Anyone who knows me knows how I’ll often blog about most things, but I’ve struggled with this one – mainly because everything is still processing in my head.
We rent, and in doing so receive an annual Gas Safety Check, to make sure everything is safe. We had ours on Saturday morning – the man came really early, earlier than he’d planned and yet again I got up to deal with it, feeling groggy and a bit dizzy as the virus I’ve had since January didn’t seem to want to shift.
He asked to have a look in the loft. Shaun let him up there, and he came back down pretty quickly. This got placed on our boiler.
Apparently the flue which links the boiler pipes from inside the house to outside have come away – rusted or rotted or something, but away. Fumes have been living in our loft, being inhaled by Shaun, H and I.
Which explains a lot about my dizziness I’ve felt every single morning. Some mornings I’d stagger to the train feeling like I was drunk, not understanding why the virus wasn’t shifting as I’d definitely had nothing to drink so couldn’t blame that. The idea that it could be carbon monoxide didn’t even occur to me. I had no idea that such a thing was in the loft anyway. You know when you’re ignorant to things, not because you choose to be, but because it’s not the kind of thing you’d think about. That’s me. I mean, it makes perfect sense the fumes have to leave the house somewhere. But it’s not the kind of thing I’d think about.
Because I was too busy, too dizzy with work and life to go to the doctor to get checked out. Because H kept saying she felt sick without actually being sick. Because Shaun was tired a lot. It was “the virus that wouldn’t shift”. Right?
Now, I don’t think things were at a critical level, but I do believe we’ve been affected by it. Fortunately we get out of the house and open the windows, and with this winter being so mild, there has been plenty of air circulating around the house. (I even had washing out on the line in January)
Had it been colder, it doesn’t bear thinking what could have happened. I’m trying not to think what could have happened – but the reality is in that Sliding Doors other universe it really could have happened and we didn’t realise.
We have a Carbon Monoxide detector downstairs next to the heater (and it’s an awful hot air style heater – with air vents upstairs and downstairs) which didn’t react – obviously because it’s all going on up in the loft. So we’re lucky in that respect. We’re getting another Carbon Monoxide detector in the loft as a matter of priority.
But yet again, I hadn’t thought about it and just assumed you’d need a detector near the boiler, which makes sense.
Since our gas has been turned off I haven’t felt dizzy once. H hasn’t felt sick, although Shaun is still sleepy – then again, he’s always been a bit sleepy! Which is when the penny dropped really, that and thanks to Facebook friends pointing it out.
So now we have to wait for our landlady to decide what she’s going to do. After our £230 monthly increase last year, I’m pretty sure we’ll get another whopping great big rise this year to pay for this; the joys of renting privately.
I have the clearest head I’ve had in a long time (I started feeling ill in January), and I’m not sure what to do next. Thank goodness we don’t spend a lot of time at home and get out quite a lot. Thank goodness for the weather. Thank goodness it was in the loft and not in the house. Thank goodness we had a Carbon Monoxide detector downstairs.
Thank goodness we get an annual Gas Safety Check. I hope if you’re reading this that you do too – and hope that if you don’t, that you’ll get one sorted now. Please don’t put it off. My friends who own their place pay for British Gas to check theirs – and I’m sure plenty of other companies offer this service.