How many RA-ers does it take to change a lightbulb?


One!  And SHE’s blond.  Thank you very much.

Now, let’s talk about how long it took to change said lightbulb and, the pressing question, why the stupid light cover is still not back in place.

I haven’t been this uncomfortable with my hands since before I was diagnosed several years ago.  I’ve been having problems with fine manipulation with pointer fingers on both hands and my right thumb since the shoulder/tendonitis debaucle of last month.  Read: muscle relaxers help the shoulder but interfere with the effectiveness of any and all RA medication I take.  Read: I get to chose which is worse- shoulder pain or not being able to say, change a lightbulb speedily.  Sure, physical therapy is helping a lot but effective Jan 1st, my company switched insurance companies so I’m back with the douchelord of insurance companies- Blue Cross Blue Shield- and can’t go back until my doctor completes authorization paperwork, faxes it 100 times, and then I have to call 100 more times and verbally assault the poor CSR who may or may not speak English and definitely doesn’t understand even the mildest of Southern accents until they finally “find” the paperwork so I can go back to PT.  Normally, this takes a month.  No, I’m not upset or bitter or anything.  Not at all.

Back to lightbulb.  Obviously, the light burnt out.  This should be an easy process: go to laundry room, retrieve stepladder, climb ladder, remove light cover, change bulb, replace light cover, put ladder away.  Except the light cover is attached to the base of the light with those dang little screws that whoever put it up last decided needed to be screwed in as tight as humanly possible.  I discovered this pretty quickly.

I tried and tried to unscrew them but after ten minutes on a stepladder being unable to see what I’m trying to do- thank you lack of light, working with my hands above my head and trying to feel for screws I can’t see because light cover is in the way- decide to take a breather because I’m getting mad.  Struggling to twist something that you can’t even see if very frustrating. Walk around for a few minutes giving my hands a pep talk- “Come on!  You played piano and flute and guitar for years.  You used to be the MASTER of undoing things. Are you really going to let yourselves be done in by a LIGHTBULB?  MAN UP YOU STUPID DIGITS!”  Hands did not answer.

Back on the ladder.  Getting any of them to budge was no easy feat. Once I got one of the screws moving, that one came out easily.  Once one screw was out, I was able to wiggle the light cover off which released pressure on the other screws which made getting them to move much easier.  Whew!  Old bulb out, new bulb in.  Step off the ladder, flip the switch to make sure the new bulb is operational.  Check. 

Attempt to put the light cover back on and screw all screws back in.  Except that with my slow poke hands, the screws are all suddenly too big to fit in the hole. (I know, all together now: THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID.)  The whole thing was terribly clumsy and awkward. I tried “starting” all the screws in the slots but then couldn’t get the dome back on.  I tried “starting” just one screw, putting the cover back on, and then putting the other screws back in but again got frustrated because it just wasn’t working.

So for now, the dome cover is in the top rack of the dishwasher.  I figured I’d wash it since it was down and then maybe find the patience to put it back up on another day.

So again, just one RA-er to change a lightbulb….but make sure you have plenty of free time and patience.

2 responses »

  1. I SO identify. Great post! And I hope you’ll have a nice visitor soon who’ll put the dome cover back on FOR you.

    Good luck!

  2. Yes, definately a post to identify with. Usually, changing the light starts with my yelling at my husband to do it, and him, telling him he eventually get to it, and he never does. Thus, I end up changing the bulb, enduring the same scenerio and mumbling that I married a lazy idiot.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s