Monday, July 12, 2010
feeling grounded and a life-threatening experience
This post will be dense and newsy, since lots has happened.
I haven't been on my computer all weekend because I was busy working at fish job.
The green fish is a Ling cod. Why is it green and the others are not? Um... food source?
Two plant guys holding up a rather large halibut.
One of the buyers wanted photos of certain fish. Jewel is holding the gills open so I can take a picture of the Pacific Cod and the Petrale Sole (Brill).
Also, a longnose skate. This is the one I think I'm going to knit this winter. They are beautiful.
Righty ho, on to the news.
I worked a lot this past weekend. Friday was a 12-hour day. The power went out the night before, apparently one of the main power poles had a transformer explode or catch fire or something and the entire west coast was without power for something like 12 hours. Without power, no offloading can happen. No ice can be made. Everything stops.
I was scheduled to be at a 7:00am offload but, not knowing what happens here when the power goes out, I showed up. No one there but me and the truck driver. And he was desperate for coffee. So I brought him back to the house and made coffee on our camp stove. After this post from a friend, I should have been more prepared for a power outage, but we weren't really expecting one until the winter. You know, with winter storms. Well who knows why this happened but I was very glad when we had our camping stove ready. I was also extremely glad that we didn't get rid of this hand-cranking coffee grinder. Because I was out of ground coffee and I was happy to offer some up to the truck driver.
We sat and waited for an hour. Someone sent a text message and said BC Hydro says the power will be back by 9am, but it was actually just after 8am. When it came on, the truck driver and I went back to the plant and waited. The offloading began at 9am and we had two boats to do. I was there until 7:00pm it was a l o o o n g day.
It wasn't a bad day, though, because we were all there, all in it together. Something I have found that people really pull together in situations like this. I'm thinking back to the Blizzard of '96 - all of Victoria was shut down for three whole days because Victoria seldom gets winter. Yet all the neighbours were out on the street, shoveling snow, clearing snow off their roofs (which aren't really built for snow) and clearing a path to a storm drain. Everyone was in a cheerful we're-in-this-together kind of mood.
Meanwhile, back at the plant, at some point, the sister of one of the guys brought about 30 McDonald's cheeseburgers from Port Alberni. This is a big deal because Port Alberni is an hour away and most of these guys seldom get a chance to go into 'town'. So these cheeseburgers were like gold and O BOY did the morale increase after that.
The next day was a long day too, with boats sort of showing up unannounced. My two hour shift ended up being six hours, and I knew that Sunday would be long too.
I work around a lot of smokers and, since it's an outside job, I don't usually worry about it, especially since I'm only there for a few hours at a time. But I think the cigarette smoke was getting to me after these two long-ish days, and by Saturday night, I knew I had a migraine coming on.
I used to get migraines a lot, like three times a week, but then I got a handle on them between my medications (at the time), the food I was eating, my lifestyle, etc. Now I only get them once or twice a month and I don't need the expensive $20-a-pill migraine meds. Usually ibuprofen will do. But this time, I wasn't going to take any chances because I really wanted to be at that offload. I took 800mg of ibuprofen and then 2 Tylenol 3s on top of that before going to bed.
That was dumb.
A couple hours later I woke up with ripping pain in my stomach. Got up to take some Tums, tripped on my way back to bed, and then, apparently, I passed out. Dan was awake by this time, after I had tripped noisily, and wondered what was going on. He found me not breathing and gave me the Heimlich maneuver to get me breathing. My pulse was difficult to find, then super slow on finding it. I faded in at one point, remembered being in the recovery position, dripping with sweat and feeling hot even though Dan told me I was ice cold and clammy. I remember him telling me he was glad I was still with him. Maybe I passed out a second time? In my incoherent state, my biggest worry was being able to show up for work the next day.
I did get up for work, feeling woozy and nauseous. Dan asked me if my ribs hurt, if I was bruised. I had no idea what he was talking about, until he told me what he had done. I drank some juice and kept it down. Then some cereal. I thought I'd be okay for work. Showed up at 7:45 and the offload began. I let the girls at the plant know I wasn't feeling great, that I might at some point need someone come to cover for me.
Every five minutes I thought to myself "I should go home. Can I make it? How much is left?" and after about four hours, my legs were wobbly and I thought I was going to pass out again. I was green. I got on the phone with my boss and called for reinforcement. A minute later the plant girls were whisking me away from the work area and into the office. Dan came to pick me up and drive me home. I spent the rest of the day in bed.
Apparently T3 takes about 40 hours to work its way through your system. I'm at hour 34 right now. Still feeling like my head is a block of cheese. So yeah, my husband saved my life and I am so thankful that he knew what to do in that moment.
Before all this happened, I was starting to feel like yes, we would like to stay here. A week or two ago, Dan and I were both on the fence about whether we'd like to move or stay here. I'm developing some good friendships and work relationships here, I'm really starting to feel invested here. I have tremendous job satisfaction (and I can't say I've felt that in years) so there is a lot to keep us here. We even have a couple of investors for the business we want to start. So things are looking up.
In contrast to how I felt much of June, I'm feeling happy again. I am happy to be here, happy with the way our life is going. I would be even happier if a bucket of money landed on our doorstep, but for now, we are okay.