' side of the house. 

I had to go into my parents' house to shower for several weeks before the contractor came.  He was definitely worth the wait.  He came highly recommended and we chose to wait for him and are glad we did.  He did a fantastic job
My bathroom - the light and window are reflections 

The shower stall came out beautiful.  It was so nice to be able to shower in my own apartment again. A mold-free bathroom, what a novelty!  Well, at least for two days.

I wiped down the bathroom as best I could with mild soap and water and used the squeegee on the glass doors until they sparkled.  Not long after I did it, I went into my mom's side of the house to chat with her. Hubby came in and asked me why I put brown all over the bottom of the stall shower?

Brown?  What in the world was he talking about.  So I went in with him to take a look.  You guessed it.  I had run the dishwasher and everything backed up into my stall shower.  Oh what fun. The brown was dirt only, luckily and not sewerage.  

Earlier in the day, the toilet had backed up.  It was plunged and seemed to work fine again per my dad.  Apparently not.

I called my dad into the apartment and he tried plunging again.  More came up through the stall shower drain.  So... he decided to use chemicals.  What does that mean?  That means I can't be in my apartment. (See Wanted - Short, Dark-haired, chunky woman... You Won't Believe Witness Descriptions!)  

The last time they used chemicals down the drain in the sink in my apartment, I wound up in the ER.

So I had to spend several hours in the yard with the dogs and then in my with my mom on her side of the house.  

They had to keep the bathroom door shut in my apartment, the fan on and the window open and it had to be that way overnight.  That meant no bathroom at all in the apartment. 

the pool in our yard, there's a bathroom in the little house that backs up into the woods

Luckily, this house has five bathrooms, three on my parents' side of the house, one in my apartment and one out by the pool!  Not that anyone wants to trek through the yard in the middle of the night.

The next morning my dad came in and tried to flush the bowl again.  It was still backing up.  So, he decided he had to take the bowl off the floor.  Great.  

My dad is extremely handy and knows plumbing and electric and has always done almost all his own work on the house, but he's almost 77 years old.  He's in amazing shape for his age, still goes to the gym, and look like he's 20 years younger.  However, I didn't want him lifting toilet bowls. 

pic taken by my son in Cleveland

My son was away in Cleveland with his girlfriend and some of her family, my nephew was on the golf course with friends, one of my brothers-in-law was on the lacrosse field in Nassau County with my nephew, and neither my daughter's boyfriend nor my niece's boyfriend were around.

I certainly can't lift a toilet bowl, I never could.  My husband can't either.  Years ago he could have but not now.  

one of my brother-in-law's trucks

Finally, my other brother-in-law was available and came over with some tools.  He owns a construction business and had been working since 7 a.m. (yes they work weekends, always have).

He removed the bowl and took it outside.  Long story short, after trying several things, they all felt it wasn't worth trying to fix the bowl.  It probably wasn't fixable.  So, a new bowl was put in, after my dad and brother-in-law went to the store with his truck and bought one. 

HA HA, not my bathroom, but I can dream

Finally, by mid afternoon, we had our bathroom back and all water was running fine.  I ran the dishwasher, we flushed the bowl and so far, so good!

How did I survive the bathroom fiasco?
  • First off, I tried to stay calm.  It did cause me a ton of anxiety, but I attempted to keep a sense of humor.  (See The Summer of '77 - Oh The Anxiety)
  • I stayed outside with the dogs while the contractors were working on the shower stall and then while family was working on the toilet bowl. 
  • I read my book while the dogs played.  Reading keeps my mind busy. 
  • I chatted with my mom in her side of the house.  It makes the time go by. 
  • I tried not to dwell on the fact that everything has to be done the HARD WAY for me.  
  • I made sure that people cleaned very well before I went back into the apartment.  They wiped away any dust with a wet cloth as per my doctor's instruction. 
my bathroom, still under construction
  • I tried to look on the bright side.  It was only three days for the contractor, it could have been a week. It was only two days to get the toilet and plumbing working again, it could have been longer.
  • At least now I have a new stall shower and new toilet.  Hopefully, next year the vanity, sink, medicine cabinet and floor will be redone too. 
  • There are now handicap railings in the shower, which makes life much easier for me and my husband.  That along with the handicap seat is wonderful. 
  • The toilet bowl is a tall one, again, making life easier for both of us. 
And so, I survived the bathroom fiasco, thankfully, with little drama.  It could have been worse. Thankfully, we avoided hospitals which would have made the whole fiasco even more troublesome.
August is National Breastfeeding Month. This year's National Breastfeeding Month Theme -- Charting the Course Together -- will focus on how we can use... Read More  Some say breastfeeding helps avoid allergy/immunology issues later in life and helps control weight for a lifetime and much more!  
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