The other day the electricity went off, due to an ice storm and I was awake for thirty hours.
I prayed to God multiple times, "Please don't let the lights go out!" and God ignored me. I haven't figured that one out, the lights went black one hour before the wind died. God seems to ignore a lot of my prayers lately. I'm tired of feeling I am going to get squashed any second.
I have not renounced the Christian faith, taking the Job approach at this point [Job 13:15] but God is hurting my feelings lately as narcissists get endless blessings. There's meaning in martyrship and sacrifice for the faith but there's also a grinding down, that is meaningless. This just seemed like dumping more trauma on a person for no reason. Please God, the Peep needs a break! My nerves are already shot, they don't need shredded even more! Queen Spider has a giant house generator worth thousands that has given her full electricity for a week. What meaning am I to take from all this?
I had the money to cover one night of a very cheap motel, on me, but knew we had to buy food and gasoline in our car to function, so we decided we wait things out in hope the electricity would go on. I would tough things out, which meant NOT sleeping.
If you think electric company "Life-lines", mean anything DON'T!. Yes, I was on one. What a joke!
They worked on 12,000 people in front of me and got their power back on. I don't think they were all disabled. We called the electric company frantic three times, and they wouldn't give us a date and time. One guy told us it could be Friday when the power was back on and it was Monday night.
I can't sleep without the CPAP machine, the breathing stops, I feel it, I wake up with my heart racing and severely ill the rare times I have taken my mask off by accident. The symptoms have included night terrors, and worse. So I waited the whole night AWAKE with a candle in the sink of our very pitch black apartment, a lantern whose energy I sought to reserve and winding up a very weak and old "wind-up" flashlight. I would tell my husband, "Go to sleep" but he slept only fitfully and would wake up to check on me over and over.
During that night, we went out around 11pm to get some heat and light until 2 am. If it had been any colder to where it was housebound temperatures, I fear what would have happened to me. One of these trips I went to the hospital ER waiting room, the only place where we could get some heat and light and not be told to leave. That night was the slowest night of my life. The clock ticked on like sludge.
To be honest this made me wonder if I should live here anymore as there was no friends here or family for that matter, to help. Why are we here? The lack of community here is killing me. Would my acquaintances have helped if they found me on the curb in front of their house with xes over my eyes? I'm not sure. In my old town there were far more people to call for help. Even my church of the time would have stepped in. Some of our neighbors were going in and out of the complex, and it was like a punch in the gut to hear them speak of going to various relative's houses, "I'm going to my daughters" etc, though one couple said, they went to a motel.
At the hospital, I told them, I have very little money, and could they find a place for us to go, and I was told, I would have to do a full admission into the ER to sleep and there seemed to be some odd nodding towards, we need to see if it is a medical necessity. Huh? Isn't sleep a necessity? I have been awake for four days before and lets just say at the 4 day mark--this was from the demands of an insane job, night shift and insomnia at the time, hallucinations begin. They can have a fun time with me when that starts. I saw dark shadows in the corners and after-images when doors closed. Of course I am at that point thinking a motel room will be cheaper then co-pays for a huge hospital bill. Some of our motels did have power.
When you are poor, emergencies like this, aren't slight troubles to be solved with a credit card or savings, they strip you dry. A rut from hell of poverty that seems to never end. The wrong day and you are especially sitting out on the curb. Figuring out how to eat, survive or put gas in the car is hard. So I went home knowing I could be awake for 30-48 hours which is not good for someone in my medical condition. I also missed at least one dose of my nebulized lung medicine, McDonalds is so cheap, there wasn't one plug in the bathroom. The electric company laughably told me to find a shelter. The homeless shelter on the bad side of town is not handicapped accessible and has huge stairs even on the front of the house. They said, "Find a church". Well my old church the pastor was more concerned about collecting tithes for his new truck then anyone having anything to do with each other outside of the place. Most people aren't going to have huge sympathy for a big fat woman who sleeps on a machine. They think it's your fault for being so fat.
So I just sat and waited. What if it had been colder, where I could not breathe outside? If it had been lower then the mid 30s, I probably would have had to check into the ER just to sleep and get taken care of. It would be time to call an ambulance. I am too medically fragile for this crap. The demands on me were too much like usual. I even cried in pain to do all the packing. Having to pack a nebulizer, tubing, a CPAP where I have to pack the humidifier separately and other medical needs gets crazy. Once my doctor asked me "Why do you keep all your pills in a big bag?" I said, "So I can quickly leave or have them with me if there is a fire".
Getting sick in extreme cold would happen and not just be a possibility. I told my husband,
"I don't feel safe here anymore." The power in this apartment has gone out so many times, I've lost count, usually the other times were short from 1 hour to 8 hours and nothing like this. Years ago, I almost froze to death in North Carolina, in a blizzard, I was younger and more fit in 1993 though with some health problems like asthma. There we were in a hotel room after a sheriff rescued us from a snow bank. If I had not threatened the idiot I had gone to North Carolina with into getting off the highway, chances are we would have died. All I had to eat for 5 days was a box of Cheezit crackers and some water I brought with. There are vague memories of being so cold, that I was afraid of going to sleep and not waking up in the hotel room with no electricity. It was 10 degrees outside.
In my old rural town, in 2002 an ice storm wiped out the entire town, and our thin walled apartment was freezing only 6 hours after the power went out, and one could see their breathe in the air. I had to stay awake then and could not breath from the cold. I went into the car and drove for hours, it was the only warm place until a friend could rescue me. She took us in for three days, fed us and I could use my CPAP and they had heat. The hospital had no power. I was in shock there was no generator there.
If my husband had not been paid the next day for us to get a hotel room, and a friend to help if we needed a third, I would have had to check into a hospital. Sometimes I am angry that disabled and elderly people are left so vulnerable in our country. The idiots and dummies have spent more times inventing play time screens and new TVs then power packs or generators affordable to the normal person. I wonder what people on dialysis do? Since our weather is out of control, more of us are in danger then ever before. Some may say, "Well you need to prepare!" Well I don't have the 600 dollars for a back up battery-powered CPAP, nor the hundreds or thousands of dollars for a generator or power pack. Prepping is for the rich. Yeah it's dumb to live in infrastructure collapsing America with only electric heat but there was no other choice.
There was one point I told my husband if there is no power by the 31st, let's just pack our old car, with everything necessary, and LEAVE for good. He thought I was joking, but I was serious. I thought this is our sign to "get out". He isn't as spontaneous as me and knows probably within 12 hours I'd be crying for my bed. I told one neighbor out in the parking lot, if the power was off for another day, the deductions from the rent would begin.
I have to talk to my doctor and disability advocate about this stuff and ask "What should I do?".From one doctor, I'm going to ask him to write me standing orders that I am to be admitted into the hospital if there is no power and especially if the temperature is under or over a certain amount when I can't breathe. The whole saga was scary and left me ultra exhausted and even more tense then I was before. Not sleeping that long made me feel very messed up and 24 hours in, this meant crying and crying. I almost got a leg infection but took to bed and slept for 16 hours the first night at the motel. We hated even burdening the one friend who was going to help us with the third night of a hotel we may have needed. I am glad my husband was there to help me. Why can't they keep the lights on anymore? We have 1930s technology when it comes to the electrical grid. I don't have the mechanical know-how or tools to hook a marine battery to the CPAP. I think they need to work on the electrical grid first, and sell products that will keep us from freezing to death during storms.