Warped Wood, Swollen Joints and Other Broken Things

Some days, it feels as if nothing is going right. Today has been one of those days.

I was supposed to move back into my home over the weekend. The walk-through was a disaster–the contractors reinstalled the water-damaged wood, spot-painted the walls with mismatched colors, damaged several piece of furniture, and were generally careless with their renovation.

We’ll be out for at least another month and will likely need to take both the contractors and our HOA to court, just to bring our home back to its pre-flood condition. Though we’ve documented everything and have a solid case, it would be so much simpler if the company would take responsibility for their poor workmanship and just restart the project from scratch.

I’ve been on my anti-fungal treatment for valley fever for five weeks, yet still feel terrible. Though I know the medication takes time, the side effects are draining–constant nausea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain, sleeping 12+ hours each day, painful rashes, swollen joints and muscle weakness that causes me to collapse like a rag doll at least a few times per day.

Since the symptoms of valley fever are so unique to each individual, it’s hard for anyone to say how long I’ll be down. Having always been the epitome of good health, the debilitation is painful–both physically and emotionally.

Despite falling asleep at my desk twice today and spending the time in between worried about where we’ll live when insurance deems the renovation project is taking too long, I’ve been attempting to find the good in the situation. I’m trying to fit the broken pieces back together like a strangely beautiful glass mosaic vase.

So, on this somewhat shitty day, I’m grateful that I have a place to stay for at least tonight and that I have a job where I can close my door and take a nap when needed.

I’m thankful that the fungal infection hasn’t moved to my brain and that, after months of bizarre symptoms, I finally have a diagnoses.

I’m grateful that we diligently took pictures and tracked correspondence of the renovation so, if it comes down to it, we can support our case in court.

More than anything else, I’m grateful for my family and friends, who have visited to cheer me up and commiserate, along with the doctors who have gone above and beyond to ensure I’m properly treated. It’s in moments like this–where attention and abilities are compromised–that I most clearly recognize the selflessness and compassion of humanity.

I suppose that in itself is a lesson worth the suffering. Regardless of what happens, internal or external, people care, and it’s okay to ask for and accept help from those who do.

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