Sunday, July 27, 2008

Night Twenty-Three/Day Twenty-Four...Oh that Smell

I left the hotel around 1:30P, got to the apartment around 1:35P. I’m renewed, still tired, but I feel at the lower ebb of horrible. I open up the front door and I’m immediately attacked by that highly potent vanilla candle smell. I hold my reserve and my cookies…and make way up the stairs to the apartment. I open the front door…yuck, old apartment smell…but I’m dealing…and then I climb the last set of stairs into the apartment…and I can’t deal. It’s overwhelming, indescribable, and awful. What is this? Did it always smell this way, and I was less sensitive? Did it only start to smell this way, and I’m too sensitive. Did it always smell this way, and I’m too sensitive? What to do? I’m thinking heavy artillery, but not too heavy, that comes with smells of its own. I decide to go to Whole Foods for options. Just being inside a grocery store right now is not what I need, but I persevere. I decide to buy some eucalyptus branches…can’t hurt. I look for other options, but can’t find them. I return to the building, breathe through my mouth and break out those branches. Not really the immediate solution I need…maybe in time, but not helping so much at the moment.

It wasn’t much longer, and Jon arrived. He had driven up to Boston as planned, to spend the night, and drive me home on Friday. He comes armed with a plumber's snake and some Liquid Plumr for the stopped up kitchen drain. He also does a “just in case” mass cleanout on the fridge. He appoints fresh smelling chemical devices throughout the apartment. He Fabreezes things...he is most active on “smell elimination detail” but there is no real improvement. How upsetting.

I start to come up with “what next” solutions. I could leave the apartment and stay out until I absolutely have to come back. I can look into other housing solutions…I do the math about how much it would be to stay in a hotel for the remainder of my treatment, and that just seems prohibitively expensive. It depresses me to think I may not have that many options, and how am I going to live with this odor. Thinking too much about what the odor may actually be, only makes me feel worse, and yet I can’t seem to help myself from thinking about this. Stop the madness.

Jon and I go to Proton at around 4:10P. I’m not done until 5:30P. I can’t bear going back just yet, so we decide to go over to my home away from home…the Liberty Hotel…for a beverage and a small snack. We finish up around 6:30P…maybe this is enough time for all of Jon’s efforts to have taken effect…not to mention the eucalyptus. We head back, we head up, we head in…Nope…no such luck.

This was a most miserable night, couldn’t wait to leave. The only favorable thing I could tell myself is that I will only have another 8 nights here, and that maybe over the weekend when I’m away, things will improve. Wish this with me.

P.S.-Proton was unusually late in the day on Friday…it was 2:30P. Jon and I didn’t get on the road until almost 4P. We hit traffic everywhere, and didn’t get home until 9P. I was beyond toast when we got home. It was so good to smell the non-smell of home. Twenty-four treatments down, 11 more to go.


Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Heidi's , I've been a volunteer driver and I can see what a difficult ordeal she is going through and she is a champ, I am so proud of her. I would do this myself, but I have a niece to put through college. Can't this core family come up with a few thousand dollars to pay for the hotel for the final two weeks. This situation is so difficult. A little comfort, a TV, some room service would make it so much easier. Come on, step up to the plate, this is really rough, help her out.

Heidi said...

Dear Anonymous, I appreciate your sentiment, but my "core" has been beyond helpful throughout this whole experience. There are many individuals struggling through far worse adversity than myself, to take up a collection for me feels really uncomfortable...I wouldn't dream of asking or accepting.