We have a scheduled renovation of our kitchen floor coming up in one week. This is something I have waited for for many years. Our existing, very old kitchen floor looks like crap, and finally…finally we got enough money together to have a new sub-floor done with brand new, gorgeous vinyl sheeting put down. I have been so excited since we decided to just do it.
But there has also been a structural issue that I have had concerns over, so I scheduled a contractor to stop in this afternoon to take a quick look before we had our new floor put down. I spoke to him on the phone yesterday and he said he’d be able to stop in today at 1pm. He never showed up. I called him 2 hours after his arrival time came and went. He claimed that he got “hung up” on another job and would not be able to make it today. He apologized and asked if he could just come tomorrow. I just sat in silence for a few moments. This man had no idea what it had taken for me to prepare for his visit to my home. And now he wasn’t coming.
I have several chronic illnesses that produce pain in my body and right now I am in a flare up of the highest magnitude. I have been “down” off my feet pretty much for all of 2 weeks. My pain has been off the charts. To walk across the room takes a monumental effort. To shower, it takes me about an hour or more to manage. I must sit angled, on a bar stool in front of the sink in the bathroom to brush my teeth, wash my face and do my hair, in order not to put undue weight on my poor, swollen, inflamed feet, which is my worst current “pain-du-jour”.
I showered late last night in preparation, so I wouldn’t have to take the time to do it this morning. Then I slowly shuffled around, trying to pick up clutter and cleaned the house as best I could. Today I spent time getting myself dressed, to look presentable and by the time 1pm came around I was ready.
I waited for 2 hours. No phone call to tell me they would not be able to make it. I had to call them to inquire if they were still coming. When I learned that they were not coming, I just sat in disbelief. All my extra effort was all for nothing. I felt like screaming. This guy had no clue what it took for me to get ready for his visit. And now I have to do it all over again, for when he (hopefully) shows up tomorrow.
It’s times like this when chronic pain is the most maddening. When you are already suffering, and only want to lay down and die….then something comes up where you have no choice but to buck up and do something you feel like you cannot possibly manage, but you do it anyway, because you have to…..and then it falls through. You have gritted your teeth, done the impossible, caused yourself much more pain than you already had….all for nothing.
Of course, I didn’t bother to tell this man what I had gone through just to be ready for his arrival. I didn’t explain to him how my feet feel like raw flesh burning from walking on hot coals. Or how my back feels like it has a knife in my spine. Or how my muscles feel black and blue. I just took a few deep breaths and told him tomorrow would be fine.
There was no point trying to explain to this man what my life is like. Not worth the effort. Healthy people don’t get it, and they never will. You only truly understand what it’s like being in this “club” if you are a particpating member. So I just let it go. And I will try to not blame this guy for my misery. I will open the door tomorrow, and I will smile, and invite him in.