A blockage in the pipe!

17 01 2013

Well, I knew Gladys was an amazing wagon but I didn’t realise the depth of her feeling for us. It seems she came out in sympathy with Alistair last week!

I shall tell all…

We had a romantic sunday planned a week or so ago, the rush of christmas was over, mega socialising had been completed and time off from my studying was still diaried in. A trip first thing to East London to pick up fresh Indian herbs and produce ( I know not particularly romantic but as you all well know by now we love our food and enjoy creating scummy stuff to eat ) and then on to the romantic bit, an afternoon together, cuddled up in bed, cosy and warm and the rest I can leave to your imagination! The only quick thing we had to fit in between those 2 things was a 10 minute water fill for Gladys and a quick emptying of the ‘jobbie tank’.

East London didn’t disappoint and we returned laden with exciting ingredients and mouth watering ideas for our supper that evening.

So, on to that next quick task before the proper romance could begin.

I made a start ahead of Alistair (not that I was so keen on emptying the tank that I couldnt wait to get started, it was more the promise i was on after that galvanised me), connected  the sewerage hose, double checked the connection (leaky connections not recommended with this job) and then pulled the handle to release the contents from the holding tank. Nothing, nada, zilch, and that was funny because the lavvy was full inside (a rising tide of water coming upwards when we flushed). I tried again, still nothing.

“Alistair, Im pulling the handle and nothings happening can you help”!! Im sure in his head he was wondering what sort of girl mistake I had made, but no, when he tried, nothing. Oh poo, no poo!

After several attempts of stirring up the contents of the lavvy inside with various essential plumbing implements (a piece of hose pipe, a stick and an unfolded metal coat hanger) we came to the conclusion the pipe was well and truly blocked. Alistair  then tried from the outside in and  jiggled the  unfolded coat hanger into the opening of the sewerage pipe outside, still nothing. Our neighbour kindly offered assistance but you know some things you don’t want to share and the smell of your own raw sewerage is probably one of those things!

The men (Alistair and said neighbour) put their heads together and came up with a few ideas of what it could be and what could be done whilst in the meantime  I took over with the jiggling and wiggling of the coat hanger plumbing device up the outside sewerage drain pipe.The wiggling did not disappoint .. YIKES.. there it was, a great big giant jobbie blocking the entire pipe (neither of us have claimed ownership). I have to say, this was one of the most unpleasant experiences I have had, it was an assault on most of my senses in one go. In case you are ever in this position the solution is to take a small length of flexible sewerage hose and fill the far end with water and then whack it up and down so the  internal pipe gets a sort of enema, the jobbie  gets dislodged and the tank can be emptied!

Now imagine the scene (go on I dare you). We have a long flex of sewerage hose filled with shit and waste that we have to carry between the 2 of us about 250 feet to the main drain without it spilling from either end. We then have to empty the tank (about 3 trips back and forth) and then we have to clean the cupboard that houses the tank due to some pretty severe overspill during the unblocking process. Those who know us know that we have all but eradicated all chemicals from our cleaning repertoire but I have to say the only thing that could tackle a clearing up job of this size was Jeyes Fluid and household bleach and tons of both!

So, 2 hours later there we both were, filthy dirty, stinking, freezing cold and desperate for one thing and one thing only A HOT SHOWER. The best laid plans eh!

So that day Alistair gave me the highest accolade a man could probably bestow on his woman, he looked at me as we were just finishing our last trip to the drain and he said

” Rebeks, you truly are a proper geezer bird, thank you” !

I feel I earned my brownie badge that day!

And so to Gladys’ sympathy with Alistair… he has a slight blockage in the  pee pipe which is causing some discomfort and obviously needs some attention (some things need medical intervention and we feel this is one of them). We revisited the hand puppet and I have to say this one has redeemed some faith in the profession. He remembered Alistair, knew what was going on, listened to what we wanted, obliged and wrote an urgent referral to the NHS London Hospital of Integrated Medicine, recommended more blood tests and was somewhat impressed that what we were doing using alternative approaches had reduced Alistair’s PSA so significantly. For the first time EVER on our healing journey we both felt taken care of  in a respectful way.

It is likely that the stricture that was discovered last December has narrowed again and will  need to be surgically dealt with. We hope and need that to be done sooner rather than later… the discomfort is imaginable isn’t it? So lets really hope that the NHS do better than their ‘we aim to get your surgery done within 18 weeks’!

In the meantime, ginger and cinnamon tea to keep the kidneys healthy, organic unsweetened cranberry juice and some cranberry supplements to try to stave off an infection.

And probably very timely for Alistair, we have a wonderful weeks holiday to look forward to courtesy of a very kind man known to Alistair, Thank you Kind Man, your generosity is appreciated and so very welcomed at this time.

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